Love & Marriage Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Spaghetti

Happy Valumtimes Dayz!!!

I’m gonna go have a ridiculous date with my special-special and a bunch of friends who are even more ridiculous than we are (I mean, limo car-share, fancy dinner, and gay bingo?! None of them are even gay!), but all this love stuff reminded me of a thing I’d like to keep circulating fresh in people’s minds.

Ol’ St.Valentine was infamous for defying the church and marrying all sorts of people who weren’t “allowed” to be married. Well and good, I suppose, but remember this awesome perspective brilliantly articulated by Dean Spade and Craig Willse back in the post Nov 8th blues of prop 8’s outcome in California?

I Still Think Marriage is the Wrong Goal

Dean Spade and Craig Willse

A lot of stories are circulating right now claiming that Black and Latino voters are to blame for Prop 8 passing. Beneath this claim is an uninterrogated idea that people of color are “more homophobic” than white people. Such an idea equates gayness with whiteness and erases the lives of LGBT people of color. It also erases and marginalizes the enduring radical work of LGBT people of color organizing that has prioritized the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Current conversations about Prop 8 hide how the same-sex marriage battle has been part of a conservative gay politics that de-prioritizes people of color, poor people, trans people, women, immigrants, prisoners and people with disabilities. Why isn’t Prop 8’s passage framed as evidence of the mainstream gay agenda’s failure to ally with people of color on issues that are central to racial and economic justice in the US?

Let’s remember the politics of marriage itself. The simplistic formula that claims “you’re either pro-marriage or against equality” makes us forget that all forms of marriage perpetuate gender, racial and economic inequality. It mistakenly assumes that support for marriage is the only good measure of support for LGBT communities. This political moment calls for anti-homophobic politics that centralize anti-racism and anti-poverty. Marriage is a coercive state structure that perpetuates racism and sexism through forced gender and family norms. Right wing pro-marriage rhetoric has targeted families of color and poor families, supported a violent welfare and child protection system, vilified single parents and women, and marginalized queer families of all kinds. Expanding marriage to include a narrow band of same-sex couples only strengthens that system of marginalization and supports the idea that the state should pick which types of families to reward and recognize and which to punish and endanger.

We still demand a queer political agenda that centralizes the experiences of prisoners, poor people, immigrants, trans people, and people with disabilities. We reject a gay agenda that pours millions of dollars into campaigns for access to oppressive institutions for a few that stand to benefit.

We are being told marriage is the way to solve gay people’s problems with health care access, immigration, child custody, and symbolic equality. It does not solve these problems, and there are real campaigns and struggles that would and could approach these problems for everyone, not just for a privileged few. Let’s take the energy and money being put into gay marriage and put it toward real change: opposing the War on Terror and all forms of endless war; supporting queer prisoners and building a movement to end imprisonment; organizing against police profiling and brutality in our communities; fighting attacks on welfare, public housing and Medicaid; fighting for universal health care that is trans and reproductive healthcare inclusive; fighting to tax wealth not workers; fighting for a world in which no one is illegal.

The World, and all the love therein, is Yours. Truly,
Sunshine Superboy

ps- oh yeah. maps! check this out:
http://maps.webfoot.com/RaceOverlays.php

oh and take this, Michigan!
handy-map-with-oakland

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6 Responses to “Love & Marriage Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Spaghetti”

  1. Kim Mitchellz Says:

    I totally agree with you. I do not get it, why people we know and love keeping perpetuating this bullshit system. I guess, like many other, things, we just have to agree to disagree. I got a sweet taste of some bullshit when I realized that people all over the place (Japan, the USA, uh, of course) get married when their visa shit gets tight and can’t do the same because my love is a girl. I do not get it, how this makes anything on planet earth better for anyone.

    Stevie: the idea I’m milling about in my head- a queer-eco manifesto about how not having children as a gay (or adopting, or fostering) is a much better plan of action for planet earth. It’s very hard to understand, but this is an idea I am trying to make sense of.

  2. This statement is what we call a false dichotomy, and it’s just as dogmatic as the statements we hear from the AFA, FotF or the FRC:

    Let’s remember the politics of marriage itself. The simplistic formula that claims “you’re either pro-marriage or against equality” makes us forget that all forms of marriage perpetuate gender, racial and economic inequality. It mistakenly assumes that support for marriage is the only good measure of support for LGBT communities.

    We use the term “marriage equality” for good reason. Marriage equality implies equality within the marriage (non-patriarchal marriage) and equality in society at large (same-gendered marriage is equal to an other-gendered marriage). The struggle for marriage equality is not a top-down program. It’s a grass roots movement.

    While it’s possible for marriage equality advocates can be racist, sexist and militaristic. People who support marriage equality generally support social justice, and people who oppose marriage equality generally oppose social justice.

  3. Heather From Get Busy Says:

    I am really happy you posted this, I have felt alienated so many times when trying to have a discussion about this with friends in philly.

    oh here is two awesome articles also on the same topic.
    http://bashbacknews.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/gay-is-not-the-new-black/#comments

    http://bashbacknews.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/marriage-racism-and-queers-oh-my/#comments

    Also hey how have you been?

  4. […] This is in no way a walkback of my Valumtimes Day post, but ya know… poco a […]

  5. i think that gay marriage should be allowed in certain states but not in other states -,’

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