Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Keeping an eye on the ball. But what match are we playing?

August 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Equality, Irish Politics, LGBT, Social Policy

I’m keeping an eye to the ballot measure which will be voted on in California on gay marriage in November. Millions of dollars are rolling in on both sides of the campaign and lots of public service announcements etc. are being made. I found this (via Feministe) last nightfrom Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore reflecting on campaigns for gay marriage in the USA…

Gay marriage does nothing to address fundamental problems of inequality. What is needed is universal access to basic necessities like housing, health care, food, and the benefits now obtained through citizenship (like the right to stay in this country). Legalized gay marriage means only that certain people in a specific type of long-term, monogamous relationship sanctioned by a state contract might be able to access benefits. While marriage could confer inclusion under a spouse’s health-care policy, it does nothing to provide such a policy. Marriage might ensure hospital visitation rights, but not for anyone without a spouse. Marriage may allow for inheritance rights between spouses, but what if there is nothing to inherit?

…In fact, the push for gay marriage has shifted advocacy away from essential services like HIV education, AIDS health care, drug treatment, domestic violence prevention, and homeless care — all crucial needs for far more queers than marriage could ever be. And this pattern will undoubtedly continue, as millions of dollars will be spent fighting an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment proposed for the November ballot, at a time when social services are being scrapped across the country, and especially in California.

Over here The Equality Authority, Equality Tribunal, Irish Human Rights Commission, Combat Poverty Agency and god knows what other agency which has protected and championed the rights of lesbians and gay men and our allies and other groups discriminated against are under threat at the moment. Will LGBT Noise be making some noise about this? Or any other group calling for equality? Ronit Lentin gives her thoughts on the threat to the Equality Authority.

Melanie Pine the director of the Equality Tribunal spoke today about the rise in cases that it is handling. However the annual report shows a decrease in the number of cases being taken on the sexual orientation ground. I doubt that’s because nobody is discriminated against anymore. ICTU and the Community Platform have today called the moves to merge the bodies (and therefore weaken them) a retrograde step.

Some food for thought over the weekend and weekends to come. But maybe you’re all too busy planning your nuptials 🙂



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