Daily Fix: This Straight Couple Will Divorce If That’s What it Takes to Save Marriage and More News Stories

Prison Industrial Complex

+ Eric Casebolt, the officer who was videotaped threatening and assaulting black teens in McKinney, Texas, has resigned. He had already been placed on administrative leave and was under investigation before this decision. It’s not clear whether Casebolt will face criminal charges.

+ A new report on the incarceration of people of African and African-Caribbean descent in the UK found that “the proportion of black people in jail in the UK was almost seven times their share of the population.”

Experts and politicians said over-representation of black men was a result of decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system and an overly punitive approach to penal affairs.

“People will be and should be shocked by this data,” said Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust. “We have a tendency to say we are better than the US, but we have not got prison right.”

So Gay

Here is a bunch of LGBTQ+ specific news!

+ As Pride month rolls on, TIME has a look at how LIFE covered the community in 1964.

June 26, 1964 issue of LIFE

June 26, 1964 issue of LIFE

+ Heather already mentioned this issue in yesterday’s pop culture fix, but Salon has a piece about Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson and how their public story fits into a narrative (or lack thereof) about same-sex domestic violence.

There is, at once, both invisibility and hyper-visibility for those of us in the LGBTQ community. For those of us whose relationships don’t fit a heteronormative script, our communities and institutions fail us when we need support, when we need to be seen the most. Traditional, and woefully limited, perspectives about who can be a perpetrator and who’s more likely to be a victim do a great disservice to queer and trans people. Assumptions that perpetrators are male, more masculine, physically bigger/taller/heavier, and that women who are smaller, or more “feminine” (defined by a very narrow definition of femininity) are more likely to be victims, create lazy assessments of relationships where violence can be emotional and have severe psychological and social consequences (threatening to out someone, for example), as well as physical ones.

+ A new study about chore distribution in couples indicates that same-sex couples come out on top. “Researchers at the Families and Work Institute and PriceWaterHouseCoopers wanted to find out if what they suspected is true — that, because same-sex couples don’t experience the same gender-based expectations and economic privilege differences that straight couples do, they would divide household chores more fairly.” Surprise, they were right.

+ I couldn’t make it up if I tried, folks: this different-sex Australian couple is threatening to divorce if gays keep gaining more rights. It has something to do with definition of marriage blah blah blah Scripture. What will their hypothetical divorce accomplish? It doesn’t seem like much:

In case you were worried about how the Jensens’ decision will affect their relationship and their children, the couple has stated that they will divorce legally but not emotionally. So while they’ll happily pull the stunt of getting divorced and blaming homosexuals for their choice (I did not know we had that kind of realultimatepower.net, but apparently we do), they’ll continue living together, loving together, and raising their children together. They’ll also still call each other husband and wife. The only difference is that they’ll do so as single people who have decided to pull a publicity stunt.

Sort of fascinating though! Surely this will be changing the game for high school in-class debates for literally weeks.

This is the face of the sanctity of marriage

This is the face of the sanctity of marriage

Republicans

+ This is a tale of two pieces of birth control legislation! A Senate Democrat introduced a bill to make previously prescription birth control options available OTC; then a Senate Republican, Cory Gardner, introduced a similar piece of legislation very self-righteously. The problem is that the Republican option is less realistic about real birth control access needs; it has an age restriction (over 18 only!) and it’s coexisting with GOP attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which means that even if Gardner’s bill passed, if the GOP efforts succeeded, the people who could now “access” birth control over the counter would be paying through the nose for it. So the Republican version of this plan is sort of misrepresented, but then again also the Democrat plan also doesn’t necessarily deal with affordability either, so! I don’t know, none of it is great.

Sad News

+ Well this is just absolutely heartbreaking: an interview with William Kizer, father of bisexual teen Adam Kizer, who committed suicide in May after longterm bullying in an unsupportive school district. Kizer is considering legal action against Somona Valley High School, who he says were aware of the bullying against his son but did nothing.

+ Some not great news out of Texas: the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld most of HB2, a super restrictive reproductive rights law. Jezebel reports that “all but eight abortion clinics in the state will have to close,” which is extra meaningful because of how enormous Texas is; this would effectively require many people seeking abortions in Texas to drive for an unfeasible length of time, the same as traversing most of New England, for a simple medical procedure. (WaPo has a longread about the realities of an abortion road trip, for context.)

+ Emma Sulkowicz has a new art project, Ceci N’est Pas un Viol, a video hosted online that features Sulkowicz and an anonymous man having what begins as a consensual sexual encounter and then turns violent. This week the site hosting the video was hit by a DoS attack that attempted to take it offline.

Good News

+ India has its first major ad depicting a same-sex couple; in this commercial spot from Anouk Ethnic Apparel, a same-sex female couple prepares to meet one of their sets of parents.

+ Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan lesbian activist, is on the cover of TIME’s Europe edition.

“It’s a great honor for me to be on the cover because it brings attention to the global LGBT struggle,” Nabagesera tells The Advocate. “Now many people will know about the struggles LGBT people go through in Africa and the world over. They will realize that the people they hate most are actually the people they love most when they get to read the article. They could be hating on their beloved family and friend without knowing they are LGBT.”

+ Remember when Apple unveiled its fancy new Health feature, and it totally overlooked reproductive health and menstruation? Apple’s updated HealthKit includes options for “reproductive health,” which seems to include period tracking and could maybe include things like basal body temperature and other fertility features. Apple also made a point of having “more women onstage at an Apple WWDC keynote than in the past five years combined” for the announcement.


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Rachel

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.

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26 Comments

    • I saw a comment under the buzzfeed article covering this that was on point :
      “so because of something that is in no way affecting them, they’re gonna do something that affects nobody other than themselves?”
      AH.

  1. From the LIFE article on gay male culture circa 1969, I was curious as to when the U.S. stopped arresting gays.

    The federal law (Lawrence v Kentucky) was passed in 2003, making gay sexytimes tottttally legal, yay! However, certain states still have laws on the books that, while they cannot legally be enforced in court, are still being used as the basis of making arrests in those states. Terrible.

    Rather than depressing, I choose to view this as an immense amount of progress that has been made just in my lifetime, and a reminder of the work still needing to be done.

    • Also in a companion article from the same issue about the mysteries of what “why” homosexuality, they devote a paragraph to women. It’s about four pages in (plus four more of advertisements).

      The author claims the recent studios sighted larger ignored women because they are less “numerous, promiscuous, or conspicuous as their male counterpart.” He sighted a Institute for Sex Research Study scheduled for release in the fall of that year suggesting rates for women were only a third or quarter of the rates for men. A reason (get ready for it) some analysts suggested for this: “it is far easier for a women who is afraid of men to perform adequately in marriage than it is for a man who is afraid of women.” It almost sounds as if they said women are better at “faking” satisfaction.

    • I make a private practice of scanning the Life magazine archives at google books for current newsworthy subject or historic event to see how they were reported or commented on in the past. After search for “lesbian” I found the word was used only once in the article. On page 68 about eight paragraphs in at the upper right hand corner. It described the crowds you’d find at bars in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. https://books.google.com/books?id=qEEEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA68&dq=Lesbian&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBjgeahUKEwiR66SSkYvGAhWOB5IKHZaTAGs#v=onepage&q=Lesbian&f=false

    • Also in a companion article from the same issue about the mysteries of what “why” homosexuality, they devote a paragraph to women. It’s about four pages in (plus four more of advertisements).

      The author claims the recent studios sighted larger ignored women because they are less “numerous, promiscuous, or conspicuous as their male counterpart.” He sighted a Institute for Sex Research Study scheduled for release in the fall of that year suggesting rates for women were only a third or quarter of the rates for men. A reason (get ready for it) some analysts suggested for this: “it is far easier for a women who is afraid of men to perform adequately in marriage than it is for a man who is afraid of women.” It almost sounds as if they said women are better at “faking” satisfaction.

      • right. Or he’s saying a woman who doesn’t enjoying having sex with her partner is more “normal” than a man who doesn’t enjoy having sex with his wife.

        SMH this is EXACTLY why it took me so long to figure out I was gay :(.

        (also EW at the choice of words “performing adequately”)

  2. Urgh, the only thing I can say about those people is they’re from Canberra, possibly the most boring place on earth (definitely the most boring in Aus). So a lack of stimulating activities has lead to this nonsense.

    It’s like, peeps, the only people who will care about your divorce are the people IN your life. The rest of us DGAF.

    And they only serve of an excellent reminder of straight privilege. Bc the reason you can get divorced is bc you CAN get married.

    Sometimes I just really dislike people. People are the worst.

  3. Thing is divorce in Australia is nowhere near as easy as all the articles about these attention-grabbing bigots are making it seem.

    It requires a full 12 months of separation. That can be done while living under one roof but the rules for that are strict. If you’re mingling finances, if you’re presenting yourself as a couple socially, if he’s coming home and she’s cooking dinner for him and washing his clothes, if they are acting in any way like a married couple would they don’t qualify.

    It’s also expensive, even if you go the easiest lawyer-free option it costs a bunch.

    So there are really only two options here
    1) They are lying
    or
    2) One or both of them is looking for a way out of an unhappy marriage that would still be acceptable to their religious buddies and family.

    Either way it’d be nice if they just went away.

  4. There is an old Australian reply to wowsers (also an old Aus expression describing antisocial idiots who grandstand) like these two ….” Ahr tell ’em to go dip their eye in cocky shit”.

    I’ll even supply said cocky Sh.t.

  5. Re: The Australian couple getting divorced

    Anybody else feeling the deep, deep irony that, by getting divorced, but still living as a couple, they will basically be CHOOSING to live with the same basic rights that gay couples, who cannot legally marry, must live with? I think that’s basically hilarious.

  6. As an Australian law student the loony ‘must live in sin at all times’ couple would actually be an interesting divorce. To divorce they do need to prove ‘separation’ for 12 months, but this doesn’t need they mean to live apart, it just needs they mean to prove a loss of consortium vitae (which is just Latin for all the marriage fee fees). Usually the court looks at things like living together, having sex, mutual society and protection, recognition of the marriage in public (but all that varies for every marriage). In this case their marriage is probably founded on their belief that heterosexuals are better than everyone else, and perhaps that arrogance alone is enough to grant them a divorce because forcing the two bigots to continue marriage under the new state definition would mean a loss of their particular brand of consortium vitae. Add onto that that they’ve made their intentions clear to one another and everyone else (big requirements in divorce law) they probs can go through with the divorce. But honestly, a couple of assholes want to choose what LGBT people have been forced into since forever and then cry oppression? Who gives a shit?

  7. I actually kind of like that basically every Australian who has commented on this straight couple has done so implying they’re idiots. Like I actually feel like their ridiculous stunt and the following onslaught of jokes, eyerolling and earnest conversation re marriage may have actually overall led to a strong community expression of support for same-sex marriage which has actually been positive. I haven’t seen one conservative article praising them for their bravery. They look very alone. And very silly. Just like they will when same-sex marriage passes and they don’t get divorced.

    SO SILLY!

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