Tuesday, 23 July 2013

8 On equality of opportunity, discrimination + challenging orthodoxy

8. On twitter, someone told me that radical queer activists are anti-equality and part of an 'identity movement.' Others criticize radicals for saying marriage is oppression, as they argue that gay marriage is a form of liberation. What is your response to these criticisms?

I encourage constructive criticism of marriage, as I do of all forms of partnership agreement. However, any such criticism is best done from a level playing field. For as long as spousal relationships between lesbians or gay men remained outside the law, the focus of the debate around marriage rested on discrimination + inequality of opportunity. Now that they do not, the debate around the negatives + positives of state sanctioned, legally recognised partnership agreements can, I hope, flourish. As I commented in an earlier post, I am not in favour of marriage equality because I wish to get married: I oppose marriage inequality because I disapprove of discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference, orientation or identity. The question of whether or not marriage -as an institution- is liberation or oppression is, for me, part of an entirely separate debate. As indeed is the issue of whether monogamy as the guiding principle of any relationship is realistic, achievable or (from the viewpoint of emotional wellbeing + fulfilment) desirable.

Supporting equality of opportunity, opposing discrimination and challenging normative behaviour + orthodoxy, are not incompatible.

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