Credit: Giovanni Dall'Orto
Credit: Giovanni Dall'Orto
On gay marriage

Dear Queer Radical,

I’ve been dating this guy who is all about the marriage issue—politically, personally, in every way—and me, I think marriage is a scam. You would have thought the North Carolina constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage was a declaration that our community was being sent to the camps. You should have seen him creaming all over himself when Obama endorsed gay marriage.

I’m so sick of hearing about gay marriage. I just want to scream at him, “Since when did this issue trump everything else queers have worked on for decades? I’m sick of this assimilationist trend that has taken over our movement.  What about homelessness, antimilitarism, the environment? These are the issues queers should be focused on.”

What are your thoughts?

Grumpy and Gay

 

Dear GAG,

First, relationship advice: Hold your horses. Before your get so uptight your spine pops, give your boyfriend a break. If he cares about marriage, that’s no skin off your ass. Perhaps you don’t want to get married—perhaps you don’t think others should—but if he wants to, that’s his business.

Don’t use your radical analysis of gay marriage as a tool to humiliate your boyfriend. If you don’t like him, break up--kindly. If you do like him, don’t scream at him.  Both of you should stop proselytizing in the sack. It’s irritating.

Second, political thoughts: Gay marriage is far from the most pressing issue LGB people face. Ecological collapse, ongoing wars, apocalyptic poverty, militarized anti-immigrant laws—these all impact LGB people at far deeper levels than the marriage issue—they’re life or death for people in our community.  

It’s true that the privileged sectors of the LGB community have turned their backs on many of these more pressing issues to devote resources to fight for equal access to marriage. While marriage does relate directly to some of these issues, the privileges it grants are limited to those in committed, state-sanctioned, monogamous relationships--damn everybody else. This is not right.

While uprooting capitalism, abolishing the state and ending U.S. military occupation at home and abroad might be more appealing to some of us than fighting for weddings, the reality is that when North Carolina limited rights through its constitution, the state’s primary document waged an open attack against our community. This fascist impulse compels a fight from any freedom-loving person.

Obama’s smug support means nothing to me. He’s a figurehead, a spectacle and a friendly distraction from the violence his military perpetrates against indigenous people, immigrants and millions overseas. His support of gay marriage does nothing for the LGB people killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan, murdered by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, deported from their homeland by Immigration and Naturalization Services.

Evoking victims of U.S. violence to humiliate the defenders of gay marriage is only useful if you are waging constructive fights against said violence. Where is the LGB fight against U.S. Imperialism? Why are we wasting time debating the finer points of marriage rather than building a movement against state military and economic violence?

With love,

Queer Radical

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About author

Kyle Harris's picture

Kyle Harris is an editor at The Precarious, Co-Producer at Improbable Pictures, and author of the blog Queer Radical

Nice Jewish Dyke's picture
Nice Jewish Dyke (not verified) Wed, 05/23/2012 - 16:53

"Gay marriage is far from the most pressing issue LGB people face"

Depends who you are and what your life is like. I am a (so far) able-bodied Canadian queer woman, married to a Native American 2-Spirited woman (which in and of itself makes the whole "immigration" issue laughable, but she's not enrolled in a tribe so we fall into the colonist's rules). She immigrated to me in Canada because I could not move to her based on US's homophobic immigration/marriage policy.

Agreed that same-sex marriage is hardly a radical notion, but for some people it's the difference between life and death, especially when dealing with health issues, disability, dependent status, etc. Sometimes, just getting through the day, paying your rent, putting food on the table, and having a job with benefits that affords your disabled spouse to have a halfway decent quality of life is as radical as it gets.

Yours in de-colonization solidarity while recognizing everyone does the best they can and as they're able,
Nice Jewish Dyke

p.s. Indeed why the hell is so much energy spent debating the validity of gay marriage? Its the oppressive predatory colonist-government's idiocy we are wasting precious time and energy on! But their heels are firmly dug in. Ugh and ARGH!

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