(Also posted in my Gazette blog)
I’ve always thought the battle to legalize same-sex marriage around the world, and thus give equality to gay people, was a noble cause. A no-brainer, actually. Why should a same-sex couple have fewer rights than a heterosexual couple? Love transcends gender, right? It’s about the ‘spiritual’ connection, if you believe in that sort of thing.
I have been aware that there are some gay people who are opposed to same-sex marriage, but then I didn’t give them a lot of thought . . . until today, when I read an article on the BBC site called The gay people against gay marriage.
Sigh . . . Apparently, some see same-sex marriage as a victory for “a patriarchal institution that bears no relevance to them,” the BBC report says.
And, the report says, “Some lesbians are opposed to marriage on feminist grounds, says Claudia Card, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, because they see it as an institution that serves the interests of men more than women. It is also, in her view “heteronormative”, embodying the view that heterosexuality is the preferred and normal sexuality.”
Oy . . . my head is beginning to swim here.
I’m not sure how marriage serves the interests of men more than women, in Canada, at least: ask any divorced guy in Canada for his opinion, and I suspect they won’t agree. But even in more patriarchal countries, wouldn’t married same-sex couples be on more equal footing?
One man in the article uses the “we’re not going to procreate, so why should we be allowed to get married” argument, as if that’s the only thing marriage is about these days. Maybe it was back in days of olde, but many hetero couples choose to not have kids in the modern world. Does that mean their marriages should be null and void? While saying he doesn’t want to do the traditional walk down the aisle and would prefer a civil partnership, this particular gentleman is arguing his case from a very traditional point of view.
Oy . . . my head is swimming again . . .
I suppose what troubles me most about this is that while so many of us (who are not necessarily gay) stand up for same-sex marriage, some gay people are undermining the quest for equality. Lots and lots of same-sex couples want the right to wed. It is a noble cause, and political leaders in Canada, France, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and other countries recognized that and did the right thing by legalizing same-sex marriage — and the sky didn’t fall and it didn’t hurt the institution of marriage at all.
To those — both gay and hetero people — who are opposed to same-sex marriage, I say do your own thing. Nobody is forcing you to be in a same-sex relationship and to marry. But there are same-sex couples who do want to wed. Why are you trying to oppress them? Why do you want to hurt them? What difference does it make to you?
We are not brought into existence by chance nor thrown up into earth-life like wreckage cast along the shore, but are here for infinitely noble purposes.— Katherine Tingley
Is anyone forcing people to marry against their own free will (absent arranged marriages)?
There can be a few different streams of thought opposing same sex marriage (SSM) among LGBT people. Sometimes, it’s internalized homophobia, but that’s not all of it.
Something I do understand is those who protest not marriage so much as the imbalanced emphasis on marriage equality at the expense of other activism. SSM tends to benefit privileged people, where a lot of grassroots activism urges focusing first on the most disenfranchised among us. The all-marriage-all-the-time focus has starved other areas of cash, such as LGBT shelters, HIV advocacy, trans advocacy, and overlapping-but-tangential issues like sex worker rights.
There are also those who believe that marriage itself is a repressive institution, which has been historically used to oppress women and keep them subservient and restricted. In some ways, I can empathize with that too, although I don’t see “ending marriage” as the solution (that certainly wouldn’t end gender oppression on its own, for example, and not all married women today are oppressed in their relationships), so much as opening up a wider array of choices and addressing gender oppression head-on.
Well.. your head was swimming, and my head began to HURT.. my goodness.. I’m only on my first cup of coffee today and this definitely deserves a second & maybe a third & NOW!!!!! OWWWW.. What is wrong with people??? I can’t even comment point for point because I wouldn’t even know where to begin.. nuff said..
ps.. coffee calms me, by the way… 2nd cup made… feeling better already.. wheeew..
have a super day Jill…
Just chuckling to myself. You’re saying it shocked you to find out other people think differently than you do? How dare they! Your head hurts listening to their arguments? Probably many other people’s head hurts listening to yours. It’s that First Law of Change I’d mentionned to you, or perhaps a corollary that not everyone wants change, including those who other people (you) think will benefit from it.
I rather agree with Kaye that no one is forcing them to get married, but they see it as a question of social justice and structure of society – which is your point also.
honestly, in my own opinion, marriage is an archaic practice. it is completely irrelevant now. you don’t need permission to be with who you want to be with (as long as you both agree).