Anything to Ensure That GENDA Remains No Priority Whatsoever

If its New York, its marriage – for those who in 2002 engineered for themselves the special right to discriminate against trans people:

Wednesday, The New York Times ran what can only be described as an encouraging article on the movement to push the marriage equality bill forward in Albany. It appears, with the full support of our deliriously popular Governor,forces are convening to create a real multi-pronged effort.

Governor Cuomo’s office seems to be taking real ownership of the bill and that’s a good thing. It describes efforts to form a coaltion of four major LGBT rights groups, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and Marriage Equality New York, to coordinate actions and strategies. The group is called “New Yorkers United for Marriage.” Special emphasis on outreach will be made to labor, clergy and people of color.

And trans people who those making this push to ramrod marriage through ahead of GENDA – thanks to 2002’s 2001-Maryland-inspired SONDA – are free to discriminate against….?

Not so much.

But marriage-centric spin that erases what little trans-specific legal positivity that exists in New York state?  Oh, it rushes in like a tsunami:

In fact, LGBT New Yorkers have access to marriage equality of sorts. The state of New York recognizes LGBT unions performed in other jurisdictions. Governor Paterson directed his agencies to do that back in 2008.

What is an “LGBT union”?

I know what a same-sex marriage is.  I know what a civil union is.  But I have no idea what an “LGBT union” is.

And something tells me that former Governor Paterson didn’t either.  From the item linked to in the above quote:

Paterson directs agencies to recognize gay marriages

More on the Times’ piece on Gov. David Paterson’s gay marriage order:

Paterson’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, issued the directive May 14, telling agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”

The move does not permit gay marriages to be performed in New York, but it does mean the state government will recognize same-sex unions performed elsewhere. That would make it the first state to recognize gay marriages without allowing same-sex couples to actually marry in the state, legal experts told the Times.

Two states, Massachusetts and California, allow gay marriages, as do Canada and Spain. New Jersey and Vermont allow civil unions. Forty-one states have laws limiting marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

According to the Times, Paterson’s move would affect some 1,300 statutes and regulations governing such things as joint filing of income tax returns and transferring fishing licenses between spouses.

The stage was already set for such a policy following a Feb. 1 Appellate Division ruling that Monroe Community College could not deny health benefits to an employee who married her partner in Canada because of New York’s longstanding policy of recognizing marriages performed elsewhere. An appeal to the Court of Appeals failed on technical grounds. The Court of Appeals, the Times noted, has previously ruled the state Constitution does not compel the recognition of same-sex marriages and that it was up to the Legislature to decide whether do so.

I C no T – either in that piece or the NYT piece it references:

Massachusetts and California are the only states that have legalized gay marriage, while others, including New Jersey and Vermont, allow civil unions. Forty-one states have laws limiting marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Legal experts said Mr. Paterson’s decision would make New York the only state that did not itself allow gay marriage but fully recognized same-sex unions entered into elsewhere.

But wait….

What is that I hear drifting on the winds of hegemony?

But, but, but, but, but…some trans people are in same-sex relationships. So, there! Nyah!

Believe it or not, I’ve heard of the concept.  So has my female spouse.

Problem number one: Most trans people aren’t.

Do I have stats for that?  No.  I just have reality.  Under the assumption that there might actually be exact equal numbers of trans people in same-sex relationships as there are in opposite-sex relationships, my statement prevails.

Tie goes to the runner?


Rather, because single people count too.

You know…single people?  The people who – irrespective of sexual orientation or gennder identity –  always get screwed whenever marriage washes over any policy discussion?

Time for layoffs.  Get rid of the unmarried people first.  They don’t have families to take care of.

Sorry, Marriage Derangement Syndrome sufferers, but the combination of trans people in opposite-sex relationships and people who, for whatever reason(s), are not in any relationship turn the ‘trans people are in same-sex relationships too’ chestnut into a red marriage-primacy herring.

And that’s before taking into consideration that all of those trans people need anti-discrimination protection infinitely more than same-sex couples want gay marriage.

In my social circle alone, I knew of two couples that dropped a bundle in Connecticut to get hitched there. Provincetown, Boston, New Hampshire, Washington DC, these are just some of the other attractive options that just a short trip away.

Well, if they were able to drop a bundle on that, then I’m guessing one or both halves of the couple were secure in their employment (thanks to 2002’s trans-free SONDA), retired from some nebulous professional career which required some license of some sort, independently wealthy or some combination thereof.

Meaning, of course, that the marriages in question were wants – not needs.

In this economy, it seems very foolish of the state to deprive our own local industries, including venues, caterers, florists, photographers, the opportunity to compete for those wedding dollars.

By implication, then, it has been wise to allow statewide (excepting NYC and a few other locales) discrimination against trans people for the last decade?

And I’m rather sure we’d see a surge in the 6-12 months post-passage of long-term couples that decided, “now’s the time.” It could give a substantial bump in the wedding industry.

An industry in New York which (again, excepting NYC and a few other locales) has since 2002 had free rein to refuse to employ trans people – thanks to the same people who now expect the need to rectify that political hate crime to be pushed aside as an agenda item to make way for something more that they want.

On the hit TV show “The Office,” Jim and Pam got married at Niagara Falls, NY. Jim and Sam can’t do that.

But Jim, Pam and Sam can hang signs in the windows of their respective business estabishments saying: “TRANNIES NEED NOT APPLY! ISRAEL LUNA FILM FESTIVAL SATURDAY!”

…we don’t need a repeat of Maryland.

You already had one.

Its called 2002.

3 Responses to Anything to Ensure That GENDA Remains No Priority Whatsoever

  1. Summer says:

    Get Equal is all over marriage in NY – glad we have a board member & board chair making sure genda gets similar support.

    They say you’re either at the table…..or you’re on the menu – sometimes – it’s both.

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