tempested_bird: (Go Gu Ryeo)
2010-11-30 11:57 pm

Imaginary Homelands: Ghosts of Joseon

[this is written almost completely stream of consciousness and entirely unedited, a record from last night's dream]

My grandmother is of the last of us to dream of Joseon, memories from her grandparents. Who now, even 60 years later, still struggles with the script of our ancestors, given to us by kings outraged that his people would be illerate, outraged that his tongue, his language, his reality bore no mark in the world that was our own. Who in matrimony massages away the bruises, shifting from kana to geul, from Josen-jin to Joseon-in, whose prayers lost in "amens" are found again in "om".

My mother is of the last of us to remember a world before Dae Han Min Guk, shifting from Joseon-in to Hanguk-in, fragmented but with hopes that one day we would one day be whole, a hope reflected in our name. Han. Roots that took hold as we reclaimed and recovered lost time, lost territory, lost seeds. Han - one, water that flows through our capital city carrying its heartbeat. Dreaming of a world before imaginary borders became a barbed-wire chasm.

Even now the city still breathes, gripped by the remnants of the Joseon that is no longer - the roots that even the blows that our once-brethren circling back upon us could not take away, growing through the concrete, the temples that remain half-cracked, shell-worn, bullet-ridden. Now weaves into the Hanguk that is. And the banners of the past permeate into our dreams, propelling the greater hopes that one day, one day there will not be a day - simply one.

Even as the liquid of the river shifts and carries "om" once again to "amens" and fast-food, we dream of three-legged dragons eclipsing the sun. We dream of great bows shooting arrows across the great chasm, stitching bridges from the robes of mudangs to the rhythms of chang-gu, toppling mountains to build a path back to the heavens.
tempested_bird: (No on Prop H8)
2010-08-04 02:30 pm
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Proposition 8 ruled in Federal Court to be a violation of due-process and equal-protection.

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples" --Judge Vaughn Walker, 4th August, 2010

For those of you who are interested in reading the actual legalese of the ruling: Prop 8 Ruling FINAL.

It's actually quite a fascinating read as it details the legal battle in California for same-sex marriage starting with Proposition 22 back in 2000.

From NPR: Calif.'s 'Prop 8' ban on same-sex marriage rule unconstitutional

Breaking news at 4:50 p.m. ET:

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that California's so-called Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, CNN and the Los Angeles Times are reporting.

The decision is to be posted on the court's website here, but demand may be causing it to crash at this time. NPR.org will have more on the news later.

Our original post — "U.S. District Court Expected To Rule On California Same-Sex Marriage Ban Today":

In a matter of hours, the fate of same-sex marriage in California will be determined –- at least for now –- when a U.S. District Court judge decides whether the state's so-called Proposition 8 ban on such unions violates the Constitution's guarantee of equal rights.

The opinion by Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected to be released on the court’s website between 1 and 3 p.m. PDT. The case was heard earlier this year in San Francisco.

The current legal wrangle stems from a serious of rapid-fire events that began in May 2008, when California legalized same-sex marriage, prompting about 18,000 couples to converge on city halls across the state to marry.

By fall, state voters enacted Proposition 8, banning gay marriages. The ban was upheld last year by the state Supreme Court, whose decision was subsequently appealed by gay marriage advocates.

And Walker’s decision, no matter what it is, will simply mark the beginning of yet another chapter in the ongoing war over whether the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights and protections for Americans extends to same-sex couples seeking to legalize their unions.

His opinion is expected be appealed — and even before it was issued, those supporting the marriage ban asked that his decision be stayed if he finds the ban unconstitutional. It appears inevitable that the issue will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There, justices would be asked to decide a civil rights question that states have been struggling with mightily -– and with increasing vigor — since Vermont broke new ground in 2000, by approving same-sex civil unions.

Since then, the District of Columbia and five states, including Vermont, have approved measures giving same-sex couples the right to receive marriage licenses. The other states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

Walker's decision will come in the wake of another dramatic opinion out of federal court in Boston. There, Judge Joseph Tauro found unconstitutional a 1996 federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The act bars the federal government from recognizing gay marriages.

Tauro ruled that the DOMA improperly meddles with states' traditionally exclusive right to regulate marriage. Activists are watching to see if — or when — the Department of Justice, tasked with defending federal law, will appeal.

The California decision comes at a time when Americans have shown growing support for the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
tempested_bird: (Dark Lotus)
2010-03-29 10:35 am
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BE COUNTED - George Takei and Brad Altman

Have I ever mentioned that George Takei is my hero? A charming video with husband Brad Altman regarding the 2010 US Census. This one comes via [livejournal.com profile] sunfell and I HAD to share it.

Oh, my!

ETA: Transcription of Video For My Hearing Impaired Friends )
tempested_bird: (No on Prop H8)
2008-11-04 11:35 pm
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A drink in Honour of History.

Right now, I'm having a drink in honour of our new President Barack Obama.

It's a real privilege to be witness to a major moment like this. From this moment on, our world here is a different place, and I think a better place. Not better because our problems will be fixed over night. No, we know that won't happen. But better because we've finally busted through another major ceiling in our political history. That I can drink to.

And I am having another in mourning. Because there's a chance that Prop. 8 will pass. Pleasepleaseplease don't let that happen.

ETA: Californians who voted for this, I'm very disappointed in you. This one was a close once, but much to my dismay Propsition 8 has passed. I hope you're happy, you jerks.
tempested_bird: (No on Prop H8)
2008-10-24 09:51 pm

"Vote No on 8 For Jesus' Sake"

Taken from a post by [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest, a group of Seventh Day Adventists rally against Proposition 8.

For me, this is a very happy and welcome surprise.
tempested_bird: (No on Prop H8)
2008-10-23 01:29 pm
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Proposition 8: Fact vs. Fiction

A.K.A.: California is not as liberal as Non-Californians like to think it is.

Yes, I know that I'm not usually one to post about politics because the current state of politics in the U.S. and especially California aggravates the hell out of me, and talking about it only raises my blood pressure. That said, when something like Proposition 8 pops up in California, I'll be damned if I'm going to shut up about it.

Proposition 8 proposes to remove the right for same-sex couples to marry in California. It's trying to pass that only a marriage between a man and a woman will be valid and recognised in this state.

Excuse me? Uhm, no.

Most of the arguments for it have been shaky and circular at best outright lies at their worst. Things like "it will teach gay marriage in schools" (first of all, what's wrong with that), it will remove the tax exempt or religious status of organisations that do not recognise same-sex marriage as part of their belief structure and there is all kinds of litigation that people are waiting to begin once it passes, etc. etc.

I've found this handy-dandy little website that for the most part separates the fact and fiction surrounding this particular proposition, for your edification.

Propsition 8: Fact vs. Fiction

Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gays.

* Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

* Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.” The Orange County Register, traditionally one of the most conservative newspapers in the state, says this claim is false. So do lawyers for the California Department of Education.

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

* Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

* Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

Fiction: People can be sued over personal beliefs.

* Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.

Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

* Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.