Wednesday, December 05, 2007

 
Thanks to blog-buddy Michael of “Blurt” for the piece he wrote and that I have copied below. I found it not only very interesting, but totally in line with something I'd blogged about a long time ago—that in our culture, any oppressed group pushing for its civil rights will succeed when and only when it becomes an economic force without which the general population cannot operate in the manner to which it has become dependent:

Gay marriage in Oklahoma
I was talking with this guy at a bar in OKC who is from OK but now lives in San Francisco. He told me that when gays started pushing for marriage the Christians in Oklahoma like many other states managed to get an amendment passed banning same sex marriage.

He also told me that the native-American tribes in Oklahoma acknowledge/ accept and perform same sex marriages and that Oklahoma government has to acknowledge and accept native American customs and laws.




Native-American same-sex couples: Men (Klamath and Blackfoot) from today (above), Crow women from 1928 (below)

Apparently Oklahoma government tried to fight this but a lot of the money that maintains the bridges and helps schools in the state comes from the casinos owned by the native Americans. All they had to do was threaten to stop their donations and Oklahoma government backed down immediately.

So, my question is this: same sex marriage now exists in Oklahoma for SOME Oklahomans. How long will it be before a group of plaintiffs from off the reservations gets some savvy legal representation, and sues for the same rights based on discrimination? For that matter, I wonder how many other well-organized native-American populations also recognize and perform same-sex marriages and have managed to keep their state governments’ hands off them? The “two-spirit” tradition has been cited frequently when discussing native-American tribal cultures. Does anybody out there have any info on this?

*******

We just came down off the hillside and here’s what the house looks like in the snow. Siding continues, the insulators will return this afternoon to resume their work, which I’m told will be finished by the end of day on Friday. Excavation for the propane tank began while Fritz and I were there.



With snow and some ice on the ground, I don’t go up into the house on these visits. The last rise up to the house is a bit steep, too irregular and frequently clogged with trucks and pick-ups. Fritz drives my Jeep and if I get out at all, I stand by the car and observe, ready to answer any questions that may have come up.



I’m doing a lot of technical drawing these days. For one thing, it became obvious that the wall studs were not placed on ordinary 16” centers. Because it isn’t a standard tract house, studs are where the demands of the design require them to be, not regularly spaced as you can see from this old picture of the end wall of my studio upstairs. As there’s to be shelving on some walls, or anything else that needs to be tied into something solid, I have to be able to locate the framing members.

I’ve already drawn the base on which the Aga will stand in the kitchen and am starting the bases for the lower cabinets as soon as I’ve posted this entry to the blog. Fritz and I want the counters and the stove a couple of inches higher than normal, which is easier on the back when working for long periods of time.

*******

We’re not traveling for Christmas this year. Normally if we’re not hosting family here, we go to my cousin and his wife in New Jersey, which is a kind of central gathering place for us from New England and their son and his family from Pennsylvania just north of Pittsburgh. But this year, they’re traveling to Pittsburgh. We won’t know whether or not I’ll be able to drive at least until the 21st when the cast comes off, new x-rays are taken and another cast or one of the removable ski-boot casts is put on. Fritz doesn’t want to face the entire round trip without a second driver, which I can well understand, so we’ll have a small, intimate gathering here as we did for Thanksgiving and ship our presents to Pennsylvania via UPS.

Next year, we hope to host the whole family in the new house.

Comments:
An AGA?? I thought I was envious before the AGA. You're a lucky man, Will. Longtime lurker, Michelle in Sacramento, CA.
 
Hi, Michelle--I'm delighted you've emerged from lurkdom. Please don't be a stranger--nice to hear from you.
 
There is a book: "The Spirit and the Flesh" by Walther L. Williams, Beacon Press / Boston 1986. It's about sexual diversity in American Indian culture.
I actually met the author at a men's gathering in California in the late eighties and bought the book directly from him and I can recommend it as well written and scholarly documented.
 
Wliiams' book is helpful for opening things up. I get a little impatient with its somewhat repetitious style but in the end this is a small (but real) cavil. I recommend it to you. It IS an example of scholarship engaged for good. I just have to sigh at the need for "$ talks" to get anything done for a minority. It may be the right thing to do but if there is no monetary profit the constituency for the change just does not emerge. There is a lot of truth to that. I worry about where things will go when the $ runs out to a large extent as it must some day. I only hope I am gone when that occurs. Well that's a bummer. It is now time to worry about Renee's non-Norma or what Trebs will do next or who that Ted over at "Neighbors Will" will DO next.
 
Will, This was also posted on my OK gay marriage post. I guess the guy I talked to wasn't totally correct on his info..

unholy said...

Well, not exactly. The Cherokee Nation has passed a law prohibiting gay marriage. I don't know of any other tribal governments that have recognized same-sex unions. See www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/31/AR2005073100885_2.html for more info.
 
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