Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts and Suggestions for Equality

Equality Utah has posted this message on their site in light of the LDS church's statement regarding gay rights vs marriage:

Throughout the recent election cycle, the LDS Church has demonstrated its willingness to participate in political issues by asking its members to do all they can do, including donating their means and their time, to support California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution and eliminated gay couples right to marry by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The LDS Church has articulated it is not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and it “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” On November 5th, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.” In response to these statements, Equality Utah is drafting legislation for the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislature to address each of the issues mentioned by the LDS Church.

At a noon Press Conference today, Equality Utah is asking the LDS Church to keep its word and to demonstrate its conviction on these issues. Will you join us in this effort and be part of our work for a fair & just Utah?

Read the Press Release

Read the transcript from our Press Conference

You can be a part of this effort by:

Talking to your LDS family and friends. Encourage them to ask their church leaders to support rights for gay couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, probate rights and domestic partnerships.

Sign our petition and join the growing number of people working for a fair & just Utah.

For those who wish to support this effort and who understand the important role these rights play in the lives of gay and transgender people - rights that do not threaten traditional marriage - they may access this petition of support at www.equalityutah.org

Please forward this message to your friends and family – let’s build a statewide coalition of support!

For those of you who are growing weary of my gay rights tirade, fear not. I promise to lay off of it here in a little while. But with the passing of Prop 8 in California, the banning of Gay adoption in Arkansas, and the further legislation passed on denying same sex couples rights in Florida, the situation begs the question: What are we doing wrong? What needs to be done for the queer community to obtain civil rights in America and stop being treated as second class citizens?

Recently I attended a protest at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City protesting the church's involvement in the passing of prop 8, but with a few reservations. I understand that the Mormon church was a part of a coalition of other Christian churches that also supported Prop 8, however, those churches and their members didn't donate roughly twenty two million dollars to the cause. It frustrates me so much that this organization, which I have no attachment to can have such an impact on my future and the future of millions of other citizens in my same place.

So assimilation or liberation? Should the GLBT community try to show the heteronormative community that we are just like them? "I'm gay as a mongoose but I love to play golf!" Gorgeous muscular jocks or feminine women in skirts and lipstick spokes models posing as doctors and lawyers AND being gay as well? A collective group of people desperately mimicking the "normal" relationship model? Or take the approach that the gay community shouldn't have to prove themselves to acquire the same equal rights as the next "joe six pack" with his wife and 2.5 children? It is a hard question without a definite answer.

Like many other people, I think that though rights for the GLBT community took a hit in recent elections, it could be conceived as a positive thing. All across the country hundreds of thousands of people are standing up and saying enough. Assimilation and "separate but equal" policies haven't worked and rather than just signing a petition while shopping online, or letting the HRC fight our battles, each person needs to stand up and use their voice, and tell our leaders that we deserve rights just as much as anyone else.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prop 8 Spokesman in California Compares Gay People To Hitler and his Regime

Regardless of what you think of the GLBT community, do you really think comparing gay people to Hitler and his regime is the best way for Christians in California to go? In my opinion, Prop 8 is a message of hate that is working to promote discrimination towards members of the GLBT community and to continue denying those "inalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" that supposedly everyone in America are afforded.

It's a curious time we live in, I was told the other day when discussing Prop 8 with a someone from high school that gay people aren't discriminated against, and they do have the same right as anyone else to marry someone of the opposite sex. But don't you think it would have been appropriate in the sixties for the same argument to be made about marrying someone of a different race (and even still in some places in the US today)? Homophobia is the last great socially acceptable way to hate someone because of the minority they belong to, and approving Prop 8 will only send the message that the government approves of such hate, and that people are right in discriminating against them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I just ran across this and couldn't help but post it.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Everyone and their dog has a blog, so I got one too.

This blog was formed basically out of pure jealousy that my family and friends get to correspond with each other with blogs and I am left out. So I made one, and now all of you can come and read what I have written, bragging about my life.

I'm kidding, lately it has felt that things have gotten more complicated (in a good way) and I haven't been able to keep in touch as much as I would like to with friends and family. So here's what's been going on.

Heather and Luke got Married!
After fearing that it would rain, a couple panick attacks and a very busy morning, Heather and Luke's wedding went off without a hitch at Southfork Park up Provo canyon. The fall colors were contrasted beautifully against Heather and Luke's color choices of black, white and red. They were married between two lovely trees whos leaves were yellow from the fall weather. The wedding officiant didn't really get that I was Heather's bridesmaid and so I ended up standing next to Luke during the wedding, ha. At any rate, Heather looked absolutely stunning in her dress and Luke, looking sharp in his tux, showed everyone how much he loves my best friend. This picture says it all, they were made for each other.

Ever since Len and I have been together, I have been heckling him to let me get a dog. For as long as I could remember, I have always wanted a big dog named Bentley. When I say big dog, I mean BIG, like a St. Bernard, a Great Dane or something like that. Since Len is allergic to basically everything on the planet, talking about pet ownership was always a sore subject in terms of talking about our future together. Mostly due to the fact that I'm pretty much a selfish brat and think I should get my way all of the time and I did (well, sort of). Playing around on ksl.com one night we saw this picture:

After a days worth of debating we finally broke down and bought him, and he was the best thing we have ever spent our money on. He has the funniest personality, and seems to like living with us very much.

This semester of school for me is probably one of the hardest since I started back to school. Over the last few weeks, I have been plagued with thoughts of Post-Structuralist theory, drag queens, lesbian feminist theory, lesbian transsexual feminist theory, queer theory, radical gender movements, gender theory etc. infiltrating every thought that goes through my head changing my view of society and how it functions. Post-Structuralist theory is defined by theorists as everything about one's identity being constructed by society. There are no essential attributes that existed about your personality, your sexuality or your gender before you were born. In my queer theory class, I am learning that post structuralists believe that the idea of "gender" is a social construction hundreds of years old.

The ideas that boys should like the color blue and trucks and dirt and that girls should like pink and babies and dresses are arguably constructed in our psyche by learning from birth how to "Perform" one's gender. Theorists then go on to explain that gender, sexuality, or more importantly "sexual object choice" are much more fluid than anyone would like to admit, and creating categories creates and othering effect on those who do not fit in to this social construction. Furthermore if gender is a social construction, then people who do not neccessarily fit into the binary strucure of "boy" or "girl" ,or sexually speaking, "heterosexual" or "homosexual" are not in fact deviants in society but people existing or performing outside of this imaginary powerstructure. It's totally interesting but sometimes my head hurts from thinking in these terms.

Drag queens are particularly interesting because they, too are performing the gender "woman" much like many other women do. They are influential in proving the groundlessness and plasticity of gender.

It is completely demantalizing to think of what were previously concieved notions (at least post structurally thinking) of essential, natural things merely being social constructions created out of thin air with completely arbitrary titles slapped on them is enough to make one's head swim, but I love it. I'm pretty sure I am going to major in Gender Studies.

In addition to Queer Theory, I am also in an Americanization Class where I am studying different ethnic groups and their entrance into America over the course of history; a communications class, and another and much less daunting Human Sexuality class.