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Same-sex marriage roundup


Some of this is old news by now, but here goes anyway:

  • Transcript of Bush announcing the Federal Marriage Amendment.
  • Amy Rubin describes her wedding to Alison (Dykes to Watch Out For) Bechdel in San Francisco.
  • The American Anthropological Association has a statement on marriage:

    The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.

  • Fairly good summary article from Time.
  • A San Francisco columnist laments, tongue in cheek: Where Is My Gay Apocalypse?
  • Some other biblical rules pertaining to marriage. (But I vaguely recall being told that Jesus brought a "new covenant" that revokes a lot of the Old Testament rules. I'm not clear on which bits were revoked and which weren't, though.)
  • Interesting historical look at marriage in the US in the 17th through 19th centuries. I'm always chagrined when I yet again catch myself assuming that the way things are done in the modern US is more or less the way things have always been done everywhere. Of particular note: there have historically been places and times (in the US) when you could marry only if at least one partner was incapable of reproducing (because the chance of genetic defects would be too high if they had kids).
  • If you've been wondering what the California state constitution (1.7.(b)) really says about equal rights, wonder no longer—Elliot R. to the rescue:

    A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.


I'm particularly interested in the American Anthropological Association's statement, given the New Yorker article about Franz Boas I was talking up yesterday. Have I bugged you into buying the issue yet? C'mon, man! Really! :-)

oh, and by the way, about that new covenant thing: it came up, among other places, in a story where some really strict constructionist Jews get all smarmy about Jesus letting his disciples work on the Sabbath, and doing some work himself (he heals someone), and he says fuck you! If we can keep ourselves fed or help other people, we're going to work on the Sabbath. Basically over the years that's been interpreted to mean that Christians get to ditch all the Old Testament rules they don't like, and defend to the death (other people's deaths, anyway) those they agree with. In other words, though it gets cited a lot, it's debatable how much it means in absolute terms.

That said, though homophobic Christians more often cite the Leviticus prohibitions, those are laid wide open to the shellfish/mixed-fabric garments/etc new covenant argument. They'd be on stronger ground if they stuck to St. Paul, who has the only passages in the New Testament to condemn homosexuality. Actually, as I write this I'm wondering how much credence evangelicals give to Paul; they're not supposed to care much for saints, so perhaps he's seen as less authoritative than Catholics tend to think? I should ask HW about this. Perhaps that's an explanation for the emphasis on Leviticus.

Anyway, Paul also has some stunningly beautiful passages about love, so as usual, we come right back around to the point that you can make the Bible say anything you damn well want it to, and what's most instructive about it is the reaction of different people in different eras and places to it as an indication of societal values.

Cheers. :-)

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