Bil Browning

'Gay Marriage' Isn't 'Cute' [Comment of the Week]

Filed By Bil Browning | April 02, 2012 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: employment protections, Freedom to Marry, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Viktor Kerney

Over on Viktor Kerney's post, "A Gay Marriage Plank? No, a Full Equality Plank," he caused quite a stir over his choice of words to make his point. While Viktor advocated for a plank in the Democratic Party platform that covered all LGBT Americans instead of a plank that called for solely marriage equality, he had several critics jump in to criticize his language.

Veteran activist Robin Tyler left a long (and hard to read) paragraph that decried his statement that "gay marriage is cute for a privileged few." Thumbnail image for comment-of-week.jpgShe points out the ways that marriage can benefit gay and lesbian couples, but completely skips his point that the ability to get married doesn't actually affect everyone in our community. Marriage is only for a few people - those who have found a partner and want to get married.

While she rightly points out that the recent Prop 8 case declared LGBT people a "suspect class" that means LGBT people in California are entitled to non-discrimination in housing, employment, etc - what's neglected is the fact that LGBT Californians already had those protections. They didn't gain anything new - protections that many queer Americans still desperately need and want. What good does it do to get married if you lose your job for putting up a photo of your spouse on your desk at work?

Commenter Jordan Krueger also weighed in further down the thread and brings up some salient points. While most Projectors seem to have divided themselves into the pro-marriage or the anything-else-but marriage camps, Jordan implores people to look at the bigger picture. While he acknowledges that Viktor's language may not have conveyed his point as well as it could have, Jordan points out how to move forward instead of constantly bickering.

Jordan's comment is after the break. What do you think, Projectors? Pick your side and talk it out.

Jordan Krueger
One point that a lot of commenters here miss is that a "full equality" movement would unite LGBT people around a single issue. What many mention is that marriage equality is important to them, or ENDA is important to them, and so forth. But if we were all fighting for one singular full equality bill, the community would have a reason to fight together, instead of being divided by who needs what. How many people were not engaged in the DADT fight because they had no intention of ever joining the military? How many people aren't engaged in the marriage battle because they have no intention of ever getting married?

I think Viktor was being a bit dismissive about marriage equality above, but I agree that focusing on a singular push toward equality makes far more sense than a fragmented push for piecemeal bills.

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