In honor of California’s affirmation of marriage equality rights, as well as Asian Pacific American Heritage month, here are some interesting tidbits from my previous readings:
New Peoples Army Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage by LeiLani Dowell
On Feb. 4, , the New People’s Army (NPA) conducted the first same-sex marriage in the Philippines. Two guerrilla fighters who have participated in the armed struggle against the pro-U.S. regime in Manila, Ka Andres and Ka Jose, exchanged their vows before their comrades, friends and local villagers. . .
In response to the marriage, representatives of the Philippine government have condemned the NPA for lacking religion. A spokesperson for the Air Force generals told reporters, “This proves that they have no god and their morality is very much in question.” . . .
During the ceremony, Ka Andres and Ka Jose were draped in a sequined flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which was secured by a long, beaded rope around the couple and their sponsors. The rope and flag, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, symbolized that their marriage would be made stronger with the help of both their comrades and the masses.
The Ambivalence of Queer Asian Pacific Americans Toward Same-Sex Marriage by Glenn D. Magpantay (Amerasia Journal, vol 33, no. 1, 2006):
Because of the great need for legal protections and benefits, LGBT APAs [Asian Pacific Americans] must, and do, support the right for same-sex couples to legally marry.
Many LGBT APAs do not benefit from this right at all. . . LGBT APAs are immigrants. Even in the one state that allows for same-sex marriage, it is a right that immigrant APAs are denied. GLAD, the group that successfully litigated the Massacussetts marriage case, has counseled immigrants against entering into same-sex marriages. According to a warning issued by GLAD, marriages between same-sex bi-national couples are ineffective in changing the immigration status of the non-citizen partner and could even lead to deportation. . .
In this analysis, one must be aware of the difference between state-sanctioned and federally-recognized marriage. The most important marriage benefits for immigrants are at the federal level. . .
Gay marriage activists must diversify the campaign. They must feature more people of color as spokespeople and plaintiffs. Marriage advocates must actively outreach to immigrants, people of color, and non-gay APA groups. They must also support and integrate proposals to ensure that immigrants enjoy the rights and benefits that typically flow from marriage.
And from Asian Equality, a timeline showing APA involvement in the marriage equality struggle.