Sunday, May 22, 2011

Should Gays Boycott Straight Weddings?

The Article: Not Going to the Chapel


To summarize: The article above is an argument for gays to boycott straight weddings this summer because in all but five states, same-sex marriage is banned. 


So I'm getting married this summer to a man, and I'm a woman. I went to a women's college and there are gay friends that I am inviting, and I want them to be there. 


I am an adamant supporter of equal rights for gay individuals and couples on the state and federal level, I believe that sexuality is mostly biologically determined, and I will gladly stand up any day and scream for equal rights. 


But I'm still getting married. 


The author argues that it's not just the "crazies" that are the obstacle facing same-sex marriage, but also heterosexual allies: 
"Even well-meaning heterosexuals often describe their own nuptials in deeply personal terms, above and beyond politics, but tend to dismiss same-sex marriage as a political cause, and gay people’s desire to marry as political maneuvering."
I rebuke this argument. If you say that the desire for same-sex couples get married is primarily for political reasons, then deep down underneath the layers of what's "PC" you're not really an ally. 


If you say that two individuals want to get married because they just want the tax breaks and other marriage perks, you're most certainly not an ally. 


The desire to get married is the same regardless of gender: to express your love, and to have the state and world recognize you as a partner in your lover's life. 


And yeah, you get some pretty damn good perks with it (heck yeah I'm happy about the tax benefits and the fact that I can visit Tyler in the hospital god forbid if he was ever in there). 


So Mr. Benjamin, I believe you have it wrong on two counts: 


1. Those heterosexual allies that would ever say that same-sex couples value marriage for its political benefits, are not allies, and yes, are an obstacle for same-sex marriage. 


2. By boycotting straight weddings, you're widening the chasm between gays and straights. You're making it seem like we're enemies and on different sides, when we really shouldn't be. By not attending straight weddings across the board, you're in effect saying, "Thanks, but you're not really an ally" which is ridiculous. 


Meaningful events like weddings should not be politicized, but sadly they are. Mr. Benjamin, I think we need to work to make them less political and divisive, not more. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mita, I agree with you 100% that this would widen the chasm between gays and straights. I'm a straight male, I have homosexual friends and I support them and their relationships. However, if they started participating in boycotts of weddings, even my own one day...game over for them.

TgardnerH said...

Anonymous: I think my response to your comment depends entirely on your meaning of the pronoun "them." If it's used as the PC gender neutral singular pronoun, to imply game over for that one person who boycotted, then I think you're being a bit harsh, but I understand. I'd be really pissed if somebody took my wedding as a chance to make a political statement by boycotting.

If however, you mean it as game over for gays in general... well shit, that just misses the point. There's no "us" and "them" here, and I'm pretty sure that's Mita's point. Largely because she said as much to me, as she was writing it.

Mita said...

I agree with Tyler. It's really dependent on the use of the word "them"

My main point is that I don't think there should be any division...it seems silly. I understand completely where the authors sentiment and bitterness stems from, however I think his actions would be counterproductive and work against the unity that's really needed.

In my personal opinion, I just don't think there should be marriages granted by the state. It should be civil unions with all the legal rights and obligations of marriage, and let whoever the heck wants to get civilly unified (would be the right phrasing?) do it.

mieystrapurore said...

Agreed with you, Mita - weddings are personal and meaningful events to show one's love for another and boycotting on either side doesn't do anything. (would so totally be there for yours if I could =P)

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