Wednesday, 17 July 2013

6 Opposition to marriage equality as a 'radical' stance is privileged self-serving bullshit

6. Gay blogger and activist Glenn Greenwald wrote in March 2013, in a column for The Guardian that “allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn't undermine oligarchs, the National Security State, or the wildly unequal distribution of financial and political power” and the next month he added to this in another column noting that “it seems because the cause of gay equality poses no real threat to elite factions or to how political and economic power in the US are distributed. If anything, it bolsters those power structures.” Would you say this is in line with your criticism of 'gay pride' and mainstream gay culture? If so, what would you add to it?

Of course, Greenwald is right - marriage equality does not undermine oligarchs or redistribute financial / political power. Nor did equalising the age of consent, allowing queer couples to adopt children or allowing black people to use the same restrooms as whites. Does that mean we should oppose these reforms? Absolutely not. And while these measures are in themselves evolutionary rather than revolutionary, it does not follow that these measures reinforce existing power structures.

Do I support marriage equality because I want to get married? No. Nor did I support adoption equality because I wish to adopt children. However, neither do I believe it is right -or 'radical'- to deny other lesbian + gay people the right to choose to do the same things that heterosexual people are able to do by birthright, simply because they aren't 'straight'.

Trans-Feminist Grrl Blogger Natalie Reed (@nataliereed84) put it very well when she said, regarding 'radical' views of marriage: 

"A vast majority of the alleged radical views rely on completely false and unsupported assumptions about who modern marriage benefits. Hint: it is NOT the white middle-class, nor even necessarily men. In fact, given how marriage law relates to children, income, welfare, etc., marriage equality is an issue that is of disproportionate IMPORTANCE to groups like queer women of colour, or poor queers... that "marriage helps white cis middle men!" is a bullshit, self-serving, priviled myth."

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