30 de maio de 2013

Miami Symposium: Newsletter 4

NEWSLETTER # 4,  May 27, 2013

In our last issue, we discussed pay inequality based on gender. This time we will focus on same-sex-marriage.
The wave of increasing support for gay marriage in America among younger generations, introduces the debate of same-sex-marriage in the political arena across America.
For the first time in the history of the United States, the President of this country spoke out about gay marriage. He said: "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." — ABC News interview, May 9, 2012. Read more:http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/09/obama-quotes-on-same-sex-marriage/#ixzz2UHBcIZkX

As well as the journalist Chris Hayes indicated this was “a momentous moment, and it was certainly a reason for optimism among those who believe that being able to marry the person you Chris Hayes: Obama on gay marriage
love is a basic human right.” For more information you can check at 
This presidential statement and many others voices, have encouraged the debate and the activism at the federal level. In fact, recently the Supreme Court had to address this matter. The Supreme Court ruled on two hearings dealing with same-sex marriage for two consecutive days. These were filled with oral arguments on two cases involving gay couples' rights, and “the justices left open multiple options for rulings that are expected in June.” The interesting game changer in this civil fight is that “[a] decade ago, opponents of same-sex marriage were lobbying for a nationwide ban on gay nuptials. They now seem resigned to the reality of a divided nation in which the debate will continue to splinter families, church congregations
and communities.”
The Huffington Post highlighted how Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor “left the lawyer defending California’s Proposition 8 grasping for words with a question about whether the state law banning gay marriage amounts to discrimination.” In this sense, Justice Sotomayor was an important card in this battle. She introduced a theoretical question that touches the core of the debate at the Constitutional level: “Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits? Or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other decision-making that the government could make -- denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?” Don’t miss thishttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/sonia-sotomayor-gay-marriage_n_2965105.HTML
This concern has touched the scholar environment as well. For example, you can find someone like Chase Dimock, a PhD candidate in Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois, quoting Jacques-Alain Miller’s article regarding same-sex marriage:
Yet, one unlikely voice of support for the bill came out last month as Jacques-Alain Miller, representing the psychoanalytic community, authored an op-ed in Le Point titled, “Non, la psychanalyse n’est pas contre le mariage gay”. I say this is “unlikely” not because it would be unexpected for a psychoanalyst to support lgbt rights, but because it is uncommon for psychoanalysis to weigh in on current political issues. In this article, Miller (who is Jacques Lacan’s son-in-law and one of the most widely published analysts still active today) does not come out in explicit support of gay marriage, but instead lambastes the conservatives who have misrepresented and instrumentalized psychoanalytic research and theory in their campaign against gay marriage. As Miller promulgates, ’we Psychoanalysts are obligated to declare that nothing in the Freudian experience will validate an anthropology that is authorized by the first chapter of Genesis’.”
Dimock continues indicating that he found that Miller “makes a bold statement against any kind of normative moralizing and instead stresses the fluidity of gender, sex, and desire as a guiding feature of psychoanalytic practice and research.” http://theqouch.com/2013/02/06/no-psychoanalysis-is-not-against-gay-marriage-or-how-psychoanalysis-supports-queer-inquiry/
To put it into numbers: In recent days, NPR (National Public Radio) commented on research done by “Mark Hatzenbuehler, a psychologist at Columbia University who studies the health effects of social policies, [and who] analyzed the data gathered before and after the bans to determine how the mental health of people who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual had changed in those states:
"Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who lived in the states that banned same-sex marriage experienced a significant increase in psychiatric disorders," Hatzenbuehlerpointed out.
“There was a 37 percent increase in mood disorders  a 42 percent increase in alcohol-use disorders, and —I think really strikingly— a 248 percent increase in generalized anxiety disorders.” He remarks that “his larger point is really that policymakers, judicial leaders and ordinary citizens need to remember that social policies are also health policies.” Look for more information at /bans-of-same-sex-marriage-can-take-a-psychological-toll
For her part, Professor Audrey Bilger affirms that women are more affected than men by marriage inequality “because female couples account for roughly two-thirds of existing legal same-sex marriages”.   She states that “in California, 65 percent of ¨legally registered same-sex couples¨ are female pairs.” Read more info at http://msmagazine.com/blog/2013/03/21/women-more-affected-than-men-by-marriage-inequality/
Encore… A treat:
Statistics are speaking also about New Forms of Family. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a technical report “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian” Yes… it is true! “Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma. Many studies have demonstrated that children's well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents' sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents. Lack of opportunity for same-gender couples to marry adds to families’ stress, which affects the health and welfare of all household members. Because marriage strengthens families and, in so doing, benefits children’s development, children should not be deprived of the opportunity for their parents to be married. Paths to parenthood that include assisted reproductive techniques, adoption, and foster parenting should focus on competency of the parents rather than their sexual orientation.”
Don’t miss…
What Lacan knew about women? The Miami Symposium 2013
Editors:  Juan Felipe Arango and  Isolda Arango-Alvarez

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