With this as background, it is even more disturbing to read about the pro-marriage rhetoric from the Prop 8 trial (the link brings you to a create commentary by Nancy Polikoff). Mind you, it is not coming from the religious wrong, from where I usually expect it. Rather supporters of same-sex marriage are spouting the same old myths about marriage. It is no longer a fight against discrimination. It is a fight for the perpetuation of the glorification of marriage. These leaves out all of us who are not married because we choose not to, which would include a large number of people in the LGBT community could they make that choice. Ultimately, this feels like a white upper-middle class fight. It is not about getting fairness, it is about access to privilege. If it were about fairness, the fight would move us beyond conjugality, which would value all forms of families, no matter what constellation they take. Ultimately, this would value all people, as individuals, respecting and supporting our choices.
As the rainy season starts in earnest, the thought that the fight for equality pushes us singles out into the rain becomes even more real. Many of us supporters of going beyond conjugality have had trouble with the single issue fight for the right to marry for people in the LGBT community. On the one hand, exclusion from marriage is clearly discriminatory. On the other hand, this fight implies a normalization, which is scary, and prevents us from questioning marriage itself and thus enshrines it even more into our culture. I have fought against Prop 8 because I felt it violates the separation of church and state (interestingly enough, as I was calling people to confirm their participation on election day, many backed out, including one person who was getting married while she could). But there has always been some unease because I felt that I was fighting to have the red dividing line between the married and unmarried moved, rather than removed. Ultimately, I felt, I was pushing myself out into the rain.