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I honestly didn't think I'd ever need to republish any of my diaries, but something tells me that this one didn't get enough readership the first time. Not when somebody decides to publish a diary suggesting that marriage equality is, well, just too heteronormative for a committed Leftist. Originally it was titled "Hetero-imitative/Heteronormative and Concern Trolls" but I know the offending diary here wasn't written by a concern troll.

So here, updated, is the diary I wrote ten days after I deplaned from QANTAS Flight 93, Melbourne to Los Angeles, on February 5, 2012.

I had been in Melbourne for four days, mostly to attend and to present a paper at a conference 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.
We tend to forget exactly how much of the gay liberation movement that Stonewall sparked was based on the ideas of lesbian 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 at the time in Great Britain, not legal at the time 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 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. And yes, some of the ideas expressed in the diary to which this responds correspond to the ideas expressed by the Against Equality Collective.

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

Originally posted to Kossacks for Marriage Equality on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:58 PM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  So there's something wrong with (6+ / 0-)

    "normal"?
    I'm confused.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:17:04 PM PDT

    •  Nothing wrong with "normal" (12+ / 0-)

      I'm just pushing back against an old familiar meme that keeps rearing its head.

      Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

      by Dave in Northridge on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:24:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is "normal"? (12+ / 0-)

      What was normal for my sister (married at 19, 2 kids by 22, grandmother in her mid-40s) wasn't normal for me (married at 32, childless by choice and medical necessity). Whatever works for you is fine with me, as long as consenting adults are involved, even if it's non-conforming to societal standards that are thought of as "normal". Less than a century ago, interracial relationships weren't considered "normal" either.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:50:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Marriage let alone marriage equality (4+ / 0-)

        is no longer Heteronormative. The norms and more of our rites of passage, Birth, Marriage, Working for a Living and Death were once all Theocratic, now they are more centered on education.

        Education and the diffusion of cultures through urbanization have brought  more important ways of defining relationships than what country your parents were born in, what language they spoke what religious rituals they practiced and what they did for work.

        There was a time back when landowning white men in this country took a copy of their deeds with them when they hiked two or three days to a polling place to vote.

        That was a time when excluding mail order brides on the frontiers, a man was likely to marry a woman of the same nationality, religion, age, and cultural values. Someone who spoke the same language.

        There was little regard for the practices of indigenous cultures,and immigrants until the industrial revolution brought immigration and the assimilation of ever more diffuse populations.

        That evolved into education replacing the importance of religion as recently as the fifties and sixties.

        Up until then religion determined the norms and mores for all the early attempts at a more perfect union of essentially Homogenous European colonies.

        As people from the Americas, Asia, Oceanasia and Africa came into a into a melting pot of people looking for a place where they could work for a living rather than make one for themselves the various people of the book no longer could control the diffusion of ideas about what constituted extended families.

        For the last half century unmarried people have lived together and married outside their religions and nationalities.

        Today Atheism is rapidly replacing Christianity and even cultures which have had great regard for the dictates of religious leaders are beginning to see the right wing Christian evangelicals as preaching hatred and racism rather than love and goodwill toward others.

        Marriage let alone marriage equality is sustained as a role more by tax status than religious dogma or ideas of propriety coming from a Heteronormative culture.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:28:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Normal? (0+ / 0-)

        It's "normal" to not marry a pet dog or any other pet. But maybe it should be normal. Many people love their dogs and are closer to them than they are with any human. If we can own animals without their consent then why can't we marry them without their consent? And I'm not talking about bestiality. If someone is going to do that to an animal then marriage isn't going to be relevant to that decision.

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)

      http://dictionary.reference.com/...
      normal
        Use Normal in a sentence
      nor·mal
      [nawr-muhl] Show IPA
      adjective
      1.
      conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
      2.
      serving to establish a standard.

      3.
      Psychology .
      a.
      approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment.

      b.
      free from any mental disorder; sane
      .

      It certainly ain't per se good.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:59:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I went to great and successful efforts (22+ / 0-)

    to stay out of the army during Vietnam. I forced to participate in two years of ROTC in college. I new full well that the military and I were not a good match. I have generally been a participant in more or less pacifist  opposition to military power.

    However, when the battle to repeal DADT came along a few years ago, I actively participated in that campaign. I saw that as a matter of people having a right to make a choice that almost everybody else gets to make.

    As a person who decided a long time ago that being single was the right path for me, I don't have personal need for a marriage license. Even if I were in a partnership I think I would have some philosophical issues with the institution of marriage. Never the less I support marriage equality because it is about the right to choose. Also, it does piss the fundies off. :)

  •  I remember 70's gay liberation well (21+ / 0-)

    ... even though I'm not quite 60.  A precocious start, perhaps, thanks to close proximity to San Francisco.  

    The idea that monogamy and marriage were imitative of heterosexual norms, and that as gays and lesbians we had the freedom to invent other forms of relationships, was widespread but far from universal.  I think a lot of it came from the novelty of letting raging hormones run riot, and wanting to try everything imagination offered before deciding to settle down behind a white picket fence.  

    Academics and political enthusiasts certainly tried to invent an ideology to justify such youthful enthusiasms, because that's what they do.  And they have a point, although they apply it in the wrong arena.  I have no doubt that some people would be happier in polyamorous relationships, or serial monogamy, or single life with casual sexual partners, than in a marriage.  I also have no doubt that many of those people are not gay or lesbian.  

    These academics would show better aim in criticizing monogamy as a normative value for all people, rather than just for LGBT folks.  "One size fits all" inevitably fits some better than others.  Pretending this is an LGBT thing misses the truth of it.

    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

    by Dallasdoc on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:28:23 PM PDT

  •  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?

  •  heteronormative GAY guy here into monogamy (9+ / 0-)

    hate the word heteronormatve

    but do get flack from other gay guys that my being into monogamy is uncle tomish or some such

  •  marriage is normative. which is fine. (5+ / 0-)

    it is, having been so for 5 years, boring as fuck. i mean my godds. now i understand why the divorce rate is so high.

    some of the preceding was snark but I wouldn't join any stupid leftist "let's not have equality" bullshit.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:43:33 PM PDT

  •  The oppression of traditional marriage (8+ / 0-)

    A raging debate in some feminist circles, as well.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:48:08 PM PDT

    •  That raging debate (5+ / 0-)

      is the one I'm engaging here.

      Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

      by Dave in Northridge on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:51:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I noticed you put queer theory in your tags. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, Dave in Northridge

        I have always tiptoed around the edges of that. It seems to have a pedigree linking it back to intellectual systems that I don't have a very good opinion of. like the Frankfurt School.  

      •  Feminist arguments for marriage, and for choice (6+ / 0-)

        It is an interesting debate in some respects, and it can be hard to put a finger on exactly what the point of the institution is. I've highlighted one that I think is especially meaningful

        With marriage rates falling and social sanctions against cohabitation falling away, why would a feminist choose to take part in such a retro, potentially oppressive, bigotedly exclusive institution?  Well, there are a lot of reasons, actually. Foremost are the emotional ones: love, companionship, the pure joy that meeting your match brings with it.
        I want to take the good from marriage and leave the rest. I know it's not for everyone, but the "for as long as we both shall live" love and support thang really works for me. Sure, I didn't need the wedding to get that love and support, but neither does the fact of marriage automatically consign me and my man to traditional man-and-wife roles....But also publicly--with our name change, for example (explaining to folks like the Social Security Administration and whoever hands out passports that, yes, we both need new papers, because we each have added the other's name was, and I mean this quite seriously, a thrill). And it's this public nature of marriage that appeals.
        http://www.msmagazine.com/...
        If you understand one principle about Feminism, it ought to be this: that Feminism respects a woman’s autonomy to make her own choices. If that means going to school and getting your PhD? Awesome. If that means starting your own business? Super. If that means getting married young and being a stay-at-home mom? STILL GREAT.
        http://thescarletwoman.tumblr.com/...
        “I don’t think we get married because it’s the best thing for society or for our families or for our religion or our country or the Western world. I don’t think we get married because it’s the financially responsible thing to do or because we can be counted as part of a statistic. I think we get married because, like any relationship, it teaches us and helps us grow as individuals. There are a thousand different reasons that people choose to either get married or not get married. People live the lives that work for them. But being married brings things into my life that otherwise I wouldn’t have. It makes my life richer, fuller, more complete, grounded, hopeful, and confident. Some may find those things in their life through other ways and means, but for me I have those things in my life because I am married to my husband.”
        http://www.newsweek.com/...

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:06:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then why didn't you post the link to the article (0+ / 0-)

        you are responding to instead of just presiding over the "debate" with your own point of view?

    •  I can see the political theory of wanting (6+ / 0-)

      to disrupt traditional institutions in which patriarchy has a vested stake. The lesbian and gay issue is somewhat the mirror image of the feminists. For us getting into it is a disruption of an oppressive tradition.  

    •  It's only oppression (8+ / 0-)

      if you allow yourself to be oppressed. I guess my marriage to Mr. Scribe is pretty non-traditional; we have a pretty good division of labor, we've been free to travel on our own (or were before we wound up on a fixed income) and to pursue our own interests, yet we have enough interests in common (politics, religion, sports just to name a few) that keep us interested in each other. And he cuddles very well... ;-)

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:57:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since the 1950s, many couples - (5+ / 0-)

      married and otherwise, gay and otherwise - have fought the oppression that was "traditional" marriage.

      Feminism demanded that women no longer be helplessly invisible, defined by male society. Individually, many couples applied that to their marriages. That didn't make them not married, it made those marriages not oppressive.

    •  Hi, Catte Nappe - Hope you will go to the article (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      thttp://www.dailykos.com/... sparked this discussion. Geminijen

      •  I can see why that diary led to this one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geminijen, Dave in Northridge

        You've got some interesting propositions there.

        I was taken aback to see you fall into the religious definition:

        the social respectability that comes with two people signing up for a lifelong monogamous relationship that only comes with marriage sanctified by God
         I'm sure you are well aware that marriage is a legal contract, and the "sanctified by God" part is purely optional.

        Beyond that, your policy prescriptions are for radical changes that are unlikely to occur in our lifetimes, if ever. They give truth to the heretofore hysterical fear that the desire is to "destroy marriage as we know it" for everybody. It would take a great deal more than "shoring up" civil unions to get full equivalence in rights and benefits, too.

        I found your diary an interesting thought experiment, but not something that proposes practical solutions.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:47:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing is considered "practical" until it occurs. (0+ / 0-)

          A number of these ideas have gotten some support and the only way we can make them "practical" is to institutionalize them.  For example, eliminating the requirement of sexuality as an integral part of the definition of an economic family union in a civil union.  Even two friends living together and raising children or all the various assortment (gay and straight) of grandmas and nieces cohabitating with or without children could use some of the financial incentives and other legal benefits that accrue to spouses.  This is one I think could fly, if not this year at some time in the not too distant future.

          I appreciate that you came to the AMC site and read the diary.  I only wish you had felt comfortable also posting your comment there.  It would be nice to have the discussion shared by all concerned parties.  

          •  Carts and horses (0+ / 0-)

            I think you have the cart before the horse, as they say.  You don't get where you propose to get by institutionalizing those approaches. They become formally institutionalized when and if sufficient numbers of people are practicing them informally, and institutionalization becomes the next logical step; or a demanded step.

            I appreciate your drawing my attention to your diary. I was not "uncomfortable" commenting there, but as an older diary it was coming to the point where some might define it as a "dead thread". Since you drew my attention to it in a discussion here, I responded to you here.

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:17:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  and this (6+ / 0-)
    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.
    sigh. sometimes, the humanities has its head so far up its ass (hey, I'm not knocking those who are actually INTO that though! I saw a video once) it's not even funny.

    I am glad though that their mission statement doesn't read like it fell out of the postmodernist generator.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:49:08 PM PDT

  •  LGBT marraige is about rights (10+ / 0-)

    Claiming it is about assimilation is weak.

  •  Do LGBT people have the right to be (4+ / 0-)

    just as conservative and traditional as the rest of us?

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:58:44 PM PDT

  •  Welcome to the club. (4+ / 0-)

    For my entire life as a trans woman, I've been deconstructed by very similar folk as insufficiently dedicated to destabilizing the gender binary.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 07:45:46 PM PDT

  •  If I understand this correctly, (3+ / 0-)

    gay people getting married is already opposed by straight people because it will somehow wreck their marriages and make them stop loving their children.

    On top of that, it somehow ruins being single for gay people who don't get married? Are there any other people around whose lives are ruined when people are treated equally?

    It seems there's always somebody who isn't content unless they're telling others how to live.

    Heteronormative is a word that places relationships between two people of the same gender outside the norm.

  •  Primarily (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    it is a disingenuous argument. It tells us we should embrace civil marriage as the appropriate term by calmly explaining that it is the same thing as "marriage". Adjectives don't matter. They are just words.

    But that word "marriage" is ours and you can't have it.

  •  You didn't state this very clearly BUT.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    ...I know exactly what you are trying to say. The dirty little secret of the Marriage Equality fight is that many gays and lesbians do NOT BELIEVE in monogamous marriages. They think it is pointless and, I dunno, paternalistic or I don't know what.

    Many, many gays I know are in "open" relationships, meaning they fuck around as per an agreement. And so the two little guys on the wedding cake are soon joined by a couple of others from time to time.

    So, these academics are just saying : "We should all be lascivious libertines for the rest of our natural born days and should fuck like bunnies and then, when we are old and gray, we should, of course ring up all those old tricks and make them come and take care of us".

    Or something. Everyone is entitled to their own definition of marriage I guess, but let's just say that even though we were fighting for the right to be in committed relationships for the rest of our lives with one special person, we were plotting to bend the rules to allow us to  take our rings off in the bathhouses.

    Sounds like some are saying, perhaps rightly so, why bother entering into the institution in the first place.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:40:55 PM PDT

    •  Because of the more than 1000 rights (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LuvSet, terrypinder

      that married couples have in this country that two people committed to each other and fucking around because we're both men don't have in a civil union or a domestic partnership.

      I'm so glad you just reduced me to nothing more than a sexual animal. Is that how you want me to look at you?

      Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

      by Dave in Northridge on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:48:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here is what I wrote on my Facebook page... (3+ / 0-)

        ...when marriage equality became a reality in my state:

        Marriage equality has come to the aloha state. This is a great day for Hawaii and for the aloha spirit. But for some reason, I am reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin as he emerged from the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was asked by a fellow citizen, "So what have we got? -- a monarchy or a republic?" He answered: "A republic --if you can keep it".

        If you can keep it. That seems to be the key. Keeping it means two people making a lifetime commitment to one another, and putting one another first. Easy to say; harder to do. Some people mean it. Some people don't.

        I am a single guy and this has eluded me so far and may elude me forever, not due to any lack of commitment on my part. I get online sometimes to see what is available and often people in my "community" are searching for everything but the sort of commitment the Governor made possible today. Instead, they want someone "slim" or "young" or a "daddy" or someone "smooth" or express that they want something more profane than I have mentioned here. Putting anything other than love and a commitment to another person first seems like a pretty poor way to keep a republic, so to speak. It seems like a great way to go through life from sensation to sensation, only to find far too late that the greatest sensation you can ever experience is sharing a life soul-to-soul.

        I know that all marriages experience difficulties. The guy I want will have shown he is strong enough to bend with the winds of change and to keep a commitment. Beyond that I will be looking for someone sweet and kind that somehow causes ripples in my soul, like the wind creates whitecaps on the waves. I will be looking for someone who loves me and whom I love. Anything more than that is gravy.

        If I ever find a guy like that I won't let anyone or anything (other than him) stand in my way. I will find a way to express to him every single day that he is a precious ruby. I will signify that by turning an imaginary ruby about in my upstretched fingers while gazing into the eyes of this rare jewel. I will convince him that I know how to keep a "republic".

        And then --because I can--- I will ask "Will you marry me?. Because he can, he might say "no". But Amelia Earhart said that "Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace". And I am pretty sure that if I ever found a guy like that I would know no peace until I summoned the courage to ask that question.

        I should probably keep in mind though that Amelia may have showed a little too much courage. She ended up at the bottom of the deep blue ocean. And then again, I am pretty sure she would not have been happy if she had stayed on the ground and never dared.

        If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

        by Bensdad on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:52:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  monogamy's great for those who like it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave in Northridge

          but you seem to be arguing that we as gay men don't deserve marriage equality because some fuck around on their partners like straight people do.

          which is really, really silly to me.

          "a marriage if you can keep it." well, then straights don't deserve it either, cause they are some sluts too.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

          by terrypinder on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:15:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not saying they don't deserve marriage. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dave in Northridge

            I am saying most don't want marriage as we understand marriage to be. They just want the appearance of marriage. True, straights stray all the time, but not in the numbers that two gay men do.

            I believe in a higher love and I believe that open relationships are damaging emotionally. I know this from having been unwittingly brought into one. When I found out that I had been having relations with a "married" gay male, I apologized to the partner of the guy I had been fucking. His partner said it was okay and that he would like to get with me, too. His face said otherwise. He was very, very pained.  I was pained for myself and others that we fought so hard for an institution most really don't believe in in the first place.

            If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

            by Bensdad on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:42:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This isn't true at all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dave in Northridge

              if it were, the divorce rate among heterosexuals, especially in conservative areas of the country, would not be as high as it is. It's lowest in Massachusetts, which has had marriage equality for over 10 years now. Heterosexuals  SUCK at marriage, in this country at least, and we impart our prudish, puritan cultural baggage on it too.

              To me, Marriage is a legal set of 1000+ rights, and whatever else it is is personal. It isn't anything higher or noble. If two people decide it doesn't work, then it doesn't work and seperate (i.e. divorce), or change the parameters of the relationship. I really do think Europeans have it right on this one.

              I don't think open relationships are damaging at all, although I'm not in one right now. We made an agreement and we choose to stick with it. If he were to choose to make it open, wouldn't bother me in the least.

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

              by terrypinder on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:05:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That is just about the sweetest,most romantic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bensdad, Dave in Northridge

          thing I have read in a long time. To each his own, but there is a lot to gain from making a commitment and sticking to it. There are a men out there who think as you do, and I hope you find that special one. I found mine 23 years ago now and wouldn't have it any other way.

    •  come on bensdad, this is reductive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      so what if there are open relationships? straight people do it in far bigger proportions than gay men.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

      by terrypinder on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:12:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Geminijen

    with them (having eyeballed the site) that marriage shouldn't be the basis for health insurance for example. But you can make that argument while still having marriage equality.

    I think we all want our relationships to be our own business, and marriage should be one option among many.

  •  Some folks really overthink things. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    If some gay people want to get married, for whatever reason, let them. They don't owe it to anybody to conform to yet another set of off the wall ideology.

  •  Gotta say it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, terrypinder

    Everyone pushing for marriage equality was on the nose.  Any one of us thinking it wasn't an excellent means to bring about a profound social shift was just missing the boat.  

    But also to be fair, because this diary and most of the comments are along the lines of "what!  how could people be so foolish!".  I sure as hell didn't get behind marriage equality, though I was not opposed.  My own community (trans women) -- if you can call it a community -- my demographic -- has AIDs rates not unlike the least served populations in the third world, unemployment rates to match, and are widely regarded as being crazy, beyond the pale -- and have been since Catallus wrote that damn poem.  Heteronormative might have been a word I'd have used in that discussion, but what I would have referenced first is the split between those who want "a place at the table" and those who are outsiders, and how social justice for those who already were -- if not granted the full reach of human rights -- basically OK, especially compared to the queerest and least able to make a working deal with our society.

    But it worked, marriage equality (and military service) seems to be a foundational change in America.  Huge challenges remain, but the views of most straight folks, I think, have been moved toward seeing queer folks in a more human and inclusive light.  

    To me -- of course marriage equality is being celebrated as a heteronormativity party, but only a complete asshat wants to roll back civil rights protections so profound, gains for real people and for broad acceptance to the human family, for the sake of deconstructing the whatever.  I'd be tempted to dismiss it as one of the grubby overindulgences of what the humanities have fallen to at their worst, but every revolution has folks like this I think.  And in fairness, people pushed to be radicals often have to put their ideas above what is happening in front of them for years and years, and if the ideas don't stay well grounded, you get Adrienne Rich and Mary Daly (in my world) and folks like this (in marriage equality).  

    Pull back from the macro, and the american queer movement (again, such as it is) has long had a big strain which does not care a damn about civil rights for individuals, but which seeks a great revolution where the heteronormative binary and all the middle class trappings go up in a blaze of smoke.  I'm still the one walking past your houses in the dark and looking in your warm windows, and I surely get it.  Burn down the suburbs and eat the inhabitants, you mewling fools have created an unlivable world.  Or more peacefully, Thoreau: the only place for a just man in an unjust society is in prison.  In the wake of a victory in progress which brings the most basic of rights to millions, it is easy to point at the folks who think that way, their less astute members hanging on to ideas which were pretty tentative to start with and muttering about "come the revolution".  But maybe it's also worth remembering that the outsiders have also kept a flame of sorts alive, and even great victories like this have other battles to follow.  

    The people who keep a true image of a better world in their hearts can make terrible, stupid mistakes in constructing that image.  But I am glad for them, and being one (of sometimes bitter necessity), have some sympathy for inevitable failures of imagination and grasp.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:25:34 AM PDT

  •  Next thing you know,you're a Log Cabin Republican! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    It's a slippery slope.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:07:04 AM PDT

  •  The Anti-Capitalist Meet-up: Gay Marriage - Fools (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread" is the site that I believe made you recycle this article and I am the writer (Geminijen).It will be up on the Anti-Capitalist Meet-up site all this week.
     I'm sorry, Dave, that I didn't get to read this and respond earlier so that many of the people who read your piece (many more than read mine) would have a chance to read mine so they could get both sides of the discussion we are having (I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that you didn't cite it). Two or three points:
    1) I support gay marriage.
    2)I discuss the limits of reforming an institution that was built on the concept of ownership and control of women by men and continues to exist (albeit in a reformed version)in a patriarchal and homophobic society (I would, incidentally, make similar complaints about the civil rights movement which allowed 10-15% of people to "get over" but unfortunately still leaves the majority of the community in less than great circumstances because it was a reform movement and we still need to overturn the underlying racist paradigm of our society as has become increasingly clear in the last couple of years.)
    3)The problem I have with the nuclear family is not primarily that it doesn't allow enough hedonistic (and you seem to imply irresponsible) sex, though I do think limiting sexuality to monogamy is unrealistic for primates and hypocritical in practice and is really imposed in marriage as part of the concept of one partner owning another.
    4)I resent my article being reduced to this idea and hope that folks will go to the article itself to see what I really am talking about if they get a chance.
    5)My main point is that the nuclear family not only fosters inequality between the partners but general inequality in society as it does not include or give privileges to single people or non-sexually defined couples raising children. And that it ensures the basic inequality of the next generation of children as their equal rights will  be determined by the economic advantages of the individual private family they happen to be born into.
    P.S. Why was it important to note that it was a Jewishlesbian who challenged your beliefs?  And please! A troll!? First time that that's been implied.  

  •  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/20/1293157/- (0+ / 0-)

    The link to the original article Dave is responding to.

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