Monday, December 07, 2009

Sestak, Endorsements, and Gay Marriage

You may have already heard that Congressman Joe Sestak, candidate for Senate, was endorsed today by Congressman Barney Frank. What does this mean? Washington Post reporter / blogger Chris Cillizza of The Fix classifies it this way:

In the release touting Franks' backing, Sestak focused on the Massachusetts Democrat's hero status among the gay, lesbian and transgender community. Sestak coupled the Frank endorsement with the announcement of support from Lt. Dan Choi who was dismissed from the military under its "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The message from Sestak is clear: on issues of gay rights, he is the candidate willing to stand up and fight while Specter is a newbie to the cause. (Specter has said he would be willing to vote in favor of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and penned a piece in support of the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act .)

In one of those serendipitous pairings, the 11/30 issue of the New Yorker (so I'm a few weeks behind) has an article on gender, with an emphasis on Caster Semenya, by Ariel Levy, "Either/Or." Read this and then try to make sense of who in this country can get married and who can't:
Who is allowed to get married? (Currently, the United States government recognizes the marriage of a women to a female-to-male transsexual who has had a double mastectomy and takes testosterone tablets but still has a vagina, but not to a woman who hasn't done those things.)

These issues get even more tedious when military service is involved. It someone is willing to serve, why not let them?

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