At Last: The “Queer” Response to “Gay” Marriage

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At long last, my deep ambivalence about gay marriage — that it’s probably politically necessary, but is founded in feudal ideas of slavery and property; e.g. a concept to be reviled, not emulated — has been forcefully (make that fiercefully) articulated by author Matilda Bernstein-Sycamore.

Bernstein owns the queer argument against “gay marriage”…. including the essential backstory of the modern political movement, which took shape during the peak horrors of the AIDS tragedy (too easily forgotten, in both “gay” and “mainstream” cultures).

The story appeared on NPR’s “Tell Me More“. Here is a link to the show and transcript: A ‘Queer’ Argument Against Marriage, National Public Radio, “Tell Me More” program, broadcast June 10, 2010

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Simon Singh’s Bogus Journey: Action for 2010

Sile Lane and Simon Singh are once again urging to you join the Libel Reform Coalition by signing their petition at

As I’ve reported before, Singh and his supporters — Sense About Science, Index on Censorship and English PEN — are seeking signatures for a newly revised “Keep Libel Laws Out of Science” petition. Please go to and sign! Those of us on this side of the pond are urged to sign as well.

I’ll let the gents speak for themselves:

You know we joined up with free speech organisations to form the Libel Reform Coalition* in December and that we have been working hard with many of you to highlight the impact of England’s libel laws from my own and Peter Wilmshurst’s cases to the chilling effect on medical journals and science blogs and other writing. This has begun to focus political and legal minds on the problem but we now have very little time to go before election manifestos are published. We need a commitment in those manifestos. Many of the politicians we’ve met don’t dispute that the libel laws are unfair and against the public interest, but they won’t commit to changing them….

There were a few teething problems at the launch of this site but progress has been made in fixing these. If you haven’t already signed this petition please do it now, and please do sign even if you don’t live in the UK. Get your organisation, friends, colleagues and clubs to sign up and email their members; if you haven’t written, blogged and Tweeted, could you?

We need your help to get 100,000 signatures before manifestos are published. It will help us to get a strong show of support before members of the coalition meet Jack Straw on Thursday 28th January.

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Corporations are People, Too

In horrified recognition of the Supreme Court’s ruling that corporations are entitled to the same free speech as individuals, I direct you to the excellent film The Corporation (by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan).

The film takes the bogus “corporations-have-the-same-rights-as-individuals” argument and dissects it like a frog in bio lab. The most depressingly humorous sequence in the movie takes this argument to its logical conclusion — if the corporation is the same as an individual, then it is subject to psychiatric diagnosis. By the standards of the DSM-IV, the corporation is conclusively shown to be suffering from psychosis.

To paraphrase Barney Frank — speaking in a different context — corporations are not created by God, they are created by greedy men. Thus they should be subject to human regulation, and not entitled to the “inalienable rights” due to those of us who didn’t ask to be born.

*Sigh*. We are entering yet another dark era. Enjoy the film, and get pissed.

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