Comments on: Mariage a la Mode History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:01:25 +0000 hourly 1 By: Comrade PhysioProf Fri, 06 Aug 2010 02:27:00 +0000

I guess he really doesn’t give a crap how he’ll be regarded in history. Oh well–neither did Justice Taney, apparently.

I don’t think these fuckbags don’t give a crap. I think they are actually deluded, and think that serving the anti-American factions they currently serve will ensure them a positive place in history.

By: Historiann Fri, 06 Aug 2010 02:01:55 +0000 Good point, ryab. Guess it’s a good thing that Walker essentially wrote his opinion in Perry v. Schwartzenegger for an audience of one, Associate Justice Kennedy.

Thanks for the reminder on Robert’s stupidity. I guess he really doesn’t give a crap how he’ll be regarded in history. Oh well–neither did Justice Taney, apparently.

By: ryab Fri, 06 Aug 2010 01:33:27 +0000 John Roberts (in)famously read ‘the tea leaves’ of America’s racial history and concluded that “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” I can not imagine that his thinking in regard to gender, sexuality, and marriage features any greater nuance, insight, or bent towards justice.

By: Comrade PhysioProf Fri, 06 Aug 2010 00:28:53 +0000 I’m a lazy fucken shit, so I’m gonna copy/paste the comments on this topic I left elsewhere:

The fucken government should not be involved in the marriage business at all. But if they are gonna entangle themselves in this shit, then they gotta obey the fucken constitution.

And just to address another thing that is popping up all over the fucken comment threads on this ruling, it doesn’t fucken matter one iota from a legal standpoint whether homosexuality is a “choice” or not. Regardless of whether it’s “biological” or a “choice”, it’s not a fucken rational basis for distinguishing classes of citizens with different levels of access to governmentally provided/enforced rights.

Woo!! Dancy, dancy!

By: susurro Thu, 05 Aug 2010 22:13:26 +0000 I wrote a post about the two key arguments in the case late yesterday in which I considered the meaning of organizing around marriage for queer community/ies. I think combined with some of what Emaa is saying about definitions and their impact, these points speak to larger issues we are grappling with that go beyond the decision made. I also think we need to remember that this decision is already set to be challenged by the other side so that celebration needs to be put in a context of a larger, longer struggle

By: koshem Bos Thu, 05 Aug 2010 19:44:52 +0000 It appears that from my perspective on the non plant Pluto,a court that declares companies as equal with humans wont have much difficulty with thumbing down gay civil rights. These guys seem to running against the clock to return the country to pre-FDR days (Scalia and Thomas pre-Licoln days). There seem to be a microscopic daylight between the four musketeers of the right. Kennedy, typically a fifth wheel in the right’s rotten apple cart falls asleep once in 15 decisions and joins the more liberal wing. (There are no liberals on the court since Souter and White left.)

By: Emma Thu, 05 Aug 2010 18:01:07 +0000 I agree with you about the regressive nature of these public policy discussions of gender and sexual identity.

What I’m saying is: the idea of gender and sexual “identities” is a fundmentally conservative idea that posits internal, natural, and essential orientations toward certain sexual activities and gendered behaviors.

That is: trans theory posits that people act masculine or feminine, e.g. wear certain clothes, use particular mannerisms, because of an unalterable internal identity.

Homosexuality is defined as an internal and consistent-over-a-lifetime, i.e. essentially unchangeable and unchosen, “identity” that compels you to act in certain ways, i.e. choose people of the same sex as sexual partners.

It is the same idea of biological/natural predisposition on which most discrimination against women putatively rests. Saying that women are biologically incapable of math and denying them educational/employment opportunities because of it is pretty much the same as 1) providing SRS to males because of their internal, unalterable “gender identity” as women and 2) providing equal rights protection to gays and lesbians because we have no choice about who we “love”, i.e. have sex with.

It’s biological determinism from top to bottom, which results in lots of gay people saying “You have to protect me! I can’t help it!” It doesn’t do anybody any favors.

By: Historiann Thu, 05 Aug 2010 17:39:37 +0000 Yes, just describing Walker’s decision as I read it, not suggesting it’s a good or winning strategy.

But if you talk to historians who know something about Western marriage in the past 2000 years, they’ll all be able to describe in great detail the many ways in which the definition of marriage has changed over time to serve different religious and political agendas. The idea that the “traditional marriage” advocates advance–that marriage is and always has been a timeless, unchanging institution–is just idiotic hokum. Medievalists can point to married priests and even same-sex domestic arrangements, not to mention marriages without consent. American historians can give whole seminars on the political nature of marriage law in colonial Anglo-America and the U.S.

To me, the strongest analogies for marriage equality now are the laws that forbade interracial marriages that were legal until the Loving decision in 1967. Denying legal marriage to enslaved people, and then regulating marriage along racial lines, were fundamental strategies of the state in preserving its racism. Marriage–and who’s allowed to be in it and who’s forbidden–has always been an intensely political and (as Nancy Cott argued) a *civil* matter in the U.S. Religion ain’t got nothing to do with how the state defines and sanctions marriage.

By: LadyProf Thu, 05 Aug 2010 17:29:17 +0000 Agree with Emma that the shift from feminism/women to gender has been bad for women and conservative at its core. Same with the related pomo turn in academic feminism.

As for the Supreme Court, I think they’ll try to dodge the decision. This lineup of judges won’t feel comfortable with any clear statement on gay civil rights. Except Scalia and Thomas, that is, but their view doesn’t enlist a majority. So I’d predict some kind of declared technicality or other stall.

Maybe this is just my lawyer’s vanity speaking here … and I don’t think law is an ideal-type science that yields answers … but it seems odd to say that a judicial decision is “based on history more than on the law,” as if history points to some kind of forensic truth. Especially when resolution must be (1) forward looking (2) material/tangible (federal courts have no jurisdiction to hear cases in which the litigants lack a stake) and (3) binary & zero-sum. Are you just describing the rationale Walker used?

By: Historiann Thu, 05 Aug 2010 17:21:40 +0000 Thanks, Emma. I agree with you about the regressive nature of these public policy discussions of gender and sexual identity. When marriage rights became the organizing principle for a lot of queer politics, there are a number of essentially conservative arguments that have been made in defining queer relationships. I’m in favor of the state treating all adults equally regardless of their marital status or sex lives. No special rights for the married–whether gay or straight!