Monday, July 2, 2012

Is Marriage Equality Enough?

, contributor to, wrote back in May "Why Marriage Equality is Not Enough." It talks about some of the same issues brought up in this entry from last week. This blog exists to move relationship rights, including full marriage equality, forward, but I do recognize that marriage equality is only part of progress.
Of course, assimilation into an institution also means assimilation into a particular notion of what's normative and acceptable. Enter: The "Just Like You!" Plea. At the end of the day, inclusion still conforms to a perceived norm, and in doing so, marginalizes other preferences, experiences, and expressions. People in gay relationships (not queer! that's a bad word) just want to buy a house with a picket fence and have 2.5 kids like their mythical heterosexual brothers and sisters. They just want to "raise a family" and take turns walking the dog and emulate the anachronistic norm of patriarchal, economically productive homes. Right? ... No? Okay, so in that case, can we stop pretending like everyone is the same? (And while we're at it can we stop pretending as though "opposite" and "same" sex are in any way accurate or adequate?) Progressive legislation and equal recognition need not be rallied for on the grounds that all LGBTQ couples are wealthy, white, able-bodied, cis male monogatrons who are "just like you, but gay." Challenging this homo-normative narrative entails acknowledging that the hetero-normative illusion it claims to be "just like" is also a fallacy and furthermore unnecessary as a means for comparison. Do we all have to identify as straight, gay or lesbian, or perform an intelligible gender, or be in "incredibly committed monogamous relationships" to deserve the multiple economic and legal privileges currently provided through marriage?
It is definitely something to think about. Some same-gender relationships are monogamous and quite vanilla and socially conservative. Others are polyamorous or otherwise different than what you're likely to see in some image of a "perfect family" the Southern Baptists or LDS might publish in official literature. We don't insist that gays and lesbians be treated equally because of how much they may be like "traditional" heterosexual couples. We insist that LGBT people be treated equally because they are people

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