living underground in the real world

liberals against gay marriage

In this post I tangentially mentioned my distaste for the recent focus on gay marriage. Here’s the whole story.

Beyond Marriage puts this all so much better than I ever could. I highly recommend not reading this post and instead reading their manifesto here.

(I won’t go into all the reasons all people shouldn’t get married because I did that years ago.)

So, I’m not in favor of gay marriage. I mean, of course I am, but it’s complicated.

Fundamentally I believe that gay marriage is a horrible idea, and I have no idea why everyone is focusing on it so much. Tying rights to marriage and reaffirming marriage as the default way of being in a relationship is just silly. It happens to be hurting me personally quite a bit, but that’s not even why I’m against it (when I spent a horrid year as a secretary at Simon and Schuster Jacob couldn’t get my health benefits because we weren’t married – but if he had been a woman they would have treated him like a spouse!). Or maybe that’s just a small part of it.

The fact is that when gay people are allowed to marry, straight people who choose not to marry for political reasons will be left out in the cold. I must of course acknowledge my straight-girl privilege here, since Jacob and I could get married without anyone (except for everyone we know) batting an eye. (Which is, of course, a great reason for heterosexual people not to get married – you’re pretty much just rubbing it in the faces of all the gay couples you know. Straight people getting married right now is like white people riding busses during the Montgomery bus boycott! Sort of!)

I am speaking from a position of privilege, and of course I can never know the pain of knowing that my relationship cannot be recognized by my society. But that doesn’t mean I think you’re a little silly if you want to be married not because all people should be free to do whatever the fuck they want, but because you actually want to be married. Ick!

Of course gay people should be allowed to marry, but a small part of me is sad that gay people are so boring these days that this is something they actually want to work for. I’m happy that all the boring mainstreamy people who were in the closet for so long are now free to come out, but is anyone else the tiniest bit sad to see that it turns out that gay people aren’t any cooler than boring straight people, we just thought they were for so long because the ones who were out of the closet were the really daring and brave and awesome ones? It was bound to happen. Was that homophobic? Queer and lesbo friends, please weigh in!

Full disclosure: one reason my partner and I moved to our little town is because the mayor brought a lot of attention to it by performing gay marriages, which is nice as a gesture, I admit. It’s very splashy, at least, and gets the conversation going. I just wish that it would go in the direction of providing the benefits that heterosexual marriage confers on everyone in a serious relationship.

Links:
unmarried.org — great site and group!

Great post on marriage from a great blog

Essay on what’s wrong with excluding heterosexual couples from domestic partner benefits programs.

unmarriedamerica.org

7 Responses to “liberals against gay marriage”

  1. Kathryn

    I enjoyed reading your blog and also you previous “Things that are Fucked: Marriage” post. I’m married. My hubbie is Belgian and we moved here to the northern lowlands of Europe, and marriage gave me instant access to: health care, right to work, residence permit, etc. I have to say though that I don’t feel married. We just went to the courthouse by ourselves and got the papers, and then went and ate tapas and came home and watched a movie.

    In the end it turns out here in Belgium (where we were) and Holland (where we now are) they have the best of all worlds. 1) Straight people can marry, 2) gay people can marry, 3) non-married couples have all the same legal rights as married couples. There’s some rules (like you have to be living together for a while first to get the status), but I think it’s great. You are free to be as religious/traditional or not as you want, and you’re all the same in the eyes of the state. You’re just two people sharing a life together in a committed fashion, with or without the papers.

    If only the U.S. would catch up already…

    ~Kathryn

    Reply
  2. Piig

    I agree with you 100% – and I’m a lesbian. Most gays and lesbians are incredibly boring, mainstream wannabes. When the Gay Rights Movement took over the Gay Liberation Movement in the mid to late 80s it effectively short-circuited the GLM’s progressive vision of coalition building among all oppressed groups with the goal of actually making the world a better place for EVERYONE, not just those who are (un)lucky enough to be accepted into the mainstream. Radical lesbian feminists are still fighting for a redirection of the movement, but it’s an uphill battle I’m not sure we can win.

    Reply
  3. Jessica

    I see many sides of this discussion and prefer to be open-minded to perspectives. However, the idea that if my girlfriend were to be dying in a hospital bed and I couldn’t be beside her because we weren’t legally binded makes my stomach turn. So, if I have to choose one way or the other, I am going to choose whatever option gives me that opportunity. It’s sad that we aren’t as far along as Holland is. Maybe I’ll just fucking move to a place that gives weight to the things that really matter.

    Reply
  4. Ashamed tbh

    Yes, it is homophobic to say that gay and lesbian couples are ‘boring’ because they want to do things like get married instead of fulfilling whatever stereotypes you hold. I hope you are embarrassed by this post, even if it was written years ago. It makes me sad and so so angry when otherwise decent people hold such asinine beliefs.

    Reply
  5. Q

    I’m not going to wait around for a utopian society where we no longer have immigration issues in order to be with my boyfriend, who is not a citizen and would have a pretty slim chance of getting a US visa through work or education qualifications. Call me selfish. I don’t really give a fuck whether anyone thinks it’s “societally acceptable” or not except when it comes to getting that green card. I know there’s a lot that’s broken with the immigration system and it needs to change, but now I am more free to work toward that goal of changing immigration law because I don’t have to decide between staying overseas with my boyfriend or coming back to the US alone.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Of course I see your position. So, uh, hooray for you! Go forth. I’m trying to make a larger point here, not arguing anything specific about your particular life situation. Promise.

      Reply

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