In this post I tangentially mentioned my distaste for the recent focus on gay marriage. Here’s the whole story.
(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.
Essay on what’s wrong with excluding heterosexual couples from domestic partner benefits programs.