Archive for gay marriage

Suddenly Sonia!

Posted in humor, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

On Obama’s polite suggestion of Sonia Sotomayor as the first woman of color on the Ultra Supreme Council of the Western Imperial Lands:

If you come to my blog for the latest news, then its a sad sad world we live in. If however, you get the basics eavesdropping on SEPTA or reading over someone else’s New York Times on the Q train, then there’s nothing wrong with hearing out my highly flitered tidbits of background information, or the little bits of flotsam and jetsam that slip beyond the media blitz. Or is it “blitzes”? (Mmmm… blintzes…)

Be that as it may (a great expression, BTW. Anybody who insists that they know what is actually, literally means is putting you on. Don’t date them…), I am cross-posting some stuff about the would-be appointee to the SCOTUS (even those of you who don’t read a lot of blog can hopefully figure that one out), so that even you can sound smart, savvy, and up to date at the water cooler, at the graduation party, on the trolley, and at that bullshit friday art opening where they serve that crappy free wine. People will date you.

Again with the “don’t say good ol’ SS neber did anything good for ya“.

BTW,i ❤ the blogosphere…

Thusly, 10 things you can casually drop in conversation about Sotomayor so that you sound like a well-read commuter.

1. HER UPBRINGING: Judge Sonia Sotomayor has arguably lived the American dream. She was born to a Puerto Rican family and grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx.

Her father was a factory worker with a third-grade education, and died when Sotomayor was nine years old. Her mother raised Sotomayor while working as a nurse. After her father’s death, Sotomayor reportedly turned to books for solace, and she says it was her love of Nancy Drew books that ultimately led her to the law.

2. HER EDUCATION: Sotomayor graduated as valedictorian of her class at Blessed Sacrament and at Cardinal Spellman High School in New York. She won a scholarship to Princeton where she continued to excel, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a co-recipient of the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest honor Princeton awards to an undergraduate. At Yale Law School, Judge Sotomayor served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and as managing editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order.

3. HER WORK OFF THE BENCH: After law school, Sotomayor spent five years as Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, trying dozens of criminal cases. Robert Morgenthau, who chose her for the position, described her as a “fearless and effective prosecutor.” She entered private practice in 1984, working as an international corporate litigator handling cases involving everything from intellectual property to banking, real estate and contract law.

4. HER JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: As Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSBlog writes, “Almost all of her career has been in public service — as a prosecutor, trial judge, and now appellate judge. She has almost no money to her name.” The White House notes:

If confirmed for the Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years. …

In 1998, Judge Sotomayor became the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, one of the most demanding circuits in the country. She has participated in over 3000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, handling difficult issues of constitutional law, to complex procedural matters, to lawsuits involving complicated business organizations.”

(The New York Times has summarized her most notable court opinions and articles.)

5. HER STRUGGLE WITH DIABETES: Sotomayor is a Type One diabetic. She has been open about her diabetes in the past, noting that when she was diagnosed at he age of eight, it foiled her hopes of becoming an investigative detective like her heroine, Nancy Drew. While hardly a debilitating disease — indeed, recent medical advancements have made it quite manageable to live with — there remain enough late-in-life health implications to have sparked debate in legal, political and medical circles over whether it should be a factor in her nomination.

6. SOTOMAYOR SUPPORTED BY REPUBLICANS: In 1992, Republican President George H. W. Bush appointed Sotomayor to the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Later, in 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the 2nd Circuit, and she was confirmed with bipartisan support in a 67-29 vote.

Indeed, five current Republican Senators voted in favor of her nomination then: Sens. Collins, Gregg, Hatch, Lugar, Snowe. Among the no votes were current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, current Minority Whip John Kyl and Sen. Jeff Sessions, currently the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Additionally, the White House points out, “Known as a moderate on the court, Sotomayor often forges consensus and agreeing with her more conservative nominees far more frequently than she disagrees with them. In cases where Sotomayor and at least one judge appointed by a Republican president were on the three-judge panel, Sotomayor and the Republican appointee(s) agreed on the outcome 95% of the time.”

7. SOTOMAYOR ON ABORTION, GAY MARRIAGE: Sotomayor’s record on two key hot button cultural issues is thin. But, quite notably, her sole opinion regarding abortion was in line with the anti-abortion movement’s position. Some details from the anti-abortion site

“Despite 17 years on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has never directly decided whether a law regulating abortion was constitutional,” the pro-life group Americans United for Life noted in a recent analysis of potential Supreme Court candidates.

Sotomayor participated in a decision concerning the Mexico City Policy, which President Obama recently overturned and which prohibits sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.

Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor upheld the Mexico City Policy, but AUL says the significance of the decision “may be minimal because the issue was largely controlled by the Second Circuit’s earlier opinion in a similar challenge to the policy.”

AUL notes that Judge Sotomayor also upheld the pro-life policy by rejecting claims from a pro-abortion legal group that it violated the Equal Protection Clause.

That said, pro-choice groups hailed her nomination, with Planned Parenthood declaring that she “understands the importance of ensuring that our Supreme Court justices respect precedent while also protecting our civil liberties.”

Sotomayor has also not ruled on any cases involving gay civil rights, but gay legal activists described her positively:

Long-time gay legal activist Paula Ettelbrick said she met Sotomayor in about 1991 when they both served on then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s advisory committee on fighting bias.

Nobody wanted to talk to the queer person at that time,” said Ettelbrick, who represented Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. “She was the only one [on the advisory committee] who made a point to come over and introduce herself. She was totally interested [in gay civil rights issues] and supportive.”

“From everything I know, Judge Sotomayor is an outstanding choice – fair and aware, open and judicious,” said Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry organization. “I believe she has the demonstrated commitment to principles of equal protection and inclusion that defines a good nominee to the Supreme Court. In choosing Judge Sotomayor, the first Latino candidate for the Supreme Court, President Obama has made a strong and appealing nomination that should and will receive the supportof those committed to equality for lesbians and gay men.”

8. SOTOMAYOR WOULD BE FIRST HISPANIC JUSTICE: If confirmed, Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic to ever serve on the Supreme Court. Tom Goldstein notes:
To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark. It really is impossible to overstate its significance. The achievement of a lifetime appointment at the absolute highest levels of the government is a profound event for that community, which in turn is a vital electoral group now and in the future.

[blackmaps notes: fantastic! maybe she can get those tokenizing fuckheads to stop using the term hispanic]

9. SOTOMAYOR “SAVED BASEBALL”: “During a brief period in 1995,” the New York Times reported, “Judge Sonia Sotomayor became revered, at least in those cities with major league baseball teams. She ended a long baseball strike that year, briskly ruling against the owners in favor of the players.” A bit more:

The owners were trying to subvert the labor system, she said, and the strike had “placed the entire concept of collective bargaining on trial.”

After play resumed, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that by saving the season, Judge Sotomayor joined forever the ranks of Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams. The Chicago Sun-Times said she “delivered a wicked fastball” to baseball owners and emerged as one of the most inspiring figures in the history of the sport.


11. SOTOMAYOR ON DA REVOLUTION: she authored the majority opinion, stating that “shit won’t be televised…. si el pueblo tiene exito, sería porque unidos, jamás serán vencidos. or at least thats what they like to brag. no lo se really, i went to princeton, biatches!”

wait, seriously though. did that thing say that she “saved baseball”? i’m sorry, but how do you get away with blocking that approval? thats like saying she invented ice cream! Obama, you are one savvy motherfrakker…

…and now amigos, you too can sound smarts!

don’t say I never… wait, did I already say this?

The World, and Ice cream, and Puppies, and Baseball, are all Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy

I leave you with, the League of Extraordinarily Old People:

ps- so what do you think? a Soutable replacement? ehh??


same-sex, different status

Posted in maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , on April 7, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Q: Wait, are you from portland Maine, or portland Oregon?
A: The gay one, not the hipster one

On Wednesday, May 6th, Maine became the most recent state to allow same-sex marriage and the second state, after Vermont, to do so through legislative means.

this is an update of a post from April 7th, 2009, featured below, only with a new, stellar, somewhat less hate-spangled map!

Last week Iowa, and now Vermont. I gotta share some maps of this tomfoolery snail-paced progress:

There will be a reason other than apples, maple syrup, and the leaves changing to visit Vermont this fall. Vermont legislators voted in equal marriage!

In an historic move, just moments ago this morning the Vermont House of Representatives voted 100-49 to override Gov. Jim Douglas’s veto, following this morning’s earlier vote of 23-5 by the Senate. Vermont is the first state to recognize marriage for same-sex couples through the legislative process. The law goes into effect Sept 1.

which leaves us where…

Laws Regarding Same-Sex Partnerships in the United States

=D ██ Purple: Same sex marriages
;^) ██ Green: Unions granting rights similar to marriage
:0) ██ Greyish-Indigo: Unions granting limited/enumerated rights
:/ ██ Light Blue: Foreign same-sex marriages recognized
:l ██ Essential Grey: No specific prohibition or recognition of same-sex marriage/ unions
=( ██ Yellow: Statute bans same-sex marriage
😡 ██ Orange: State Constitution bans same-sex marriage
X-0 ██ Red: State Constitution bans same-sex marriage and other kinds of same-sex unions

Woot! This is in no way a walkback of my Valumtimes Day post, but ya know… poco a poco

The World is Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy

Between Long Island and the Apocalypse…

Posted in anthropology, art & music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Voilá! A magical land called Levittown, NY:

I grew up on Long Island. Its important for those of us who have such bizarre sub-urban origins to speak up with our perspectives. Even we, who were enmeshed in the advent of the post-modern city, in particular, those of us who have left it, have a sharp critique to offer, and perhaps a prescient experience of the coming post-modern apocalypse.

Okay, so its a goofy afternoon in New Orleans, and my hosts just shared a funny thing with me, and I would like to share it with you, but first I wanted to prep you with some po-mo/ pre-appok build up. Trust me, it’ll be more fun that way (and infinitely more so if you are suffering through some b.s. higher education). So I’m gonna ask you to go through a special initiation. Watch this, and then peep the blurb below:

Post-Modern Condition Upgraded To Pre-Apocalyptic:

The “postmodern” condition of alienated, disjointed late-20th-century humanity was officially upgraded to “pre-apocalyptic” Monday, when new findings from leading postmodernist theorist Richard Rorty were published in the new issue of Semiotexte. “I was flipping through the cable channels the other night, trying to get an abstract sense of the way emergent processes of change and transformation generated by contemporary high-tech society are challenging cultural assumptions regarding diverse aesthetic forms to create a novel state of history,” Rorty said, “when, all of a sudden, I realized that everything I was looking at was the biggest load of unimaginably horrific crap ever.” At this point in the socio-cultural discourse, Rorty said, the key question is no longer whether or not social fragmentation, cultural meta-juxtaposition and socioeconomic problematics require new modes of experience and interpretation, but rather, “When will the seven-headed dragon of the End Times descend upon us all in unholy fury?”

I’m sorry, the seven-headed dragon of the End Times? Oh “the Onion”, how I love thee… (lets get gay married in Iowa, yeah?)

The pre-apocalypse is yours,
Sunshine Super-Seven-Headed-Dragon-Füry!

Love & Marriage Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Spaghetti

Posted in maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , , , on February 14, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Happy Valumtimes Dayz!!!

I’m gonna go have a ridiculous date with my special-special and a bunch of friends who are even more ridiculous than we are (I mean, limo car-share, fancy dinner, and gay bingo?! None of them are even gay!), but all this love stuff reminded me of a thing I’d like to keep circulating fresh in people’s minds.

Ol’ St.Valentine was infamous for defying the church and marrying all sorts of people who weren’t “allowed” to be married. Well and good, I suppose, but remember this awesome perspective brilliantly articulated by Dean Spade and Craig Willse back in the post Nov 8th blues of prop 8’s outcome in California?

I Still Think Marriage is the Wrong Goal

Dean Spade and Craig Willse

A lot of stories are circulating right now claiming that Black and Latino voters are to blame for Prop 8 passing. Beneath this claim is an uninterrogated idea that people of color are “more homophobic” than white people. Such an idea equates gayness with whiteness and erases the lives of LGBT people of color. It also erases and marginalizes the enduring radical work of LGBT people of color organizing that has prioritized the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Current conversations about Prop 8 hide how the same-sex marriage battle has been part of a conservative gay politics that de-prioritizes people of color, poor people, trans people, women, immigrants, prisoners and people with disabilities. Why isn’t Prop 8’s passage framed as evidence of the mainstream gay agenda’s failure to ally with people of color on issues that are central to racial and economic justice in the US?

Let’s remember the politics of marriage itself. The simplistic formula that claims “you’re either pro-marriage or against equality” makes us forget that all forms of marriage perpetuate gender, racial and economic inequality. It mistakenly assumes that support for marriage is the only good measure of support for LGBT communities. This political moment calls for anti-homophobic politics that centralize anti-racism and anti-poverty. Marriage is a coercive state structure that perpetuates racism and sexism through forced gender and family norms. Right wing pro-marriage rhetoric has targeted families of color and poor families, supported a violent welfare and child protection system, vilified single parents and women, and marginalized queer families of all kinds. Expanding marriage to include a narrow band of same-sex couples only strengthens that system of marginalization and supports the idea that the state should pick which types of families to reward and recognize and which to punish and endanger.

We still demand a queer political agenda that centralizes the experiences of prisoners, poor people, immigrants, trans people, and people with disabilities. We reject a gay agenda that pours millions of dollars into campaigns for access to oppressive institutions for a few that stand to benefit.

We are being told marriage is the way to solve gay people’s problems with health care access, immigration, child custody, and symbolic equality. It does not solve these problems, and there are real campaigns and struggles that would and could approach these problems for everyone, not just for a privileged few. Let’s take the energy and money being put into gay marriage and put it toward real change: opposing the War on Terror and all forms of endless war; supporting queer prisoners and building a movement to end imprisonment; organizing against police profiling and brutality in our communities; fighting attacks on welfare, public housing and Medicaid; fighting for universal health care that is trans and reproductive healthcare inclusive; fighting to tax wealth not workers; fighting for a world in which no one is illegal.

The World, and all the love therein, is Yours. Truly,
Sunshine Superboy

ps- oh yeah. maps! check this out:

oh and take this, Michigan!