The Reality Must Be Recognized!

By Ali Erol, Translation by Murat Cömert

In pursuit of equality, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) organizations demand that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” be added to Article 10 of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic. This demand had long become an agenda topic before the recent flare up of debates over constitutional change.

Ten years have passed since the demand for such a change first found its expression in the slogan “Amendment Bill to Article 10: Sexual Orientation!” that was chanted on the May Day March in Ankara. This was five years earlier than the topic of a “civilian constitution” was brought up in political circles.

As the constitutional debate gained momentum, the call for “Amendment Bill to Article 10: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity!” has become “undebatable” for the prospect of constitutional “equality”, for which the LGBT organizations from all over have been collaborating.

While the debates on new constitution have been continuing since 2007 with ups and downs in popularity and intensity, a turning point has been reached: surpassing the collaborative efforts of the LGBT organizations, no constitutional proposition is now considered complete without the mentioning of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity”, be it made by women’s organizations, or labor unions and political circles who once watched the chanting LGBT people on that May Day March 10 years ago with baffled looks that said “what now, gays! where did that come from?”.

Although the AKP government had declared its determination to pass “a constitution that will include all divisions of society” as early as the initial stages of the new constitution movement since 2007 post-elective period, it was also made known that LGBT individuals were not to be included in the described “society”.

Tired of waiting for their turn to come in the endless list of hierarchy of rights, the LGBT organizations voiced their objection, saying that “in this society, there are not only heterosexuals, we too exist!”. The government’s declaration that “gays may well ask for equality, but we will not give them that” and the suggestion that the LGBT individuals wait for the 22nd century to come for equality was answered with a determined appeal: “we will not wait another hundred years for equality!”.

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2 years ago · 2 notes · Source

Reclaiming the Rhetoric of ‘Family’: 3 Reasons Why Same-Sex Marriage Recognition in the Military Matters

Member of the OutServe Board of Directors

Why Do Military Families Matter to the Rest of the LGBT Movement?

1) First and most obviously, military families are setting the stage for DOMA repeal.

Before the repeal of DADT was even implemented, congressional allies were asking how same-sex military families were affected by the Defense of Marriage Act. At the first congressional hearing since DOMA’s implementation in 1996, Senator Feinstein pointed out that DOMA bars the spouse of a gay or lesbian service member or veteran from being buried with him or her in a veterans’ cemetery.

Heart-wrenching narratives that display gross injustices against American soldiers will challenge the Republican moral fiber. A purely LGBT initiative can be ignored by the right wing; the story of a sacrificed servicemember cannot.

2) The recognition of same-sex spouses and their families proves that “homosexuality” isn’t (just) about the sex.

Whether referencing sodomy, sexual deviancy, or pedophilia, language used to describe gays and lesbians throughout history have placed emphasis on the sexual component of same-sex relationships. One of the most famous attempts to take on such a task was the homophile movement in the 1950s and ’60s. The term literally means loving the same sex. Obviously, Average Joe hasn’t heard of the term “homophile,” and he probably uses the term “homosexual,” indicating that the movement failed in the respect. Essentially, there is much work to be done in order to dismantle the association of gays with perversion.

3) Same-sex marriage recognition in the military reclaims (and possibly neutralizes) the term “family.”

It’s far too often that we hear Republican candidates (can you guess which GOPer this hyperlink goes to?) toss around the word “family” as a euphemism for anti-gay sentimentality. If the military — as one of the most family-oriented institutions in American society — recognizes same-sex families as legitimate, then others will inevitably do so, as well. Again, families are “the strength of our nation.” If gays are included in this military definition of family, I would consider that a step up from the classification of “pervert” and “sexual deviant.”

Pushing for same-sex partner recognition and family benefits in the military may appear to be a narrow goal in the wide scheme of LGBT issues, but it’s part of a larger agenda. It’s about reclaiming and eventually neutralizing the terms “family,” “spouse,” and even “patriotism” so they can’t be placed in opposition to everything the LGBT movement stands for. 

Click here to read the full article.

2 years ago · 29 notes · Source