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April 14, 2009

Response #8

I agree Duggan’s primary thesis that the “marriage debate” needs to be reframed. For example, marriage is the symbolic and legal anchor for households and kinship networks. Duggan noted that there are a lot of divorce and many people tended to be single nowadays. (Duggan, 234) Many marriage are unstable. Society has specialize in recognition of heterosexual marriage, which it should be possilbe that society should extend its lense to recognize same sex marriage. Over and over again what we heard in the reading is discrimation towards same sex marriage such as Proposition 2 "prohibits state and local governmental entities from conferring benefits on their employees on the basis of a 'domestic partnership." There are some who people who is in support for same sex marriage, but there are homophobia. That is a lack of educating the community. How can the community and same sex marriage people live together? I think marriage is a simple ritual of change, but it has been made to a business of differences.

Yes it is!

An argument that surprised me what in the Duggan article “We believe that by engaging the marriage debate only in terms of "gay rights," both the gay movement and the Democratic Party have put themselves in a compromised and losing position.” I always thought that the fights for gay rights were about changing the minds of people kind of about making them see the error of their ways. It surprises me that she is basically saying that unless people change their argument they have lost because every day, bit by bit homosexuals are getting the rights to marry in different states. I don’t think that changing the argument from anything else to gay rights make things easier. I feel that this is 100% a feminist issue. Not just because some feminists are homosexual either. To me feminism encompasses equal rights for everyone even when it comes to marriage. I do not believe that feminists think that marriage should just be allowed for one group that in the “norms” in society. In a perfect world marriage is not something the people should make a personal issue in eyes of the law. Just because a person does not believe in what you are doing with your life does mean you have the right to stop them from getting marriage and benefiting for what marriage means not only to people but in eyes of the law.

April 13, 2009

Why debate is necessary for this issue.

For how much i think and talk about the issues surrounding gay marriage in my personal life, I did discover some interesting and surprising arguments in today's readings. Ellen Willis surprised me with her vision of gay marriage rights continuing a tradition of discrimination against those who chose not to marry at all. Also Martha Fineman says that “Publicly and symbolicly, it is reconfigured into the mantle of morality.(18)” Together these two statements point out that apart from the discriminatory civil rights issue at stake over the issue of gay marriage is the idea that marriage itself is a discriminatory practice no matter who is included or excluded because the choice not to marry indicateds to society the fact that one does not live a life that is moral. If gay couples do not marry when it is legal they are chosing a lifestyle that is lacking some morality.Sharon Learner discussed Bush’s program to encourage marriages to last and encouraged unmarried heterosexuals to marry. What does it mean when the government enforces these opinions?

Judith Stacey uses the term “de facto” families which I thought was an interesting contrast to the couple. I think this is an example of many of the feminist debates we have engaged in this semester where the media and popular culture define it as a binary two-sided debate, but really there are so many factors, issues, and repercussions, that the whole issue is far more complex than can be adequately summed up in any one-sided statement.

As always, Judith Butler has something provokotive to say on the subject of gay marriage. She elevates the discussion to a new plane far above my reach, but she did have an interesting quote I want to discuss. On p. 244 of our course packet she says “If you’re not real, it can be hard to sustain yourselves over time; the sense of delegitimation can make it harder to sustain a bond, a bond that is not real anyway, a bond that does not “exist,” that never had a chance to exist, that was never meant to exist. Here is where the absence of state legitimation can emerge within the psyche as a pervasive, if not fatal, sense of self doubt.” Other authors we read for this week wondered what it was about the opportunity to marry their same sex partner that had masses flocking to the courthouse the minute the marriage liscences were made available. According to Butler, the opportunity to exist more than the fantasy of the romantic ideal of wedding is what the right to a marriage liscense means.

So among the perspectives of the authors we can come to understand that the debate over gay marriage reaches far into pranches of psychology, religion, sociology, politics, economics, and law. No one speaker can really grasp the intracacies of this issue, so it make a great case for why we need to have debate and not single-sided opinions. Just one person representing either a pro or con stance could not address all the issues at stake here.

April 9, 2009

Blog Question

The multiple authors that we read this week discuss many configurations of familial and marital relationships and many advantages and disadvantages of state recognition of these relationships. Many of the arguments for or against state recognition of relationships other than heterosexual marriage are likely familiar, but what aspect of the debates about marriage did you find new or surprising? What had not occurred to you before in thinking about whether states should recognize and confer benefits upon relationships other than heterosexual marriage? Be specific- say which author presents this new or surprising idea. Do other authors agree or disagree with this idea? Is this aspect of the debate a feminist issue? Why (or why not)?