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.

 

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

May 25, 2017
· 33 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 40 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 92 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. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 26 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.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 5 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.