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I've been mulling this over since I got on QANTAS Flight 93, Melbourne to Los Angeles, on February 5.  I had been in Melbourne for four days, mostly to attend and to present a paper at a  conference

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commemorating the 40th anniversary of the publication of Dennis Altman's groundbreaking book, Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation.  My paper, "Gay Liberation and Identity Politics: The Case of California," discussed how liberation quickly gave way to identity politics in the fight against the Briggs Amendment (1978) which would have made it illegal for gay men and lesbians to work in public schools, and it has stayed there through the fight over Prop 8.  I used my wedding announcement instead of wedding pictures to illustrate the five months in 2008 when marriage was legal in California.

I presented on Friday.  By the end of Saturday, I had become convinced that my marriage was the target of a LOT of scholars (we forget how truly radical Australian and British radicalism is) who were attacking the emphasis on marriage equality.  There were other things we needed to work on, they said, and, beside, supporting something as heteronormative as marriage was perhaps a denial of the promise of gay liberation.  I knew how bad it was when an American lesbian Jewish activist of some renown asked one of the keynote speakers whether marriage equality was going to create a (necessarily subordinate and inferior) class of Lesbian spinsters, to which said keynote speaker made an appeal to the audience to be kinder to those of us in the audience who were indeed married.

And then I remembered.  During the 1970s, the most radical gay liberationists theorized that long-term relationships between gay men were hetero-imitative, assimilationist, and not liberating at all.  The last paper I heard at the conference was given by Conrad Ryan, who runs a website called Against Equality, which states

As queer thinkers, writers and artists, we are committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the US military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation.
So has anything changed? Follow me below the great orange squiggle to see my attempt to claim radicalism in the face of this onslaught. Angry?  You bet I'm angry.

We tend to forget exactly how much of the gay liberation movement that Stonewall sparked was based on the ideas of radical feminism, but we don't even have to go that far back.  Here's a comment from Rodney Croome of the Drum, a news program on the Australian Broadcast Network, from March 2011:

People like Dennis Altman and Helen Razer  have recently dismissed the idea of same-sex marriages. They think gay people are too sexually creative to be constrained by marriage, and believe "there's nothing truly progressive" (to use Razer's words) about allowing same-sex couples to marry.

I doubt they'd say this about the struggle of Australian Aborigines or African Americans to marry the person of their choice.

Those struggles were obviously progressive because they were struggles against inequality, prejudice and the kind of stereotypes that say members of minorities are too infantile to make important life decisions for themselves. The struggle for same-sex marriage is the same struggle.

The mistake made by people like Altman and Razer is they believe marriage is more conservatising than it really is and same-sex partners are more radical than they really are.

There you have a perfect example of Commonwealth radicalism.  The opening session of the conference was a conversation between Dennis Altman, Jeffrey Weeks and Alice Echols moderated by Ms Razer, in which all three of the participants announced "I have a ring, but we're not married [not legal in Australia, not legal in Great Britain, not legal anymore in California]."  Fine.  

Where does hetero-imitative come in?  Trust me on this.  Sometimes the internets can't come up with the material you want them to come up with, but during the 1970s there was a strain in gay liberation, taken from radical feminism, that long-term relationships between men were hetero-imitative and a drag on personal freedom. If you don't want to take my word for it, ask any gay man over 60 (it was about the all-about-sex-all-the-time thing).  Anyhow, that was then, so I was surprised to see this come roaring back in the form of heteronormativity and the idea that anything heteronormative was a conservative departure from the ideals of gay liberation.

So now we have the Against Equality Collective.  I'm not sure I want to dignify it by going on at length, because I've come to the conclusion that it's a concern troll site.  I'll just link to the marriage page.  Marvel at all the articles the collective has cobbled together.  Note that many of them are undated. I was really dismayed when  Ryan said he had an article by John D'Emilio, so I looked, and of COURSE D'Emilio was in despair over the prospects of marriage equality in 2006 -- who wasn't (then, you could get married in Massachusetts, and Schwarzenegger had vetoed the legislature's attempt to create marriage equality)?  By 2010, when I had a long conversation with Professor D'Emilio at the American Historical Association convention as we waited for a panel on same-sex marriage and the law (this was the week before the Perry v Schwarzenegger trial started) he was a lot more positive about the effort for marriage equality.  That doesn't matter to Against Equality.

Well, enough.  I think my marriage is a nice slap in the face to Maggie Gallagher and her minions, and if some radical theorists want to tell me I'm being heteronormative, !@#% them.  

10:42 AM PT: Updated to fix the factual error regarding 2006.


10:47 AM PT: and the one involving 2008

3:51 PM PT: Thanks, Milk Men and Women, for the republish, and thanks, Community Spotlight -- twice in two days!

Originally posted to Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:20 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays, Milk Men And Women, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There is something very conservative about (14+ / 0-)

    marriage as it exists in our culture.  It holds lifelong obligation as a goal, and is associated with suburbanization and consumerism.  The problem is, many gay and lesbian people would be happy to be good little capitalists.

    Many of the socialists and anarchists of the turn of the century either had unconventional marriages or eschewed marriage for reasons having to do with their economic philosophy, and, of course, sexism at the time.

    Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

    by Nulwee on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:30:04 AM PST

  •  I've had this argument (40+ / 0-)

    applied to my own marriage and it pissed me off too. I reject that notion entirely. The reason my husband and I married was because we love each other and are committed to each other. Coupled with the fact that marriage as an institution grants us privileges and rights formally reserved for only heterosexuals, albeit currently only at the  State level, was impetus enough to enter into this contract together. Nothing about my queerness was lost in the process. If gay people were given equal rights at the Federal level tomorrow morning, a simple fact remains. You've gained a right and you will be free to exercise that right or not. That's your prerogative. But spare me a lecture that I've abandoned my queerness in favor of assimilation if I choose to take advantage of my equal rights. It's a ridiculous conclusion.

    Score Card: Marriages won by me, 1. Marriages destroyed by me, 0.

    by Steven Payne on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:42:19 AM PST

    •  I'm glad I'm not alone here (17+ / 0-)

      Rights?  Check.  Loss of queerness?  Hardly. Jeffrey Weeks eventually went off his "I have a ring" deal and called gay marriage a radical act.  It IS!

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:07:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Queerness" ... it still matters ? (14+ / 0-)

        Sure, between Stonewall and the Health Crisis I saw so much of "the whole point" of GBLT was belonging to a creative, transgressive, outrageous Vanguard Class Alternative Culture.

        That would be so much better than being a boring, sex-negative Old Left Trotskyist, that's for sure.  It would be almost as good as being "Black and Soulful."  

        I may have stayed very young for my age for all that time, from Stonewall through the Health Crisis,  But I wasn't blind or deaf.  Past a certain age, it was pretty obvious that not everyone wanted to be an unpaid professional revolutionary, or bask in the limelight of Outrageousness.

        Snapshot:  The Fantasticks Louisa says: "Please god, don't let me be normal ,"  and  even some of the 20-somethings in the audience laugh.

        Why?  Because "normal" ain't so bad.  Especially when you get to define for yourself what "normal" really is.  There's something to be said for steady, well paid employment, settled habitation, a pension plan and lasting relationships.

        From the vantage point of 1973, I would have said that if anyone was going to make Polyfidelity/Polyamory work as an accepted model for domestic life -- it certainly should have been the gay men I was hanging out with.  But, in practice:  they managed the same "serial monogamy with occasional cheating" that their Str8 contemporaries were beating themselves up with.

        Times HAVE changed.  And very much for the better.

        Today,  Dan Savage is increasingly acknowledging that Modified Monogamy is not for everyone.  But, since he also increasingly acknowledges that Bisexuals DO exist and are not necessarily "confused" or "predatory opportunists" -- I  figure :  "with time comes some measure of wisdom."

        Its been fifteen years since Elllen DeGeneres came out  and now she's the spokesface for J.C.Penny. Rue Paul has a regular show on Basic Cable.  High Schools in Oklahoma, ferkrissake, are running Gay/Straight Alliances -- and even have Str8 members in them!

        OK ... I can see that there's a self-definition thing that young people seem to do before they settle into their fully realized authentic adult identities.  And if people have been sneering "queer" or "kike" or "trash" at you through middle school,  those labels make a pretty good jumping off point on which to base one's "Self 3.2."

        But seriously ... having watched more than one Pride Day Parade in a major city, it becomes pretty clear that "GBLT Community" is a long way from monolithic -- and having marched in  a few, I'd have to say a great many
        don't WANT to be "special"  -- especially if it means NOT enjoying the 1,342 (more or less) rights, protections, entitlements and benefits which are currently blocked by DOMA.  

  •  It seems to me that these folks are (29+ / 0-)

    missing the point. It's about choice. Gay couples should be able to choose to marry just like the rest of us. No one is saying they have to marry, but that option should be there for those who want it.

    •  Choice and access (6+ / 0-)

      I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I remember a lot of the late night discussions going round and round about freedom to express your being and how stultifying marriage was and cultural reactionaries and all the pseudo-philosophical crap that adolescent intellectuals come up with after mixing coffee and a toke.

      Whether or not marriage is desirable as a cultural institution or it is just too achingly mundane, the point is that in our current culture, marriage conveys a special legal status upon the couple. That status imbues certain rights, benefits and obligations to the partners that differentiate them, as a class, from unmarried individuals. As long as that is the case, denial of access to the institution of marriage constitutes a class-wide abridging of civil rights (yes, marriage is a civil institution and has nothing whatever to do with religion or churches).

      Access to marriage does not demand the exercise of it. It just provides the availability to those who wish to take advantage of it. Those who don't want to get married don't have to. Those who do, should be able to.

  •  Oh my... (32+ / 0-)

    Where do we start?

    I understand that there are some people whose desire is to remain outside the mainstream, not matter what the mainstream is, at all costs. And they should be permitted to do so. It's quite different however to be "forced" to remain outside the mainstream either because of lack of access to it or because of pressure to conform to non-conformity.

    That said, do these people understand that part and parcel of any marriage or even any longterm relationship is to have the ability to for the couple (or more) to decide how their relationship will function?

    As for being over 60...I qualify. Even when I was young I wanted the stability of a relationship. And I did in fact know any number of gay male couples. Some were as boring (or dysfunctional) as the most white-bread hetero married couple while others were...indescribable.

    Having freedom must include having the freedom to be conventional or it really isn't freedom at all.

  •  I've noticed a typo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, commonmass, CajunBoyLgb

    There were some halcyon months, but I believe you misplaced them...

    I used my wedding announcement instead of wedding pictures to illustrate the five months in 1988 when marriage was legal in California.
    Or did something happen in 1988 that I missed out on?
  •  edit "2006 -- the year Bill Cliton signed DOMA" (5+ / 0-)

    1996

    "Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California..."

    by teachme2night on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:18:26 AM PST

  •  "marriage" (19+ / 0-)

    I want marriage not for the white picket fence, but so in sickness and and ill health  my husband makes the decisions, not my kin.  

    The idea that marriage restricts me in a way that being in a dating relationship doesn't is pretty silly too.

    PS:  And what teachme2night said about DOMA above... 1996, not 2006.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:34:12 AM PST

  •  Assimiliation is a huge topic. (34+ / 0-)

    Any marginalized group deals with it.  

    Can you be a true feminist woman if you shave your legs?

    Are you a real Jew if you don't practice radical circumcision (my Jewish transgender ex-boyfriend said his Rabbi told him that all that was technically required was a crop of blood). Today's common circumcision practice (removing all the foreskin) is strongly related to anti-assimilation centuries ago.

    Are you really gay if you get married or don't constantly screw new partners?

    How black (or brown) are you if you get an education and use textbook English?

    Look at a vintage copy of John Molloy's infamous Dress for Success.  Where do you draw the line between playing the game to your advantage to get ahead in the corporate world versus sublimating essential characteristics of who you are?

    I view this from a disability perspective.  As an amputee, I see people across the spectrum. Some amputees, often older, prefer lifelike prostheses and try to look as "normal" as possible. At the other end are folks like me who don't give a flip.  The advent of elite athletes being visible in the media with exposed hi-tech prostheses has paved the way for "letting it all hang out"

    Similarly, among people with Alopecia there are those (more women and kids than adult men) who prefer wigs, hats, and fake eyebrows. OTOH, many of us become acclimated to (and liberated by) being bare-headed.

    At my advancing age, I think it highly unlikely that I will ever marry and I am both too old, and too disabled for military service.  But marriage equality military service are key components of LGBT equality.  

    In other words--I am "pro-choice" on those (and other) issues.  I want the freedom to choose marriage or military service because they are intrinsically linked overall, just like reproductive choice.  I will never need (or likely cause the need for) an abortion--but I am passionately committed to reproductive freedom.

    (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

    by homogenius on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:07:35 AM PST

  •  I don't see it as either or (21+ / 0-)

    And agree with homogenius. I remember long ago a woman telling me I'd be such a good feminist if I just cut my long hair and stopped wearing a bra (and I am definitely what is delicately referred to as "full figure"). My views, my activities, they apparently didn't count, my underwear choices were what mattered!

    Compare to the military. If anyone, gay or straight, asked my advise I'd say don't join. Because I do not think this military can ever be a force for justice, let alone liberation. However, I unequivocally support the RIGHT of anyone, gay, straight, bi, transgender, name it, to join on an equal basis if he/she/they want to.

    Same with marriage. We can discuss exploring alternatives. But that discussion is meaningless when we don't have choices.

  •  It IS about choice (12+ / 0-)

    So when any movement of any kind asks you to walk in lockstep with it, we should be very very wary of the movement.  This happens at the edges of movements, it's not meant to be applied to the 2012 presidential election.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:51:31 AM PST

    •  Except when it is asking people (0+ / 0-)

      to walk lockstep in support of marriage?  Because, unless I read this diary wrong, that's what you're asking.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:00:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  People are being asked to support (5+ / 0-)

        choice. Choice to marry or not, use contraception or not, carry pregnancy to term or not: do you see a trend? These things are related.

        •  The problem is that support isn't (0+ / 0-)

          reciprocated.  Groups like HRC who make marriage equality their main issue completely and totally ignore the problem of homelessness among LGTB youth, and actively lobby against trans inclusion in various bills.  A home 15 year old transman doesn't need marriage to make his life better.  Not to mention the fact that as soon as we get marriage equality the rich white gays are going to go running to the GOP to protect their money.

          It's a matter of priorities.  Yes, people deserve the right to get married to whoever will accept their hand in marriage.  The question is if that's the most important right to fight for right now.  Of course, that argument is done, as illustrated by the fact that I regularly see people demonized, in the comments here, for daring to question whether marriage equality is the most important thing to be working on.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 05:55:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Winning marriage equality rights in SCOTUS (3+ / 0-)

            will be a giant move of the the marker for everyone who is outside the culture's gender/sex-orientation norm. It is the current, huge, low-hanging harvest for LGBT civil rights.

            >> There are no ambiguities to the issue, even among its most vitriolic opponents. They know EXACTLY what they want to prevent LGBT people from participating in.

            >> And the legal arguments and precedents that undergird its victory in SCOTUS will provide much/most of the foundation for trans inclusion in other bills.

            That is why IMO it makes sense for groups like HRC to focus on marriage equality, perhaps especially considering the number of conservative white people involved -- I'm not sure how many of them are any more concerned about homeless LGBT kids than about any other homeless ppl. Might as well yoke their money and energy to clearing the first big hurdle.

            •  It's not a win for me (0+ / 0-)

              Nor is it a win for a good number of people I know.  There are a lot of people who will gain virtually nothing from marriage equality.  That's the whole problem here, is that people are insisting that this is going to be some huge leap forward for everyone when in fact there are other things that are more important to a lot of LGBT people.  

              That is why IMO it makes sense for groups like HRC to focus on marriage equality, perhaps especially considering the number of conservative white people involved -- I'm not sure how many of them are any more concerned about homeless LGBT kids than about any other homeless ppl. Might as well yoke their money and energy to clearing the first big hurdle.
              Leaving aside the issue of HRC as an organization, for now, the problem here is that everything you say lines up perfectly with what I'm identifying as the problem.  Sure, Newsom isn't concerned about homeless kids, but that doesn't mean we should support organization that or politicians that also aren't.  Because if we do that then as soon as we get married the rest of the GLBT community wil be told to fuck off thank you very much, and the rich folks will walk away, the battle being won.

              To go back to HRC, no one should be supporting them at this point.  They lobbied to strip ENDA of it's protections for trans people and blames black people in CA for prop 8 failing.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:41:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The SCOTUS victory will be a major legal watershed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CajunBoyLgb

                for LGBT people that will directly or indirectly affect every aspect of LGBT law going forward, including the issues that affect you. The opportunity to make a significant leap in social consciousness is right on the cusp; its acceptance in courts of law and of majority opinion are snowballing. Take it and run with its legal precedents and implications. And if rich white LGBT people are contributing, just hold your nose.

                Sadly, politicians and most of the electorate do not give a shit about poor people, homed or homeless, and they pretty much haven't since the Carter administration. Trying to significantly shift social consciousness, state and/or federal priorities, and resource allocation toward ANY flavor of homeless person continues to be an uphill, mostly local, battle -- especially during a massive economic downturn.

                Politics is the art of the possible. Take what's possible at the same time you keep pressing for the less possible. That's all I'm saying.

                •  Given the current make up of the SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

                  I think that acting as if marriage equality is going to be upheld by it is rather naive.

                  Sadly, politicians and most of the electorate do not give a shit about poor people, homed or homeless, and they pretty much haven't since the Carter administration. Trying to significantly shift social consciousness, state and/or federal priorities, and resource allocation toward ANY flavor of homeless person continues to be an uphill, mostly local, battle -- especially during a massive economic downturn.
                  You're just restating the problem.  Yes, most people don't care about the poor.  Why should I support organizations and people that do the same?  If we want to make real progress we need to remember that the pragmatic method in this case means we get marriage, DADT and nothing else.  Yay!

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:10:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Btw, I distinctly remember that after Loving v. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DarkLadyNyara, susanala, CajunBoyLgb

                  Virginia, black people did not stop gaining ground with respect to civil rights.

                  And when you say "Because if we do that then as soon as we get married the rest of the GLBT community wil be told to fuck off thank you very much, and the rich folks will walk away, the battle being won," do you mean that, if you had your way, you would prevent LGBT people from gaining marriage equality until they first won concessions for homeless LGBT kids? Rly???

    •  I was discussing feminism with a friend in the 70s (5+ / 0-)

      when Identity Politics was all the rage, and we agreed that feminism doesn't really liberate anybody if all women still have to do the same thing.

      "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

      by Kimball Cross on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 04:57:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marriage equality also affects transpeople... (16+ / 0-)

    ...which some seem to forget.  In South Carolina, a transman wasnot allowed to marry his fiance because he was declared to be a woman.

  •  Rec'd for the last line. (14+ / 0-)
    Well, enough.  I think my marriage is a nice slap in the face to Maggie Gallagher and her minions, and if some radical theorists want to tell me I'm being heteronormative, !@#% them.
    This is a thing of beauty.

    Have you googled Romney today?

    by fou on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 11:40:43 AM PST

  •  It is very nice to see that there are queer (15+ / 0-)

    activists out there who are willing to judge my behavior as a gay man if I get "out of line" and do something too "straight".

    I find that truly disgusting. Sometimes a ring is just a ring.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 11:45:05 AM PST

  •  You know what's radical? (7+ / 0-)

    Letting people do what they want!  If anything, gay marriage is inherently less coercive that straight marriage because there's not gendered disparity of power.  

    I enjoyed reading this, painful as it was for you to experience it, because it sent me back to my college days.  I guess some people believe that not only that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, but that a woman needs a woman or a man needs a man in precisely the same (null) way.  

    Freedom means not caring about other people's business--I'm a Cheneyite, I guess :)  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 11:51:10 AM PST

  •  I'm a reader so I grew into my gay self reading (8+ / 0-)

    and in the early 80s there was a lot of gay lib writing around, the ideas in which sorta morphed into queer theory.

    I was always puzzled by the idea that it was good for gay people to have the state prevent us from having legal recognition of our relationships. Sure, from a feminist historian's point of view the woman-as-chattel aspect of marriage would loom large, considering how enduring and seemingly omnipresent that situation has been. But how would that work with a same sex couple?

    I think also sex roles creeped out liberationists - who wears the pants in the family? is the usual unthinking question. Sex roles require hierarchical relationships, don't they? How does that work with a same sex couple? Does one woman have to subsume her life to the other in a legal marriage? Would the state somehow be picking the Man in the relationship and privileging Him?

    Actually, the more you consider same sex marriage the more you have to realize that it is only possible when egalitarian marriage is the ideology. (In societies where men were allowed multiple wives it was possible to add a male wife to the harem and not disturb the hierarchical Male On Top status quo.)

    A state of affairs in which same sex marriages "aped" het marriages (in the sense of one member of the couple having to take on the expected female sex role, the other taking on the male sex role) would not long be tenable because the law would not be able to maintain a distinction. Well, the judge would say, perplexed, is She the Man or is She? And if the two in conflict disagree the state can't just say, well, this one has the vagina and this one has the penis - the law believes in the superiority of the penis, case closed. If the law believes in the penis and you have to adjudicate a conflict between penises, which penis wins? Rigid gender roles would shatter.

    But I imagine gay liberationists were terrified of being forced to join same sex versions of the unenviable marriages of their parents (or their het peers). That fear got in the way of gaming out the real consequences - and still does for some.

  •  You bring back some memories -- as a straight (13+ / 0-)

    woman over 60 who evolved through the feminist movement, I remember the time when monogamy was declared obsolete -- that seemed to be coming, in my experience, mainly from hetero males who wanted an excuse to have as much sex as they wanted from as many women as they could.
    There was this fashion trend toward "open marriage," (I think the couple who wrote the book that was the bible on this ended up divorced) and my husband was trying to convince me that there was something wrong with me because I didn't want an "open" marriage. Our marriage broke up for an astonishing number of reasons, and I grew up and formed my own views which are -- "open" marriage is not for me.
    I went to grad school and one of my roommates was a lesbian -- she told me that there was no such thing as an egalitarian heterosexual marriage. That for women, the only good relationships were lesbian relationships. She fell in love with a woman just about when I was getting involved with the guy I ended up marrying (still married, 35 years later) and it turned out that our trials and troubles in our relationships were remarkably similar. Apparently same-sex and opposite-sex relationships deal with mainly the same set of problems.
    Fast forward to me as a mother of a 23-year-old lesbian. Her problems in her relationships are like a replay of what I went through at her age. And the final blow -- the brief romantic relationship she had with a woman who tried to convince her that there is something wrong with her because monogamy is retro and truly liberated people have "open" relationships.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (the more things change, the more they remain the same).

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:06:54 PM PST

    •  Yes, we're the same age (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, outragedinSF, Tamar

      And now I'll be tremendously honest.  I met my spouse (we celebrate our wedding anniversary and anniversary of the day we met) in 1971, and we shrugged off the slings and arrows of liberation.  Of course, for us, open was no problem (we're men), but with the caveat that we came home at night and it wasn't interfering with the time we spent together.

      la meme chose indeed.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:28:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and that's why I said it wasn't for (6+ / 0-)

        me.
        I think it's possible to have a good marriage where one or both partner is having sexual relationships outside the marriage, but it's not something I could live with.
        My main problem is when people try to foist their beliefs on everybody else -- whether it's the Catholic church saying women shouldn't use contraceptives, or self-identified radicals saying monogamy is conservative or heteronormative, these are people who can't live their lives comfortably if you're living your life differently.
        I've always figured that the biggest proselytizers are the ones who are not confident in their own choices.
        Thanks for the very interesting diary.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:38:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  p.s. correction: looked up the authors of (5+ / 0-)

        Open Marriage and they actually had a long marriage. My mistake.
        I just felt such anger toward them because of the way their words were used to bully me and some friends of mine. But of course, it wasn't their fault that people misused their ideas that way.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:44:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of people have lived in (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar, raincrow, CajunBoyLgb

          marriages that were not entirely and totally monogamous for years and had quite a successful marriage, but I would never tell anyone that they HAVE to do it the way that my husband and I have, or the way anyone else did it. It's another area where everyone's marriage is different, and the people involved have to sort out what it is that works for them.

          When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

          by Alexandra Lynch on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 05:47:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  thanks for the thumbnail memoir (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamar, raincrow, CajunBoyLgb

      ;-)

  •  "You're not liberated (10+ / 0-)

    until WE say you're liberated!"

    Please.

    I've been living under the apparently quaint notion that being liberated means that you're free to do whatever you want to do.  The radical left can be just as nasty and judgemental as the worst of the evangelical fundamentalist Christians.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:27:31 PM PST

    •  As long as what you want conforms to certain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Panurge

      social norms that currently exist, then sure, marriage==liberation.

      It isn't that marriage can't be a part of it for some people.  The problem is that it's been turned into the issue.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:02:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CajunBoyLgb

        And why has it been turned into the issue?  Because We Just Happen To Be Gay, which means We're As Square As You Not Like Those Dirty Hippie Freaks Over There.

        The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

        by Panurge on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 12:30:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I haven't found the left to be as nasty (5+ / 0-)

      as the talibangelicals, not because there aren't mean people everywhere, but because lefties have had far far less muscle in getting their particular nasty notions codified into law. Nastiness without power is definitely hurtful, but if you look in the rearview mirror it won't be catching up with you under spinning lights and in uniform. Which makes it less nasty.

  •  Above all else, marraige is a civil contract (7+ / 0-)

    The word married and marriage appears over a thousand times in various legal statues and regulations, according to Thom Hartmann.

    Civil union just don't cut it.

    As a survivor of professional identity politics in the 70s, I say we move on to the 21st century.

    If two or more people of relatively sound mind and judgement decide to enter this contract, LET THEM BE.

    I'm actually working again, on a contract basis, with a 503 (c)3 nonprofit agency that serves minority and special-needs populations with their health insurance needs. I've found my calling. I hope this becomes a permanent job. Please wish me luck!

    by ozsea1 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:39:48 PM PST

    •  Totally agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, ozsea1

      And, btw, you don't have to be over 60 to remember the opposition to heteronormative constructs.  I'm 50 and I remember very well coming out in the late 70's.  Any couple who adopted a heternormative marriage construct was ripe for ridicule.

      But it's important to understand the distinction.  As DaveinNorthridge points out, the resistance to heteronormative constructs was born of sexual liberation, not economic or social liberation.  I think the construct of marriage wasn't so much rejected as that it never really entered the realm of acheivability, so there was no reason to contemplate it.  Oh, some did, but it certainly was not prevalent.

      Having said that, I know that sex is political, but in this case I believe that sexual liberation and economic liberation from the gay ghetto can work at cross purposes - but they don't have to.  Many people assume that the marriage construct implies sexual monogamy, but it doesn't have to.  They can coexist.

      "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." - Leonard Bernstein

      by outragedinSF on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:52:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh--I *wish*... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        outragedinSF

        Now it seems you're looked down on if you're not aspiring to be "heteronormative" (sorry for the quotes--I know there's no more elegant word out there, but I still dislike it).  It's hard enough being non-straight--must I be "straight-acting" and "straight-looking" too?

        The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

        by Panurge on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 12:28:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as I wrote (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CajunBoyLgb, outragedinSF
          when an American lesbian Jewish activist of some renown asked one of the keynote speakers whether marriage equality was going to create a (necessarily subordinate and inferior) class of Lesbian spinsters
          But then, when hasn't that been an undercurrent, especially for gay men?

          All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

          by Dave in Northridge on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 06:52:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have ALWAYS railed against those words. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CajunBoyLgb, ebohlman

          Hate it when gay people reject their own by saying "straight acting."  I understand butch and effeminate, but that doesn't equate with straight or gay.  There are plenty of effeminate straight men and plenty of butch gay men.

          "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." - Leonard Bernstein

          by outragedinSF on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:43:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, ozsea1

      We still have professional identity politics.  It's just different outside the United States, or at least I think it is.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:07:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Statutes", lol (0+ / 0-)

      helps to proof before posting, eh?

      I'm actually working again, on a contract basis, with a 503 (c)3 nonprofit agency that serves minority and special-needs populations with their health insurance needs. I've found my calling. I hope this becomes a permanent job. Please wish me luck!

      by ozsea1 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 06:36:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not being a Lesbian, I want marriage equality (11+ / 0-)

    because I don't want to live in a society which says some people are more equal than others.

    And if some feel that same sex marriage would inhibit their sexual creativity I say to them the same thing that I say to those who feel same sex marriage would damage traditional marriage; Don't marry someone of the same sex.

    Why are we so afraid of options, of choice?  No one should be forced to marry anyone of any sex.  Nor should abortion or birth control be dictated by edict.  People should choose for themselves how they wish to live and to love.

    If marriage is somehow confining, don't get married.  But don't you dare to inhibit my right to marry, or not, as I choose.  Why is that so very hard to understand?

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:51:09 PM PST

  •  You Know What Being a Radical LGBTQE Person Is?! (11+ / 0-)

    It's living openly and freely as the person you are, loving the person (or people, yes) you want. End of story. And as long as the Golden Rule is always carefully heeded, we should have 100% equality with straights in matters of commerce and employment and marriage. Simple as that.

    As soon as I see those $5 Queer Theory words trotted out, my eyes glaze over. My very existence and openly gay, fabulous life is radical in being pretty normal.

    What's normal for me is fine. What's normal for you (every "you") is also fine. What's so hard to understand?!

    My marriage doesn't harm anybody, and my husband and I take care of each other and quarrel and make up and live our rather dull lives in the suburbs. And dammit, if it gives Maggie "the Hutt" Gallagher Srivastav a sad, I've done my good deed for the day.

    (I also smugly note that, at last night's Valentine's Day dinner at a local restaurant, half the tables were occupied by gay and lesbian couples. We dined with another married couple, also gay. And it would give Maggie another sad to note that everyone was perfectly fine with it.

    And that is our city's Radical Queerness on display.)

    -8.75,-8.00. "Liberal" ain't a dirty word. "Indifferent" IS. Our enemies want us dead. WE WILL VANQUISH THEM.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:17:28 PM PST

    •  I'm so glad you put it this way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, worldlotus

      We have a dull life in the suburbs as well, and I agree 100%.  All of those liberation movements were intended to let us all (regardless of race, color, creed, all those things) finally have the experiences all white men felt entitled to, which is why gay liberation was more complicated than the other movements because many of us were able to pass.  It's when we stopped passing that the movement got interesting.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:00:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, being a radical LGBTQE person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LuvSet

      means realizing that your issues aren't the only issues that exist in the LGBTWE community.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:39:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i came of age in the 70s (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, CajunBoyLgb

    and i came out of the closet at around 16 and  started going out to clubs and things shortly after (it was the 70s, being underage wasn't quite as much of a concern as it is now).  

    in the context of how it was for me in the 70s vs. now i'll have to say that with equality towards gay people is preferable and i get to experience considerable satisfaction over the fact that homophobia is nearly as unkindly regarded as is overt racism.

    on the other hand, i miss the energy, creativity and sense of being on the edge that being in the gay community was about in the 70s.  so much of gay culture today has become way overly codified and generic.  whereas, in the 70s, being part of the underground was really an exciting feeling.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:47:10 PM PST

    •  well, the literature on the 70s is fascinating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alguien, CajunBoyLgb

      The scholarly take on it now is that all the clubs and things represented a commodification of gay life, bringing it into uncomfortably close contact with late capitalism.  It didn't matter that gay people finally owned the clubs and things, it's commodification to the academy.

      We're mainstream now, and some younger gay men and lesbians don't like that (it's so much more difficult to be transgressive now), but that's just too bad.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:05:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i don't think things really became (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CajunBoyLgb

        commodified until around the late 80s.  at least that's when it really started becoming apparent and we really started getting hit with all kinds of gay-related swag and other items and our events started getting big-time corporate sponsorship.  

        in the 70s things were still pretty ragtag and scrappy.

        hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

        by alguien on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:18:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gayness and marriage should be orthogonal. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CajunBoyLgb, raincrow

    See, if you'd taken more math in school, you'd understand what I meant :-D

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

    by Code Monkey on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:01:57 PM PST

  •  I'm in a very nontraditional situation (3+ / 0-)

    I live with my ex husband, who I was with from 1992 to 1999.  We've lived together most of the time since, and go on vacations and to parties together (including sexually oriented ones, but we're platonic with each other).  

    We bought a condo together in 2009, and registered a domestic partnership later that year for insurance and tax purposes.  Since we broke up I'm on my 5th relationship and he's had 2, and my boyfriend of the past several months lives with us.  Of all the others only one lived with us, and only for a few months (til I kicked that one out).

    Personally I'm all for gay marriage, but only for the legal ramifications, I couldn't care less what religion thinks of me or anything else (atheist).  I also don't care what straight people or other gay people think of me and my oddball situation.  

    It's always fun though talking to straight couples who wonder how I could ever possibly live with an ex (and also current), when most of them would probably grab an ax if they saw an ex ;)

    Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

    by sleipner on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:18:58 PM PST

  •  I've got to admit these types of comments always (4+ / 0-)

    make me angry. When I finally realised I really had a thing for other women, I didn't know that there was  a definition of queer that I had to adhere to. I foolishly thought I just had to be me. You know, go to work, pay the bills etc. Like most people do. But to have someone telling me that the way I am doesn't really fit what a lesbian is, is just damn annoying.
        I thought the whole equality thing WAS to do what ever you want, be what ever you want without someone telling you that you should be out every other night at the clubs and picking up a different partner every night. That's not me, not because I am trying to immitate the lives of straight people. Sorry been there done that, tried to 'fit' in for so long I shake my head now.
      I agree with CajunBoyLgb above, that's what being radical is. Living in the suburbs, doing the same things as everyone else, working, mowing the lawn on the weekend, redecorating....whatever.
        The two of us say we are going to try to change the world one person at a time, and when people get to know us and we aren't really terrible, no wild orgies on weekends, we don't dress any differently than anyone else (thank god they don't look like those people on the Mardi Gras in Sydney) we just become the next door neighbours. Or the people they work with.
         When it comes down to it there really is only one difference, and that's no-ones business but ours. this kind of thing annoys me as much as the radical right telling me what I am like or do.
        I hope this makes sense, I get so annoyed that my brain goes faster than my fingers, and everything just kind of bubbles out.

    "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come." Anne Lamott

    by Angrybudgie on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:26:06 PM PST

  •  Theorists dictating our range of legal options (7+ / 0-)

    ..and dictating exactly what gay/queer "means," in the name of "radicalism," always blew my mind. And irritated the crap out of me. Thank you for calling out this bullshit.

    If these guys want to challenge the normativity of marriage, they should go for it. But who the fuck are they to limit the legal options of GLBT people in the name of their weird crusade? They're worse than the bigots, because they should know better. No excuse for such stupidity.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:31:07 PM PST

  •  My problem with the issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kamilumin

    is that gay marriage, and DADT, have become central to the GLTB movement when they aren't necessarily what will help GLTB people the most.  Yes, they are civil rights issues, but the reason that gay marriage is being pressed is because it is important to rich white gays, not because it's the most important issue out there.  Once this issue is settled you can expect the rich white folks to quickly distance themselves from the "radical" side of the movement and we won't see any movement for a long time on GLTB issues.

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:38:06 PM PST

    •  did you even read this diary? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, DarkLadyNyara

      Do one yourself on what will help GLBT people the most  beside marriage equality (I actually think marriage equality will grease the skids for ENDA, which we need desperately), and then we can discuss it.  

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:55:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I did. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kamilumin

        And I'll give one example.  Everyone loves Gavin Newsom because he pushed the envelope on gay marriage.  They conveniently ignore the fact that he made life demonstrably worse for the large percentage of LGBT youth who are homeless in San Francisco.

        I hope you're right about ENDA, I think that is far more important than DADT or marriage.  I'd add that one of the things that frustrates me is that I see little to no mention of the hate crimes law that was passed.  That was a far bigger victory in my opinion than DADT and yet so many people had been going on and on about how Obama did nothing for the community.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:12:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the couple whose fight sparked the (6+ / 0-)

          new same sex marriage movement was neither completely white nor rich nor male.

          The current same sex marriage fight began in Hawaii back in the early 90s when an interracial lesbian couple, Genora Dancel and Ninia Baehr, decided they ought to be able to get married and wouldn't take no for an answer. Their fight was ignored or ridiculed by most established gay organizations (run by white gay men maybe?).

          When the lesbian & gay couples (2 other couples joined the suit, only one of those couples male) finally got the Hawaii Supreme Court to rule in their favor - after years of waiting for a decision, the marriage fight blew up nationwide. Why? Because suddenly it looked like "full faith & credit" might mean gay marriage could be legal across the country. And because the right wing knew a great fundraising opportunity when they saw it and had ready boots on the ground (in churches, naturally) to put an unpopular gay issue on the ballot in state after state after state. It was the attack of the anti-gays that woke up the national organizations (sorta) and made marriage equality a central issue in the lgbt movement - because, what was the other option?

          ... the young people these days, no sense of history ...

          •  Thanks for the history (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LuvSet

            I always wondered why no one talked about Hawaii so much especially because it seemed really important then I heard nothing about it.  It was also the time before blogs so it was more difficult to follow these sorts of things.

            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:49:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Also, one of the reasons ENDA failed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow

        was because HRC fought against including Trans people in the protecctions and that kicked the legs out from under it.  If it weren't for that it might have passed.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:37:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In this vein I'll offer a link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      Blankfein heads HRC.

      As Taibbi says:

      How would the members of the HRC board feel if a group of labor unions got together and decided to nominate an antigay bigot like Rick Santorum, Gary Bauer or James Dobson to head a national campaign for workers’ rights?

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:05:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that's terrible. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, CajunBoyLgb

        and now, what does this have to do with heteronormativity?

        All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

        by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:36:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Marriage is heteronormative (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dRefractor, kamilumin

          it is in some ways the social basis of heteronormativity.  The fact is that there are a lot of people who want LGBT groups to push for gays to become a part of society in a "normal" way.  Get married, have a regular job, etc.  That's heteronormative.  I'm not saying that it's necessarily bad to want to be married, I certainly don't but if others do then fine by me.  But if we start pretending that two people getting married is actually subversive or radical then we've gone off into bizarro world.  The suburbs are heteronormative.  Maybe it's just where I come from, but I don't see anything radical about gays getting married, it's a common sense way for the larger social system to adapt to people demanding rights by allowing those who otherwise fit into society to choose to live in a slightly different way.  Just because gay marriage pisses some people off doesn't mean it's radical.  By that definition a lot of things are radical.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:53:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, CajunBoyLgb

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:43:58 PM PST

  •  You know, this kind of stuff is the reason a lot (4+ / 0-)

    of people disliked radical feminism that used to make similar claims. I mean 'long-term relationships are heteronormative'? If you don't like long-term relationships, don't enter into one. It's not like anyone forces you. I would be open to an argument that preferential tax treatment of marriages is not necessary  but this?

  •  The problem with mainstreaming LBGT (0+ / 0-)

    is that being mainstreamed has a price. When one is mainstreamed, then -- as Virginia Woolf put it -- "the words 'For God and Empire' will very likely be written, like the address on a dog-collar, round your neck."

    On the other hand, those who are not mainstreamed are likely to be the dog's meat in that same Empire.

  •  It took me awhile to come around... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, CajunBoyLgb

    When there were the first rumblings of marriage equality going on, I was against it.  For the very reasons I suspect a lot of these people are/were.

    For me, I felt if marriage became legal, we would lose our community.  I didn't want to be like straight people.  I like being gay.  I like that I'm different.

    I've since come around, I was married to my partner of 15years, 5 years ago.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:00:26 PM PST

    •  I absolutely hear you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puffin, CajunBoyLgb

      I thought it was a major distraction until the day in May 2008 when the California Supreme Court announced its decision in re: Marriage Cases and said marriages could start in a month.  It was before an 11:15 AM history class, and I was so giddy when I walked into the classroom I just blurted out that thanks to the court I would finally be married on June 19.  There was applause!  And we did (6/19/2008), on the date we celebrated the 37th anniversary of the day we met.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:12:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary. I too am married (in CA) (3+ / 0-)

    but also of feel that everyone should feel free to be as creative as they can safely be in their relationships.

    I don't care for the bickering I see in the comments I've reviewed so far, though, so I'll just tiptoe away and finish my lasagna.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:43:21 PM PST

  •  As someone who is not gay, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eltee, DarkLadyNyara, worldlotus, ebohlman

    I have a hard time understanding why a person being gay would necessarily make them more radical, progressive, or "sexually creative". I can see how being subject to oppression can make people more radical in response, but does that change the nature of what people ultimately want?

    Also, as someone who is not married, and has no desire for marriage, I used to be less supportive of the fight for marriage equality. But if we strive for a society where people have the freedom to choose marriage or not, no matter who they are, isn't that better for everyone?

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:31:22 PM PST

    •  You sound too sane for this thread (3+ / 0-)

      Sexual preference is only one aspect of someone's being. Being born gay, lesbian, bi, or transsexual doesn't mean one was born a radical nor that they are required to become a radical upon sexual maturity.

      Radical anything will tend to draw hangers on (or pull people out of closets or kitchens) -- which can be very useful to a movement -- but every revolution ends when people settle back down to everyday life, where the only sure things are death and taxes. Not coincidentally, when one is married those two sure things (death and taxes) become easier to bear, regardless of how radical one is. Is wanting to be at a loved one's death bed radical or conservative? Is wanting the same tax breaks as a heterosexual married couple radical or conservative? Trying to align such desires to a specific political spectrum is ridiculous.

    •  A-freaking-men (3+ / 0-)
      I have a hard time understanding why a person being gay would necessarily make them more radical, progressive, or "sexually creative".
      Agreed. Gay people are, first and foremost, people.

      To be honest, the whole thing actually kind of creeps me out. What if I don't want to be "radical" or "creative"? What if I just want to live my damn life as I see fit? It feels really dehumanizing to be told that I'm not allowed to want something, just because I happen to be gay.

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges. - Anatole France

      by DarkLadyNyara on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:59:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Late to this and just passing through, but what (3+ / 0-)

    exactly is the purpose of 'liberation' if not to live your own life as you please, on your own terms?  If you want to live it in a long term relationship with a partner, married or not, as you choose, how is that no against 'liberation'?

    It seems to me that some of the folks who toss that term around automatically assume it must simply mean 'counterculture', and are stuck in some sort of teenage angst phase, where they measure their 'success' in life by how much they've managed to reject from their 'parents lives', without any thought to whether or not they might actually enjoy doing some of the same things those parents did.

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