Separate but Equal is Never Equal Only Separate

Evangeline argues the heterosexist position that L/G folks should accept civil unions instead of demanding marriage equality.

Not “Gay Marriage”.  Gay marriage betrays a line of thinking that comes straight from Christo-fascism and right wing bigots.  It is a framing aimed at making marriage equality appear as some sort of demanding of special privileges rather than equality.

When it is in fact the heterosexists who are demanding that their relationship be privileged over and above those of L/G people.

I have a modest proposal.

Civil unions for all.  Get government and the whole matter of law out of the “marriage business”.

Give marriage to the those who make a ritual out of it.  Make marriage without having signed the civil union contract into simply a ritual.  Turn the issuing of the license into the actual civil contract that bestows the rights and privileges.

It is in fact the traditional way with the contracts signed before magistrates, dowries exchanged and finally a ceremony.

Or allow heterosexuals to opt for these proposed civil unions too cutting the religious institutions out of the role just as many poor and secular people do now when they marry at the court house in front of a government official.

19 Responses to “Separate but Equal is Never Equal Only Separate”

  1. karen A Says:

    Civil unions for all makes the most sense. Marriage then becomes a purely religious thing with no legal consequences.

    BTW it does seem that “Classic” Transsexuals (or at least those who use that label) as a rule are very socially conservative. I wonder why… (well not really – I think I know)

    • Suzan Says:

      Yeah me too. It is a way of distinguishing themselves from their liberal sisters who are either lesbian or bisexual>

      It also seems like they tend to be privileged although the one living in Section 8 housing in the Mission of SF hardly fits in that category.

      In the 1990s I was a fan of the Canadian publication “Gender Trash” put out by Viviane Namaste and Mirha-Soleil Ross. Namaste went on to get a Ph.D yet didn’t forget from whence she came.

      I got lost for a while and tried to forget but got back in touch with my roots.

      When someone says, “When you or anyone talks of Human Rights, I believe we should also always talk of responsibility and that means that the rights of one should never remove or dilute the rights of another.” then you know that in their hearts they are quoting some bit of right wing ideology.

      Equal rights are not a taking away of the rights of other unless those rights include the right to oppress and discriminate against others. When they pull out that argument their real fear isn’t the dilution of their rights but rather the loss of their privilege. The maintenance of prigilege and fear of losing that social superiority is at the core of the argumet presented by Evangeline.

  2. karen A Says:

    Yeah me too. It is a way of distinguishing themselves from their liberal sisters who are either lesbian or bisexual.

    I think it’s more about basic insecurity with their position in the world as woman…

    It also seems like they tend to be privileged although the one living in Section 8 housing in the Mission of SF hardly fits in that category.

    That is about looking for validation too.

    When someone says, “When you or anyone talks of Human Rights, I believe we should also always talk of responsibility and that means that the rights of one should never remove or dilute the rights of another.” then you know that in their hearts they are quoting some bit of right wing ideology.

    In the end that means ‘only people who are like me have rights that matter’

    When “rights” come into conflict (and they can legitimately) fairness and social responsibility should prevail.

    When they pull out that argument their real fear isn’t the dilution of their rights but rather the loss of their privilege.

    Yes… that insecurity is the classic motivation in more than one area.

  3. cassandraspeaks Says:

    Ok, this is a fair debate to have. Before I say more my family roots are in left wing socialist politics my Father was a Union Shop Steward. I do believe in equality and I am atheist. I am not a lawyer and I am not familiar enough with USA laws and constitutional practises to comment on USA situation. I rely on you Americans to explain your situation. I am however quite familiar with UK. Bare with me here and I will lead you to my reasoning. In the UK although marriage ceremonies are performed by the Church the Church service is the religious part of the marriage and the signing of the register which takes place usually in the vestry of the building is the real civil marriage and actual marriage contract. This is why a divorce can be ordered by a court of justice. In the eyes of the Church the couple remain married for life and this is why often Churches in UK will not perform a ceremony for a couple if one of them has been married before in a Church. So in that sense in UK ALL marriages are in pont of fact Civil Unions. The Civil Union Act in the UK in some ways simply extended the laws to same sex couples. Churches were allowed to make their own choices as to whether theyy performed ceremonies or not.

    I believe I said in my comment elsewhere here that I favoured the UK model of Civil Unions. Sometimes perhaps there needs to be some compromise between interested parties. I think if the USA campaign had been based along the Civil Union lines There would have been greater support. Look, young people are becomming far more “developed” in their thinking and believe the next time it’s presented it will get through.

    • Suzan Says:

      You favor civil unions for L/G people because of your heterosexism and your belief that their relationships are inferior to heterosexual relationships. You think that if there was marriage equality (not gay marriage) it would somehow or other make your marriage a “gay marriage”.

  4. cassandraspeaks Says:

    Karen, You’re being unfair, I was talking about rights not privilages.

  5. Willow Arune Says:

    In Thailand and other SE Asia countries, you can have a religious ceremony and the marriage is like our common law, not recognized by the court and not needing a divorce. If you register the marriage with a government agent or tombron, it becomes legal and you have to get a divorce to cease the legal status.

    Makes lots of sense. Religious is good enough for some, but the state makes it official. We might simply call the second step “civil union” and do away with the legal idea of marriage leaving it as a religious status only.

  6. Emily Says:

    In the Netherlands, all marriages begin with a state marriage, which is pretty much like a civil union. The legal, tax and property rights associated with the marriage are all tied to this and the religious ceremony had after that has no legal import.

    Why is it this way? It’s simple: The Netherlands works pretty hard to have a real separation between church and state. The Christian churches still try to throw their weight around, but in issues such as this, they have no chance. The state marriage defines all the rights, the religious ceremony is nothing more than that.

    I found this process so civilised when I married there in 1993 and so wish other countries would follow suit. Let the churches do their discrimination: That battle is something that needs to happen within those religions and LGBT people who follow those faiths need to fight that battle. By having all people marry in the same way to get the rights they remove the damage caused by that discrimination and ensure that when two people want to commit to a marriage they do so with the same rights be they in heterosexual relationships or not.

  7. karen A Says:

    I was speaking about rights NOT privileges. BTW in the end ALL rights are really privileges in the sense that rights are arbitrarily defined by societies and the values of their belief systems and so the difference is arbitrary.

    Separate but equal though never works. Giving something a different name will get it seen and treated differently and help perpetuate that whatever the law. That is human nature.

  8. Edith Says:

    Hi Suzan,

    you wrote:

    “Not “Gay Marriage”. Gay marriage betrays a line of thinking that comes straight from Christo-fascism and right wing bigots. It is a framing aimed at making marriage equality appear as some sort of demanding of special privileges rather than equality.”

    I tried to make a similar argument, elsewhere, about a year, or so, ago. I don’t remember you receiving it very well at the time. The marriage issue is one of the things stirring up a lot of trouble for transsexual people, here in the U S, in my humble opinion. Inevitably, questions of how to define sex crop up. That is one reason why I consider marriage or civil unions a matter of equality, rather than a question of permission to allow same sex or “gay marriage”.

    I haven’t read Evangeline’s post, blog, or whatever because I am not sure who she is. My question for Cassandra, however, is why in order to have one’s gender recognized in the U K, an existing marriage has to be dissolved and a civil union formed. Obviously, it is a way around recognizing same sex marriage. By implication, however, it seems to relegate same sex union to second class status. At the same time, only someone’s gender has been recognized but not their sex? Does the union then become a joining together of same gender people in a civil union but not a same sex civil union? What about sex? I get very confused when I try to understand the way things work in the U K. I am from the U S.

  9. tinagrrl Says:

    If I have a “right” as a class — and you don’t (also as a class) — then what you have is privilege. As an example — the right to vote.

    With equality comes an expansion of rights — not their dilution. There is a loss of privilege with the “new order”, not a loss of rights.

    That seems to be one of the main reasons some white men get so upset when women , POC, etc. are put on an equal footing. The loss of privilege you claim you do not have is very upsetting.

    If folks are not careful, they just might have to look at the world anew. Having to adjust your world view as an adult can either liberate, or cause you to become very angry and resentful.

  10. tinagrrl Says:

    If marriage rights are not expanded, but a newly post-op person is “allowed” to stay married — that could be a problem for ALL post-ops being seen as women.

    Now, perhaps someone could argue it’s about a contract, or is “grandfathered” in — but as far as the marriage is concerned, there is still a “husband” and a “wife”.

    I understand why some remain married. There are other circumstances that say pure common decency requires the former husband to stay — and the legal status can be important.

    Of course, other same sex couples would also benefit from that option (marriage), for the very same reasons.

    If a post-op marries a woman by using a legal fiction — If one claims to be a “man” only because that’s what it says on her birth certificate — that’s also damaging to all post-ops. As one Texas lawmaker said after P. Frye orchestrated a number of such unions, “what’s the problem — it’s just a man marrying a woman.”.

    To do something like that — then go around yelling, “I’m a woman — just like you.”, as some have done shows an extreme lack of awareness. By those actions, you have shown yourself to be unlike almost everyone.

    That’s not an expansion of rights — it’s an example of privilege.

    Remaining in a previous marriage can be seen as something between the two people involved.

    “Pulling a stunt” is very different.

  11. cassandraspeaks Says:

    Suzan, clearly you have read what I said on my blog about this issue and that is good it means that you know my reasoning. My view remains as I laid out there and if you and others wish to see my view as due to some fragility or insecurity on my part then fine. However, I stand by what I said. Where I come from the issue has been settled and I do not have to address it again. It is America and Americans who need to make their decisions.
    My suggestion is that American gay and lesbian folks may gain more support for a marriage contract which is clearly needed if they accept the compromise of Civil Union. As Mick Jagger said “You don’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need”

    But just for the record, I do believe that the situation in USA regarding gay relationships and tax law, inheritance, healthcare, pensions, etc is disgraceful and disadvantages gay and lesbian couples in the most outrageous way and it clearly is not right or just and surely goes against the high ideals of what America claims to stand for. I wish you well with the campaign but what I say or think isn’t going to make a shred of difference to you or America.

  12. Edith Says:

    Hi Tina,

    I don’t know if I should have commented here. I am problematic in many ways. It leaves me vulnerable to much criticism. I suppose I should be used to it by now.

    I impulsively replied to this post because I made a comment, elsewhere, about women with transsexual histories not being able to marry in the U K, heterosexually . It has occurred to me how little I understand the situation over there. I made my comment before seeing this post that Suzan had put up.

    I am aware of a couple of women who did marry in the U K, however, before the GRA, where one was post operative. They chose to get married there because it wouldn’t have been possible for them to marry in the U S. They are a fairly well known couple. The way it was explained to me was that because of the Omrod decision they weren’t considered a same sex couple at the time. It would be interesting to know how the GRA has changed that and how someone with a transsexual history would have been able to marry heterosexually, in light of Omrod, during the interim.

    I just checked the Wikipedia article on Corbett v Corbett and don’t consider myself any less confused as a result.

  13. cassandraspeaks Says:

    I’ll try and explain it Edith if I may. I know Tina doesn’t like it much but this is the reality of the uk situation.

    In the situation where one partner in a marriage transitions and the couple decide to remain together the legality of their marriage is not affected unless the transitioning party seeks a corrected birth certificate under the provisions of the GRA. The act requires that the marriage is dissolved or a corrected BC will not be issued. The couple are however free to form a civil partnership and equality is then restored since under the provisions of the two acts a Marriage and Civil Unions are equal under the law.
    There is also a Provision of Goods and Services act that makes discrimination in the provision of goods and services illegal. It is in fact the UK version of ENDA Although there are subtle differences.
    It is a little known fact but the Ormrod Corbett decision has since been overturned by the house of Lords post the introduction of GRA
    I hope this clarifies things for you and that Suzan you didn’t mind my replying for you.

  14. tinagrrl Says:

    “I know Tina doesn’t like it much but this is the reality of the uk situation.”

    You “know”?

    What is it that you “know”?

    Have I EVER made a comment about the situation in the UK?

    What in HELL would I know about it?

    Have I lived it?

    NO!

    On the other hand, folks who do not live in the USA have this tendency to tell us all about our country. They tell us why and how we who live here are wrong about damned near everything.

    People who live as far away as is possible, and have never been here, feel they have every right to EXPLAIN to us poor benighted fools exactly what we do not understand about our country.

    On the other hand, any person from the USA who would DARE tell you what is wrong with your home is obviously an arrogant, ill-mannered, simple, fool.

    It’s O.K., as I’ve said at other times, in other places, the very fact so many seem to hold us to a higher standard is quite a compliment.

  15. tinagrrl Says:

    “My suggestion is that American gay and lesbian folks may gain more support for a marriage contract which is clearly needed if they accept the compromise of Civil Union. As Mick Jagger said “You don’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need”.”

    AH well, many years ago, I realized Mick was wrong about that — we often get what we want, usually it’s not what we need.

    You only get what you need if you’re lucky.

    There are individual states that have enacted civil union laws. After some years, it has been the experience in those states that Civil Unions are in no way equal to marriage. In fact, even if marriage happens to be legal where you live (Mass. for example) couples are still treated as single individuals when it comes to Federal Law, to income tax, inheritance, etc.

    It helps on the State level, but does nothing on the Federal level.

    We have a lot of work to do.

    In fact, even if you have all legal papers in order — powers of atty, living wills, etc — if you happen to get sick in a state where they do not recognize gay couples they can keep your partner, and even the children you have as a couple, from visiting you. You might just die alone, with no one there to tell them what your wishes are.

    It becomes just the “luck of the draw”. Your wishes, all neatly drawn up in fine legal papers, done by the finest lawyers, can be denied by some bigoted asshole.

    Do I see marriage as non-negotiable? Damn right I do.

    Nor do I see how it can possibly affect any persons heterosexual marriage.

  16. cassandraspeaks Says:

    “I know Tina doesn’t like it much but this is the reality of the uk situation.”

    That was a reference simply about Civil Unions. Obviously I didn’t make that clear.

    I’ll say again, I wish you well in the campaign.

  17. tinagrrl Says:

    At this point, I’m just very tired of all the ways people who say, “I’m not prejudiced” always add the “BUT” — without any sense of irony.

    What is it about EQUAL so many folks just do not understand?

    Why do so many folks make so damn many excuses for cultures that still see women as non-human, execute homosexuals just for being, and see equality as a loss of their “rights”.

    Except for an enlightened few, most of the worlds religions support the patriarchy. Women are still seen as (at best) second class citizens. The attitude seems to be that men must tolerate the “poor dears” when they EARN places of power.

    I’m just really tired of all the crap.

    “Gay marriage” as a way of diminishing what are, in reality, expanded marriage rights. As a way of denying LGBT people equal status before the law, the taxman, and the rest of society.

    To think it “normal” when a Doctor, or hospital, ALLOWS you to visit your partner, your beloved, when she, or he, is seriously ill, in hospital is insane. To be THANKFUL for what most folks think “normal” is just infuriating.

    What is it about all these religions of love and peace that makes their “true believers” so damned hateful?

    At least most of the bigots have stopped the fiction of “hate the sin, love the sinner” — they have begun to call for prosecution of homosexuals (again). Some even call for the death penalty.

    I believe the Uganda “death for gays” bill was just a “trial balloon’ sent up by the radical-right-wing of the radical-right wing. The same “christians” who suggest the death penalty for disobedient children. After all, child abuse is a honored institution in both the west and the east. Might as well go back to truly barbaric times — after all, it’s in The Bible — right?

    Heck, at least the rabid christians, jews, and muslims, don’t even PRETEND there is such a thing as “separate but equal” — men are “the head of the family”, women are to be subordinate.

    Men are in charge — except when they are not, like when they abandon the family, go to jail, die, get and stay drunk, turn to drugs, gamble away everything, or are just too busy for their family — then you have single moms. In fact, even if they are not officially single, an awful lot of moms are “virtual single moms”.

    But, according to all the head Patriarchs, all the “leaders” — men are in charge.

    What other reason can there be for guys to decide what women can or cannot do with their bodies. “No abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or if the mothers life is in danger” —- how’s that working out? In some cases, you end up losing BOTH mother and the not quite yet child.

    That alone should make clear how insane both religion and men are.

    Separate but equal affects more than just gay guys, lesbians, and trans folks — it ends up affecting all women, and all poor folks — even the ones who are not willing to look at the truth.

    “Oh sure, I’d be happy to ask your permission if I can live or die. I’d be thrilled to ask if I can visit my dieing lover/partner.”

    Heck, why don’t they also take away the right for both women and LGBT folks to vote. Bring back the requirement to own a certain amount of property — what we “others” want and need is of no consequence anyway.

    I’m really tired of all this crap — tired of fighting the very same battles over and over — it’s as if all the gains of the past have been erased, as if it never happened.

    Then some folks say stuff like “what privilege?”, or “Patriarchy, what Patriarchy?” — and they say it with a straight face —– could it be because they expect their privilege to continue forever?

    Perhaps they can’t admit the truth to themselves simply because they are worried that folks might wake up.

    Let’s hope folks do, finally, wake up


Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 160 other followers

%d bloggers like this: