Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

What I hate most about gay marriage

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | May 22, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: assimilation, bridal registries, California State Supreme Court, counterculture, gay marriage, Global Warming, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

It's when there's some couple that's been together for 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years and they're constantly saying, I mean over and over again in the press -- whatever press it is, it's over and over again: finally... it's... legitimate! I mean, really, that kills me, just pulls my heart out and stomps on it with a two-by-four and throws the remnants into the compost; that really really kills me. Finally... it's... legitimate. I mean these people have been together for 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years or I don't care if it's six months or three days or negative seven years, still, this is what they need to feel legitimate?

Then, of course, there's their need to feel legitimate in the first place, instead of defiantly creating something else, dreaming a different vision, building beauty on their own terms; oh, it just makes me sick. And sad - really, really, really sad.

Then I can't help ranting for a moment about "full citizens," because you know how all those gay marriage proponents must distinguish themselves from all those awful "half citizens," or -- gasp -- non-citizens! Not to mention citizens of other countries the US is bombing into oblivion -- forget about them, right? This is about the good old US of A, where white gay people with beach condos, country club memberships, and a few overgrown hedge funds that might just need trimming every now and then (oil futures anyone? platinum mining?) are pushing, pushing, pushing to get away from the rest of us, right? Into the loving arms of the powers that have denied them their birthright because of who they like to fuck. It may be true -- for a few of the most privileged, the right to get gay married might be the last thing standing in the way of full citizenship, but there are certainly a lot of other impediments for the rest of us!

Let's step back for a moment and wonder why on earth anyone would want to be a "full citizen" of the most monstrous colonial power busy exploiting the world's resources and ensuring the downfall of the planet. Oh, right -- to exploit the world's resources and ensure the downfall of the planet. That's right, of course.

Break out the bridal registries...

(Mattilda also blogs at

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Eric Georgantes | May 22, 2008 2:22 PM

I'm afraid I don't see a problem. The desire to have your relationship viewed as legitimate by your social peers is a negative now?

That was about as offensive an article about marriage for gay and lesbian people as I have seen. It was full of stereotypes, generalizations, and unnecessary hateful invective.

I am not even close to rich. I don't think that the fact that I have been with my husband for a long time makes me better than anybody else, gay or straight. I don't think that there is only one right way to express one's sexuality--promiscuity, serial monogamy, and committed relationships are appropriate for different people and at different times in their life. I understand that there are people far more oppressed than me--allowing myself to be discriminated against doesn't help them.

My marriage is not about aping straight people, or assimilating, or needing anybody's approval. It is foremost about the relationship between me and my husband, and secondarily about communicating the depth and commitment of that relationship to our parents, siblings, and friends, and to our son. Wanting my government to recognize my marriage is simply about fairness and honesty.

Mattilda, I hear what you're saying about "citizenship" and property rights and I'm right there with you. But I also hear what Yoav says. It's complicated.


Great piece. You make some really great points about how this kind of advocacy is reflective of some not so cool things.


You don't have to think that all gay folk (or all gay folk fighting for marriage) are rich in order to acknowledge that plenty of people--especially those who are not rich--will still have a lot of injustices to face even if they are able to marry. I don't think that means it's wrong to fight for marriage rights, but it is pretty offensive to claim that with the right to marry we will finally fulfill the promise of equal rights for everyone -- and yes, I've seen plenty of people say things like that at rallies and in press releases.

I wouldn't want to fault anyone for fighting for relationship recognition, but I do take offense at the way some people advocate for it. Such as spreading the idea that a relationship is only legitimate when the government recognizes it. I believe that my legitimacy comes from the internal strength of my relationships. And when someone says that they're legally recognized relationship is now finally legitimate, that's a pretty clear statement that my relationship must be considered illegitimate in their eyes.

If you just want fairness and honesty, don't proclaim legally recognized relationships to be more legitimate than unrecognized relationships. And if you're not doing that, then why are you taking this criticism so personally?

Does a piece of paper make your relationship any better? I know it's nice and I would do it under the right circumstances. Sounds to me you've done rather well for yourself without it.

I actually get Mattilda's point. The key word to all of this is "legitimate." Love needs no one else's approval or a piece of paper to make it "legitimate." Many straight people have relationships where legal marriage is not part of it. My youngest son was with his wife for several years and even had a child two years before they got married. Our whole family on both sides considered their relationship "legitimate." The piece of paper did not make them love each other any less.

Sometimes one needs to rattle a few cages to get people's attention. Mattilda did a great job of doing that. But also, listen to what Horace Greeley once said, "Go West, young man," and women. The marriage licence will look great on the wall, even if you live in one of the other 48 states that will not recognize it.

This is psuedo-radical, self-righteous drivel. The irony is that Mattilda is attempting to delegitimize other people's choices and determinations and feelings about their relationships.

I wouldn't want to fault anyone for fighting for relationship recognition, but I do take offense at the way some people advocate for it. Such as spreading the idea that a relationship is only legitimate when the government recognizes it. I believe that my legitimacy comes from the internal strength of my relationships. And when someone says that they're legally recognized relationship is now finally legitimate, that's a pretty clear statement that my relationship must be considered illegitimate in their eyes.

Tobi, you're so right on. I don't believe in marriage, but I do believe in choice. I think that families are created by choice and have nothing to do with marriage. I have no way to say what the universe will send my way. I could be wholly committed to someone and love them unconditionally. But does that mean that it is impossible for me to love someone else at the same time? Does it mean that I own my partner and they shouldn't be free to love whomever they choose? I want to love someone in their freedom, not in a state of confinement. And if I am so lucky to have more love in my life, then I'm am grateful for whatever the universe has in store for me.

I also think that chosen families need to be recognized as being just as "legitimate" as birth families, or families that are arranged via the institution of marriage. I love my chosen mothers and they love me. I also love my petit ami with my entire soul. But if one of them were to get sick, my right to stay with them in the hospital isn't going to be recognized because we aren't "family." Just because we don't have a piece of paper that says we should love each other doesn't mean my love for them is any less real. And if I am ever sick in the hospital, you can bet your sweet ass that I'd rather have my chosen family by my side than my birth family. I should have the right to determine who is in my life. Not the state.

While I definitely support people's rights to make whatever choices they want in their lives, I think we need to ask the following question: How do we make sure that everyone in our community is free to love whomever they will in whatever form that relationship might take?

I think that there is some confusion about the word "legitimate" which has several different but related meanings.

Per the American Heritage dictionary, one definition is "authentic; genuine." Obviously, many relationships not recognized by any government meet this definition, and many legally-recognized relationships do not meet this definition. Changes in the law will have no effect on the legitimacy of my marriage by this definition.

Another definition is "being in compliance with law." By this definition the legitimacy of my marriage is connected to what the law says.

A third definition is "being in accordance with established or accepted patterns and standards." The desire for this type of legitimacy seems to be what Mattilda is railing against. Legalizing marriage for everyone will not automatically make my relationship meet this definition in the eyes of most people. Over time, however, and despite the efforts of many, committed relationships will be considered legitimate by this definition as well.

I don't believe that my marriage will interfere with straight, intolerant people's marriages. I also don't think that my marriage interferes in any way with anyone's right to define themselves, express themselves sexually, or in any way live their lives according to the dictates of their heart and mind. Non-straight people have a variety of identities, desires, and experiences. No matter what happens with the law, we will continue to lead our lives in very different ways, as we always have. Rights is not a zero-sum game. To correct one injustice is not to accept all other injustices.

yoav, that's a useful clarification, but I still think we're missing each other a bit here. For one, I don't think of rights as a zero-sum game either, but that doesn't mean that there aren't ways to advocate for some people's rights at the expense of others -- there are plenty of examples of this throughout history. That's what I criticize, not the advocacy of marriage rights.

As for the definitions, I think that's part of what makes this so painful -- each of those meanings are being communicated simultaneously and conflated. Suddenly, being "authentic; genuine" is reliant upon "being in compliance with the law."

Think about it, the proclamation of "legitimacy" is not just about being in compliance with the law -- who would care? It's about the sense of authenticity that comes with legal recognition. I really want to expand marriage rights, but it's important to me to base that expansion within the claim that the government ought not have the authority to dictate who's family is deserving of rights and who's isn't.

Hearing celebration that one's relationship fits within and is compliant with government regulations as to what makes a family is, frankly, disappointing. I'd much rather be fighting for (and celebrating) the abolition of government regulations on what makes a family (see Today's guest blogger column).

FatherFaggot | May 22, 2008 5:17 PM

It's unfortunate to see people think that they need the approval of the state or the church in order to legitimate their love for each other.

I think having more choices is a Good Thing. Marriage isn't Mattilda's (or some other people's) cup of tea? Fine. But we don't have to sneer at those for whom it is important.

I understand Mattilda's point -- but like many of Mattilda's other posts critiquing "assimilationists," it comes across more as just substituting a different "right way to be queer" that's just as straightjacketing as what's being critiqued.

It's high school all over again, except it's the "outsiders" deciding who the cool kids are.

it comes across more as just substituting a different "right way to be queer" that's just as straightjacketing as what's being critiqued.

You said it perfectly, Lena.

Eric, what I'm saying is that of course people's relationships are *already* legitimate -- it's not some horrible institution like marriage that makes them that way!

Serena, lovely to hear from you! Complicated, indeed...

Yoav, personally I think that most of the pro-marriage rhetoric is "stereotypes, generalizations, and unnecessary hateful invective" -- thank you, Tobi and Monica, for your skillful analysis of this point! I would add that most gay, queer and trans people will not be full citizens either before or after marriage, and this rhetoric silences the rest of us...

And Serena, thank you so much for your second comment -- you are so right that the important question is: "How do we make sure that everyone in our community is free to love whomever they will in whatever form that relationship might take?" Although, I would say "communities," since I don't believe in the singular community in this case. And I do believe that the unfortunate thing is that the focus around marriage limits the options for the rest of us.

FatherFaggot, we need more fathers (and faggots) like you!

Lena and Waymon, personally I don't think there's any right way to be queer, other than to challenge the hypocrisies when you find them... And I'll say it again: as far as I'm concerned, marriage is limiting people's options, not increasing them...

Thanks for this great discussion!

Love --

The marriage issue has never been about having anyone's approval - whether they are a relative, fellow queer, radical religionist, or coma patient.

If no one has to give approval or consent to allow an incarcerated rapist to marry but I have to spend an entire lifetime convincing people...someone...anyone...YOU...that because I am a citizen of this damn place, I ought be able to enjoy the same liberty that even an incarcerated rapist can enjoy.

At the very least I should be able to have the same consideration of equal protections and due process as any serial married hetero does. The debate about whether marriage is a good thing, a societal bear trap, a wolf in sheeps clothing or an antiquated institution used to enslave women and abuse children is a separate debate entirely.

I refuse to allow any right wing religious zealot the right to deny me my citizenship. That doesn't mean I am silent about war, militarization, corporate thievery and our sham self serving two party system.

If the the only alternative to fighting for what I believe in is just incremental assimilation then I guess I am a homophile. But I have to tell you, the homophiles don't want me either. I don't do the Democratic Party. I don't own property (never have, don't see how I ever will). I've never had a driver's license. I just finished getting my BA (I turn 42 next week). I work at a non-profit and I'm not sure how I'm going to pay rent, eat and repay my student loan. I don't belong to a gym. I don't have a dog.

Oh, and Ive been living with the same guy for almost 9 years and I want to marry him - because I love him and that is what people do (especially when they are my age) AND because it will drive people absolutely bat shit crazy.

And Matillda, if we have some kind of ceremony, I would love to have a flower girl that spits blood and carries a machete. Would you consider being that person?

Mattilda--I would defend you right to define and express your gender and sexuality in any way you want. Why won't you show me the same respect? I thought our movement was about allowing each individual to live the life that feels the most authentic to them, and that we supported each other in this. For some people, that means surrounding oneself with friends and lovers. For other people, it means marriage and children. For other people, their life may look totally different than either of these. For most people, how they live their life and how they define their relationships to others will evolve over their lifetimes. My right to live my life the way I see fit (including getting married to the man I love) is no more oppressive of you than you living your life is oppressive of me.

I sense a high quantity of social resentment mixed with some Queer Theory bullshit being regurgitated ironically enough to encourage creativity and uniqueness.

Sorry, I just can't bring myself to take this crap seriously.

The area where Mattilda and I agree is that it really bothers me to hear people say that marriage will "legitimize" their relationships. That implicitly means that the relationships were illegitimate to start with. I can't get down with that.

Patrick, thanks for the invitation, but I'm not particularly fond of spitting blood, and carrying a machete is a little old-school for me...

Lucrece, can I use that as a blurb?

And Bil, absolutely agreed there -- thanks for commenting!

At the risk of extending this thread past its useful and of marking myself as a troublemaker on my first day commenting, I have to call BS on this idea that people who have been together for years or decades are getting married because they think their relationships are somehow lacking without a marriage license. To stay together for that long, you have to deal with illnesses, money troubles, hostile relatives, accidents, jealousies, innumerable fights and countless daily challenges. To be gay and stay together for that long, you have deal with all that plus straight people minimizing, mocking, or pathologizing your relationship. For me, marrying is about saying, we are a couple, we are a family, we are a vital and contributing part of your society. I know you, Bil, did not intend to be offensive in making that statement, but you were.

it would be fake what you just saying...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 22, 2008 10:54 PM

What a lively eight hours you have had Mattilda! Obviously a strong, attention getting post. Good job, people have to think, and that is always good.

I never had a holy union, but I know when my anniversary is. I never had a piece of paper, but I knew where home was.

My relationship never had the respect of my side of the family I thought it should have, although my partner's family more than made up for it.

In one of my earliest serious conversations with my mother at nine years of age I insisted that I would never be "married." I believe this was my earliest expression of being Gay without knowing it. Or maybe it was an observation of the misery I saw in so many "adult" relationships.

I have expressed the joys of "living in sin" jokingly, as to the haters of the world, that is what I am doing regardless of the law. There is no one way to be in a relationship nor, if we want them to be rewarding, should there be. "Legitimate" to me means that assets, children, health care issues are dealt with equitably. If a survivor in a couple, who was primarily the caregiver of children in a relationship, has no access to the retirement or social security benefit of the lost spouse that is not equitable.

I just heard on CNN Asia that Ellen Degeneres just finished toasting McCain on her show regarding Gay Marriage. We are the love that cannot keep it's mouth closed!

Yoav, the point is that the gay marriage "movement" endlessly posits that marriage will ensure legitimacy, and that of course all kinds of relationships are actually legitimate and a state contract on heternormative terms should not determine whether our queer lives mean something.

Patrick, I'll think about it -- as long as it won't stain my white dress!

And Robert, thanks for your careful analysis -- and the update from CNN Asia -- toasting to McCain, that is incredible!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 22, 2008 11:12 PM

"Toasting" as in singeing!

"So, you'll walk me down the aisle then?"

The rhetoric of unlimited options being preferable to what Mattilda describes as the limited options of marriage mirrors free-market rhetoric about the superiority of a free market capitalist economic order because of the "options" and "choices" such a system makes available to consumers. Indeed, this is one reason why marriage, as a public declaration of fidelity, is so radical: it is at its core anti-capitalist.

Robert, oh I thought she was proposing a toast -- hilarious!

Kevin, you must be joking!

JK Johnson | May 22, 2008 11:39 PM

I guess I don't really understand what the fuck you people are talking about. I have lived and loved the same partner for 29 years, he died. We were not married in the eyes of the State. I was penalized financially when he died. Had we been married, it would have been sanctioned by the state and my financial situation might be better today. Why can't GLBT people have all of the legal benefits to which a marriage license entitles heterosexual couples (even common law heterosexual couples have more rights). All this talk about legitimitizing is simply wingnut bullshit. Marriage gives full rights and benefits. If you don't want that, then don't get married. It's really quite simple. If you posters live long enough you will realize there is a lot more to life and relationships and love than just hearing your own opinions.

"Marriage gives full rights and benefits. If you don't want that, then don't get married."

JK, that's exactly the problem -- everyone should have full rights and benefits, not just married people.

JK Johnson | May 22, 2008 11:48 PM


How the help are you going to buck the entire legal system to accomplish "full" rights for everyone. You must be unaware of inheritance and estate taxes and God Knows What that discriminate against damn near everyone so that various governmental entities can collect taxes to creates bigger bureaucracies so that in the end they can tax us all more. It's incredible! Marriage rights for GLBT people is a step towards full rights for all people.

JK Johnson | May 23, 2008 12:06 AM

Gosh, I don't know how the previous email/comment wound up being posted four times. I apologize for that. As it's late, I am going to bed now. I hope this all gets worked out to everyone's satisfaction. As I live in Indiana, it's not at all likely that marriage for G, L, B, or T will ever be a realistic possibility here ... so, good night and take care of yourself and the one you love.

Mattilda, how fun!

Kevin, what a metaphor! But where does the IMF fit in?

JK, yes I do hope this gets worked out to everyone's satisfaction as well. But you can't go to sleep now... we'll never reach consensus without everyone present. The process is the revolution!

Nick, thanks for bringing consensus into the mix...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 23, 2008 5:13 AM

Make friends with your Gay attorney, incorporate, form a trust if your state law makes it advantageous, have mutual powers of attorney on file with every doctor you use and an additional set of all required docs in the truck of your car should you need them on the go.

I was nearly not allowed to be with my partner when he had a stint implant because they had moved him to a different catholic hospital. When they hear an angry 250 lb man invoking the name of his attorney, the little old nun came, and personally escorted me to my partner.

Laughs, anger, venom, increases in blood pressure, blood spitting, knife wielding, queer theory bullshit regurgitating, THOUGHT inspiring, growth of the highest order. Kudos!

I'd strongly recommend reading "Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry" by Evan Wolfson. He covers all of the issued raised here, and explains why it's important for al LGBT people to fight for the right to marry even if they don't ever intend to do so themselves.

i totally understand where you are coming from mattilda - there are more important issues than marriage. on the other hand, what is more important and worth fighting for than simple equality and the freedom to be exactly who you are? and being able to declare it openly? you cannot underestimate the power of an idea. or the impact of marriage equality on the progress for social change.

Getting married to get the benefits is a wonderful thing, except some of those benefits are federal and will not apply to those married same-sex couples, regardless of where they got married. Those people who travel to California will not get the CA benefits.

So, why are they getting married if they will gain no benefits or recognition where they live? Love. To me, that is the best reason. Like a commitment cerimony, going to CA to get married is to show each other and friends that their love is so strong and so important that they will get that piece of paper to prove it.

As was pointed out, there are different definitions for "legitmate." The "authentic; genuine" definition should be meaningless to those who love each other and don't care about the approval of others.

The "being in compliance with law" definition is also meaningless if you don't live in CA or MA. There are no laws in the other 48 to be in compliance with.

The third definition, "being in accordance with established or accepted patterns and standards" is also something that only applies for those living in CA or MA. Not laws for this in the other 48 means there are no "standards or accepted patterns" to follow.

None of this means LGBT people should not get married in CA if they don't live there. I go back to "LOVE." That's why I would do it if the right situation in my life came up. And, be damned what others would think.

I'm with Mattilda - I'd rather spend my energy pushing for a legal system that is more flexible around how people define who is important in their lives rather than perpetuating an institution that is based on the buying and selling of women (sorry Kevin, it's true! Nothing anti-capitalist at the core of marriage).

And I'd strong recommend reading _The Trouble With Normal: Sex, Politics and the Ethics of Queer Life_ by Michael Warner, who also covers the issues raised here and explains why even the queers who intend to get married might better spend their energy on other issues.

Tom (Orlando) | May 23, 2008 12:32 PM


From reading your posting, I suspect that you may have some underlying issues other than same-sex marriage or US politics. You seem very angry and hope that you are able to work through your troubles.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 23, 2008 12:38 PM

I am so glad to see others recommending books. Thank goddess someone is left reading!

Matt, your writing is so fierce and open. I went to your blogspot and read the oldest piece first. When I was just 19 I had my great moment in helping to bring the first gay organization to a big ten university. I do not need the state to tell me I am legitimate, but I will use the law to my advantage. I also don't need to wear designer jeans to feel attractive, or a $400.00 haircut, Calvin Klod shirt or Versace glasses.

While you are right, everyone deserves full rights and benefits, there is an innate need for people to form a couple. It serves all people well to know that they have a special person to count on no matter what. Lost a job? No problem, In Jail? No problem, Need to get to a doctor? No problem.

I knew young at 23 that I had found someone always to love and always to be with. It freed me from the wasted hours I had spent searching for transitory satisfactions. By having this freedom of knowing that I had a home to go to I could concentrate on building my life. One person's freedom is another's isolation. Thank you for your posting and the lively discussion.

Steph, you must be kidding! Nancy Polikoff's book will take care of all Wolfson's mythologies...

Monica, you're right -- love love love love LOVE -- but we don't need a state contract for that...

Paris, well that's a better book recommendation...

Tom, anger is gorgeous when you can use it to critique the violence and hypocrisy around you, bring it on! I just don't like it when I get depressed...

And Robert, yes yay for reading -- and I'm so glad you enjoy my writing! I would recommend my own books, but right now I'm cooking and I don't want everything to burn...

OMG, Mattilda . . . you're cracking my shit up.

OK, no one has even tried to answer my question about people being able to love whomever they choose. Robert, you made a fine point about legal documentation. But I think this should apply to more than just your partner. If I want my best friend to be my medical power of attorney, I should be able to do that. I think that if we abolish the whole system as it is, then everyone (gay, straight, whatever) would be in a position of having to clearly articulate who they choose to have in their lives and for what purpose. As far as minors go, youth would still be de facto under the care of their parent/guardian. But If you're old enough to vote, die in the military, or buy a lotto ticket, you should be able to make the decision about who you want in your life for yourself. Fuck this state-sanctioned bullshit.

I'm not joking at all. I support the institution of marriage for a variety of reasons, but the most important is its implicit hostility to market logic. Marriage is a radical, anti-capitalist force.

This may be difficult to understand if you think that everything radical is transgressive and everything transgressive is radical. Getting past that means abandoning 1960's pseudo-radical self-congratulatory symbolic politics in favor of engagement with economic realities.

Serena, "fuck this state-sanctioned bullshit," indeed! And I think the rest of your comment should be it's own entry, yes bring it on! Although, I don't think anyone is old enough to die for this country, and many kids are certainly old enough to decide to get the hell away from their parents!

But yes yes yes, "I think that if we abolish the whole system as it is, then everyone (gay, straight, whatever) would be in a position of having to clearly articulate who they choose to have in their lives and for what purpose." Absolutely beautiful!

Kevin, I love that "engagement with economic realities" means that marriage is a "radical, anti-capitalist force" -- that's my favorite quote, by far -- have you thought of, I mean... would you? If I... I mean, if it's diamonds...

Wait, I'm blushing, and I've got a diamond ring with your name on it!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 24, 2008 11:02 AM

Serena, Great idea on the multiple persons of trust and love in our lives. I was once the second person to call with regards to a dear friend who was an Aids victim. The key thing is that you have to have a primary person and order of primacy for health care decisions.

As you know, I live in Thailand for personal reasons, when preparing our mutual wills for the property my partner and I own separately and jointly in Thailand I was amazed to discover that "power of attorney" just about does not exist here. Rather, they simply, automatically, accept me as primary person in health care decisions for my partner as we have joint wills. If my wonderful partner were in a vegetative state I would not have to fly over his nearest next of kin to insure a comfort to him in transition.

Oh, Matt, I have your list of published books. Who is your distributor in Thailand? I shall get back to you as I have read more of your, pardon the expression, "pieces."

Yours is the perfect post. Radical, scary, but having width enough to allow so many viewpoints to seep in. No one grows until they question everything and decide they really know nothing.

Robert, I like this: "No one grows until they question everything and decide they really know nothing."

As for how my books are distributed in Thailand, I can't say that I have any idea -- they are on four different publishers, so probably some are easier to get than others...

But wait, who's Matt? Maybe one of your other friends...

Love --

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 25, 2008 8:45 AM

OK, In that I have read about you getting your d**K sucked on your own collection I just can't bring myself to call you Mattilda. Call it old fashioned, call it revisionist, call it bone headed stupid.



mattilda & serena i'm in love with you.

i should be able to raise kids with 10 different people all together if i want to. there should be multiple ways of naming (or choosing not to name) relationships. i want a system that lets me choose to say "these are the people who I choose to be my family and who I'm choosing to raise kids (or not raise kids) with, and here are the people/person that i'm fucking head over heels in love with and i want all of then to be able to be with me when i need them or when they need me." my struggle to gain the right to choose my family should not be at the expense of excluding others from choosing THEIR family. i should be allowed to have a legal "marriage" (or whatever you want to call it) with my brother, my sister, my mother AND my lover if i want to. the whole idea of "marriage" in the governmental sense has nothing to do with fucking or love. it has to do with legal contracts of money & responsibility. The state—and the institution of marriage as instituted by the state—has no say over who i fuck or love, therefore it should not try to make laws that only give benefits to me when i'm fucking/loving the people that it thinks i should. advocating only for the right of one gay person to get married to one other gay person is impossibly short-sighted.

Roberta, oh no you're having issues...

And dontboxsarah, I couldn't have said it better myself...

Love --

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 26, 2008 4:09 AM

Mattilda, I'm just old and cranky.

dontboxsara, it exists already, it is called an "S" type corporation. It is what I and the partner have and you can get a lot done with it. You can add endless people to it. See your friendly local queer lawyer. *smiles*

I appreciate your idealism, and honeys I have loved many, but one at a time.

robert(a)— tell me more about this S Corporation thing... i mean, i know a little about S Corporations because I run my own business, but i don't know about it in the sense of using it for queer partnership documentation. how do you get around the "running a business" part of it? sadly i don't have a friendly queer lawyer of my very own to pepper with questions. (at this point it's not a personally pressing issue as i am in the fortunate position of having a good relationship with my biological family and the neutral position of not having partner(s)/lover(s) who i want to make that kind of commitment to. but the point is not whether i personally need to be able to do that right now, it's that everyone should be allowed to. it's not the government's business to tell anyone who can or cannot be the important, legally decision-making people in their lives.)

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | June 17, 2008 2:23 AM

I just see all this as a sort of false dichotomy -- strangely affirming without meaning to the limited conventional thinking of some marriage advocates by being reactionary and oppositional to it.

I'd prefer encouraging recognition of the creative possibilities -- that embracing and celebrating increased equal access to the law does not have to bind any of us to or rob any of us of anything.

It doesn't have to limit us unless we let it.

I understand at the level of leather meeting skin the value of our outlaw side but I am not afraid of civil marriage equality's affect on it. A cutting edge that is too broad, after all, is just a dull knife.