Buckle Up and Hold Onto Your Gay Marriage in 2011

2010 was a landmark year in terms of progress in gay issues: we had a record number of queers elected to office, and a number of states moved forward to make the right decision on gay marriage. Unfortunately, the lurch towards equality that characterizes America almost always means that progress like this is followed by a backlash. Basically, [some people think] you might want to brace yourself to hold onto those marriage rights. You may recall the huge number of seats in the House and Senate that were lost to Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections; you may recall that one of the reasons we wrung our hands over that was because it would give the GOP the legislative might to do exactly this. Here’s Gayapolis’s list of states in which marriage rights may be attacked this year:

+ …the GOP plans to repeal New Hampshire’s marriage equality law as soon as possible

+ In Wyoming, the GOP is trying again to ban gay marriage in the state’s constitution

+ In Pennsylvania, the state GOP is also readying an anti-gay marriage proposition

+ The GOP in the US House is certain to try to kill marriage equality in DC, tho this may be more difficult

+ In New York, the GOP takeover of the Senate has likely killed marriage equality efforts there for the next two years.

+ In Iowa, the GOP won the House, and is increasing pressure on the democratically controlled Senate to help repeal marriage equality there, while simultaneously pushing to impeach the four remaining justices of the Supreme Court who legalized it in the first place.

+ In Rhode Island, where we might actually get marriage equality this year, NOM has threatened to spend “whatever it takes” to derail the possibility

I don’t think anyone was actually sitting back and basking in any kind of glory, so I’m not going to tell you to stop. Instead, we need to keep working and keep pushing people to do what’s right even when they don’t want to or it makes them uncomfortable; we need to not give up even when we’re exhausted and disillusioned and nothing seems like it’s working. So that twelve months from now, we can be writing another set of year-end articles about how all of these initiatives failed, and how many happy gay families there are out there protected from bigotry and prejudice.

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1139 articles for us.

77 Comments

          • They’re so pathetic. Let me tell you something about GOP. We were best friends in middle school. I know, right? It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even… Whatever. So then in eighth grade, I started going out with my first girlfriend Dani who was totally gorgeous but then she moved to Canada, and GOP was like, weirdly jealous of her. Like, if I would blow GOP off to hang out with Dani, they’d be like, “Why didn’t you call me back?” And I’d be like, “Why are you so obsessed with me?” So then, for my birthday party, which was an all-girls pool party, I was like, “GOP, I can’t invite you, because I think you’re the spawn of satan.” I mean I couldn’t have the spawn of satan at my party. There were gonna be girls making out there. I mean, right? They were DEMONS FROM HELL. So then their mom called my mom and started yelling at her, it was so retarded. And then they dropped out of school because no one would talk to them, and they came back in the fall for high school, all of their soul was gone and they was totally weird, and now I guess they’re on crack.

  1. Damn! I live in Wyoming. But we managed to defeat a gay marriage ban once, so maybe we’ll be able to do it again. I hope.

    On a completely different note… HOLY REDESIGN BATMAN! Looks good guys.

    • HI I LIVE IN THE BOX-SHAPED STATE TOO (in casper)

      congratulations, wyoming, you have effectively identified the biggest problem our state has! gay people! there’s like twelve people total in this entire state, FUCKING HELL

    • I think I’d rather fight assholes than apathy.

      The UK government have said maybe they’ll think about upgrading econo-gay partnerships to 1st class marriages by 2015, and no-one’s really making a fuss, other than a few straight people that want civil partnerships.

      While I don’t envy you Americans your GOP weirdos, they’re kind of useful for stirring up activism for the good.

      • They did? Semi exciting news! How did I miss that? (Being in the UK and all…).

        Maybe think about not great though.

        *pins hopes on Tatchell’s Equal Love campaign/fight to the ECtHR*

          • Wait, can I join? Are there try-outs? I like teams. I miss playing volleyball… I also like grilling things and food in general which sounds perfect for this.

          • Dani,

            Of course you can try out for the team–talk to SomethingClever, she’s the Captain. Terracottatoes is managing but she doesn’t know this yet—I think I’m driving and allie’s gonna keep me company b/c she’s a whippersnapper and makes me laugh. e is on too, b/c she and tc are doing some kinda flirty thing idk…and besides, e is just righteous, ya know? –wasteunit is on too, she doesn’t know this yet either and may very well be a vegan(?), but she’s in charge of Venn Diagrams, so there’s that… Also, jader (truly my BBQ shero) and I want jenin on too b/c she’s been sick and had a real ass of a Christmas. (I had to send her porn at work, just to talk her off the ledge….) some other girls too but I can’t remember b/c I need coffee.

            As in life Dani, figure out what you do best baby…..and bring that sparkle to the party….

            and, we have matching gayprons.

          • I will never call it an apron again. That was the last time. :) I’m good at organizing shit. Also, I could bring actual sparkle. Glitter, sparklers, flashing lights. I don’t know what we’re gonna do with all that, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be lots of fun.

  2. I’m terrified. I’m terrified of how people can be so fundamentally different from me and everything I know. Somehow, sometime, somewhere, something happened. Something broke and everything that came after is crooked, disfigured, distorted. Right and wrong has lost all meaning. Values and morals are holding us back, not showing us the way. I don’t believe in cruelty. I believe in structural, social, systematic errors. I believe we can change it. I hope we can.

    Freedom. The moment America decided one could buy freedom, they lost it. Freedom isn’t reinforcing differences through private schools and expensive collage education, through a failed healthcare system, through religion influencing every aspect of society and politics. Freedom is giving everyone the chance to be the best they can be. Freedom is equality.

    Let’s start the revolution.

  3. Pingback: Buckle Up and Hold Onto Your Gay Marriage in 2011 – Autostraddle | Gay Marriage News Articles

  4. I’m going to sound like a broken record. I know I will. But:

    Canada.

    (And I know. I know that the point of America is to create a more perfecter union or whatever, and abdication from that union is unAmerican, and that people have jobs and lives and friends in the States, and y’all may not have lived anywhere else… and I understand that. I understand that loyalty and passion and perseverance, and I know that y’all are encouraged to think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. However. There comes a point, in my mind, that this citizen-country relationship needs to be a two-way street. The vast majority of Americans reading this comment are not at that point yet; either because you don’t have a significant other you would like to get married to yet, or whatever the reason. But I am just saying, at some point, the social contract can be forced to collapse if you retract your consent and move to Canada. I will be your personal homogay Harriet Tubman. Or, you can stay and fight for change and ram your head into a GOP wall, and eventually emerge as the victor (you will, because old people with outdated worldviews are dying, rip). And arguably the latter option is the more valorous, and the more honorable, and really I admire those who do. But I’m just saying. We have maple syrup and gay marriage, and there’s also beer. Because sometimes when you admittedly take the easy way out to get a wedding you also need a pancake and a lager.)
    /philosophizing

    [also, lovely redesign darlings!]

  5. Can’t we just have our rights since withholding them is stupid and senseless and then we can focus on real/bigger/serious problems like starving kids?

    I don’t mean that rights aren’t important, because they obviously are. I just feel like this is a distraction. If we’re fighting for our rights, then we’re not paying attention to all the other ways ‘The Man’ is fucking over the world.

    I’m not even sure if that makes sense. I need to sleep.

    • Yes it does, and “gay rights issues” are employed as a distractive measure, like a red cape at a bull fight, instead of being understood as the common sense/human rights issues they actually are. Racial issues – same story. They keep the public’s attention focused on irrelevancies, and directed safely away from the fact that a few powerful elements that own and control most of the world’s resources, jeopardize the safety and well-being of literally billions of people.

  6. I know what you mean! I always hear people saying, “Those obnoxious gay people are distracting us from the REAL issues!”
    GIVE US OUR RIGHTS YOU BITCHES AND WE’LL STOP BEING DISTRACTING.
    Honestly.

  7. haha, agreed. personally i’m an anarchist and dont think these reforms mean any sort of ‘revolution’, and dont wanna get gay married (and not for lack of meeting the ‘right person’) or join the army or maple syrup either, like, at all. but i think its MAD STUPID that queers cant do it if they dont wanna. its tots a huge distraction to the prison/starvation/violence against women/trans/queer/iraq war/nuclear war/healthcarefucked situation thing we forgot about..

  8. Hey Rachel,

    Thanks so much for picking up my column – I hope we can all stick together and limit the damages in 2010. You guys have a great site here – we reference it often.

    :)

    –Scott
    Gayapolis & Purple Unions/Gay Marriage Watch

  9. “Instead, we need to keep working and keep pushing people to do what’s right even when they don’t want to or it makes them uncomfortable . . . ”

    Yes. Right is right, want to or not. And comfort level has little to do with right or wrong.

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  12. The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

    From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

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