Thursday, March 29, 2007

I love you so much, it makes me sick.

Well, I have to say I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't actually directed by Alexander Payne, but the trailer for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is out. I'll withold judgement until further notice, but the trailer mostly looks like the same old tired gay jokes, stereotypes, and satiric send-up of homophobic violence that everyone thinks is so funny these days. I don't doubt the integrity of its ultimate message (that everyone is equal, I'm assuming), but the packaging looks fairly unbearable.

In other news, good ole Barack has made the closest endorsement a mainstream politician running for president is ever likely to make in favor of gay marriage. It was yesterday on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and though his response was fairly dodgy, all you have to do is read between the lines (and not even very carefully) that he's clearly in favor of gay marriage.

"Well, I think that 'marriage' has a religious connotation in this society, in our culture, that makes it very difficult to disentangle from the civil aspects of marriage. And as a consequence it's almost -- it would be extraordinarily difficult and distracting to try to build a consensus around marriage for gays and lesbians. What we can do is form civil unions that provide all the civil rights that marriage entails to same sex couples. And that is something that I have consistently been in favor of. And I think that the vast majority of Americans don't want to see gay and lesbian couples discriminated against, when it comes to hospital visitations and so on."

Civil unions are almost always used for a cop-out to say that you support gay relationships when you really don't, but in this case (and maybe it's just wishful thinking) I want to believe that that's not what Barack is talking about.

We were actually talking about gay marriage in my American Dilemmas class this morning, and people can parade around "civil unions" all they want to, but under federal guidelines set up by the hideously hateful Defense of Marriage Act signed by one Bill Clinton in 1996, even civil unions lack most of the legal benefits of marriage. All civil unions can really do is make a relationship legally recognized in whatever state they occur in, and offer some extra rights afforded to gay couples, but since DOMA is a federal law, most of the rights granted to married couples (like joint income tax filing, and automatic inheritance, just to name 2 big ones) can't be given by any state. Furthermore, it's because of DOMA that states can hold elections to make gay marriage unconstitutional in any particular state. Before that, according to federal law, a marriage in one state was a marriage in every state. So, Massachusetts granting gay marriage to its citizens (which is looking less and less likely to be the case in the near future), would have translated to every state. Not so anymore, thanks to Bill Clinton. Of course, if that was still the case, I'm sure there would have been all kinds of states that would have refused to acknowledge marriages performed in Massachusetts and there would still be legal problems, but were that the case, and the Defense of Marriage Act didn't exist, then legally, those states would probably have had to recognize the marriages.

Which is sort of crazy to think about.


zen imbecile said...

You say:

Civil unions are almost always used for a cop-out to say that you support gay relationships when you really don't.

I wasn't aware this was the case.

Can you explain?

PS: I fully support gay marriage and find objections to it utterly perplexing.

zen imbecile said...

By "can you explain" I mean:

Why do you believe that's the case?

The Fire Next Time said...

I guess by that I just mean that I think a lot of people opposed to gay marriage use civil unions as a compromise that they think is valid and that we (the gays) should be grateful for.

And by civil unions I don't mean civil unions in the way Mexico has civil unions for everyone and marriage is strictly religious.

p.s. - Duh.

zen imbecile said...

I was mostly saying that for any random passersby who might not know me. ;)

The Fire Next Time said...

Ah! Gotcha.