Today and tomorrow, the United States Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases about same-sex marriage. There’s going to be a lot of bluster, but in the end the whole thing boils down to a few key issues. Here are the issues as I see them, and the fundamental logical disconnect that anti-equality forces are hoping nobody notices.
First, they say “it’s intolerant for you not to tolerate my intolerance.” Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is. Using the argument of race, that line of reasoning suggests that the people who were against different water fountains and different seats on the bus were the ones who were really intolerant, because they refused to tolerate the views of those who would deny liberty to everyone. The argument is laughable on its face.
The next argument (that seems to be made in court) is that it’s fine to exclude same-sex couples from marriage because the government has an interest in promoting marriage. Well, that one sounds nice, until you examine it more closely. For a government policy to pass the “rational basis” test, the policy has to have a (you guessed it) rational connection to the purpose it seeks to advance. The problem here is that there’s nothing to indicate that allowing same-sex couples into the institution of marriage compromises or defeats the purpose of promoting marriage as an institution. In other words, the policy and the goal have nothing to do with each other. The people behind these bans know that, so they’ve thrown in arguments like “this is all very new, we don’t know what the impact will be, so we have the right to proceed slowly.” The problem with that argument is what happens when you decode it. What it means is basically that they don’t know whether or not straight people will think marriage is tainted solely because gay people have been allowed in too. That’s called animus, and the Supreme Court held in Romer v Evans that animus against a particular group of people doesn’t count as a rational basis for government policy.
With the summer upon us, gays everywhere begin to think of one thing… well two things: (1) Looking good in the least amount of clothing possible and (2) PRIDE! Gay pride really is a second Christmas for homos and their straight/bi-curious friends, a Christmas laden with Speedos, binge drinking, camaraderie and making out with complete strangers from out of town. For those living in the Northwest, our summers are dominated by Pride events, with Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC Prides all occurring in succession. Pride is a mini-vacation, with the majority of us taking three-day weekends (or calling in sick on Monday) and driving short distances to break from our normal lives.
What once started with a march through the city, has now become a three-day event, filled with house parties, pool parties, BBQ’s and get-togethers. All ending in a huge block party. For those that have never been to a pride, the block party is truly something interesting. Within this one city-block, the sidewalks are lined with makeshift bars, grills cooking the usual summer BBQ fare for those who dare to be seen eating at a gay event, and a stage with rainbows everywhere. Gracing the stage with their presence are numerous foul-mouthed drag queens, muscular porn stars, twinky go-go dancers and D-list entertainers, usually some one-hit-wonder from the late eighties/early nineties or an American Idol runner up. Most importantly though, the block party is filled with every ‘mo and mary in a 20 mile radius. It is a literal “who’s who” of the gay community, or a “who’s that” depending on the city. Although it may look like a harmless shirtless boy-party, the debauchery that can occur rivals that of Spring Break on Girls Gone Wild. I have seen the ads: I know straight people are no better. But I digress. The point is all of these homos gather for one purpose: to dance and drink from 11am ’till 2am.
Hello gays and gay lovers of Homorazzi! My name is Dave, the newest (and possibly youngest… I haven’t checked…) writer for this wicked website. I just did the same production of Footloose with Tyrell in Winnipeg, which has me here writing for you fine folks in Homorazzi-land! Well, Footloose is all over now, but I had one of the best theatre experiences I’ve had to date. Something that will always stick with me from that show was the incomparable cast that I got to spend every day with. Some favourite things include prefacing everything with YOLO (you only live once), and honouring the biggest fuck up each night with a squid-hat from the carnival.
It is hard to think that those are all just amazing memories now. There was one guy who I will always remember though, because he taught me so much about myself. And surprisingly enough, he wasn’t the wizened old jaded-painted-whore-of-the-theatre who has been around the block more times than a gay in the village on Saturday night. He was the youngest guy in the cast, a new gay, and greener than any gays I’ve met before, but it was like watching a movie of myself three years ago. It was amazing to relive that part of myself that I have moved on from.
Well one day we were sitting at the beach, I, bravely in my light blue Diesel speedo seen above (it’s a wonder I wasn’t lynched in Winnipeg), chatting about boys and life and whatever else the gays chat about on the beach. Well he was telling us about a potential new boy and how he is being careful and doesn’t want to get hurt like he was in his last relationship, I just had to stop him and say, “So what if you get hurt? Isn’t that the whole point? To try things out? Yes, maybe you’ll get hurt, but hey, you’ll learn from the experience.”
So the night’s finally drawing to a close, and that cute twink with the big blue eyes plants one last kiss on you before whispering in your ear, “so your place or mine?”. Your confidence is through the roof. That last cycle of juice really helped chisel out your shoulders and chest. You’re a little concerned about the black scars on your neck and back from the acne, but your boy will too drunk to notice them right?
Finally, you close the door to your apartment and push blue eyes up against the wall. You can feel the surge of hormones rushing through your body that must be from that extra set of bicep curls you hammered out at the gym today. As things get hotter, you tighten your grip and kiss him harder, but he tenses up and asks you stop. Stop? Forget that! You worked damn hard for this and you KNOW he wants it. Next thing you know, blue eyes is leaving, and you’re horny, fired up and pissed off…
As a personal trainer I often get asked… “what do you think of steroids?” , and my first response is usually to sigh and shake my head. Ever since Arnold graced American screens in Conan the Barbarian, the image of what a man is has gone from the idea of the athletic football or tennis player to the muscle bound god endlessly pushing stacks of weight on the bench press or lat pulldown machine. In the year 2010 health and fitness seems to be equated to how close you are achieving Taylor Lautner’s 8 pack. The fastest route to these “ideal” athletic bodies is also the most dangerous.
To channel financial guru Suze Orman, “Anti-equality people, you are DE-NIED!”
In what can only be considered another major step forward on the road to equality, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied this morning a request by backers of California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that stripped that state’s gays and lesbians of the right to marry, to have a larger panel hear the case all over again in what is known as an en banc hearing.
So what does this mean? The existing appeals ruling, which upheld the trial court decision overturning Prop 8 as unconstitutional, stands. The last shot that opponents of marriage equality now have is the US Supreme Court. With the narrow scope of the ruling, and also considering how few of the appeals it receives that the Supreme Court hears, it is anyone’s guess whether or not this appeal will even be heard at all.
Last Tuesday, equality advocates across California and around the world celebrated the decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit that deemed unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8, which stripped gays and lesbians of the right to marry. Since then, there have been many questions about what the ruling means, and what happens next.
It’s useful to begin with a little bit about the history of the battle for marriage equality in California. In 1977, the Legislature of California amended its family laws to make it clear that marriage in that state was restricted to opposite-sex partners only. The provision drew little attention at the time, since the movement for marriage equality had not yet begun.
I was truly saddened by the passing of Etta James. If you are unfamiliar with Ms James, and her work, I will save you a quick Google: Etta James was an American singing legend who won six Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone magazine ranks James # 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and # 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is known for recording the definitive versions of “I Just Wanna Make Love to You” and “At Last”. She is to song what Judy Dench is to acting.
She always fascinated me. For starters, there was that voice: One of the greatest instruments ever found in nature. Completely recognizable and beautifully complex, she could sound like a sweet innocent young girl or a dirty old man, and all in the same song. Sometimes the raw sexuality of her sound was quite frankly flabbergasting. Her recordings, surrounded always by the world’s finest musicians, are a sheer master class of Blues, R & B and Rock and Roll treasures.
For most of her life, Etta James was obese (this is something I can identify with). Yet, no matter her size, her live performances were always a fully realized energetic exhibition of unapologetic sexuality. She writhed on stage, gyrated her considerable posterior and let there be not one bit of confusion as to what the lyrics “I Want a little Sugar in my Bowl” meant to her. Whilst performing the line “Asked my baby for a nickel” form “Sweet Little Angel” on national TV, Etta famously lifted up her then enormous right breast and gave it a mighty shake for the entire audience and in the direction of then sitting U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Like so many brilliant artists, Etta had her demeans. I’ll leave that for you all to research if you choose as it matters little, at least to me, with regard to her legacy.
Typically, we reserve Saturdays as the day to post articles written by our readers for our Saturday Submissions secton. When I read Clayton’s article, I knew I had to post it today, regardless of the day. Firstly, I was going to write about it myself so why duplicate. Secondly, I felt Clayton did a great job on it. He took a pretty similar stance as I was going to take but since he’s an American citizen it has more impact. Check it out and see how you feel on comments made by rapper T.I. Be sure to post your opinions at the end of the post. Without further ado, here is Clayton’s submitted post.
In the next issue of the magazine Vibe, set for release on December 6th, rapper T.I. shares his thoughts on homophobia and “against” homosexuality.
Man, I will say this, the funniest joke I ever heard Tracy say during a stand-up was, ‘C’mon man, I think gay people are too sensitive. If you can take a dick, you can take a joke.’ [Cracks up laughing.] That shit was funny to me. And it’s kind of true.’ While T.I. makes clear that he supports anyone’s sexual preference, he then connects, in his opinion, a current oversensitivity among gay people with a consequential and ironic offense of the First Amendment. “They’re like,‘If you have an opinion against us, we’re gonna shut you down.’ … That’s not American. If you’re gay you should have the right to be gay in peace, and if you’re against it you should have the right to be against it in peace.’
There are two things one wants to do after reading this: the first is to get all huffy about the joke and the second is to start throwing insults at T.I. for his drug sentence and probation violation. I’m not going to do either and I’m asking you to do the same. What you should do is look at the last three sentences…then destroy the two points he makes and that others, from Rick Santorum to Carrie Prejean, have made countless times before.