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.

 

Introduction to Socialist Feminism Call

April 30, 2017
· 79 rsvps

Join Philadelphia DSA veteran activist Michele Rossi to explore “socialist feminism.” How does it differ from other forms of feminism? How and when did it develop? What does it mean for our activism? 4-5:30pm ET, 3-4:30pm CT, 2-3:30pm MT, 1-2:30pm PT.

DSA Webinar: Talking About Socialism

May 02, 2017
· 39 rsvps

Practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table in public.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

This training is at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain, 6:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Alaska, and 3:00pm Hawaii Time. Please RSVP.

Instructor:

Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

In Talking About Socialism you will learn to:

  • Have a quick response ready to go next time someone asks you about democratic socialism.
  • Create your own elevator pitch about democratic socialism and DSA.
  • Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism.
  • Think through the most important ideas you want to convey about democratic socialism.
  • Have a concise explanation of what DSA does, for your next DSA table, event or coalition meeting.

Training Details

  • This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources.
  • If you have a computer with microphone, speakers and good internet access, you can join via internet for free.
  • If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.
  • If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt <schmittaj@gmail.com> 608-335-6568.
  • Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance, by midnight Sunday.

 

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 19 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.