The press over the trial is, ultimately, quiet. Indeed, for such an important a case, I'm somewhat surprised; although I am aware I shouldn't be given the lack of willingness to cover the lgbt anything in the wider news.
I've been reading transcripts of the court case, and I love what I see. I think the overall presentation is pretty good, but it's still very early, and while there are specific things being seen, they may indeed just be red herrings.
One thing that stands out is the absolute prohibition on motivations and source behind the campaigns. It's very easy to see, nearly immediately, what one of the points being raised is, and that gives one a good insight into the reasons why our opponents want none of the proceedings public: Romer v. Evans.
In the 90's, Colorado passed a law. A terrible law. It enshrined discrimination and actually sought to stop discrimination. In 1996, the Supreme Court made a ruling regarding that law that is important here, as it was very clear.
You cannot make laws against gay people out of dislike for LGBT people. That's unconstitutional.
That was early on in the fight as it is now. At the time, sodomy laws were still legally enforceable as tools against LGBT folks.
But it changed the way in which our opponents worked, and they cannot afford to have their motivations looked at too closely by people who are not LGBT.
That's the focus of these first few days, it appears (at least to me) -- to establish that there is indeed a motivation behind this based in the illegal discrimination of LGBT people.
But you wouldn't know that to read the opinion pieces and articles on the topic.
Because everyone is, at the least, kind enough not to use trans in anything. There's no T here. Indeed, there's no B here, either.
This has become a 100% L/G show.
Let me explain something real quick, if I can. It is the policy of major legal bodies (backed by precedent, but still untested) that the marriages of trans people entered into prior to transition are still valid.
That actually affects me. You see, I'm a straight gal in a legal same sex marriage as a result without the means to extract myself from it in a manner that does not create additional burdens for me.
I want my cake, and then to eat it. And I *could* do that.
Part of the reason that they are considered valid is a legal fiction that more or less implies that we are still what we used to be.
And that annoys me -- because I'm certainly not who I used to be, let alone what.
This does help a lot of trans folk who are in marriages they wish to stay in, and they significantly outnumber people like me, and I'm actually cool with that, but my odd status gives me a bit of insight into an inequity that is generally ignored.
In the same year as the Romer ruling, there was a woman who had her marriage erased by the children of her deceased spouse on the grounds that she was actually a man, and the law did not allow for men to marry men.
This was the first of many setbacks for trans marriage, which, being marriage, is inextricably linked to marriage equality. Since then, the situation for trans marriages has changed dramatically from what it was. In some locations, right now, my marriage to a man, should I be able to get one in the first place, would be invalid when I travel through a particular state. In that same location, my same sex marriage would be legal, despite that state having a prohibition against such.
And this is important: I am in a legal same sex marriage in a state that literally says such things are void, at both the federal and state level. My ex and I, who are estranged, could actually be pulled into tax court for filing a return that takes advantage of that.
In short, there's no aspect of marriage equality that does not impact on trans people.
Some trans folk cannot get married, even in places where its legal, to persons of the same sex - and they want to because they are gay, after all.
In a recent post at the Huffington Post by a member of the AFER team (the group behind the current court case), Dustin Lance Black (MILK), there is a post explaining why it is that we (as in the L/G community) cannot wait for marriage equality.
To those who have said, "Wait," I say, Gay and Lesbian people should not be forced to wait years to be treated equally under the law. By straining to avoid our federal Constitutional arguments, we only reinforce the false notion that our arguments lack merit. We reinforce the lies and myths and stereotypes that have been forced upon us for generations. We send a signal that we must not truly believe we are equal. The truth is, we are equal, and our love deserves equal recognition and protection under the law. Truth is on our side, and justice, but time is not.
Tell me, do you see trans stuff there? Bisexual stuff?
Tell me, do you think that trans folk can wait? That bisexual folk can wait?
Because I certainly don't, and I think that people who believe that the T and the B can wait need to seriously examine their humanity.
You see, I agree with the above, L/G folks should not have to wait.
But when I see that, I don't see anything that speaks to me, personally, and to the importance of fixing this issue not merely for L/G folks but for BT folks as well.
For the same reasons. You see, not including Trans and Bisexual people in the above sends a signal to trans and bisexual people, and to the rest of the country who are NOT bisexual and/or Trans, that they do not truly believe that BT folks are equal. It helps to reinforce the lies and the myths about BT folks that are used to further keep *us* down.
As I've noted before, one of the most pernicious ways that manifests in LGBT writing is that people do not mention Trans folk or Bisexual folks because they make the issue "cloudy." They are "difficult" to deal with. They "complicate" matters.
Did ya notice my situation? It's actually not all that much different from a couple friends of mine. They got married in California when it was legal. They are, in fact, one of those 18,000 couples. And they are in the same situation I am in terms of validity while one travels.
Not real complicated. Not real difficult to explain or understand. Not too cloudy.
Here's the rub, then: when you purposely leave trans people out of things in order to make it easier for yourself, you are saying that Trans people are icky. That we are *bad*.
We aren't. Trans folk, and bisexual folk, are actually far more powerful because we have the ability to highlight the inconsistencies, to challenge the stereotypes, and, ultimately, to break down the lies that are built in layers about *you*, because, in the end, we are you.
And you are us.
What you are doing is erasing trans and bisexual people from the conversation, and we have just as much if not more stake in the whole thing as you do.
It is insulting. It is damaging.
How would you feel if someone were to propose an anti-discrimination and exclude gay people from the conversation?
Oh, wait. That happened, didn't it? The ADA, in fact. Which still explicitly excludes homosexuality. Because it was icky, complicated, difficult.
You know, at the intersection of disability and gay, there are people who are denied the protection of the ADA on the grounds that they are gay?
Upset you to know that at all?
It does me.
There are arguments about why it doesn't matter - justifications made - but, in the end, it still does.
So while I am following this trial, I am getting upset at the way that it is harming Trans folk and Bisexual folk. And I am cheering thus far for our side in this battle.
But I want people to remember that they could be even stronger if they remembered to include the rest of us in something that affects all of us.
And stop erasing people.