Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Supreme Court's Gay Marriage Case & Anshaw's Aquamarine

In the LGBT arena, I’ve posted about transgender politicians and about the impact of HIV/AIDs on the gay community, but haven’t covered gay rights much – a glaring absence, especially considering how much gay rights have been in the press lately.

For example, here’s yesterday’s BBC headline story “Gay marriage ban: Supreme Court weighs California case:”
The justices of the US Supreme Court have questioned the meaning of marriage and the government's role in defining it, as they weigh whether the state of California may ban same-sex nuptials. Following Tuesday's arguments, the court could uphold the 2008 ban, narrowly overturn it, or invalidate all state same-sex marriage bans in the US. The ban's defenders argued the issue should be decided by individual states. Recent opinion polls have shown a rapid rise in support for same-sex marriage… 
All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote in a court generally evenly divided between liberals and conservatives. This morning he seemed to have been uncomfortable with the case, describing the issue as "uncharted waters" and asking whether the case should have come to the Supreme Court. The court may decide simply not to rule on the case. That would leave same-sex marriage effectively legal in California. But it would not be the sweeping change some gay rights campaigners were hoping for.
For a novel about same-sex relationships, try Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw. Here’s a brief summary of Anshaw’s novel by Christopher Bram (SPOILER ALERT):
Anshaw’s most interesting take on gay marriage might be in her brilliant first novel, “Aquamarine,” which begins with a teenage swimmer, Jesse, competing in the Olympics in 1968. The night before the big race, she goes to bed with one of the other swimmers. Anshaw then imagines three different futures for Jesse 22 years later. In the first, she is unhappily married in Missouri. In the second, she is a college professor in New York living with a lover, an actress named Kit. In the third, she’s a happily divorced woman with her own teenage daughter in Florida. What remains the same from future to future is often as startling as what’s different. Lesbian Jesse is slightly happier than the other two Jesses, but not as radically as one might expect. And her “marriage” to Kit is important, but it doesn’t answer all her self-doubts, fears and concerns.
Here’s the link to Bram's entire NYT essay about the growing role of marriage in gay and lesbian fiction.

No comments:

Post a Comment