A woman goes through life with a number of labels that she doesn’t have any control over, either by birth or by society’s imposition. But one label she should get to choose is whether she wants to be someone’s “wife” or not. This should be a right for all of us.
A recent piece on Salon.com by soon-to-be-married author Tracy Clark-Flory about the word “wife” really pissed me off. Clark-Flory wrote about going over the language of her wedding ceremony script with her fiancé and getting to the part that says “I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
Husband? Wife? I could barely conceal my gagging sounds. He said something to the effect of, “Ew, gross.”
It makes me feel like Betty Draper, like I should be fetching his slippers and a scotch on the rocks — and remembering to get the roast bird out of the oven. (In reality, I’ve only just recently expanded my cooking repertoire beyond Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese and things you put in the microwave. He, however, will roast a chicken and make a rustic tart from scratch — all in one night.) I am a daughter, partner and friend — but a wife? I can’t help but imagine saying “I’m his wife” with heavy air quotes, a roll of the eyes or exaggerated feminine cheer.
Clark-Flory then expresses concern that the Middle English/Old English terms for “wife” and “husband” translate, roughly, to “vagina” and “householder.” It’s not that I don’t understand Clark-Flory’s discomfort with both words or their histories (although dredging up the Old English definition? really?). But I’m uneasy with how glib she was about that choice when so many people are scrambling to have the same one. Keep reading »
Sandy Rios is both an American Family Association talk show host and a Fox News contributor, so naturally when she spoke with anti-gay Chicago pastor, Erwin Lutzer, some pretty offensive words were exchanged.
The two both oppose same-sex marriage and use the bogus argument that homosexuality is like pedophilia in that even though there is “love” in these relationships, the people involved should not be able to get married. According to Right Wing Watch, Lutzer said, “A pedophile I’m sure says that he loves children — as a matter of fact, he does — but you can see how destructive that love is.” That comparison is nothing new in the anti-gay argument, but Sandy Rios then went on to make a new and uniquely offensive comparison. Keep reading »
Since Proposition 8 was struck down in the Supreme Court, same-sex marriage is once again legal in California. Unfortunately, just because something is legal doesn’t mean that people are suddenly more accepting and open-minded about it.
Ken Bencomo of Rancho Cucamonga taught at St. Lucy’s Priory, an all-girls Catholic school in Glendora, California, and was head of the English department. Bencomo is gay and for 10 of the 17 years he has worked at St. Lucy’s, school officials knew his sexual orientation and had even met his partner. Yet after all this time, Bencomo was fired from his position just days after he married his partner, Christopher Persky, according to The San Bernadino Sun. According to USA Today, the school justified their decision, saying that gay marriage goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Officials apparently did not have a problem with Bencomo being gay, they just had a problem with him getting married to the person that he loves. HUH? Keep reading »
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill received royal assent this morning, thus legalizing gay marriage in both England and Wales. Royal assent in the United Kingdom takes place after both the House of Lords and the House of Commons have passed a bill. The Queen then agrees to make the bill an Act of Parliament, or law. Although royal assent is technically a formality these days, celebration is still in order! Keep reading »
This week, the Supreme Court made the historic ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 are both unconstitutional. It’s an enormous victory for gays and lesbians, their families, and anyone who cares about equality.
So how did The New Yorker, arguably the most reputable magazine in the country, memorialize the occasion on their cover? With Bert and Ernie, two puppets from “Sesame Street,” watching a television with the Supreme Court justices shown the screen.
The background, in case you aren’t aware, is that there have long been jokes that roommates Bert and Ernie are actually extra-special roommates. Predictably, some whackadoodles have gotten upset about children watching “Sesame Street” and wondering why two male puppets (and their rubber ducky) live together.
I’ll be honest: I think the cover is a little cute just because I like Jim Henson puppets, especially the ones from “Sesame Street.” I also think it’s an eye-catching image, which means it may sell better on the newsstands (and is likely the primary reason The New Yorker chose it). The media is a business after all.
But not everyone feels the same way I do. Let’s ignore the National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, who posted the image under the homophobic title “Innocence. Lost.” Blogger Tyler Coates of Flavorwire, whom I implicitly trust to interpret all things LGBTQ-related, blasted the cover as “infantilizing,” “offensive,” and click-baiting for Internet outrage. Keep reading »
After three months of deliberation, the Supreme Court of the United States is due to give rulings on the cases of Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry this Thursday June 27. These two cases mean very different things for the fate of same-sex marriage in America.
Windsor v. United States is a case that challenges the constitutionality of The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. The case was brought forth after Edith Windsor of New York lost almost $400,000 in federal estate taxes just because she was married to a woman instead of a man. Windsor legally married her partner of 40 years, Thea Spyer, in Canada in 2007. When Spyer died a few years ago, Windsor inherited the entire estate, but that estate was subject to taxes that would not have applied to a heterosexual couple.
In lower courts, DOMA was deemed unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws with regard to same-sex couples married legally in states that allow same-sex marriage. Although Spyer and Windsor were married in Canada, New York is one of the 12 states in which same-sex marriage is legal.
Now in the Supreme Court, this case will decide how the federal government will treat legal same-sex marriages. DOMA could either be supported by the Supreme Court or overturned. If DOMA is overturned, same-sex couples already in civil unions will be afforded the same rights as married heterosexual couples in federal laws and programs such as Social Security benefits, income tax, estate tax, and immigration. These rights will also apply to future, legal, same-sex marriages.
Keep reading »