The Body Electric: “Naturally Procreative Relationships” or Policing Bodies Goes Straight!


Uh oh. Those pro-h8ers got themselves in a pickle last week in San Francisco with U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn, who questioned laywer Charles Cooper about his dumb assertion that Prop 8 is important to the state because it enourages "naturally procreative relationships."

The judge, bypassing many obvious other questions (so are adoptive parents "less" parents than biological parents? Are parents who are assisted in becoming pregnant "less" parents than those who are not?) went right for the biggie: "What is the harm to the procreation purposes you outlined of allowing same sex couples to get married?" BAM!

Charles Cooper responded with a baffled, "I don't know." Who questions this kind of thing? Later, he clarified that California should be alllowed to wait and see how the "Massachusetts experiment" unfolds. He also cited a study regarding the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, that shows that more and more straight people are choosing domestic partnerships over marriage. Everyone knows that that's bad, right?


The judge had this response: "Has that been harmful to the children of the Netherlands? What are the adverse effects?"

Guess where your dogmatic jibber jabber doesn't hold up so well? With a federal judge, that's where!

And, frankly, the judge must be considering the impact on heteros: I mean, isn't it kind of dangerous to base marriage on fertility (again)? Many straight couples can't or don't want to have children, and though cultural theorists could argue that there is non-heteronormative and thereby "queer" aspect of non-breeding straight relationships, I'm not sure everyone in that situation would identify themselves that way.

Speaking of breeding, I know that many religious groups are just interested in driving us towards the end of the world as quickly as possible, but the fact that some people choose to not have children--even if they could--is a good thing, as the global population explodes and we careen madly towards an environmental disaster. Additionally, why discourage people from adoption when so many children in this country (and this state, this city) are currently in the foster care system?

Lately, my feelings about marriage have increasingly been to question the relevance of this "bedrock" institution. I have been reminded of that bit of mom-wisdom: "Why would you want to be part of any club that won't have you?" Though there are obvious and very important legal protections that need to be enacted for my relationship--including hospital visitation status, and the right to give medical directives--I am concerned about the path opponents are taking and that queers are currently being barred from: tying religion, property, and now reproduction into our relationships in this way. Is this what we are fighting for? Since when does the state, and the nutjobs, define what a relationship is?

Though, come to think of it, wouldn't civil unions for everyone be the optimal solution? It sounds like the Netherlands organically queered marriage for everyone--include straight people who opted for domestic partnerships--by allowing queers to marry. And, as the judge pointed out, who was worse off for it?

The times are changing. The pro-h8ers reportedly feel sad that the argument made about overturning Prop 8 focuses on their bigotry rather than their very (obviously) non-bigoted interested in preserving traditional marriage! It's hard to be called a bigot! I'm unclear as to what people expected to happen. It's difficult for me to understand how this delusional, irrational, close-minded perspective has captured the hearts of so many.

Everywhere, the times they are changing. I sure do hope America--for the sake of everyone involved--changes with them.


by Thomas Page McBee
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4 Comments Have Been Posted

I love when the haters come

I love when the haters come off as close-minded AND stupid, all on their own!

Since religious marriage and

Since religious marriage and civil marriage are legally intertwined in this country, our first priority as queers and allies is getting everyone into the institution before re-building it.

Think of suffrage movements - they didn't focus on how government was corrupt or ineffective, they focused on getting everyone the equal right to vote.

Regardless of personal feelings or desires for marriage, as queers and allies we need to advocate for our fellow queers. If we don't unite and fight for each other, no one else will.

PS - that judge is fucking awesome.

Bravo, queermo!

I cosign many times over. I get so annoyed when people say they won't fight for marriage equality because marriage is stupid anyway and we should just get rid of it. Well...maybe, maybe not, but right now that is just not attainable. Equality, I hope and believe, is... and *then* we can opt out or modify the system.
As for the article, I don't know how I can embarrass the lawyer in a way that he hasn't done himself. Then again: "the Massachusetts experiment?" First of all, wouldn't you say the expiration date on "experiment" status has passed? Secondly, "Massachusetts," er, *has he read the news in the past year?* Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine!!!

Gay and straight marriage

That's strange, because I remember reading that marriage rates have gone up in the Netherlands (maybe it was somewhere else) since they introduced gay marriage.

But quite aside from that, marriage is decreasing in favour of domestic partnership in many Western nations where gay marriage is not legal, so the two may be completely unrelated.

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