Gay Marriage

The History of Homosexuality: Same-Sex Marriage in the USA

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Wikimedia Commons

The first legal challenges to the ban on same-sex couples marrying in the US came in the early 1970s, without success: Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in 1971 that a ban on SSM wasn’t unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case regarding SSM in 1972, “for want of a substantial federal question.” That denial blocked lower federal courts from addressing the matter of same-sex marriage for decades.

It wasn’t until 1993 that the notion of same-sex marriage was taken seriously by the courts, when a ruling from the Hawaii Supreme Court in Baehr v. Lewin suggested for the first time that refusing to allow same-sex couples to marry might be unconstitutional. The reaction to Hawaii’s ruling, rather than build momentum to allow SSM, instead resulted in a backlash in congress, who pushed through the Defence of Marriage Act, specifically prohibiting the federal government from recognising same-sex marriages. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in History, Queer Blogging

The History of Homosexuality: Beyond the Pale

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Wikimedia Commons

The early queer rights movement was flawed for many reasons. Not only did it marginalise the most visible members of the community — who had historically born the biggest brunt of discrimination and persecution — they also opted for a soft approach to addressing civil injustices which rankles with hindsight. Most of the early arguments in favour of decriminalising homosexuality posited that queerfolk led sad, miserable lives, and deserved society’s pity, not its contempt. The advocated tolerance, not acceptance. Queerfolk should be allowed to move freely in society, but nobody envisioned them ever being fully part of it. The idea of queerfolk being fully integrated into society was beyond the pale, and too much for the early activists to hope for. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in History, Queer Blogging

What A Day

So, AJ Rose and I are officially Mrs & Mrs. Because I entered the US on a fiancee visa, we had a deadline by which time we had to get married, which meant less planning a big event and more rushing to the courthouse. The US government doesn’t do romance. 😉

My family and a couple of friends flew over from the UK and have been here all week. It’s been a non-stop round of shopping trips (cheese in a can needs to be seen to be believed) and visits to the zoo, crazy golf, and goodness knows where else. We’ve also eaten our own weight in chips fries.

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AJ and I got the license the week before, and not even the fact I’m on it as “Mr Aaron, Groom” could piss me off. We were married by a judge who was very nice, even if he did race through the ceremony at the speed of light. Another (same-sex!) wedding party got a bit overexcited and barged in during our wedding but they soon hurried back out again. And when we came out of the courtroom, one of the employees started applauding us (although she didn’t have much luck getting the people waiting for *actual* court to join in).

And then we were married 😀

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Seriously, the response on Facebook, Twitter, here on my blog, everywhere, was overwhelming for both of us. There wasn’t time to thank everyone personally (and I lost track of all the notifications after about ten minutes) but we read all the comments and just… thank you.

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Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

Goin’ to the Chapel

It’s finally here!! Three years after we first spoke, two years after we first met, a year after we started the fiancee visa application, today AJ Rose and I make honest women of each other.We’re going to the chapel courthouse and we’re going to get married! Woohoo!

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Photo curtesy of Temple Dragon

 

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

Dear Haters

Yesterday was a bad day for you, wasn’t it? Heh.

I spoke to many people yesterday, more than one dismayed at the Supreme Court ruling. And I did what I always do when confronted with people like you, I tried to engage in a calm debate, and dispelled some of the more outlandish myths you’ve been sold. No, you’re not going to lose your house in a lawsuit if you play piano in church ever again. No, your priest won’t have to resign. No, a thunderbolt from heaven is not going to wipe out the United States.

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Credit: fsegundo @ Free Images

And every time I end those conversations, here on my blog, on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else, generally I’m thanked for remaining reasonable, for respecting your religion or opinion, and for allowing you to say to my face that you think I’m a lesser human being than you are.

And every time, I feel a little bit dirtier. A little bit more disgusted with myself for indulging you.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Good News Day

I’ll start with something personal, The Dead Past is a Rainbow Award finalist! At only $0.99, why not check it out for yourself?

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From the honorable mentions: “I was immediately hooked by the old-style English but perfect writing style of this first book of probably a series which I am going to definitely follow,” and “The author drew me completely into the setting to the point I felt like I was there.”

Then there’s the national news… SCOTUS denying cert. to all seven same-sex marriage cases. It had been mooted as a possibility, but I never thought they’d take it. And finally, PA just voted to add LGBT and gender identity protections to their hate crime laws. Today I am mostly flailing around like a giddy fool. The tears of the haters taste delicious.


Stay tuned for release dates for my new trilogy, Free Men. The first two books are coming later this month! Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest news (I promise: no spam, not ever) and some exclusive swag — coming soon!

 

Posted by Kate Aaron in Books

We’re Not All Like You

So marriage equality is sweeping the west. Slowly but surely, state by state and country by country, we are winning, and we are doing so on a platform which says, in effect, “We’re just like you.” Gay couples want to settle down, raise children, say ‘I do’ before their friends and family. They want the white picket fence and 2.4 kids, to work 9-5 at a respectable, responsible job, pay the mortgage, walk the dogs in the park at the weekend, and enjoy lazy Sundays spending quality family time together. It’s a dream many of us, even in my generation, grew up never believing we’d see come true. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Batten Down the Hatches…

…the backlash is coming.

I’m talking about the battle for LGBT equality, which has picked up dramatically in recent years. Throughout the UK, Europe, and America, it seems there’s legislation and lawsuits being debated all over, and we’ve made incredible leaps and bounds. But sometimes it’s ‘two steps forward, one step back’.  There are only the barest handful of US states who haven’t already legislated LGBT equality (same-sex marriage; anti-discrimination laws) or who haven’t got such legislation being tabled right now. There are many reasons for us to celebrate, but it isn’t all plain sailing.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Another Point About Gay Marriage

So, just before Christmas a federal judge in Utah ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. It was a bit of a shocker to most people, but couples from all over rushed to take advantage, resulting in startling scenes of queues dozens deep lining up to get married; clerk offices staying open around the clock to deal with the sudden influx of people desperate to get married; and even the Boy Scouts delivering pizza so nobody had to leave their desk while the madness unfurled.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Response: A Civil Discussion About Gay Marriage

One of my facebook friends shared a link on her feed today from the website United Church of God, offering a ‘respectful discussion’ (read: rejection) of the gay marriage debate, written by their contributor Heather Disher.

Heather, allow me to respectfully disagree with every single word you wrote.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

SCOTUS Hearing Prop 8 and DOMA Cases

Yes, it’s finally here. The US Supreme Court is hearing two major cases this week – first on California’s Proposition 8 (that particularly nasty piece of legislation which took marriage equality away from people to whom it had already been granted) and tomorrow DOMA itself.

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Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

The Real Point of Marriage Equality

I’ve banged on rather a lot about equal marriage. About the importance of having the right to use that word, of having the right to stand up before your friends and family – and God, if you believe – and affirm your love to Mr or Mrs Right, whoever you are. But it’s about more than that. This is the real story of why equal marriage matters.

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Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

An Open Letter to Derek Twigg, MP

Last week I wrote about the speeches given by various MPs during the equal marriage debate. I said I had never felt as proud of UK MPs as I did that day, and I meant that. Genuinely. But there’s one MP I am not proud of – my own MP, Derek Twigg; one of only 22 Labour MPs to vote against equal marriage.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Random

UK Passes Marriage Equality

Yesterday was a bit of a write-off for me. The UK House of Commons was discussing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill from 12.30pm right up to the vote at 7pm. I followed the entire thing as it happened.

Now this was already a done deal. Enough MPs had said in advance they were voting for the bill that we knew we’d won. It was simply a case of seeing how big our majority was going to be. But before that, for six and a half hours, over seventy MPs from all parties and levels and of all ages and backgrounds were given four minutes each to present their own reactions to the bill. It was the content of those four-minute speeches that really struck a chord as I was following this debate; the number of out gay and bisexual MPs who spoke movingly of what this bill means to them in particular. I have never been as proud of UK politicians as I was yesterday listening to some of them speak.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff

Why Equal Marriage Matters

Hands up who’s bored of the equal marriage debates rumbling through virtually every country in the west at the moment? It seems every other US state is currently having a referendum on the matter – with some voting for, and some against – the UK bill just hit parliament, and Paris was invaded by hoards marching both for and against. SCOTUS briefs are currently being filed in advance of the hearing on DOMA.

Whatever your political position – for, against, ambivalent – you can’t escape it. I’ve heard arguments every which way recently, opinions and surveys and outright lies in some instances spread across the media. The most common complaint I’m hearing is that – in most places – us gays already have civil partnerships, so why are we banging on about marriage? Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Queer Stuff