so, the Federal Marriage Amendment didn't pass today in D.C.
that's a good thing.
however, with all the political hub-bub leading up to it, i realized how ambivalent i am about marriage. while i do believe it would be wrong to pass a constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex people from getting married... i don't think that same-sex couples should get married anyway (or any couple, for that matter, but that's a different post...).
some people say that AIDS destroyed the queer community. it ravaged our bodies and left straight america staring in disgust at our revolting, incomprehensible, dirty, diseased sex acts. in an effort to prove the world that we are "just like everybody else," the LGBT (not queer) community took up the issue of marriage. we have been asked to prove our ability to be "normal" and be in "healthy, committed" relationships.
i believe that the gay marriage movement, rather than healing the wounds left by AIDS, infects these wounds and continues to fester in our communities. this politics of assimilation asks queers to forget ourselves, our past, and our present. it asks us to look past the heteronormative patriarchy of marriage while simultaneously buying into it, in order to prove our (hetero)normativity.
the gay marriage movement is homophobic and heterosexist. there. i said it. i'm sure this will baffle/infuriate most people. i mean, how could a movement that strives for the equal rights of LGBT people be homophobic? well, it's homophobic because the movement rejects queerness and substitutes a complacent, assimilated, gayness of passivity. this erasue of queerness is dangerous for many reasons.
for one, this politic of heteronormative sexuality severely limits the queer community's to engage in radical sexual politics of liberation. public sex, group sex, even private gay sex in a bedroom without gay shame creeping in. by reinforcing marriage as the normative institution to regulate the politics of sex and love, all sex and love that falls outside of this institution becomes further marginalized. the psychic violence of the marriage movement is fierce and damaging.
additionally, the marriage movement has totally co-opted LGBT politics. how does one build a movement and maintain a voice for any other need of the queer community when marriage is all we can hear and see? having previously worked for Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project, i saw firsthand the damaging effects the marriage movement has had not only on our organization, but on the movement in general. funding, for example was extremely difficult to come by. the community, not having embraced the issue, does not look to us when they want to pour millions of dollars into LGBT rights. they look to the Human Rights Campaign or MassEquality. our marriage-centrism needs to end. it is ruining our politics and silences many queer communities.
marriage is particularly harmful when it comes to domestic violence. as we try to prove the "normalcy" of our relationships for the sake of marriage rights, how do we come out as survivors of domestic violence? how do we come forward and say, "my partner is abusing me. my relationship is unhealthy," despite all the community pressure that has been telling us otherwise? why must we add shame to those who most need our support? marriage is only another obstacle to survivors of domestic violence. feminists have known this for years, and since domestic violence is just as prevalent and just as lethal in the queer community as it is in the straight community, i think we should take a cue from our feminist sisters on this one. marriage does literal, and lethal violence to our communities.
and yet, despite all this,, i was sincerely relieved to hear that the FMA didn't pass. not just because it would have been wrong, but als because if it did pass, there would be a terrible backlash from the LGBT marriage activists that would further galvinize the LGBT community to fight against themselves (i.e. for marriage), while believing that they are fighting for themselves. for this reason, i am relieved. the backlash would have hurt us more than helped us.
and still, i am stuck with the question, why are we so hell-bent on killing ourselves?