The Bilerico Project keeps on getting results! On Sunday I complained that Dan Savage wouldn't even explain why marriage is the most "meaningful" right a gay person can have, and yesterday he took to The Slog to defend the issue. Read his full explanation about why marriage is the most we can hope for; while I find his narrow operating definition of "rights" counterproductive to the best interests of our community, I'm glad that someone's actually willing to engage this argument. (My expectations for substantive discussion in gaystream culture are really that low.)
One thing from Savage's response does stand out:
And that whole only-A-gays-care-about-marriage/poor-black-queers-don't-care-about-marriage line you're pushing is complete and total bullshit.
Did I bring up race at all in my complaint on Sunday? I actually thought I was leaving myself open to the accusation that I was white-washing the argument. I admit I've been more and more loathe to bring up race in discussions of political ideology this past year, especially with liberals going crazy with mocking conservatives'/the Tea Party's/Republicans' racial inclusiveness while praising their own racial greatness (which usually isn't that great).
Even weirder is that the statement above links a short post from 2010 with a photo of a black, lesbian couple in DC who had just gotten married. Savage implies that they're not "wealthy" (in 2011 he calls them "poor"), even though I don't see anything that shows their income.
Is this couple actually "poor," as Savage says they are? Unless he knows something about them that we don't, there's simply no way of knowing.
Unless, of course, one assumes that everyone who is black is poor. Since my original complaint wasn't even about class and race but about democracy and ideology, I'd also have to make more assumptions about this couple's political ideology and their relationship to LGBT politics than I'd be comfortable with based on a photo and a caption, even if that photo includes an HRC sticker.
And it should go without saying: finding two black women who agree with a white man doesn't mean that power is distributed evenly throughout the LGBTQ community. That two black lesbians and one white gay man, in a country of 310,000,000 people, agree on something proves very little. Read in the best possible light, the argument is a non-sequitur.
Some people get in the NY Times and these people get in for certain reasons that ensure that certain, other arguments never make it into the NY Times. It's not a reason to begrudge anyone for having a certain opinion or platform, but it should make us question how we come to various pseudo-consensuses within the LGBT community.
Which is why I consider it a win at the point where Savage explained why marriage is the "most meaningful right" a gay person can get: the usual way gaystream culture excludes the left is to simply ignore it.