Haiti bans same-sex marriage and threatens “accomplices” with prison time and fines

The views on same-sex marriage and support of the LGBTQ community may change drastically depending on where you go. Many countries are moving towards a progressive future where people are allowed to openly love who they want. But many others are standing firm in their beliefs rooted in homophobia, like Haiti.

NewNowNext reports that Haitian officials not only voted to ban same-sex marriage, but agreed to punish any “parties, co-parties and accomplices” with up to 3 years in prison and an $8,000 fine.

Supreme Court Decides Same-Sex Marriage is a Right for All in the United States

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In a landmark 5-4 decision Friday, same-sex marriage became a legal constitutional right for all citizens in the United States of America. This ruling has been a source of intense debate and political action since 2008 when Proposition 8 passed, banning same-sex marriage in the State of California. Though this is a time for celebration, this decision must be kept in perspective.

All of the Court’s liberal justices voted favor of the decision. This includes Justices Anthony Kennedy (who wrote the majority opinion), Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. The four conservative justices voted as expected.

Justice Kennedy had this to say in today’s opinion.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family…In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

Speaking about same-sex couples who challenged the Court on unconstitutional marriage laws, Justice Kennedy continued.

“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

While this is a major victory for human rights in this country, it remains to be seen if this declaration by the Supreme Court impacts how trans* folks, especially those of color, are treated in public spaces. Trans Women of Color Collective leader Lourdes Ashley Hunter reacted on her Facebook page this morning with thoughtful critiques of the political systems which support same-sex marriage but still work to oppress poor, Black, and trans* persons across this country.

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This is definitely a moment to celebrate. But, we must also consider how this validation of marriage rights pertains to a very specific group of people. It is not a cure-all. It won’t end all inequality faced by folks who identify as LGBTQIA. It is just a small step toward validation, empowerment, and humanity for those who desire same-sex marriage. We still have work to do.

 

Photo credit: Flickr/Suzette Franck

 

Jenn M. Jackson is the Editorial Assistant for The Black Youth Project. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Water Cooler Convos, a politics, news, and culture webmag for bourgie Black nerds. For more about her, tweet her at @JennMJack or visit her website at jennmjackson.com.

Same Love, Same Spectacle

So, I didn’t watch the Grammys last night because I have better things to do, like mentally compose haikus about how cold Chicago is and watch Negroes fight on Bravo while remarking about how terribly Christopher Williams aged. But thank god for the internet. I had heard/seen that this white rapper dude named Macklemore was going to perform some song called “Same Love” while a whole bunch of gay people got married on stage or something. Although this isn’t my kind of spectacle, I figured watching this performance on YouTube and posting my response(s) to it would be somewhat fresher than the awesome “thinkpiece” I had intended to write about Kendrick Lamar and Richard Sherman. Even I, a serious football fan, have grown tired of all this non-football fan attention Mr. Sherman has been getting. And even though I think he’s doing and saying some things that are worth note in this pop life landscape, I really don’t want to stoke the fire of that stale story. So anyway, it’s time to watch this performance.

Here we go:

Breaking: Illinois Senate and House passes gay marriage act

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Both bodies of congress in the state of Illinois have approved SB 10.

The law allows same-sex couples to get married and have full marital benefits.

Illinois has become the 15th state to allow same-sex unions. The bill needed 60 votes to pass the Illinois House.

The debate follows months of lobbying by advocates of same sex marriage.

We will keep you updated on this news story.