By Stevie St. John
A snapshot of LGBTQ news, features and tidbits from this week on the web:
Los Angeles & Southern California
- This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in court cases related to Prop 8 and the “Defense of Marriage Act” (which I can never get over how stupid of a name it has). They are expected to rule by the end of June. If you want to delve into the legal issues, audio of the arguments is available online. If you want to laugh at the absurdity of the arguments against marriage equality, watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert riff on the issue. Or read this story from satire publication the Onion, which sums up the attitude many of us wish society would take about who wants to marry whom. Or read this Advocate op-ed on the most bizarre amicus briefs filed in the Prop 8 case. (“Gay marriage may resemble a houseboat …”)
A lot–and I do mean a LOT– of people and companies used red images, often equal signs, as their profile pics this week to show their support for marriage equality. Then people realized that a lot of things (beer cans, butter and cake, just to name some of the food-related “remixes”) can be used to make the two bars in an equal signs and it reached full meme mode.Earlier this week, I shared some of my photos of a rally at City Hall (here’s the Facebook album). Here are some more photos from that event; these were taken by my friend Calvin Fleming.
A rally and vigil for marriage equality at L.A. City Hall on March 24. Organizers estimated that about 400 people participated.
Have a photo to share from an LGBTQ community organization or event?
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Entertainment & Sports
- There are media reports of a closeted pro football player considering coming out. Seahawks player Chris Clemons said it would be a “selfish act” for a current NFL player to come out.
SCOTUS, Prop 8, DOMA & Marriage
- Huff Post Gay Voices: Oh, the Places We (Might) Go: A Roadmap of Possible Supreme Court Decisions on DOMA and Prop 8
News, Features, Op-eds & Other Links
- For some reason, some people have a weird–to the point of their interest seeming prurient, even–obsession with which bathrooms transgender people (and specifically trans women) use. In Arizona, a “softened” anti-trans “bathroom bill” passed in a House panel. It would no longer make it illegal to use a restroom not in alignment with one’s birth sex, but it would protect individual businesses that bar trans people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
Seriously, what is everyone’s problem about bathrooms? I generally just walk to and from my stall, wash my hands and leave, without taking much of an interest in/worry about who’s in the next stall or who’s checking her hair in the mirror over the next sink. The people who panic about this issue seem to always raise the completely imagined specter of harm to cisgender women and children. (They are less afraid of trans men, evidently, as there’s less concern about men’s rooms). But for five years, I worked at the world’s largest LGBT organization (which issued this statement), and lots of trans people worked there and/or turned there for services. I used the restrooms (often the women’s and sometimes the gender-neutral restrooms) hundreds of times and lived to tell the tale. If there were any secret trans gangs organizing covert bathroom attacks, I surely would have encountered them during that time. But I was perfectly safe! FALSE ALARM, AMERICA! Seriously, the idea that we should all be afraid of trans women–who are in fact the victims of physical violence at an alarming rate–is not in any way rooted in reality. Let’s just let people pee already!
- Also in Arizona, Thomas Beatie (who is still being called “the pregnant man” despite the fact that the pregnancy he’s famous for ended a long time ago) was denied a divorce. The judge said Beatie failed to “prove” that he is a trans man at the time he and his wife wed–leading the judge to question the validity of the marriage.
- Some sites are referring to “HIV quarantine” in connection with a Kansas bill, but a state epidemiologist says that is not the intent of the bill and specifically states that an HIV/AIDS quarantine would not be legal.