Gay marriage advocates brush aside generations of queer efforts to create new ways of loving, lusting for, and caring for one another, in favour of a 1950s model of white-picket-fence, “we’re just like you” normalcy.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore - There’s More to Life Than Platinum: Challenging the Tyranny of Sweatshop-Produced Rainbow Flags and Participatory Patriarchy
The idea of getting married at 23 threw my family and friends, as two years before it would have thrown me. The people I’d known were going to get married when they were 18, 19, 20 had already done so and gone right ahead to having babies. In contrast, my university crowd was a ragtag group of kids in their early twenties unsure of how to be adults. They were also mostly queer, and in my home country Australia, my girlfriend and I are still not allowed to get married. Many of my friends don’t believe in monogamy at all, let alone a public declaration of it.
Along with many LGBT activists in Australia, they believe that marriage rights aren’t something the LGBT movement should be fighting so hard for. In Australia, de facto relationships hold most of the same legal rights as marriages, which makes the equal marriage argument a little more complicated. Many radical queers think that we are “weakening” our commitment to queerness by begging to be allowed into an institution created by a church and government that have historically has oppressed us. Some worry that by prioritizing equal marriage so highly, we are letting other — arguably more pressing — issues settle onto a second tier: from the safe schools legislation, to the rampant demonization of trans people, to the significantly higher levels of suicide and mental health issues experienced amongst LGBT Australians.
But it’s also impossible to ignore that the fight for equal marriage has been built on the back of the AIDS crisis; that a lack of partnership rights historically meant that same-sex couples were blocked from looking after each other, in hospitals and pensions and wills; that marriage is not, in fact, just an issue for the gay community, but for the entire LGBT community. While it is by no means the only issue on the table that we should be fighting for, equal marriage has become a cultural and legal necessity, and in Australia, it’s both embarrassing and dehumanizing that we have not followed the lead of the UK or the US.
I think everybody should get married. Boys and girls. Girls and boys. Boys and boys! Girls and girls! Shouldn’t we all be entitled to a family? Civil rights baby it’s civil rights. It doesn’t get any better here in Berkeley I’ll tell you that.
Billie Joe Armstrong (Live at Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA, April 16th 2013)