R Conrad

Beyond Gay Marriage: the mainstreaming of the Gay Marriage Movement

Filed By R Conrad | July 14, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media, Politics
Tags: Against Equality, Beyond Marriage, HIV/AIDS, neoliberal, nuclear family

KPFA's Lisa Dettmer takes another shot at the prioritization of gay marriage over all other issues in an updated and extended version of her original radio piece Beyond Gay Marriage that I posted last March. So in case you missed it the first time around, or needed more convincing, give her hour long critical radio-documentary a listen. And if the documentary doesn't convince you, continue with some essential reading from the Against Equality archives...


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I have a question for you pertaining to your views on this subject. I will preface by saying that I am certainly in favor of a different prioritization which is more balanced and I feel that GayINC has been using this issues as flagship issue because it is the easiest way to get more of the $$$ flowing toward them.
But I also want to be clear on your position. Are you opposed to marriage equality or opposed to the way the issue has been used as the flagship issue?

Scott Buck | July 14, 2010 12:28 PM

Was hopeing to open up Against Equality archives... web site got this only.

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You don't have permission to access /images/images/2010/07/www.againstequality.org on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

not sure why the link didn't work. might have been my fault.

try: http://www.againstequality.org

should work. forbidden texts within. :)

Anyone against same sex marriage should definitely not get married ! Let the rest of us fight for equality. Ryan Conrad's false arguments are getting very tired. Let him raise money for anything that he wishes to support. It's so easy to disparage the hard work of others, and not producce anything yourself !!!

Did you even listen to the segment (not created by Ryan btw)? If you did, you'd hear activists who are doing great work, but who don't get the visibility or resources because of the vacuum created by the gay marriage movement. There are of course several reasons for this and I think the segment does a good job of discussing them. Furthermore, you'd also find that for the majority of queer/trans people, marriage is not of the top of list of needs. So I don't think these are "tired" "false arguments". The tired, false argument is that same-sex marriage is going to make queer/trans people "first class citizens."

Did you even listen to the segment (not created by Ryan) ? If you did, you would hear from passionate queer/trans activists who are doing great work, but who don't receive resources and visibility due to the vacuum created by the gay marriage movement. You would also learn that gay marriage isn't even a priority for the majority of queer/trans people. The only "tired" "false" argument is that same sex marriage is going to make queer/trans people "first class citizens."

It's not as simple, Xerxes, as saying let each work for their own good. When elites in our movement use their money and their access to channel funds to their own pet cause, without thinking about the marginalization of most of our community, that is a problem that requires address.

It was an interesting doco. As in Mattilda's NPR piece, foregrounding the need for reconceptualizing the construction of family is a good thing. I'm not sure though that the money spent on Prop. 8 is what is standing in the way of progress on the fronts illuminated in these pieces.

After we have same sex marriage, a lot of the funding will dry up. I don't imagine though that those funds would have been available were not gay marriage an issue. The piece mentioned that gay orgs disappear when they get what they want. I've noticed that the reverse is also true.

I liked what Kate Kendell said about all of these issues being important, but while marriage is a route, it is a fight. It may not be the only route or even the best route, but it is a route.

I think what keeps getting left out is that this isn't a fight that we asked for. The religious right and various politicians are the ones who sponsored things like Prop. 8, not the other way around.

Notice how in every other country where same-sex marriage has been enacted, most recently Argentina, it's happened pretty smoothly and as part of the normal political process.

Here in the U.S., on the other hand, the religious right has discovered the clever tactic of putting it up to a popular vote, thus putting us on the defensive. I can't help wondering what this country would look like if the bigots and reactionaries of yesteryear had figured out how to do the same thing with slavery, segregation, Native Americans' citizenship, women's suffrage and so forth.

So what do the anti-marriage queers expect us to do? Just sit by and allow ourselves to be trampled on by things like Prop. 8? Apparently they do, considering their rather nonchalant response toward its passage. How do they feel knowing that there are now 30 constitutional amendments designed to condemn them to permanent legal inferiority based on sexual orientation, and the remaining possibility that one could make the federal constitution as well? I guess they're content with being second-class citizens, considering that there are things far more important to them than legal equality, like corporate pride floats and gentrification. Hell, maybe they even enjoy it, considering the hip outsider status it entails.

History has shown that outright persecution happens incrementally and is usually the culmination of years or even centuries of gradual whittling away of rights and institutionalization of inferiority. Prominent religious right figures have openly said they want to put us in jail, and the Texas Republicans have made that part of their party platform. My point is that they won't stop with gay marriage bans. THAT is why it's important to fight these things off, and that's what the "radical queers" utterly fail to understand.

The issue of gay marriage has gotten incredible publicity for all things gay. Without this issue, there would be virtually no media coverage of anything gay, lesbian, trans. It is THE issue that has helped all other glbt issues. Everyone knows what their money is being spent on when they contribute to an organization. If you do not, then you do not do your donor homework. People are giving to organizations that back the marriage issue because they know that it is THE issue that will have the profoundest effect on changing public attitudes about gays, lesbians, and trans persons. ENDA, repeal of DADT, AIDS funding - all very important. Like it or not, they do not grab the front page coverage day after day like the marriage issue does. Marriage has everyone talking about OUR entire agenda. Marriage is THE issue that mainstream America can identify with US on. Mainstream America looks at ENDA, AIDS, DADT, as "their" problem, and mainstream America is not very favorably disposed toward us. However, marriage has put a face on the glbt agenda, made America look more closely at their gay neighbors, and in many cases decide to support us, as least in limited ways, based on the marriage issue.