greenie_breizh: (political)
I don't even know where to start with what's been happening with public workers (especially teachers) in Wisconsin and other places (especially Ohio) in the United States lately, or with the unrelenting attacks by conservatives on Planned Parenthood and issues relating to women's health. I can't even link to that many articles because I've been almost avoiding reading too much about these issues because they make me so profoundly angry, frustrated and disappointed. But if you are interested in reading more, I can at least recommend this piece by Diane Ravitch on teachers in Wisconsin, and this piece by Rebecca Traister on cuts to Planned Parenthood. (This is also a helpful overview of the responses from pundits to the cuts over at Salon.) If you are in the U.S., I would also urge you to sign this Open Letter to Congress on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and to consider donating to them.

If I get started on all the implications of this conservative push, I will never stop, and I have other things to get to today, so I won't start. I will just say that these moments of U.S. history are the exact reason I do not admire the country and despise its tendency to think of itself as the Best Country of All Times; these moments also make me so, so glad I ended up not attending grad school in the U.S., because I hate the thought that the decision would have been read as, 'one more person really wants to move here because we're awesome!'. Canada is far from perfect, and France regularly does its share to make me ashamed they delivered me my passeport, too (and France also has a tendency to think of itselfsuper highly, which doesn't help). But this kind of bullshit reminds me of just how awful the rhetoric gets in the United States; it's so bad (and maybe more importantly, it's given so much visibility and credence) that it almost feels like a parody of what you can hear elsewhere in politics. Ugh ugh ugh. I wish I could hope that it's going to 'get better', but I feel like there's actually very little to indicate that it will. And the saddest thing, to me, as a French citizen, and as someone who may well end up a Canadian citizen? Both these governments think that emulating the U.S. blindly is a GREAT idea.

So anyway, as usual, this has ended up as more of a rant than I was hoping. >.> The worst part is I know I shouldn't even care or whatever, but I feel so angry and tired and disappointed on behalf of all of my awesome American friends who deserve better than this crap.

To finish on a more positive note, President Obama and his administration are apparently continuing to grow a spine! : the Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional. This is great news, although with limited effects for now, obviously; but considering court cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA are making their way through the court system right now, it's a huge step forward. It also sends a strong message in favor of marriage equality, which is also very important.

EDIT: I also recommend this Tiger Beatdown article by "Grizzili Fetus". Funny in that way that doesn't make you laugh really, because it's too right on target.
greenie_breizh: (political)
Quick additional on Prop 8:

- Full ruling can be read here.
- If you don't have time to read 130+ pages of ruling (ha!), check out this post on Queerty. It sums up all of Judge Walker's arguments by quoting from the ruling, and it's a delight to read Walker's unequivocal language. He doesn't leave a single bone to opponents of same-sex marriage.
- A New Yorker article on the topic. Please link me to any commentary that you read and found particularly compelling and insightful!

This is so satisfying. To a great extent, Prop 8 ruined the Obama win for me; that night is a mix of profound joy (and relief) mixed in with the bitterness of another defeat in the polls (for something - same-sex marriage - that should never even be put to a vote anyway). So regardless of how this does on the 9th Circuit of Appeal and possibly, at the Supreme Court afterwards, this is a beautiful victory. Now let's hope it's not downhill from here.
greenie_breizh: (yay)
Proposition 8 has been overturned by the California Supreme Court. Not only that, but the majority judge wrote in his decision this great statement: "That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as 'fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.'"

FINALLY someone with some high judicial authority makes this point.


(More later, probably, but for now, back to work.)
greenie_breizh: (political)
Same-sex marriage is about to become legal in Argentina. (Article en français / English article, whose choice of picture I find doubtful.)

Every time something like this happens, France's refusal to give its own citizens the rights that it recognizes for other couples (and that an increasing number of countries are recognizing) becomes more and more ridiculous and shameful.

Alain Piriou a d'ailleurs rédigé un très bon article sur son blog, à propos du cas du couple bi-national dont la co-parentalité a été reconnue, le même jour où deux françaises se voyaient réfuser la même chose. A lire absolumen: Homoparentalité : la Cour de cassation face aux limites de la loi.

(J'aime bien aussi son article sur les problèmes de diversité même dans les entreprises qui se disent "en avance" sur le sujet.)
greenie_breizh: (gay)
And in gay news:

- A French court allowed for a child to have two parents of the same sex by recognizing an adoption validated by an American court of a child by his mom's female partner. I want to say ABOUT TIME and at the same time, it's such a small step forward. Fuck, I can't wait for French legislation to get over itself re: gay stuff. What's craziest is that the courts still won't recognize this between French citizens, so a binational same-sex couple has more chances of having their family recognized. WTF.

- Mass. Federal Judge Strikes Down Federal Ban on Gay Marriage. It was a long time coming, I feel. Between that and the Prop 8 momentum, the horizon might look a little brighter than I thought.

But if the U.S. legalizes same-sex marriage before France does, I'm going to be so pissed off.
greenie_breizh: (political)
Three links with a lot of overlap, but they all add some details, like quotes, etc, so if you're interested, it's worth reading all three:

Yahoo!News's Lawyers give final arguments in gay marriage case

OMTD_political's Where's the Evidence? Judge Asks Proposition 8 Supporters

The NY Times's Closing Arguments in Marriage Trial

Of course, the comment section is full of idiots who make claims that are either illogical or cannot be backed up with evidence... but whatever. Overall it sounds like the judge is really taking the defendants' lawyer to task, which he should, because there's no good rational reason to back up discrimination in this case. While I ultimately agree with the plaintiffs' lawyer that justice shouldn't come down to whether or not public opinion is ready for this, I do see why the judge would worry that a decision in favoring of overturning Prop 8 might stiffen opposition when trends show that overtime people are becoming used to the idea that same-sex marriage should be legal. That said, if we waited for public opinion to change completely for these kinds of things, we could be waiting for ages, and there is a point where discriminatory practices need to be addressed, period.

Point is... it will be interesting to see how the judge rules. I think there is a really good chance that he will rule against Prop 8.

I'm going to spare you going over every single argument that the defense attorney made and pulling them apart, I've been over all of them too many times before, but I need to comment on one thing. This?
The plaintiffs say there is no way to understand why anyone would support Proposition 8, would support the traditional definition of marriage, except through some irrational or dark motivation," Cooper said. "That is not just a slur on the 7 million Californians who supported Proposition 8. It's a slur on 70 of 108 judges who have upheld as rational the decision of voters and legislatures to preserve the traditional definition of marriage."
Is bullshit. I'm so tired of this attitude - I really really fucking hate when social conservatives not only expect us to engage with their prejudiced view, but get offended when we call them prejudiced. Yes, this is exactly what Prop 8 was - a prejudiced piece of legislation. Does that mean everyone who voted in favor of Prop 8 is a bad person? Of course not. Does that mean they hate gay people? Not necessarily, though most likely if you probe they think that gay people are not quite as great for society as straight people. But yes, opposing same-sex marriage is prejudiced and irrational; over the years, I have become convinced that the anti-same-sex-marriage view is not a view that can be sustained by rational arguments. (Religious arguments, yes, but we're not discussing religious marriage here.) It would be easier if prejudice was always about malice, but it's not. Most people who voted against Prop 8 were convinced by arguments based on fear and illogical reasoning, but that may have been convincing when it panders to deeply-ingrained heterosexist beliefs - prejudiced beliefs that are anchored so deep in us, from so early on, that we don't necessarily know when these prejudices get activated. It's work to come to recognize heterosexism, and it's work that we don't encourage a whole lot. So of course people would be convinced. It's always easier (and less scary) to be convinced by the status quo.
greenie_breizh: (political)
I was going to wait until this has gone through Congress and is final, but it's going to take another 30 days and there's no reason for Congress to block this, so whatever, let's break out the party hats now!

Same-sex marriage is going to be legal in Washington DC. Yay, etc. Now if the rest of the country could get on with the program, that'd be great, kthxbai.

To celebrate (?) I am finishing all my American grad applications before flying home. Only McGill and UBC left!
greenie_breizh: (annoyed)
So Maine pulled a Prop 8 and rejected the marriage equality law that the legislature had passed a few months ago.

What the fuck. I don't even know what to say anymore, because this (or a version thereof) has happened so many fucking times now that it's plain ridiculous. I don't even understand it anymore. Also YOU DON'T FUCKING VOTE ON MINORITY RIGHTS. The more we see these on the ballot, the more that's becoming the most aggravating aspect of it.

Between this and ridiculous grad applications that demand proof that I have $40,000 available in funds to move to the country, I am not feeling partial to the U.S. AT ALL this morning. Ugh.

EDIT: WTF I didn't realize it was the anniversary of Obama's election. Way to fuck it up.
greenie_breizh: (Default)
I'm about to start invigilating an exam, so obviously I'm updating LJ. I love modern life sometimes.

Apparently this is a well-known video but I'd never seen it before, so I wanted to share: Dove Evolution, on how photoshop helps with setting unattainable standards of beauty.

Also I've kinda lost track of WTF exactly is happening in California around Prop 8 since there's a lot of legal subtlety going on that I don't really get, but from what I do understand, organizations are suing Prop 8 and people who put it on the ballot arguing that the proposition is not constitutionally valid. The point is that there's a judge that kicked ass last week by requiring the lawyer of the backers of Prop 8 "to explain how allowing gay couples to wed threatens conventional unions". This isn't the actual trial yet but I'm going to be SO HAPPY if the judge doesn't take BS and forces the Prop 8 folks to go and really justify WTF they're doing and why they're doing it.
greenie_breizh: (clothesless)
Vanessa Hudgens on the whole naked pics thing:

"It's just really unfortunate, and to this day people hate me for it, but it's not like I chose to put that out there in the world, you know? It's so aggravating and frustrating, and whenever anybody asks me, would I do nudity in a film, if I say that it's something I'm not comfortable with, they're like, 'Bullshit, you've already done it.' If anything it makes it more embarrassing, because that was a private thing. It's screwed up that someone screwed me over like that. At least some people are learning from my mistakes." (Source)

I can't stress enough how glad I am that she isn't apologizing all over the place. I've ranted enough about it previously, but I just wanted to say that. I'd actually love to have a calm, adult conversation with her about this whole scandal - and the assholes who are suggesting that having private photos leaked means you should have no problem displaying your body to the world. She seems to have a much more mature way of dealing with it now, which I can respect.


I feel for Caster Semenya - I am a woman with male chromosomes. An interesting Daily Mirror Chronicle by Sarah Graham that's a good overview of why it's not as easy as drawing a line between male and female. I continue to be appalled at the way just about everybody is dealing with Semenya, from the way people seem to think it's appropriate to discuss very personal medical info to the incapacity of grappling with the fact that even sex is a social construct. I haven't read too much, but I like that her family and friends in South Africa are not caring. So much for being the civilized, liberal one, Western culture, no?


Sinead's Hand: A cute video about same-sex marriage< from an Irish organization.

I've hit pretty much all my trademark topics so time to go watch Corbin Bleu on my TV. ;)
greenie_breizh: (random1)
I'm a little grumpy for no good reason. I am so tired of GRE prep that I wish I was taking the test tomorrow and not Thursday, so I can get it over with. I badly want distractions but I also have a million little things to do. Which is why I'm updating my LJ. Obviously.

A few happy gay things:
- Sharon just called.
- Lesbians given equal birth rights in the UK. Birth certificates of babies born through artificial insemination can now list two moms, which is awesome but makes me wonder how it works in the case of adoption? I would hope this applies there, too.
- Ben & Jerry's renames one of their ice creams Hubby Hubby in celebration of Vermont beginning same-sex marriages this month.
- The Kid by Dan Savage. I said fuck it and read a book for myself. It was a fast, easy read and I loved it. It's touching, funny, realistic, honest, and I don't always agree with what Dan says but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It felt so good to read something so fast and easy, too.

I also want to quickly review the movies I've been seeing this month but I am too lazy to do that tonight so instead I shall rec fic: Mario Kart Skills Are Outrageous by [ profile] oxymoronassoc. It's Zac/Vanessa smut so omg het + omg rpf + omg NC-17 so I don't think many of you will want to give it a go but if you're willing to you will see it's SO GOOD. It's hilarious and dorky and right on spot with voices and hot and I just. Really love it. And I would love to hear what you guys think.
(There's one little thing that keeps bothering me in the Zanessa fics I've been reading but I'm too lazy to rant about that, too.)

That's it for tonight.


Jun. 15th, 2009 08:12 am
greenie_breizh: (annoyed)
Hm, great, I really wanted the U.S. to piss me off tonight.

The government filed a motion late Thursday to dismiss the case of Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. (Which establishes that marriage means a union between a man and a woman and prohibits same-sex couples who are legally married in some U.S. states to receive federal benefits.)
I don't have time to go in detail into the brief written by the Department of Justice, but it's simply abhorrent in the wealth of arguments it employs to defend DOMA. It goes from comparing same-sex marriage to marriage between family members to arguing that DOMA doesn't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation because gay people are not prohibited from marrying in general to making the point that DOMA saves the government money and surely that's a legitimate goal. It's, basically, 50 pages of bullshit arguments to legitimize a discriminatory piece of legislation that Obama had promised to repeal. You can find a breakdown of the arguments provided by the DOJ, along with quotes from the brief (and the brief itself if you can stomach it) here at AMERICAblog. I'm not a fan of the fact they speak as if Obama had written the brief, because that's a shortcut, but this does say something about how little this administration seems willing to actually stand up for LGBT rights. It's nice to make speeches and invite gay families for Easter and shit, but there's a point where that needs to be backed up by actual legislative or judicial actions that will provide protections for these families and not just pretty front pages for the gay press.
(This is about way more than marriage, btw, this brief assents to a number of very problematic claims for LGBT rights in general.)

In other marriage news, a "male" couple gets married in NY, except it's not a male couple because, while both partners are biologically male, one of them is transgender and the other one identifies as straight. So that's not "same-sex marriage" because they're not of the same sex. Argh. You think this would be simple enough of a concept for the gay press to get. >.> What this case does show is that the line between "traditional" marriage and "non-traditional" marriage is less straight-forward than we want to believe, and restricting marriage along orientation lines is ridiculous.

And in the meanwhile, since France is still doing fuck all for same-sex marriage, it makes me annoyed for anything related to marriage. Which is delightful since I'm going to a ceremony tonight.

One thing is for sure, I'm going to be glad to be in San Francisco for Pride next week (if everything works out, which it looks like it should). And I'm still seriously considering flying to Washington for the March that's in the works. All this BS to avoid having to take a stance and making change is pissing me off.
greenie_breizh: (gay)
Last post of the day:

It's 99% certain that New Hampshire is now legalizing same-sex marriage. The governor (rather ridiculously) forced the legislature to make more sure that religious institutions would be allowed to continue to be bigots keep not marrying same-sex couples, so the bill was revised and passed again.

It's good news as usual, and now I'm keeping an eye on New York.

In the meanwhile, there's also a very important debate that's started on immigration and same-sex partners/spouses. There's a huge need for the U.S. to recognize same-sex partners to allow families to stay together.
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
Some links:

- First, Obama and Bo running in the White House. The picture just makes me happy. :)

- A very interesting explanation by [ profile] phaballa of what the Prop 8 decision says. It's an indispensable reading if you're interested in the issue, to make sure you understand the logic behind the decision.

-Following the decision on Prop 8 by the California Supreme Court, two attorneys have decided to take the case to the federal Supreme Court. I have ambiguous feelings about that, just because I'm also not sure that this is the best time to play that card. But we'll see. It needs to get to the Supreme Court first, anyway. I liked reading Corvino's opinion on the topic, in any case.

- Still following Prop 8, two pastors have decided to stop performing all weddings.

- Cheney has come out in favor of marriage equality. Yeah, that Dick Cheney. He also manages to say something important in a fairly offensive way, because, y'know, still Dick. But I think it's still a pretty significant declaration, and I'm curious to know what the reaction have been from Rush Limbaugh, etc. It's gotta be a hard blow for the ultra conservatives who adore him.

Moving away from Prop 8 for a second, two rather appalling links:

- On a 6th grader who was stopped from making a presentation about Harvey Milk because it was suspected of promoting gayness.

- On a high school in Georgia that still has a "white-only" prom. Plain scary and headdesk-worthy. (Thanks to [ profile] shiraz_wine for the link.)

- And finally, "I am not Pro-Death", a story about abortion and working at an abortion clinic after having gone through it. (Thanks to [ profile] queenspanky for the link.)
greenie_breizh: (Default)
Obviously very disappointed by the news that Prop 8 was upheld. Not even so much because I believe in marriage equality, but because I think there is something utterly problematic in having the majority vote on minority rights. Talk about dominance - ballot measures like this take away minority rights unless the majority is kind enough to let the minority keep their rights.

This is not about the people deciding on what direction they want their states to go in. It would only be about that if the measure affected everyone similarly, or based on a criteria that can affect everyone. But it's not the case here, so it's about something else. It's about whether or not we're going to treat everyone equally. And I have no qualms about saying fuck you to people who use tradition or religion or whatever the hell they want as an excuse not to treat people equally. This is not about your feelings. It's about people's rights to live the life they want without harming others without your ridiculous moral standards dictating what they can do.

This is not democracy. Democracy is not about the majority being able to stigmatize and bully minority groups.

One thing that made the news a little less disappointing was to see some of the messages that were tweeted in response. Eliza Dushku reacted immediately with "Shame on the California Supreme Court", but even more significant to me, she actually went down to one of the protests to show her support. And sure, ultimately she's no one all that special, but I do like the work she does and the effort she puts into getting out of her comfort zone by traveling, and I always feel a little encouraged by people actually following through on their opinions. It's one thing to say you think the decision sucks, another one to get yourself to a protest.

Also, at least the couples that were married between May and November will stay married. Not unexpected, it makes sense, but I do take comfort in thinking that regardless of what social conservatives wanted, same-sex couples went to bed last night still married to each other.
greenie_breizh: (gay)
Well, damn, now same-sex marriage is legal in Maine, too. And there's a chance New Hampshire will follow step very soon. Rhode Island is soon going to be feeling a little lonely, as it would be the only New England state left not to let same-sex couples marry.

BTW, France, you feeling ashamed yet that you're doing fuck all to advance gay rights? (Sure, marriage laws are not everything, but even with the problems that come with focusing on that particular fight, it's a step forward, and besides, France's not moving ahead on any front, so.)
greenie_breizh: (yay)
HAHA. TAKE THAT, Republicans:

Same-sex marriage is legal in Vermont after the legislature voted to override the governor's veto.

This brings the count of U.S. States that allow same-sex couples to marry to 4: Massachusetts (since May 2004), Connecticut (since Nov 2008), Iowa (starting Apr 24) and Vermont (starting Sept 1).

After the string of amendments banning same-sex marriage that have been passed in the past 8 years, it feels fucking good to have so much good stuff to report. The cherry on top would be the Cali Supreme Court giving the finger to Prop 8.

EDIT: This is also the first time that same-sex marriage is made legal via the legislature, not the courts. The California legislature had voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, but the decision was vetoed.
greenie_breizh: (ftw)
So, things are moving on the marriage front!

First of all, Sweden now allows same-sex marriages. The news is a couple of days old but I wanted to see how things in the U.S. would go. Sweden brings the number of countries where same-sex marriage is legal to 7: we have Belgium, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada. (Um, woah. I totally missed Norway passing a gender-neutral marriage bill. Way to go.) Massachussetts and Connecticut are the only two U.S. states to allow same-sex marriages.

Speaking of the U.S., as expected the same-sex marriage bill passed in the Vermont House of Representatives. But it only has 95 positive votes for now (apparently they're revoting today?) and it would need 100 to override the power of veto that the governor is probably going to use, so chances are same-sex marriage is not happening in VT just yet.

But the big news today is that the Iowa Supreme Court has declared it is unconstitutional not to allow same-sex couples to marry. Not only that, but the ruling was unanimous. RIGHT ON, IOWA. I knew I loved you for a reason. I'm not sure what this means in practical terms yet - when same-sex couples will effectively be allowed to get a license, and like in California this most likely means we will see a push for a constitutional amendment from the Republicans in the state, but since the Supreme Court denied that civil unions would be equal (the ruling calls them "suspicious"), in all likelihood couples will get to marry for a while before anyone can attempt to take that away.

In the meanwhile, the California Supreme Court is supposed to give out their ruling on Prop 8 within 2 months. This should be interesting.

On this happy Iowan note, I am off to mark papers (of which I have WAY too many >.>). At least I have a snuggly cat with me...
greenie_breizh: (gay)
I really should be working, but I've been following news article for the past few days waiting for a right moment to post and I'm finally doing it now because 1) the stories are probably going to become confusing and 2) I'm afraid I'm going to start confusing New England states.

A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage has been approved by the Senate (by a large margin, 24 to 6) and it's now moved to the House. It's expected to pass (though by a narrower margin) there, but it doesn't really matter because the governor has said he will veto the bill. Basically a pretty common narrative for when states try to go the legislative way, before the state's Supreme Court intervenes. There is apparently a chance that the House vote could override the veto if the bill garners enough support, but I wouldn't expect it.

After voting a first time against legalizing same-sex marriage (by one vote), NH representatives revoted and turns out that wait, yeah, they want to legalize same-sex marriage after all. (Not sure what happened there? Me neither.) The bill now moves to the Senate, and the governor has not said whether he would veto the bill, but he's against same-sex marriage, so I wouldn't be too optimistic there.

Interestingly enough, both states already have civil unions that same-sex couples can contract. That's also the case in New Jersey, so I'm curious to see if things are going to move ahead there too.

In the meanwhile, New York will now recognize married lesbian parents in the case of a biological birth (screw you, people who adopt and try to help out kids), NY Senator Charles Schumer has moved into the 21st-century and now supports same-sex marriage, and Massachusetts is trying to pass an anti-discrimination bill that would include gender identity.

Bottom line: New England is turning gayer every day.
greenie_breizh: (cute)
Puppy cuteness from here to start:

I am absolutely, absolutely dying of the cute watching videos of Knut, a baby polar bear from the Berlin Zoo who was raised by one of his keepers. The first video is lots of really adorable photos, but I think the best video is this one, where you see him being fed and falling asleep and basically just being a ball of fuzzy cuteness. Stuff like that kinda makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing with my life. I think I could be happy just taking care of animals and making sure they grow up ok and just that they're well taken care of.

Makes me happy I'm seeing Glacier tomorrow :)


Less with the cute and more with the political,the Catholic Church and the Pope are being A-holes for Christmas by saying defending humanity against homosexuality and transgenderism is as important as saving the planet. Um, news flash, idiots: one leads to us DYING, the other one leads to the world changing (albeit, not to your liking) while we LIVE. Fucking morons. I love how no one asks them to justify why on earth it's so important to have clearly defined genders and why it's such a big deal to have blurry gender roles. Masculinity and feminity don't have anything to do with procreation, last time I checked.

In a less moronic move, California's state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has asked the CA Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8:

Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Brown's brief says. [...] Brown's brief acknowledged that the state is facing a constitutional crisis. Every branch of government--including the governor, a majority of state legislators, and the state's highest court--approves the rights of same-sex couples to marry, while a slim majority of voters have eliminated those rights. "We have a conflict between the amendment power (through voter initiatives) and the duty of the Supreme Court to protect minorities and safeguard liberty," Brown said.


Not with the cute or the political, but with the funny to finish:

Every Fanfic Ever Written! Excerpt:


CHARACTER: I'm straight!
CHARACTER OF OPPOSITE GENDER: What a coincidence! So am I!
(They have sex.)


greenie_breizh: (Default)

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