Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quoted: John D'emilio on same-sex marriage

Rather than thinking of marriage for same-sex couples as providing access to benefits currently denied them, it might be mire accurate and revealing to think of marriage as validating and sustaining privilege that one already has. Why do I claim that? Because marriage is not something randomly distributed across the population, with finding one's life partner or soul mate being the key factor in whether one marries. Instead, those least likely to marry are those nearest the bottom of the economic and educational pyramid; those most likely are those with higher economic status and educational attainment. Marriage penalizes those who are struggling economically. For low-income families, marriage makes it harder to get access to public benefits. When working-class marriages end in divorce, the economic impact on adults and children is often devastating. -- John D'Emilio "The Campaign For Marriage Equality" from In A New Century
Before I add anything (and I do want to add things), John D'Emilio is a well-respected LGBT activist and writer, not some right-wing ideologue who wants to deny rights to gay people. While I don't entirely agree with him -- I'm not fan of marriage, period -- I think he makes a valid point comparing today's climate of LGBT rights and its overwhelming focus on marriage to feminism's long-standing problems with intersectionality. Gay people aren't a monolith, though, and some want to get married, have a white picket fence, 2.5 children, the big American dream -- no matter how big a lie the American dream is. I still respect that. But I also see the need for anti-assimilationist arguments largely shut of out mainstream LGBT politics.