How the Fight for Equality Pushes Singles into the Rain — 5 Comments

  1. Wow. That’s pretty sad, Alan! I guess we have A LOT of consciousness raising to do! Imo, the whole gay-marriage push is a pretty regressive thing, leaving out tons of people, including many LGBT folks who for whatever reason don’t want to get married. It seems a white, middle-class push. Now, let me quickly add a disclaimer that I do not understand the exclusion of same-sex folks from the institution of marriage. That is discriminatory. But I think that there are better options than moving the bright red dividing line between the married and unmarried (as Nancy Polikoff calls it).

  2. I remember hearing some singlist comments from the Prop 8 plaintiffs, and I brought the issue up on a prominent gay website convering the trial.

    The reception wasn’t particularly warm. One member supported my comments, but the others, while insisting it was fine not to get married, repeated the old arguments about marriage being good for you.

    It was sad, some of these arguments reminded me of arguments I’d heard used against gays (“It’s unhealthy! We have scientific proof!”).

  3. Ah, that’s a hopeful sign that some LGBT activists would acknowledge the fight for marriage equality shouldn’t be the sole focus. I don’t want to contradict the “Good Fight”, but you’re right, one has to wonder what will happen when Marriage is glorified in our culture even more than it is today.

    Bella DePaulo has an interesting interview with Thomas Coleman over on her blog where he says “If you are gay or lesbian and are fighting for marriage equality, don’t leave unmarried members of the LGBT community behind simply because they don’t get married.”

  4. LL: You are making some very good, albeit scary, points! Last summer I attended a very interesting book reading from the compilation Smash the Church. Smash the State. Tommi Avicolli Mecca, one of the activists who was part of the first people in the queer movement, was angry about the sole focus on marriage. He gave a long list of statistics that showed how the LGBT organizations are already neglecting important parts of the LGBT “community” – including transsexuals who are homeless, for example. I guess those folks don’t have the money…

    One thing I noticed is that the term “community” is really not very well suited in regards to LGBT folks – a community does not push people into the rain! (Well, okay, historically communities have done all sorts of horrible things to its members but I believe that the LGBT community was more of a community in the positive sense when they helped each other during the early AIDS crisis)

  5. Thank you for a great post.

    It is a difficult issue to deal with; for purposes of equality the LGBT community should clearly not be treated differently than others.
    But for the accepted discrimination between single and married people, having others being accepted into the marriage pool seems like it would only widen and emphasize the single/married schism: “*everyone* can get married now, what’s wrong with you?”

    With a larger married population, it seems like it would be even more acceptable to discriminate against singles. More benefits will be demanded as more people will benefit from them, leaving the rest truly in the rain.

    It is depressing to me to think that marriage as the ultimate goal in life (as it seems right now in the LGBT fight) with be even more pervasive than it is now.

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