Marriage Equality and Beyond

Support for marriage equality is one part of a broader resolution, passed by delegates to DSA's November 2011 convention, that also addressed immigration/citizenship status, schools, the use of religious values to justify discrimination and other issues.

Because the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on California's Prop 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, our attention is focused on “gay marriage.” As socialists, however, we should revisit the statement issued in July 2006 by a group of LGBT and queer activists, "Beyond Marriage." Now nearly seven years old, this statement places the fight for equality in civil rights (marriage, in this case) in the context of a much larger struggle for justice and community.

Our strategies must be visionary, creative, and practical to counter the right's powerful and effective use of marriage as a  “wedge” issue that pits one group against another. The struggle for marriage rights should be part of a larger effort to strengthen the stability and security of diverse households and families. To that end, we advocate:

  • Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households and families–regardless of kinship or conjugal status.
  • Access for all, regardless of marital or citizenship status, to vital government support programs including but not limited to health care, housing, Social Security and pension plans, disaster recovery assistance, unemployment insurance and welfare assistance.
  • Separation of church and state in all matters, including regulation and recognition of relationships, households and families.
  • Freedom from state regulation of our sexual lives and gender choices, identities and expression.

The full statement is well worth reading. It is a model of how to position a "single issue" within a wide vision: http://www.beyondmarriage.org/.

Peg Strobel is a member of DSA's National Political Committee and co-chairs DSA's Socialist Feminist Team.


Resolution on DSA’s Position on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Rights, passed at the DSA convention November 2011

1. DSA calls for the legalization of same-sex marriages in all the States and Territories of the United States of America; the enactment of anti-discrimination laws in housing, jobs, education, and health care; and the repeal of state sodomy laws and anti-lesbian and gay restrictions.

2. DSA is committed to confronting anti-gay prejudice in its ranks and supports all efforts toward fostering understanding and cooperation among persons and groups of differing sexual orientations and identities.

3. DSA supports making public schools safe and bias-free for LGBTQ students, defending their free speech in school and allowing students to start gay-straight alliance clubs.

4. DSA advocates for local and federal non-discrimination laws and insists that religious beliefs cannot be used to justify bias.

5. DSA supports the rights of LGBTQ parents and endorses challenging discriminatory laws that restrict the rights of LGBTQ people to parent.

6. DSA advocates for changes in the immigration system to recognize same-sex relationships including marriages, domestic partnerships and long-standing relationships on the same basis as heterosexual relationships in approving visas, residency and citizenship.

7. DSA welcomes the creation of a Commission to advocate for LGBTQ rights, coordinate efforts with like-minded groups, publish papers and pamphlets, and support legislation to abolish discrimination against the LGBTQ community, among other activities.

 

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 51 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 18 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.