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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Gay Marriage - Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread (53 comments)

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  •  I am with my brothers and sisters in (3+ / 0-)

    solidarity to make whatever choices they want on this issue. I'm also fine with eventually making marriage strictly a religious or personal "sacrament" so that civil unions would cover the legal matters. But I do not, now or post-revolution, oppose nuclear families. Cuba learned that shunning nuclear families didn't work so well. In fact it needlessly engenders opposition to socialism. I'm not glamorizing the nuclear family, but I could never support banning it.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:26:13 PM PDT

    •  Marriage is strictly a secular legal contract. (3+ / 0-)

      The diarist has confused marriage with "holy matrimony" and other cult rituals.

      And unlike marriage, civil unions have no interstate, federal or international recognition.

      •  Its the second part of your observastions that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie, poco, NY brit expat

        I would like to fix. Instead of fighting for better marriages (which would not exist in either civil or religious form without patriarchal history, I would encourage making civil unions nationwide.  But even that wouldn't fix anything unless they got rid of the monogamy rule which just forces people to lie and develop skills in subterfuge since primates generally are not naturally monogamous and provided an equal opportunity subsidy to children born into the civil union instead of leaving children's chance of development to a highly unequal privatized child rearing system.

        •  That's not only an uphill battle but a pointless (3+ / 0-)

          one, given that marriage already is just a secular legal contract.

          The pointless part is twofold - first that you're simply changing a name to accomplish what already exists as a legal matter, and thus disadvantaging all married couples in the interim for no good reason.   You're literally accomplishing nothing from a legal standpoint.  And you're doing so just to coddle ignorant bigots, which seems misguided at best.

          Second, it won't ultimately satisfy the bigots and Christofascists anyway.   The proof of that premise is when Hawaiian governor Linda Lingle vetoed their civil union bill and said she did so because it was "too much like marriage."   In other words what the bigots really have is a psychological need to feel superior to gays, even when the law in question was a Jim Crow law designed to confer 2nd-class status upon gays.  

          We see that in France too (a country which has had civil unions for gays for 15 years), where even though secular marriage and holy matrimony are two very distinct things the far right wing freaked out anyway when marriage equality was passed - precisely because they have a need to feel special.    The bigots were relatively quiet in France as long as gays were denied marriage - even though both gays and straights already had access to the legally virtually identical civil unions (PACS).

          •  I think where we disagree about the direction (2+ / 0-)
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            poco, NY brit expat

            forward it that I am not planning in reaction to the far right homophobia since I really believe that is already a dead issue and they are just trying to hold on as long as they can.

            I'm responding to mainstream liberal approval of the gay community finally being allowed into what they, not me, perceive as the "holy land" where we get $ benefits and respectability if we will just accept their lifestyle and their prized institution -- marriage which has grown out of the basic concept of one person owning and controlling another.

             Personally, I think we can do better and civil unions are just one of the possible vehicles.

            •  So what's the legal difference between the current (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geminijen, NY brit expat

              legal contract of marriage and your proposed "civil union"?   If there is none, what's your motivation for a change?

              And regardless of whether there are changes to social contracts down the road, the immediate imperative is making sure that all citizens are treated equally under the law.   For me that's the basic issue - my gay daughter deserves the exact same rights I enjoy as a married straight guy.

              And regarding your comment about marriage having "grown out of the basic concept of one person owning and controlling another", that's true historically but really hasn't been true in the US since the early 90s when the last of the marital rape laws was repealed.    If there are any vestiges of gender bias in the marital laws of any state today (ie, divorce, child custody, domestic abuse, etc), same-sex marriage can only serve to help purge those inequities from the law.

              •  The civil union I am proposing is not based on a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                poco, NY brit expat

                sexual relationship (all can apply - two single friends, an aunt and her niece raising their daughter together, etc.) or a limit on the number of people (three or four people regardless of their sexual or non sexual relationship) and the state pays a stipend to parents so children in the institution are not subject for their development on the whims of the private market and the particular wealth and resources of their individual parents.  At least two of those things (non-monogamy and multiple people in the union) are legal in a marriage contract.  

                •  Marriage isn't based on a sexual relationship (3+ / 0-)
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                  NY brit expat, Geminijen, poco

                  either.   Intimacy might be assumed but it isn't required.   It's also not about procreation, and any tax credits for dependent children aren't based on marital status.   Nor does marriage require monogamy, at least not in the majority of states.   It only tends to be the south which still has laws against adultery and those generally aren't even enforced.

                  Marriage is primarily about kinship rights and property rights, and pretty much always has been.   That fact poses a significant hurdle for plural marriage or for your proposed multiple person "civil union", at least if they include any property rights or kinship rights (and if they don't, what's the point to them?).   Which spouse makes medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse?   A majority vote?   And how happy will your employer be when he learns that the family plan will have to cover health care for not just one spouse but five?   And what about SS survivor's benefits or the thousands of other rights and benefits of spouses?

                  The bottom line is that while some things can be accomplished via private contracts, many of the key rights of marriage are binding on third parties like the state, the feds, insurers, hospitals, employers, etc.   Most of those rights get very complex administratively if the contract includes more than two spouses.

                  •  All the points you raise are excellent and (1+ / 0-)
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                    poco

                    specific. We are just coming from different places --I like  putting regulation of people's economic life entirely in the public, communal social sphere and eliminating  the traditional marriage concepts including people as private property. For instance,  monogamy --there are still enforced laws against bigamy and adultery is still applicable in the division of assets and custody in divorce and there are still many differences that advantage married parents over nonsexually related parents - two girlfriends raising children together have a harder time obtaining housing rights.

                    You apparently feel comfortable with the institutions as they are and argue how they are good enough with maybe some minor changes.  For me they are not.

        •  "Monogomy Rule"? (0+ / 0-)

          Hm.  I'm not monogomous.  Neither is my partner.  I didn't realize marriage had that rule (lots of other swingers don't either I suspect).

          Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

          by lostboyjim on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:39:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Legal issues such as adultery, ha ving more than (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poco

            one partner, while not official outlawed accept in some Southern states at this point, still as issues in divorce and custody cases.  And even folks who agree to step outside the official culturally accepted social rules so it should not be a problem, when people are angry and fighting, many of these issues get used to get a better financial outcome or custody of a child.

            It is much better to actually fight to change the legal concepts in an institution to meet people's reality so you don't have to rely on doing it on the down low.

    •  I always respect your opinion, but I'm curious if (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie, poco, NY brit expat

      it is specifically the nuclear family or the concept of a family in general that you feel is necessary as the smaller nuclear family is a relatively new form of marriage which really developed under capitalism.  Personally, even though it was more patriarchal, I think I prefer the extended family structure which is less individualistic and provides people broader communal support.  

      •  Whatever type of family, or lack thereof, people (2+ / 0-)
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        Geminijen, NY brit expat

        want to try is fine with me. I'm partial to the nuclear family but extended families are fine too, as long as they don't provoke disparate treatment of those outside the unit, however constructed, a great point you raise. I've seen a lot of terrible nuclear families. Many of us grew up in them. So all the criticisms of them I'd probably share. But some of us, despite the pitfalls, still like them. Bengelsdorf's book on Cuba by the way is my cite on Castro's eventual recognition that shunning nuclear families was a mistake.

        I have a personal anecdote on this. A pro-revolution family with a close friend of mine emigrated from Cuba specifically over the fear that the nuclear family was being shunned. (They were also being shunned for going to church, another historically imperfect structure I wouldn't shun.)

        That said, I always appreciate your views and education of me so much. So please realize, I see the bias in favor of families under capitalist laws as wrong. And I can do my best to empathize with other's views and experiences who've been burned by all the "pro-family" biases, etc. But I'd try to address the biases rather than proscribe nuclear families.

        Solidarity.

        garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

        by Galtisalie on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:42:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One last round! I support any institution that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Galtisalie, poco, NY brit expat

          is concerned with supporting and integrating all members of a society into the community. I oppose all institutions which I believe isolate people from their larger community goals and encourage the commodification of people.

          In this sense, I see the nuclear family as a small corner where we can run away and hide and lick our wounds when the larger struggle gets to much.  In that sense, I see it as a bribe to encourage us to stop fighting for the greater good,. For example, when we opened a women's center for all women, we found that many women did not come to the center because they suddenly decided they wanted their freedom and equality.  Most came because they had been betrayed by a patriarchal society and didn't know where to turn when their husbands or significant spouses deserted them.  At the Center, many heterosexual women turned to lesbian relationships because they felt those relationships were "different" and less abusive.  But they then stopped working on issues to help all women because they had found an individual solution to the global problem of the oppression of women.

          •  Great great points. Excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat, Geminijen, poco

            You're very right about the "oasis/retreat" factor. Solidarity could be diminished by those who build a privileged shelter within their families. I'm not saying it is easy to address that. On the other hand, the opposition of nuclear families to socialism would be enormously counterproductive. Also, some forms of "oases/retreats" can be good and seem to be a natural human urge. For an animal it could be a familiar tree or a friend who will be there to howl at the moon with us. So, to build a successful culture, we have to factor in subjective needs and experiences.

            So sad how paternalism has degraded human relationships. I did a post the other day about Lorca mentioning "The House of Bernarda Alba." The anti-capitalist play illustrates the corruption of female relationships within a nuclear family and a rural Spanish village society. Paternalism and religiosity all played their roles to destroy whatever good might have arisen from the female relationships, and all were ultimately servants to the class structures.

            I hope that one day I can live in a society the way you'd want it. I'm sure it would be fair to all.

            garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

            by Galtisalie on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 07:55:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think we are in many ways on the same page. I (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Galtisalie, poco

              just think the nuclear family as it exists is a direct result of capitalism and cannot survive in a socialist society.  Given that doesn't mean that we don't need personal relationships that are warm and loving and much smaller groups.  I'm just not sure if they should be defined by hereditary rules.  

              As for right now, many people have found a haven in their family that is not evil but helpful for them personally.  It is just that others have been excluded from the development of warm personal relations because the only ones given value are those found in nuclear families.  This is where gays and other excluded people have had to start making their own families and in the process have sometimes developed groups of friends/family that I find as meaningful and are less excluding.

              Another group where I have found these created relationships is interestingly among some of the liberation theology nuns!

              Anyway, always nice dialoguing with you.  I'm glad you are in the meet-up group!

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