Saturday, February 3, 2007

Gathering stuff...

I'm getting everything together to start posting today, and I'll do a bit more than usual to make up for the lack of posting yesterday. I'm a second-shift blogger, and I fully intended to post yesterday, but a bottle of Skol vodka got the better of me. :)

The first post I was putting together was a summary of state marriage/civil union/domestic partnership developments from the week. I generally don't like to post about things like that because the constant relegation of agency to the government, which queer people on some level have to do regarding forming relationships, is demeaning. When framed in terms of being allowed to get married in such-and-such a state, we're relinquishing our ability to determine our own sexual destinies. The only other beings in our society that are told with whom they can have sex are dogs, horses, and livestock. This is why I prefer framing the issue as the state or federal governments respecting our relationships - they're going to exist either way.

With that in mind, I still see a lot of winning and losing rhetoric surrounding marriage equality. While it's true that we can win or lose some specific benefits from the state that have a material impact on our lives, it's not true that we could actually lose the overall war unless we let it happen. The stated goal of the anti-gay movement is theoretically impossible. They say they want to eliminate same-sex relationships (they already exist in abundance), prevent queer people from becoming parents (we already are in many ways outside of same-sex marriage), and, ultimately, prevent people from being gay (fat chance of that happening).

Since their stated goals are impossible, it leaves us to decipher their real goals. First, they want to materially harm us just because they plain don't like us. You can see it in their "gays are going to Hell" mentality because the Bible doesn't say anything about gays going to Hell. Sure, there are passages about male prostitutes or male-on-male rapists going to Hell, or not inheriting the Kingdom of God, but gay and lesbian people as we know them? I think the reason that they say we're going to Hell is more an outgrowth of them just putting anyone they don't like in Hell, which people have been doing ever since Dante's Divine Comedy. The result of that guttural antipathy is to be as mean and demeaning as they can be to us in this world.

Second, they want us to disappear, also because they just plain don't like us. They say that we're taking over television, when we don't even get represented in a fair 5% of TV relationships. They say we're throwing our sexuality in their faces, but considering the lengths most queer people go to to hide their sexual orientation from others, if they think we're throwing it around, it can only be because they get stuck on whatever small representation of queerness that they might have the occasion to see.

So while their first real goal is definitely possible, and is definitely worth fighting against, we shouldn't tie our self-worth to such legislation. I know that you're thinking, Well, duh, Alex, thanks for the heads-up. But every time I read or hear queer people getting into heated discussions about the state of marriage equality law, I have to wonder how much of our self-esteem is whittled away by our opponents' attempts to disrespect our relationships.

Anyway, this is (partly) why I don't post every little detail of marriage equality news here as it happens.

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