“Gay Marriage” is a Full Spectrum LGBT Issue

08/06/2010

So in an earlier post, I went off on a problem that has been bothering me for awhile in the way that many of my fellow LGBT have been turning to open trans-erasure in order to continue a hate-on for the Commander-in-Chief.

Well, this one is also a response, but not to anything wide-spread or as deeply problematic as the “Hate Crimes Bill, what Hate Crimes Bill” wanking for the last year. No, it’s a response to something I’ve seen only occasionally and usually only as a random question based on the most famous term for one of the biggest current issues for the LGBT community.

That is “why should I a insert non LG queer group here care about gay marriage“.

Now, the question isn’t often asked, but it’s one worth addressing, because it arises entirely owing to media representation of the issue (much like media representation of all LGBT issues).

Of course, this framing makes sense, seeing as, of all the LGBTQIA groups that are affected, lesbians and gays are certainly those most affected and most thoroughly affected by access and recognition of secular same sex nuptials, but it leads to the problem where some, small minority of Bs, Ts, Is, and the rest wonder whether they are being shoved aside for a LG-only issue.

They are not. And I will now demonstrate the direct ways the full spectrum is affected by same-sex marriage rights.

Bisexuals

Man, do bisexuals ever get flak on the marriage issue. There are the idiots who view them as incapable of marriage (because you’ll hurr hurr, want to marry more than one person, because monogamy and bisexuality surely couldn’t ever exist and oh yeah, there’s an assumption that there is something wrong and incapable of long-term relationships with being polyamorous) at all.

There is also a segment of people who almost just write them off from the marriage question and fight entirely because “they can just pass as straight” and “marry someone of the opposite sex”.

True, to a degree, but that degree is completely stupid.

See, that might make sense if love was like a free transfer between football clubs and one could simply move one’s emotions of love between one person and another to better choose how those feelings arose.


Love isn’t this Bolton Striker, no offense to the man

But see, bisexuals, being well, bi, can just as easily find their one true love, the person they want to spend the rest of their life with, who they want to make that life-long connection with, or who they want to form a legal family with inside a same-sex partner.

Just because they may be attracted to partners of either, won’t stop this from occurring and indeed the simple reality of statistics will ensure this situation probably comes up about half the time.

These couples are just as screwed as “pure” L or G couples and they are being heavily limited in which families get legal protection and which don’t.

Heck, bisexuals may be the most aware of the unfairness of the ruling simply because they are intimately aware that their loves and relationships with same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners are treated entirely differently despite being in every way the same.

Not to mention that a bisexual who is married now to an opposite sex partner could very well be screwed in the case of say being widowed or a divorce, where their next relationship could face the exact same hardships as many gay couples.

As such, bisexuals have a vested interest in passing it in order to ensure that who they fall in love with doesn’t have to contend with bigoted restrictions by the law.

Transsexuals, Transgender

So okay, we Ts have some outs by which we can get “secretly gay married” making a mockery of the bans and the inanity of the restrictions. Me and my partner have considered such a pairing in the future.

Basically, same-sex relationship transpeople could get married as “heterosexuals” and then go through legal sex-change (in States that recognize it) and be “gay married”. Similarly, opposite-sex relationship transpeople can get married post legal sex-change (in states that recognize it) as the opposite-sex couple they are.

Thing is, is while that legal loophole can be exploited for glorious bigot head-explosions, it’s also way too needlessly complex and porous.

It’s also worth shit unless I stay in one place.

See this old feministe post on how a marriage could change and one’s “legal sex” could change state by state making a road-trip a confusing mess that could see one’s marriage rights seen as non-binding.

As was stated:

“Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Texas, is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Texas, and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

Yeah, so there’s that mess. Then there is also the mess that okay, I can get “secretly gay married” to my partner if I marry before my legal sex change, but not after. If I or another “secretly gay married” trans person were to get divorced and fall in love with someone of the same legal sex later, I’d be just as screwed.

Similarly, opposite sex married transsexuals are at risk if anyone should decide to attack their legal sex or legal sex protections end up being repealed by future legal moves. Or if they just happen to be in one of the number of states that provide no means to change one’s legal sex.

Or hell, just by dickish vindictive family members like in this story where a recently widowed transwoman is being dragged to court by her husband’s family because of all sorts of bullshit.

A “marriage” that can be shredded at any time and could become void if you move or travel from state to state is not a legally protected family unit or a marriage equal to that granted cisgendered heterosexual couples.

As such, transpeople most definitely have a vested interest in passing gay marriage just to make life simpler to handle.

Intersex, Third Gender, Gender Queer, etc…

Similar to the trans issue. What is one’s legal sex, what sex is the person one happened to fall in love with, are their dickish family members who’ll fight you anyways because you’re “not really the right gender” by their standards? What did the doctors dictate, what does the state allow, how do you check the boxes on forms without any gender neutral option?

These can limit legal options and freedom of creating secular legal families.

There is the biggest impact for these groups however in something only lightly touched on in (but not at all unimportant) in the social acceptance angle.

Legal gay marriage is in many ways like a stick of dynamite in the war regarding social recognition of the humanity and loves of transgressive queer groups. It destroys a lot of opposition and mellows people out of their 1950s TV “Leave it to Beaver” hallucination of what “proper relationships” are supposed to look like.

Seeing people in love being all sorts of people, gay, straight, and other means they get used to it and stop seeing it as a threat.

As such, one will become less likely to be harassed with a partner of either sex based on perceived gender makeup of the relationship.

Not to mention that fear of “wrong sexualities” has been one of the motivators for the barbaric habit of “correcting” intersex genitalia in childhood (i.e. chopping up penises and clitorises) in order to protect a narrow view of marriage. Remove that “selling point” to the fucked up scared parents of the world and these butcher doctors have a lot less angle to practice their sick “aid”.

As such, removal of gender restrictions in marriage has a lot of benefits for those outside the gender binary.

Asexuals

Same place as bisexuals, really. Sure a number of asexuals (aromantic asexuals), don’t form or don’t want to form romantic relationships and married partnerships, but that’s not all asexuals.

Some other asexuals still fall in love or are otherwise seeking romantic relationships (romantic asexuals) and as such can run into the same trap as bisexuals of happening to fall in love with a person of the same-sex and find one’s soulmate there.

Are they to be restricted from marrying these people because some bigots have “issues” with same-sex sexual activity and somehow thinks that makes a compelling secular case for banning same-sex unions? Of course not.

It’s even more insanely offensive in that these “same-sex” partnerships will probably end up being more “chaste” and “Precious Moments” sexless than pretty much all heterosexual relationships including the repressed unhappy affairs of the loudest bigots, yet even the most crass and tasteless heterosexual union, entered into only to get “Jesus-approved” sex and then to the Divorce Court in the morning will be treated with more respect than something that can only be based in love, completely free of lust.

Not dissing lust, but it rather highlights the inanity of the opposition in the same way as the trans “legal loopholes” reveal the obvious failure of the restrictions.

As such, romantic asexuals have a vested interest in full marriage equality.

So finally,

Allies

Especially straight feminists and straight women in general. This recent Pandagon post really says all that needs to be said on the why of it.

Basically, the opposition forces to gay marriage often use a term called “traditional marriage”.

Now, many of us, write this crap up as the usual bigotry invented language trying to make heterosexual marriages of the 50s into some sainted perfect thing, blah, blah, blah, but the fact of the matter is that there really is a format of marriage they see as “under attack” and which may even finally disappear with the wide-spread approval of gay marriages.

That structure?

Gender-role based, “woman as chattel, free housekeeper, child-raiser, whore in the bedroom”, and the general patriarchal mess where marriages were not about love, but were simply the Jesus-based avenue where one was finally allowed to have sex without social sanctions. I.e. “traditional marriage”.

You can see it in the general arguments the anti-gay marriage forces use. There is no recognition of marriage as a union of loving couples and very little respect for sexual consent and the equal treatment of women. In fact, the same groups that are rabidly against women’s rights such as the Concerned Women of America are the same forces that fight gay marriage.

Maggie Gallagher, the main opponent to gay marriage and head of the anti-gay Mormon front NOM, got her start in the 80s as a dedicated anti-feminist activist fighting against equal-pay-for-equal-work, see here.

Indeed, the battle they seem to be drawing is between marriage as a duty-based loveless union one enters solely for “procreation” and the “glory of God” (i.e. the perpetuation of the patriarchy and the sacrifice of one’s happiness to its cold perpetuity).

The same forces target single-parents, no-fault divorce, and often speak out in support of abuse and against one leaving abusive or rapist partners.

And they are right that such relationship structures and marriage views still today have strong followings in areas with strict conservative religious upbringings such as Fundamentalist Christians, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, conservative muslim and hindu populations, and of course, the Mormons.

Yeah, they are definitely fighting for a “marriage”, one bruised and battered by feminist gains where many of us young simply expect that marriage is about two people who love each other and want to have social recognition for that love.

Where partnerships are partnerships of equals or at least striving for equality where the union is based in love and respect rather than duty, a need to get laid, pregnancy necessity, or the like.

Gay marriage is the last stake through that vampires heart, the visual example that the “necessity of gender roles” is bullshit and that one “owes” unhappiness to one’s children other than competent care by loving parents in homes that aren’t like war zones.

Where one can be who one wants and fall in love with whoever they so happen to fall in love with, without artificial restrictions and chains dragging them down.

As such, straight feminists, women, and men who aren’t morons all benefit from gay marriage delivering the deathblow to this outdated and misogynist view of marriage as trap rather than expression of love.

It’s an issue for all of us, and one we are very close to reaching, so close it’s almost driving us in the LGBT community insane as if it was an apple dangled over our nose perpetually out of reach like it was a punishment in Tartarus.

But we’re starting to get a taste, a few savory bites and all we can say is “soon, oh so soon, we’ll eat that apple of equality.”

And we’re all in it for the fight.

Advertisements

One Response to ““Gay Marriage” is a Full Spectrum LGBT Issue”

  1. Isaac said

    I’m an aromantic asexual and, except the section for trans, I can’t understand these arguments coming from a poly fellow asexual. Gender-blind marriage may be good for monogamous LGBTI people, but what for the poly? Do you need to sacrifice the hope for socially accepted polygamy by prioritizing same-sex marriage because such a revolution would not be feasible unless in steps? I would understand in this case, but otherwise you may throw stones on your own roof trying to help your allies.”

    I said that it might be good for LGBTI people because I doubt that usual marriage is good for heterosexual couples. Recycling your own words, usual marriage means artificial restrictions and chains dragging them down. Not only traditional marriage, but current marriage, both husband-and-wife and gender-blind. It’s bad in countries under civil law, where rights and duties of marriage are found in Civil Code, but it worse in countries under common law, whose spaghetti legislation usually keeps fringes of obsolete laws in force.

    Why should every loving couple want such a closed-and-blocked ham-and-eggs pack called marriage. Is it only social recognition, as you imply? In this case apply your criticism to marriage as a socially and religiously acceptable framework for having sex. Marriage was once the distinction between fornication and conjugal debit, and now the distinction between fucking and making love is a romantic relationship. Why not to follow this path and leave marriage as legitimation of couple relationships?

    Neither sex nor couplehood requires a legitimation about cohabitation and parentage. Sharing a house is what needs protection against abuse, regardless the kind of relationship among the roommates. Children are who need protection, regardless the marital status of their parents. And any household sharing incomes, expenses and duties needs protection against abuse when this is not symmetric, regardless it’s a marriage or a brotherhood.

    I honestly think that same-sex marriage is fuel for traditional marriage rather than a knock.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: