Tuesday, September 15, 2009

House Dems and the Respect for Marriage Act

Great news: House Democrats are taking on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which reserves marriage for "heterosexual" couples.

Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis appeared along with same-sex marriage advocates at a Tuesday morning news conference to announce the introduction of the bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act. full article

The bill already has 90 co-sponsors.

Point of clarification: I included "heterosexual" in quotation marks because the term really isn't so straight forward. If marriage is between a "man" and a "woman," that doesn't really say much in terms of biology versus gender performance/identity. In other words, if I am a trans woman whose life partner is a woman, unless I have changed my legal gender status, my relationship can operate as "man" and "wife" legally--although not so much on an everyday basis. Alternatively, if I am a trans man married to a woman, and have changed my legal gender status, I can function as "heterosexual"--but if I have not changed my legal status, I cannot function as "heterosexual," despite the fact that I pass as "hetero-" with my partner.

If I am in a same-sex female partnership, but my partner has a male gender identity, this nuances the discussion of "male" and "female" because my partner identifies as male, while being biologically female.

Clearly, I can enumerate many different scenarios. My point is, and I constantly revisit this on my blog, it is not enough to say female/male "sex" or "gender." Social conservatism insists on a specific relationship between a certain set of genitals, and a certain gender performance, i.e. biological vagina and feminine gender identity (as opposed to biological vagina and masculine gender identity); it does not allow for mix and match.

The Colonic, on the other hand, does allow for mixing and matching. So when I hear "heterosexual," there is more at hand.

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