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View Diary: So Marriage Equality is Heteronormative? So What? (86 comments)

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  •  Good diary Dave (19+ / 0-)

    On the whole this whole thing has always struck me as silly. This is not an either/or issue and never was, any more than was the question of whether a feminist could ever get married and become a housewife. If she wanted to, why shouldn't she? It is where one or both members of the couple don't feel they have a choice that the issue of conformity comes into play.

    About the only place the so-called "heteronormativity" issue comes into play in my own life is when Trapper and I, either separately or together, get the question "So...when are you guys gonna get married?" At a basic level it really is nobody's business but ours. Of course since the question is usually asked by friends or by supportive family members it doesn't make sense really to tell them to fuck off. The politic answer, and the honest one, becomes "When and if we decide we actually want to go through with it." And really this is not a concern merely for gay men and lesbians. I had a girlfriend in college. She was a card-carrying feminist, a founding member of NOW, a CPUSA member. She frequently expressed a singular disdain for the idea of ever marrying anyone. After being out of touch for a number of years we re-connected in 2000. She was married. Why did she and her husband decide to get married you might ask? He needed health insurance and she had a policy. Would they have gotten married otherwise? Tough to say but the broad implication at the time was that they would not have. Will they get divorced now that Obamacare is available? That would just be a pain in the butt. Do they love each other? It's quite apparent that they do.

    Let us be otherwise blunt here: I know any number of gay male married couples. Are they all monogamous? That's highly unlikely. I know straight married couples who aren't strictly monogamous too. When people decide to get married, apart from the strictly legal aspects it really is up to them how they define the parameters of fidelity within their marriage. This is so whether the couple in question is gay, lesbian or heterosexual. I will say as well that I know of at least one gay man who found that marriage to his partner ruined their relationship which was already of significant duration at the time they got married. It was, unfortunately, a mistake. So really...why should anyone, regardless of whether they are gay or straight, feel pressured to conform? The flip side is equally true. Nobody should feel constrained to be sexually profligate any more than they should feel constrained to get married. Whatever the model is, no single one is right for everybody. And wasn't our struggle for liberation always at bottom a fight for personal authenticity? Pressuring people to become what they are not flies directly in the face of that. When it comes to a legal status like marriage, it really is up to the couple involved. It's their decision (even if it turns out to be a mistake). But I've already said that several times, haven't I?

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