Queer the Census
A National Gay and Lesbian Task Force project.
We know it’s a little clichéd – but here’s what we want to tell the census: We’re here. We’re queer. And we want you to ask us about it.
It’s crazy – the U.S. Census Bureau wants an accurate count of everyone in the country – but there’s no question in the survey that asks if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
You read that right: LGBT people are basically invisible in the survey that is supposed to reflect the diversity of America’s population – and that’s a big problem.
The data collected impacts issues critical to every American – like our health care, our economic stability, and even our safety. And when LGBT people aren’t counted, then we also don’t count when it comes to services, resources … you name it.
There’s a petition to sign and you can send in for a little pink Queer the Census sticker to affix to your census envelope when you mail it in. First sticker is free. As of right now 19,345 stickers have been ordered.
“If” Black Women Were White Women
In “If Men Could Menstruate,” Gloria Steinem makes the persuasive argument that “Whatever a ‘superior’ group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever an ‘inferior’ group has will be used to justify its plight.”
For too long the definition of racism has been a fight between white and black manhood or “who’s the bigger man”, so to speak. We’ve trivialized the existence of gender between both groups of men in favor for discussion of the “bigger issue”.
This has historically enabled white female supremacy—the most unchallenged form of white supremacy—to escape any critical thought.
What if suddenly, instantly, the power of white femininity were transferred to black women?
The answer is clear: Black women would represent value, purity; and based on their natural traits would be worthy of protection and instantly become the objects of universal desire. White women would represent the opposite.The answer is clear: Black women would represent value, purity; and based on their natural traits would be worthy of protection and instantly become the objects of universal desire. White women would represent the opposite.
READ. ON. There are a whole slew of examples.
Why Proving Discrimination Isn’t Good Enough for Gay Marriage Supporters in Prop 8 Trial
Some people ask how it could be constitutional to ban gay marriage when its clearly discriminatory. The answer is that whether a law is constitutional or not doesn’t depend on whether or not it discriminates. Instead, it’s all about whether the government has a good enough reason for making the law.
For example, often times courts say that affirmative action laws (such as public school policies) are constitutional even though they discriminate. In those cases, courts say that the government has a good enough reason (correcting effects of past discrimination) to discriminate. Certainly, affirmative action negatively affects those races not benefited by the rules, but the laws are nevertheless legal.
That’s why in the California Proposition 8 trial, the fight isn’t about whether the the law discriminates or even whether the law hurts gay couples wanting to get married. Instead, it’s about whether California has a good enough reason to have the law.
I get pretty lost in the legal intricacies, but it would seem to me that there’s also a difference in whether you’re arguing about giving rights or taking them away. In the specific case of Prop 8, a right previously given was actually taken away. In states where there is some kind of ban on same-sex marriage, a right has been taken away, but was it ever really given in the first place?
I’d like to know when in (American) history was opposite-sex marriage actually codified. At what point in history did we actually give straight people the right to marry? (I’m sure it’s been pretty much since the country came to be.)
So we wanted a website to put wedding info on. And I wanted the website to be one that we own ourselves. And I wanted us to have an “us” website. Because I like websites and a fresh WordPress install is just so much fun.
Thus MissyandErica.com was born and pretty much all it has right now is wedding info, although that is not all it will ever have going forward. Feel free to check that out if you’re curious. We filmed a video greeting. Some of the wedding details are still getting firmed up, but you can get the gist of it. I know some folks are itchy to book flights and accommodations and/or otherwise plan their weekends, so that should help you get started.
It was a fun little project. We both worked on it. It actually helped push us through our lengthy to-do list, because it made more apparent which pieces of info we were missing and what we needed to nail down immediately, sooner, and later.
I gave my mom a sneak preview last week and she immediately (albeit accidentally) shared it with all her facebook friends. If mom likes it, it’s good.
Harvard Professor Nancy Cott last week on the social meaning of marriage, as paraphrased by Courage Campaign Institute Chair Rick Jacobs while liveblogging Perry vs Schwarzenegger, aka the Prop 8 Trial:
The ability to marry, to say I do, is a civil right. It demonstrates liberty. This can be seen in American history when slaves could not legally marry. As unfreed persons, they could not consent. They lacked that very basic liberty of person to say I do which meant they were taking on the state’s obligates and vice versa. A slave could not take on that set of obligations because they were not free.
People remain unaware that in marrying, one is exercising the right of personal freedom. They don’t tend to equate the civil rights aspects to it. It’s only those who cannot marry at all who are aware of the extent to which marriage is an expression of basic civil rights.
This has been bouncing around in my head, blowing my mind grapes, since I first read it yesterday. I’ve never seen the argument for marriage as a civil right made exactly this way.