Queer News: Foreign and Domestic
- Current Immigration Bill on circulating on Capital Hill includes provisions for LGBT families according to the Advocate. The provision would allow U.S. citizens and legal residences to sponsor their same sex partners for residency.
- (Recently Out) latin popstar Ricky Martin speaks out against newly racist Arizona immigration laws by going off script at the Billboard Latin Music awards.
- India is currently considering a new policy which would outlaw surrogacy for Same-sex couples from western countries.
- Hawaii legislature passes Civil Unions Bill. Still no word on whether or not republican governor, Linda Lingle will sign or reject the measure.
My news choices this week are based upon intersections of queerness and race as played out and circulated through and across the foreign and the domestic. The first two items are interrelated, as the federal government is pushed to work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill in response to the Arizona measure which effectively writes racial profiling into the law. I find it interesting that on the one hand, it is Ricky Martin, who recently came out as gay (although I’m not sure who believed he was straight? lol), went off script…in a sense “queering” the award show to make a political statement and call attention to unjust legally sanctioned racial profiling. Profiling in this case, reflects to us which kinds of embodiments: gender/racial/sexual/etc. are considered not only foriegn, but actually un-american. In other words, profiling as a kind of national(ist) security measure depends on an axis which makes visible (perhaps violently so) which embodiments are aligned/(allied) with the State and which embodiments are considered threatening, and therefore ought to be evacuated from the Body of the Citizen. We discussed at several points during the class the ways in which queer/s and heterosexual people of color and have been deemed threatening to the nation and its project of white hetero-reproduction. Additionally, we also mentioned some of the ways in which queer/s and heterosexual people of color have been have been integrated/assimilated into the nation. For example, the proposed same-sex inclusive federal immigration reform depends on a heteronormative conception of the couple as the means by which queer relationships are allowed to suture their intimate bonds: both privately and across national boundaries.
My third news item is also about the mechanisms of queer reproduction. It is perhaps not widely known that many same-sex couple seeking to have a child of their own, rely on surrogate mothers to carry their children. What complicates this exchange are the ways in which this process perhaps depends on globalization. Isn’t Indian surrogacy in some ways a disturbing outsourcing of the labor of labor to the bodies of another nation-state? But even under with this criticism, India could simply outlaw foreign surrogacy altogether; why only target same-sex couples? Is this merely a case of homophobia at the level of globalization? Or is this exchange complicated by class relations? And finally, what about the status of these children?
My forth news item is perhaps the most “domestic” of the my news stories. The movement of civil unions through the Hawaii state legislature is a promising moment for same-sex couples in that state. Especially considering that Hawaii is arguably the birthplace of the same-sex marriage movement, and subsequently the first state to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. We will have to wait and see if Gov. Linda Lingle (I can’t get over her name) is willing to give into pressure from the other side in an election year as contentious as this one, when politicians both right and left, seem less likely to take political risks.