California Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The California Supreme Court announced their ruling today about the controversial Proposition 8 - a constitutional amendment passed during the November elections that banned same-sex marriage in California even though legal marriages were currently being granted to same-sex couples.

Unfortunately, the court upheld this same-sex marriage ban that had passed with only 52% of the vote. However, they have also ruled to allow existing same-sex marriages to stand. An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples will remain legally married.

This is breaking news from the California Supreme Court, but read more here as the story develops.

Fall 2009 Course Offering

Still looking for courses to add for the Fall 2009 semester? Check out this interesting option:

Transnational Queer: Genders, Sexualities, Identities
(crosslisted with WMST and INST)

Course Description:
This course examines, critiques and interrogates notions of what is Queer as constructed in, and through, France and North America. In what ways do different societies engage with discourses on gender and sexuality? Can/should our understanding of queerness change depending on the cultural context? This course will feature guest speakers specializing in queer cultural production from fiction to cinema and performance. Topics include the body, sexual politics, citizenship, legal and aesthetic discourses. Through examination of these questions, this course aims to expose students to differing kinds of otherness and cross-cultural understandings of specific forms of identity constructions through a broad range of queer theoretical and cultural productions including fiction, cinema, and performance. All readings and discussions will be in English.

This course is the result of a collaborative project and was designed collectively by faculty from five different institutions (Bucknell University, College of the Holy Cross, Union College, Vassar College, and Williams College) and will be offered simultaneously at Bucknell University and Vassar College. This unique opportunity will enable students to engage in dialogue not only with their classmates, but also with peers at Bucknell University. This course is organized into five units framed by an introductory module and a conclusion. Within each unit, one of the participating faculty members will give an evening lecture and lead an in-class discussion the following day.

Given the structure of this course, students are expected to fully engage in all its components by participating actively in class discussions and attending evening lectures and film screenings. Readings in this course will guide class discussions as well as inform your final project.

Tentative Lecture Schedule:
9/21 -- Thibaut Schilt, College of the Holy Cross (on the work of French film director Fran├žois Ozon)
10/5 -- Brian Martin, Williams College (on Homosexuality and the Military)
10/12 -- Philippe Dubois, Bucknell University (on Food and Homosexuality)
11/2 -- Vinay Swamy, Vassar College (Gay "Marriage" and the French Republic)
11/16 -- Charles Batson, Union College (Queer Quebec)

This course is possible thanks to generous grants from the Andrew Mellon Faculty conversation grant at Vassar, the Dean of Faculty's office and Bucknell University. Contact Vinay Swamy (viswamy@vassar.edu) with any further questions about the course.

Senior Showcase has been Filled!

Thanks to everyone who contacted Megan Habermann about performing at the Senior Showcase this Friday! I have heard that all slots have been filled, so be sure to go watch the acts and support your fellow classmates:

Senior Showcase
Friday, May 22
9:00-10:30pm @ Aula

Senior Showcase

Are you a senior with a talent you would like to showcase one last time before graduating? If so, you have one last chance!

On Friday, May 22, Campus Activities and ViCE After Hours will be sponsoring a Senior Showcase in the Aula from 9:00-10:30pm, and they still have spots available for performers!


E-mail Megan at mehabermann@vassar.edu if you are interested in performing.

Lavender Grad Reception


We made the Misc again! Check out this article about our upcoming Lavender Grad Reception for LGBTQ and ally graduating seniors. For more details about this event, e-mail me directly at jusilverstein@vassar.edu.

Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Maine!

Today, Maine became the 5th state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the 2nd to do so legislatively rather than by court order. Read more here.

Come on New York...hopefully we will get our act together here soon enough!

What's between YOUR ears?

Where is gender in your life?
What does it actually mean to act female, male, trans, or gender neutral? Where do we intersect and overlap? What separates and unites us?

Join us for a discussion over tea, cookies, and other refreshments to share how you perform gender at Vassar, in your mind, and in the world at large.

TONIGHT - May 5th
8-9pm @ Jade Parlor

Sponsored by the Campus Life Women's and LGBTQ Centers

Study Hours at LGBTQ Center!

It's that time of year again....

Today is the last day of classes, and reading week/finals period begins tomorrow! We know that this is the busiest time of the semester at the Library, so we would like to invite you to use the LGBTQ Center as an alternative study space during the next couple weeks. Join us during the following extended drop-in hours for some light refreshments and some great study space:

Wednesday, 5/6: 2-6pm
Thursday, 5/7: 12-4pm
Friday, 5/8: 10am - 2pm
Saturday, 5/9: 12-4pm
Monday, 5/11: 2-6pm
Tuesday, 5/12: 1:30-4pm
Wednesday, 5/13: 12-4pm

Good luck everyone!

Want to be a 'Gays of Our Lives' Star??

As you may recall, "Gays of Our Lives" is a popular program geared towards new students during orientation week in the Fall. The event seeks to introduce new students to the queer community at Vassar, while breaking down stereotypes about the community. A large part of this program is a Q&A with panel members where the audience asks questions in order to determine the sexual orientation/gender identity of each panel member. We are looking for some volunteers to participate in this program, so please come to our next planning meeting if you are interested in any of the following:

Being a panel member for the Q&A part of the program
OR
Co-hosting the event with our very own "Miss Rey" (Raymon Azcona)

The meeting will be on Friday, May 8 at 2pm @ the LGBTQ Center (CC 235). At this meeting, we will explain more about the program, will select final panel members based on the variety of identities we can get, and select a co-host for the event based on talent, humor, comfort level, and chemistry with Miss Rey.
YOU MUST BE PRESENT AT THIS MEETING IN ORDER TO BE SELECTED FOR THE EVENT!

**Please note: In order to participate in "Gays of Our Lives," you will need to come back to Vassar early at the end of the summer. The program will be on Friday, August 28 at 9:30pm, so if you are not already back for other reasons by then, you will need to come back either Thursday, 8/27 or Friday, 8/28. Julie Silverstein (Assistant Director for Campus Life/LGBTQ Programs) will make arrangements with Res Life for this.**

If you have any further questions about this before Friday, May 8th, feel free to contact Julie at jusilverstein@vassar.edu.

Another Week of Progress!

(Posted by Nick, '11)
HAPPY MAY!

It has been another hugely progressive week in the fight for equal marriage rights!

On Monday, a new NY Times/CBS poll was released. It found that 42% of those polled believe queer couples should be able to legally marry; 25% think that they should be granted civil unions. This figure is up NINE points from just last month, when 33% of those polled thought gay people should be allowed to marry. Personally, I think this is largely because of the momentum that’s been building with states all over the country either passing or considering gay marriage statutes.

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Senate voted 13 to 11 to legalize same-sex marriage. The law goes into effect on January 1st, assuming the governor does not veto it. In the past, he has spoken out against gay marriage, though has not indicated what he would do should such a bill cross his desk. Read more here.

Also this week, there was a very interesting article in the NY Times about how the GOP is considering changing its stance on gay marriage because they’re bleeding support. The article also delves into the age divide when it comes to this issue—in a poll, 31% of respondents over 40 were in favor of same-sex marriage, whereas 57% under 40 supported it. Read the article here.

On Thursday, the Maine Senate passed by a vote of 21 to 14 a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, making it the sixth to do so. It appears to have broader support in the state House of Representatives. Read more here.

Finally, on Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Matthew Shepard Act. If it passes in the Senate, President Obama has indicated that he would sign it into law. This would be a huge victory for equal rights – the bill is an anti-hate crimes act that defines such crimes as “those motivated by prejudice and based on a victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.” This would make it the first bill to protect people by virtue of their sexual orientation AND gender identity. Read more here.

Tonight at the LGBTQ Center!

Tonight - Friday, May 1st - Founder's Day Eve
Last LGBTV of the semester! Tonight at 7pm - come watch a queer movie in the LGBTQ Center. We provide the snacks, bring your friends!

Followed by...
GAYME NIGHT!
DDR
Guitar Hero
Wii
Apples to Apples
Scrabble
And More!