Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda!

 

         It’s hard for us to believe what we’re hearing these days. Thousands are losing their homes, and gays want a day named after Harvey Milk. The U.S. military is continuing its path of destruction, and gays want to be allowed to fight. Cops are still killing unarmed black men and bashing queers, and gays want more policing. More and more Americans are suffering and dying because they can’t get decent health care, and gays want weddings. What happened to us? Where have our communities gone? Did gays really sell out that easily?       

         As young queer people raised in queer families and communities, we reject the liberal gay agenda that gives top priority to the fight for marriage equality. The queer families and communities we are proud to have been raised in are nothing like the ones transformed by marriage equality. This agenda fractures our communities, pits us against natural allies, supports unequal power structures, obscures urgent queer concerns, abandons struggle for mutual sustainability inside queer communities and disregards our awesomely fabulous queer history.      

         Children of queers have a serious stake in this.  The media sure thinks so, anyway.  The photographs circulated after San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom’s 2004 decision to marry gay couples at City Hall show men exchanging rings with young children strapped to their chests and toddlers holding their moms’ hands as city officials lead them through vows.  As Newsom runs for governor these images of children and their newly married gay parents travel with him, supposedly expressing how deeply Newsom cares about families: keeping them together, ensuring their safety, meeting their needs.  These photos, however, obscure very real aspects of his political record that have torn families apart: his disregard for affordable housing, his attacks on welfare, his support for increased policing and incarceration that separate parents from children and his new practice of deporting minors accused – not convicted – of crimes.  As young people with queer parents we are not proud of the “family values” politic put forth by these images and the marriage equality campaign. We don’t want gay marriage activism conducted in our name – we realize that it’s hurting us, not helping us.

         We think long-term monogamous partnerships are valid and beautiful ways of structuring and experiencing family, but we don’t see them as any more inherently valuable or legitimate than the many other family structures.  We believe in each individual and family’s right to live their queer identity however they find meaningful or necessary, including when that means getting married. However, the consequences of the fight for legal inclusion in the marriage structure are terrifying.  We’re seeing queer communities fractured as one model of family is being hailed and accepted as the norm, and we are seeing queer families and communities ignore and effectively work against groups who we see as natural allies, such as immigrant families, poor families, and families suffering from booming incarceration rates. We reject the idea that any relationship based on love should have to register with the state. Marriage is an institution used primarily to consolidate privilege, and we think real change will only come from getting rid of a system that continually doles out privilege to a few more, rather than trying to reform it. We know that most families, straight or gay, don’t fit in with the standards for marriage, and see many straight families being penalized for not conforming to the standard the government has set: single moms trying to get on welfare, extended family members trying to gain custody, friends kept from being each other’s legal representatives. We have far more in common with those straight families than we do with the kinds of gay families that would benefit from marriage.  We are seeing a gay political agenda become single-issue to focus on marriage and leave behind many very serious issues such as social, economic, and racial justice.

How the marriage agenda is leaving behind awesome queer history.    

         We’re seeing the marriage equality agenda turn its back on a tradition of queer activism that began with Stonewall and other fierce queer revolts and that continued through the AIDS crisis.  Equality California keeps on sending us videos of big, happy, gay families, and they’re making us sick: gay parents pushing kids on swings, gay parents making their kids’ lunches, the whole gay family safe inside the walls of their own homes. Wait a second, is it true?  It’s as if they’ve found some sort of magical formula: once you have children, your life instantly transforms into a scene of domestic bliss, straight out of a 1950’s movie. The message is clear. Instead of dancing, instead of having casual sex, instead of rioting, all of the “responsible” gays have gone and had children. And now that they’ve had children, they won’t be bothering you at all anymore. There’s an implicit promise that once gays get their rights, they’ll disappear again. Once they can be at home with the kids, there’s no reason for them to be political, after all!

         Listening to this promise, we’re a bit stunned. Whoever said domesticity wasn’t political? Wasn’t it just a few years ago that the feminists taught us that the personal is political?  That cooking, cleaning, raising children and putting in countless hours of physical, emotional, and intellectual labor should not mean withdrawing from the public sphere or surrendering your political voice?  After all, we were raised by queers who created domestic lives that were always politically engaged, who raised kids and raised hell at the same time. What makes Equality California think that an official marriage certificate is going to make us any less loud and queer? Oh wait.  We remember. It’s that sneaky thing about late liberal capitalism: its promise of formal rights over real restructuring, of citizenship for those who can participate in the state’s economic plan over economic justice for all.  Once you have your formal rights (like a marriage license), you can participate in the market economy and no longer need a political voice. Looking around at the world we live in, we’re unconvinced.          

         We’re also seeing another alarming story surface: If gays are ready to get married and have children, the AIDS crisis must be over! Gay men shaped up after AIDS hit, or at least the smart ones did. Those responsible enough to survive realized that they wanted children, and promptly settled down into relationships that were monogamous and that, presumably, carried no risk of HIV contraction. Come on.  We reject all the moralizing about parenthood, responsibility, and sexual practice that goes on in this story. Besides the obvious fact that the AIDS crisis is not over, in the US or abroad, we realize that parenthood and non-monogamy aren’t mutually exclusive.  The gay marriage movement wants us to believe that you need a sperm donor or an adoption agency to have children, but we know that there are more ways to make queer families than any of us can imagine.  We refuse the packaged and groomed history that writes out the many HIV+ individuals in our lives and communities who are living healthily, loving in monogamous and non-monogamous relationships and raising children. We challenge our queer communities to remember our awesomely radical history of building families and raising children in highly political, inventive, and non-traditional ways.

How marriage equality fractures our community and pits us against our strongest allies.      

         We believe that the argument for gay marriage obscures the many structural, social, and economic forces that break families apart and take people away from their loved ones.  Just for starters, there’s the explosion in incarceration levels, national and international migration for economic survival, deportation, unaffordable housing, and lack of access to drug rehabilitation services.  The argument for gay marriage also ignores the economic changes and cuts to social services that make it nearly impossible for families to stay together and survive: welfare cuts, fewer after school programs, less public housing, worse medical care, not enough social workers, failing schools, the economic crisis in general.         

         We choose solidarity with immigrant families whom the state denies legal recognition and families targeted by prisons, wars, and horrible jobs. We reject the state violence that separates children from parents and decides where families begin and end, drawing lines of illegality through relationships.  We see this as part of a larger effort on the part of the state to control our families and relationships in order to preserve a system that relies on creating an underclass deprived of security in order to ensure power for a few.  We know that everyone has a complex identity, and that many queer families face separation due to one or more of the causes mentioned here, now or in the future. We would like to see our queer community recognize marriage rights as a short-term solution to the larger problem of the government’s disregard for the many family structures that exist. As queers, we need to take an active role in exposing and fighting the deeper sources of this problem. We won’t let the government decide what does and does not constitute a family.       

         The way that the marriage agenda phrases its argument about healthcare shows just how blind it is to the needs of the queer community.  It has adopted marriage as a single-issue agenda, making it seem like the queer community’s only interest in healthcare is in the inclusion of some members of two person partnerships in the already exclusive healthcare system.  Health care is a basic human right to which everyone is entitled, not one that should be extended through certain kinds of individual partnerships. We know this from queer history, and if we forget it, we will continue to let our community live in danger.  The question of universal healthcare is urgent to queers because large groups of people inside our communities face incredible difficulty and violence receiving medical care, such as trans people who seek hormone treatment or surgery, people who are HIV positive, and queer and trans youth who are forced to live on the street. Instead of equalizing access to health care, marriage rights would allow a small group of people who have partnered themselves in monogamous configurations to receive care. If we accept the marriage agenda’s so-called solution, we’ll leave out most of our community.

         Perhaps because the gay marriage movement has forgotten about the plurality and diversity of queer communities and queer activism, it has tried to gloss over its shortcomings by appropriating the struggles of other communities. We reject the notion that “gay is the new black,” that the fight for marriage equality is parallel to the fight for civil rights, that queer rights and rights for people of color are mutually exclusive.  We don’t believe that fighting for inclusion in marriage is the same as fighting to end segregation. Drawing that parallel erases queer people of color and makes light of the structural racism that the civil rights movement fought against. The comparison is made as if communities of color, and black communities in particular, now enjoy structural equality. We know that’s not true. We would like to see a queer community that, rather than appropriating the narrative of the civil rights movement for its marriage equality campaign, takes an active role in exposing and protesting structural inequality and structural racism.            

         Rather than choosing to fight the things that keep structural racism intact, the liberal gay agenda has chosen to promote them.  The gay agenda continually fights for increased hate crimes legislation that would incarcerate and execute perpetrators of hate crimes.  We believe that incarceration destroys communities and families, and does not address why queer bashings happen. Increased hate crimes legislation would only lock more people up. In a country where entire communities are ravaged by how many of their members get sent to jail, where prisons are profit-driven institutions, where incarceration only creates more violence, we won’t accept anything that promotes prison as a solution.  Our communities are already preyed upon by prisons – trans people, sex workers, and street kids live with the constant threat of incarceration.  We believe that real, long-term solutions are found in models of restorative and transformative justice, and in building communities that can positively and profoundly deal with violence.  We challenge our queer communities to confront what we are afraid of rather than locking it up, and to join members of our community and natural allies in opposing anything that would expand prisons.

         The gay marriage agenda also supports the expansion of the army, seemingly forgetting about all of the ways that the army creates and maintains violence and power. The gay marriage agenda fights to abolish the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, promoting the military’s policy and seeking inclusion. We’ve thought long and hard about this, and we can’t remember liking anything that the US military has done in a really long time. What we do remember is how the military mines places where poor people and people of color live, taking advantage of the lack of opportunities that exist for kids in those communities and convincing them to join the army. We think it’s time that queers fight the army and the wars it is engaged in instead of asking for permission to enter.

Marriage doesn’t promise real security.

         As the economy collapses, as the number of Americans without a job, without healthcare, without savings, without any kind of social security net increases, it’s easy to understand how marriage has become an instant cure-all for some. Recognizing that many in our community have lived through strained or broken relationships with their biological families, through the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, through self-doubt about and stigmatization of their relationships, we understand where the desire for the security promised by marriage comes from. However, we see the promotion of gay marriage as something that tries to put a band-aid over deeper sources of insecurity, both social and economic. With marriage, the state is able to absolve itself of responsibility for the well-being of its citizens, as evidenced by the HRC’s argument that with gay marriage, the state could kick more people off of welfare. If the HRC got its way, the queers who do not want, or are not eligible for, marriage would be even less secure than before.  We’re frightened by the way the marriage agenda wants to break up our community in this way, and we’re committed to fighting any kind of politics that demonizes poor people and welfare recipients.  We challenge our queer communities to build a politics that promotes wealth redistribution.  What if, rather than donating to the HRC campaign, we pooled our wealth to create a community emergency fund for members of our community who face foreclosure, need expensive medical care or find themselves in any other economic emergency? As queers, we need to take our anger, our fear, and our hope and recognize the wealth of resources that we already have, in order to build alternative structures. We don’t need to assimilate when we have each other.

We’re not like everyone else.      

         Everywhere we turn, it seems like someone wants us to support gay marriage. From enthusiastic canvassers on the street to liberal professors in the academy, from gay lawyers to straight soccer moms, there’s someone smiling at us, eager to let us know how strongly they support our “right to marry,” waiting for what should be our easy affirmation. And there seems to be no space for us to resist the agenda that has been imposed upon us.  We’re fed up with the way that the gay marriage movement has tried to assimilate us, to swallow up our families, our lives, and our lovers into its clean-cut standards for what queer love, responsibility, and commitment should look like. We reject the idea that we should strive to see straight family configurations reflected in our families. We’re offended by the idea that white, middle-class gays – rather than genderqueers, poor people, single moms, prisoners, people of color, immigrants without papers, or anyone whose life falls outside of the norm that the state has set – should be our “natural” allies. We refuse to feel indebted or grateful to those who have decided it’s time for us to be pulled out from the fringe and into the status quo. We know that there are more of us on the outside than on the inside, and we realize our power.      

         We write this feeling as if we have to grab our community back from the clutches of the gay marriage movement. We’re frightened by its path and its incessant desire to assimilate. Believe it or not, we felt incredibly safe, happy, taken care of, and fulfilled with the many queer biological and chosen parents who raised us without the right to marry.   Having grown up in queer families and communities we strongly believe that queers are not like everyone else.  Queers are sexy, resourceful, creative, and brave enough to challenge an oppressive system with their lifestyle.  In the ways that our families might resemble nuclear, straight families, it is accidental and coincidental, something that lies at the surface.  We do not believe that queer relationships are the mere derivatives of straight relationships. We can play house without wanting to be straight. Our families are tangled, messy and beautiful – just like so many straight families who don’t fit into the official version of family. We want to build communities of all kinds of families, families that can exist – that do exist – without the recognition of the state. We don’t believe that parenting is cause for an end to political participation.  We believe that nurturing the growth, voice and imagination of children as a parent, a family and a community is a profoundly radical act.  We want to build networks of accountability and dependence that lie outside the bounds of the government, the kinds of networks that we grew up in, the kinds of networks that we know support single-parent families, immigrant families, families who have members in the military or in prison, and all kinds of chosen families. These families, our families, work through our collective resources, strengths, commitments, and desires, and we wouldn’t change them for anything.

234 Responses to “Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda!”

  1. krissy Says:

    hal-a-fuckin-lu-yah. Rock on!

    I’m a white working class butch dyke who, frankly, refuses to “play dead” for any kind of racist, classist state-created system of separation of people from people. i surived life-threatening illness because of my queer family, and i will happily die fighting for the broadest definition of associations between people.

  2. Roberta Marie Munroe Says:

    I was wondering when this would be written and posted in a public arena such as facebook.
    Glad to see there is another conversation, a different conversation, happening.

    • A Queer's gotta Riot Says:

      This is a public arena at least sort of most public is now private but available to most folks but controlled by corporations and the government. Plus many refer to Facebook as Snitchbook because of their readiness to sell out any of your information to anyone at anytime. Not only that facebook is useless, it is not an effective organizing tool, sure it might tell people there is an event and they can tell the government and others who is going, but they aren’t really organized. Organizing is done through actual conversations and meetings, real interaction, not cyberspace “friending” and twitters.

      However I must agree it is good to see other conversations going on and people actually saying NO TO MARRIAGE rather than yes HRC take away our rights so you can have yours.

  3. Matt Says:

    Well put

  4. Amir Flesher Says:

    The article contains one rhetorical fallacy after another.. The article states that marriage equality is being “forced” on queer people who don’t want it. If you don’t want to get married, then don’t. If you wish to have a “tangled messy and beautiful family” then exercise your existing freedom to do so. Nobody is forcing anything upon you. Your lack of desire to get married should not infringe upon the right to do so of gay people who want this option. The idea that marriage equality= forced marriage is a transparent and silly straw man.

    Furthermore the idea that advocating marriage equality somehow precludes support for the rights of immigrants or will cause people to cease to instill political awareness in their children is just flat out bizarre. I believe this assertion is a non-sequitur in the taxonomy of rhetorical fallacies.

    Lastly (at least lastly that I have the interest and energy to identify) we have guilt by association–the apparently guilty party being Gavin Newsome, and his association with marriage equality tainting the policy. That Newsome supports marriage equality is not relevant to whether or not it is constitutionally mandated under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The classic guilt by association centers around Hitler. He was a vegetarian, which many people who abhor vegetarianism use as supposed evidence that vegetarianism is clearly morally bankrupt. For all I care, Newsome could support clubbing baby seals to death with giant sporks. This (or any other alleged crime of his) has no bearing on whether or not marriage equality is legally mandated as a right.

    • ralowe Says:

      no, amir. the question the marriage movement has been asking is not whether or not people should be allowed to marry, but rather whether the priorities of the entire queer community should be focused on marriage while completely disregarding everything else. i think the statement from the queer kids makes this very clearly. it is marriage advocates who obscure the fact of this agenda through their clever equality rhetoric, and it’s exciting to see other people making it clear that they’ve had enough. the entire premise of the “freedom to marry” question which you so innocently repeat here completely obscures the larger context of the lives of those who would still be substantially disenfranchised even if they were so “fortunate” to possess a marriage license. living in san francisco, an epicenter theater of the marriage war, i’ve witnessed (for starters) youth programs cast aside, police violence ignored, gentrification overlooked. the marriage movement prioritizes healthcare via partner benefits over universal single-payer.

      a thing or two about newsom: before people start rallying behind these sorts of inane and supremely wasteful political campaigns, one should be clear on the history of how they have been deployed by opportunists in the past. it is good information to know that the gavin newsom publicity machine started marrying couples at san francisco city hall shortly roughly after one month after being in office. it is worth noting that at this time he was appointed to a divided city that had voted against him. and it is also worthwhile wondering how he went from being best known for wanting to reduce monthly general assistance checks from $300 to $49… to… being on the cover of national magazines being proclaimed as the gay messiah. if it’s fine that people should be allowed to marry just as straights do then i suppose it also doesn’t matter if queers function as pawns in “civil rights” minstrelsy.

      • Sister Unity Says:

        My 1st feeling is: history happens when it happens. You take the opportunity or you don’t.

        and why on Earth is it supposed that gay people are not also working on the additional urgent prioroties of the day? I am protesting the war as often as I am for equal rights. I am emailing about health care as much as I am about equal rights. Lord knows I work on global warming everyday.

        You make a very good point about the bougrgeoise nature of the gay marriage upswell at the expense of other critical and alarming issues for gay people. Though, I would not label our fight for marriage equality as being pawns; rather I would accuse politicians of leeching onto our legitimate fight for our rights. They are at fault, not we.

        You are right to call our efforts back to issues of class equality, care for our youth, violence against us. However, to delegitimize or even attack the struggle for equality on one of it’s current battlefields I find devisive and opportunisitc. I offer that a fine tuning of the message might be to continue the call of the already rallied community to give over some of its energy and support to these important needs as well. While we are working hard right now, let us work hard again for each other!

      • chelsea Says:

        sister unity, i appreciate yr sentiment, but i think the point here is that the structural integrity of u.s. social institutions is compromised. yr attention to climate change and health care, among many other issues i’m sure, is a step in the right direction, but we must stop thinking of these issues as separate, unrelated realities. whole is greater than the sum of all parts or something like that.. it is when we are able to take the largest step back through our own very narrow experience that we will be able to effect the change that needs to be.

    • A Queer's gotta Riot Says:

      Hitler was a vegetarian? That is news to the entire fucking world! Hitler was not a vegetarian, he ate all sorts of animal products plus he shut down a german vegetarian group in 1936. It seems like he reduced the amount of meat in his diet but caviar, ham, sausages and bone marrow.
      Even if he somehow was a vegetarian he wasn’t an ethical vegetarian and he wasn’t a good person. Believing Hitler is a vegetarian is like believing the Holocaust didn’t happen it is that same propaganda from the Nazis that people who cannot accept the truth use too further their stupid as fuck agendas.

      As far as marriage goes, people are wasting their time on these silly issues and not focusing on people who really need some help. The marriage movement is fairly rich and they tend to gentrifuck neighborhoods and just want assimilation. Once they have assimilated they will go on not caring about anyone else but themselves. Marriage is also not a STATE ISSUE, so it should not be even mandated by the state in any situation ever. If a church wants to stop people from getting married then that is their decision. The state has no business in marriage and gay and lesbian people have no reason too get involved and should maybe stick up for people who really need it like Trans people (who regularly get fucked over by the gays) or queer youth or people of color, or non white non european immigrants.

      • Amir Flesher Says:

        1. Whether or not Hitler was a vegetarian is irrelevant to the way in which I used the example. I used it as a an example of guilt by association. Just assume he was a vegetarian for a minute. That he was or was not a vegetarian has no basis on whether or not vegetarian is an ethical choice or not. IN order to make a case about whether or not vegetarianism is ethical, you would have to muster up actual arguments. Saying that Gavin Newsome is evil is not an argument against marriage equality. That is why I brought up Hitler’s (alleged vegetarianism). Let’s use another example. Osama Bin Laden is known to lead a fairly acetic life. This has no bearing on whether or not acetic choices are ethical or not.

        2. Believing that Hitler was a vegetarian is decidedly NOT like believing the Holocaust did not happen. The analogy has little to no merit. Hitler’s vegetarianism ( or lack thereof) is hard to ascertain. That the Holocaust happened is established by many many lines of independently corroborated evidence. Second of all, believing whether or not Hitler was a vegetarian is of little to no consequence. As I already established his alleged vegetarianism is irrelevant to whether or not vegetarianism is ethical. It has no relevance to any other important point. On the other hand, believing that the Holocaust did not happen is of major consequence. Such a belief would deny the single most extreme and efficient act of genocide ever committed. Such a belief is willful ignorance of what people are capable of–including ourselves.

        3. Gentrified neighborhoods are problematic, but what do you advocate instead? Are you a fan of blighted neighborhoods?

        4. Why do you exclude whites and European immigrants (or their descendants) from groups of people who need help? There are millions of poor white people in this country and around the world. Are they subhuman? Do they not deserve equal consideration? As a point of disclosure, I believe 100% in policies such as affirmative action that work to alleviate deeply rooted societal inequalities born of racism and the like. Let me say it loud and clear so that you can save yourself labeling me a racist, a hate monger or anything else–racism is deeply entrenched and must be eradicated. However, the glorification of “non whites” whatever that means, obscures the fact that human beings are human beings. People of all colors, races, genders, social orientations, nationalities, gender identities etc. are 1) equally human 2) as such equally capable of saintliness and being sinners 3) equally deserving of equal protection under the law 4) should be considered equally in terms of advancing their interests.

      • Jack Fertig Says:

        Hitler had digestive troubles that made it difficult for him to eat meat. His usual abstention from meat gave him a reputation as a “vegetarian” but he did indulge now and then. In fact he kept a mostly vegetarian diet, obviously not for ethical reasons. What lines one has to stay within to be considered a vegetarian, I don’t claim the authority to dictate. I would say he was mostly vegetarian, but I like to mess with the arbitrary boxes that some people seem to want to put everyone into.

        Hitler’s diet is of little historical consequence. Comparing ignorance of Hitler’s eating habits to Holocaust denial is an absurd distortion of proportion and scale.

  5. Mariel Says:

    “We won’t let the government decide what does and does not constitute a family.”

    Thank you.

    How many queers are screwed over because their families don’t operate the way bureaucracy expects them to? Parents kicked them out, taken in by friends, not on speaking terms with relatives, etc? And for how many does having the narrow right to marry solve anything at all?

  6. Justyn Says:

    tl;dr

  7. gay Says:

    i think you entirely missed the point. like, entirely. it’s not about prescribing to a cookie cutter ideal of family; it’s about having that as an option. surely there are plenty of queers who care to revel in their outsider status. but for those that don’t, you are essentially telling them that they SHOULD be different, that it’s wrong for them to want a certain kind of lifestyle. and that right there is bullshit, not to mention hypocrisy.

    for those that want to assimilate, let them. for those that don’t, let them.

    like really, it’s not an issue of us wanting to be like the straights; it’s an issue of us wanting to be equal with them. i have nothing but contempt for breeders, i promise, but that doesn’t change the fact that i may one day want the legal benefits (and yeah, the emotional symbolism) that comes with marriage. certainly there are flaws in the system, and those should be worked out, but for now we want one thing — equal opportunities and rights, not just in marriage, but in life. period. there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    • Amir Flesher Says:

      Why do you have contempt for “breeders”?

    • Crystal Says:

      It is not just about if you don’t want to get married don’t. It is about the large amount of resources being spent. Not just the money. Don’t you think there is a quid pro quo at stake here. Do you think the pols are going to just get on the gay marriage train with out asking for something in return, namely our silence as a community. It is also not just about to assimilate or not. You are kidding yourself if you don’t think this will be just another way to seperate the “good gays” from the bad. As if that is not happening already. In any case get married if you want, but as a gender queer of color who as actually been to jail on several occasions for fighting the good fight for equal rights for all, I will not go to jail for this, I will not take time off from work or donate time or money for a cause that will so clearly benefit the few in being included in a corrupt system and the same goes for qays in the military.

      • SknyWhtDude Says:

        Right ON!!

      • Faith Says:

        Yes, I completely agree with you Crystal. The System has never been on the right path as far as human rights are concerned, so why do ppl think that having the option to marry will bring them further reward? To add, human rights, for all, are necessary before civil rights can be conferred. And as the prisons keep being built, while schools go underfunded, the U.S. has a long way to go.

      • Sister Unity Says:

        I dunno.. these predictions of separation of good gays from bad, pols demanding our silence. Where’s the back up on those predictions? I’m certainly not staying silent.

        to me this is like, “hey, screw having the right to get into a dying lover’s hospital room; Kids are starving!”

        I feel like, Let’s do them both.

        and yeah, there will CONTINUE to be bougie gay lardasses who could give a fruitcup about less assimilated of us: equal rights will not change that either way. That seems akin to me to those who say gay mariages will change marriage as a whole. If you got married would YOU toss your cool shoes and never march again? Me neither.

  8. gay Says:

    that was a joke. breeders are fine in my book, so long as they don’t try to alienate me for not adhering to their conceptions of “normalcy” — same goes for the gays, though.

  9. Twitter Trackbacks for Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda! « Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage! [queerkidssaynomarriage.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com Says:

    [...] Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda! « Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage! queerkidssaynomarriage.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/queer-kids-of-queer-parents-say-no-to-the-gay-marriage-agenda – view page – cached Thousands are losing their homes, and gays want a day named after Harvey Milk. The U.S. military is continuing its path of destruction, and gays want to be allowed to fight. Cops are still killing… (Read more)Thousands are losing their homes, and gays want a day named after Harvey Milk. The U.S. military is continuing its path of destruction, and gays want to be allowed to fight. Cops are still killing unarmed black men and bashing queers, and gays want more policing. More and more Americans are suffering and dying because they can’t get decent health care, and gays want weddings. (Read less) — From the page [...]

  10. mark snyder Says:

    Great work! Please crosspost or promote this post over at queertoday.com!!!

  11. Joe Says:

    Since the 1970′s gays have been fighting for equal rights. We have been fighting to not get fired from our jobs because of being gay. We have fought to be open and be able to drink in bars with windows, not run by mafia. We have fought so we don’t have to hide our love in park bushes or dark alleys. It is inconceivable that in 2009, everyone doesn’t have the same rights despite race, sex, sexual orientation or religion. By fighting against each other we accomplish nothing. By working together we can accomplish amazing things. Are we supposed to sit back and decide that my equal rights as an individual are not as important as the economy? Maybe I want equal rights, a better economy, better healthcare, a family and to be able to decide who I want to marry and who I want to love in my life without someone telling me I can’t have it. Don’t I deserve the rights that everyone else has? If we keep fighting each other and telling each other that our beliefs and our battles are more important than yours, we will never accomplish anything. Why don’t we support each other in our fights and work together to make things better?
    Syliva Rivera, a veteran of the Stonewall Riots and the early gay liberation said:
    “If we continue to be invisible, people are not going to listen to us. And if we ourselves don’t stand up for ourselves, nobody else will do that for us.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said:
    “Our lives begin to end the day we become ‘silent’ about things that matter.”
    All of these points matter. Everything that we are fighting for matters. Please don’t belittle one or the other. We all want the world to be a better place. Let’s stop fighting one another and work to make it that way.

    • Davey Says:

      I hear these concerns Joe, but I am also wary to equalize battles. I don’t see how anyone could compare the HIV/AIDS epidemic to marriage equality. One major argument against the marriage movement isn’t always its message, but also the astounding amount of resources that have been spent trying to legalize it.

      In fact, I’m so happy this article not only argues against gay marriage but also provides other insight into movements that also deserve a lot of thought, consideration, and action.

      The HIV rates among LGBTQ youth are rising at alarming levels. Thank you for bringing up a ‘battle’ our community never really ‘won’ in this article. It’s a problem that runs so psychologically deep and one of the most complicated issues our ‘community’ has never really overcome.

      “I want to throw up because we’re supposed to quietly and politely make house in this killing machine called America and pay taxes to support our own slow murder and I’m amazed we’re not running amok in the streets, and that we can still be capable of gestures of loving after lifetimes of all this.”
      - David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)

  12. Wendell Ricketts Says:

    I can only agree with Amir. This article is a rant that smashes about twelve unrelated issues together in just the way I’d expect from one of Donald Wildmon’s email alerts.

    Do you really want to talk about things we’re sick of? I’m sick of so-called liberals and lefties like the authors of this article assuming that gay means middle-class. I’m sick of the assumption that poor and working class fags and dykes don’t really want to get married or, if they do, it’s only because they’ve been brainwashed by the “liberal gay agenda.”

    I’m sick of the assumption, if I want my relationship w/my partner to be legally and civilly recognized (I could give a flying f*** if you call it marriage), that I’m somehow both no longer truly “progressive” and a sellout in terms of the struggles against racism, sexism, and classism. To hell with that. I’ve been at this too long to let a bunch of so-called “progressives” who think they invented queerness define me.

    There are two seriously right-on positions in this article, lost in the muck of rhetoric. First, “long-term monogamous partnerships are valid and beautiful ways of structuring and experiencing family, but [they aren't] any more inherently valuable or legitimate than the many other family structures.”

    And second: “The [marriage first] agenda fractures our communities, pits us against natural allies, supports unequal power structures, obscures urgent queer concerns, abandons struggle for mutual sustainability inside queer communities and disregards our awesomely fabulous queer history.”

    I couldn’t agree more. In terms of the first point, there’s no question that the argument has been framed miserably from the start – but that isn’t the fault of the many people who have gotten married or who want to. Go bitch at someone else, and not at the people who are victims of homophobic policies.

    As for the second point, one of the most recently, blatant examples of how we’ve been “pitted against allies” is in the area of immigration and the Uniting American Families Act (which would allow US citizens to sponsor their same-sex foreign-born partners for purposes of immigration). Traditional immigration-rights organizers took one look at gay activists who came asking for help and said, “Where the hell were you when we needed you?” And rightly so.

    So I’m all for coalition-building, a more global political perspective, and a serious reduction of the amount of attention that’s spent on rich and middle-class gays and lesbians. But get a grip on your rhetoric. Wanting civil rights doesn’t make me bourgeois. It doesn’t make me “single issue.” And it doesn’t make me insensitive to the issues of the other communities to which I personally belong or to wider struggles for justice. Shame on you for making those insulting assumptions. The big, grand rainbow brush you think you’re wielding is painting a lot of us right out of the picture.

    • ella Says:

      Thank you. I am queer as fuck. I have been queer as fuck. Labeling myself with whatever stigmatized labels doesn’t make me more or less queer. It makes me a willing victim.

      This is ultimately a fight about” do we dismantle the system from inside, or outside? its an old argument. The people on the outside are terrified of being on the inside. The people on the inside long for the days of being on the outside.

      Both sides need each other, and both sides with only win by squeezing the middle.

      • Jack Fertig Says:

        Actually the question seems to be, do we dismantle the system or buy into it with some minor modifications? Of course there are other options inbetween. My first impulse says, “Trash the fucker!” but realistically revolutions have nasty histories. We need at least a good solid program and well thought-out alternative institutions before we overthrow the current system, and obviously we don’t have that. In the meantime legislative and court efforts to make what modifications we can within the system should at least be kept in mind of building a larger network to make deeper changes. Better care for people with HIV can be more effective in a european style public health care system. homophobia in the schools can be better addressed as part of a broader effort to improve public schools. We can better create opportunities for the many sectors of our community that are impoverished, not with piecemeal efforts towards GLBT programs, but by cutting back the military, a huge parasite, and focusing funds into education, health, and infrastructure, all of which address the abovementioned issues and create jobs in sectors that feed both private and public sectors of the economy.

        But you’re quite right. We all do better when those inside the system and those outside can work together at least at some levels. The question remains (and is always in a dialectic flux) what are our goals and how do we get there? Narrow-focus assimilationists have held the upper hand too long. We need to assert the broader, deeper vision revived by these queer kids!

  13. Adam Equality Klesh Says:

    The marriage equality movement is one small building block in the wall of American Equality. The the article above and the group which published it should be ashamed at aiming blame at the “agenda of gays”.

    Whatever maybe the current crisis or current unfortunate resolve of the lesser cared for in our nation has little if nothing to do with the gay rights movement and the equal marriage rights movement.

    While blacks were attempting to be segregated into public facilities and schools; was it their fault the divorce rate was at an all time high since 1930? No they were standing up for their individual rights. While attention was turned to Matthew Shepard and his horrible case was it his fault unemployment rates were sky rocketing across America? No.

    If we all decide finally once and for all to stop pointing the fingers at the people of and for this nation and each movement in particular for the attention it is given and taking away and start supporting all causes for basic human rights under an understanding government than we may have a movement that can be criticized. Until then, do not shut down your brothers, sisters, children, lovers or your parents.

    Adam Klesh
    26 years old
    Queer son of Queer parents
    Nyc, NY

  14. Oscar Says:

    I’m gay, currently living in my partner’s country of origin because this is the only way both of us can be employed and have health coverage. I am forced to choose between living near my family in California, or my love in South Korea–and this is not fair. All you speak of is politics and abstract ideas, but you don’t understand why we fight for equal marriage rights because you’re not in the position others such as I are in. I was very fortunate and was born into an insanely open-minded and loving family, and I miss them. I am proud to say I want what my parents have and have had–35 years of loving, fighting, children, grandchildren, or whatever else time chooses to throw at us. I am not ashamed for wanting that because it’s not a shameful thing. Marriage isn’t being forced upon anyone, only the option is–and boy do I wish it were an option. The fact that there are other queers out there who support keeping families apart not only stings, but it angers. Maybe this is not your intent, but ultimately this is what you’re supporting.

    If you don’t wish to marry, don’t. If you wish to support the causes you say are falling to the wayside, then support them. Let the rest of us try to live the life we have the right to live. I love my family…gay and straight.

    • Justin O. Says:

      I definitely respect your desire to get married and I truly hope you have the opportunity to do so.

      However – it sort of seems to me like you missed the point of the original article. You don’t need “marriage” to bring you and your partner together, live where you please, and enjoy the health coverage you need. What you need is reformed immigration laws and universal health care. The “benefits” of the marriage movement can be achieved through other means that are more inclusive of diverse family types. Putting resources into the marriage fight elevates marriage as an ideal and no resources go towards those who do not fit into the marriage mold.

      I hope that makes sense.

      • dmx Says:

        Truth be told it’d be easier if the concept of marriage was not even entertained by government for anyone but rather as a community concept. Get the folks , yr religious people if thats your thing, the friends, maybe a celebrant and go nuts, no govt involved. Then ammend the laws that you folks can nominate each other kin and have the law recognise that.

        Wouldn’t it be great if you and your buddies could just chose to be a family, and then maybe later on you fall in love and a new family forms or whatever yr funky mind can invent for a grouping of people called a family. The govt recognises that with its legal recognitions, and its up to people and their communities to fit into that framework what they want. Everybody wins in this scenario.

  15. Bo Says:

    Right on. It’s about time someone said this.

  16. jeri Says:

    Look, folks: as the article said, it’s not that the Kids are against gay marriage. It’s that they’re against having that one issue railroad the entire politics of queers.

    I’ve sometimes thought that gay marriage rights would actually bring about the downfall of the marriage institution, and was happy about that. But the Kids are right that doling out privileges, and getting more privileges for yourself despite the death and destruction surrounding you and the oppression of others, is just reactionary.

    I think the remarks about how this will be a way to separate the “good gays” from the “bad” are right on target.

    I’d like to see, from the HRC (good luck, ugh) and other organizations that purport to speak for a “GLBT Community,” an integrated vision of where we’re going, not just an unconscious and eternal merry-go-round ride jumping for the brass rings that someone else puts up there for us.

    • soph Says:

      I agree that, as you said, gay marriage should not railroad the entire politics of queers, but it’s also the most visible issue, the right most clearly and explicitly denied to queers. Sure, there’s lots of other issues, which I don’t need to list, but in terms of publicity, the issue of marriage is the most straightforward, no-denying-the-inequality kind of issue. Gay ¨rights¨ is not specific enough, in terms of achieving positive change. I think it will be a good start.

  17. Fernando Says:

    Words, words, words. ALL B.S.!
    Gay marriage is NOT the issue.
    The RIGHT to EQUALITY is what this “agenda” is all about!!
    The defiance stems from bigotry and HATE.
    No one has ever answered the question raised by the anti-gay marriage
    ‘agendi’, [my coining].
    What will happen to straight married folk
    if two same sex folk get hitched?
    Will the woman abandon their children to take up with another female????
    Will the balls of straight men drop off???
    Will schools be become dens of inequity???
    What is the DIRE results of “gay-marriage?????????
    If any answer has a religious stain to it,
    forget it.
    This Country’s is guided by the Constitution, NOT the Bible!!!!!!!

  18. Johnny B. Says:

    Amir and gay, I think you two have missed the point, entirely. Marriage itself is not being forced upon us, the “Marriage Agenda” is being forced upon us. I agree with you that some day I might like to receive the “legal benefits” that come with marriage– but why do those “legal benefits” exist for only romantically connected groupings of two people? What if my family consisted of three or more people who were in love? What if my sister and I wanted to live together and share health benefits and property? I can’t legally marry more than one person at a time, nor can I marry my sister. But shouldn’t my family be entitled to “legal benefits” regardless of whether it fits into the government’s Puritanical, heteronormative definition of what constitutes a family? I would love to “exercise my existing freedom” to have a “tangled messy and beautiful family”, however that freedom does not actually exist. No, nobody is banging on my door, hauling me to prison for having a complicated family, but nobody is giving me tax breaks either. Or extending healthcare to my partners. Or creating enough spaces on forms for how many parents my child has.

    And before you start telling me that I can share property with my sister, that there are ways of getting around the system, read “Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law” by Nancy D. Polikoff, and then you can talk about the “flaws in the system.”

    • gay Says:

      i take serious issue with these heavily theoretical concerns. not because they are invalid, necessarily, but because we exist within a certain (in this case, flawed) system. while that system should CONSTANTLY be under scrutiny, and while we should work towards amending the errors within it, we can only do so much at one time. while i agree that it’s somewhat problematic that the “gay marriage” issue is our sort of flagship concern, it’s a step in the right direction. it’s a step towards legal equality with heterosexuals. it is not claiming to perfect the marriage system, nor to perfectly equalize all deviant forms of family structure, but it’s something.

      i’d love to have you elucidate this “marriage agenda” a bit. perhaps i misread the article but i didn’t get a particularly clear sense of what this “agenda” entails — other than trying to reinforce the necessity of EQUALITY, which we strive for, which we will not rest until we have gained. perhaps some gays will be satisfied once we’ve won the gay marriage battle. i won’t be one of them, because equality extends far beyond legality, and any intelligent person should recognize that. (as i said earlier, having the gay marriage issue as our “flagship” concern sort of trivializes everything else, and i think a large number may be deluded into thinking that’s all we need to accomplish before we’re equal; but let’s be honest, sexuality is about love, homosexuality is above love, and the inability to legally solidify that love if we so desire is a pretty big fucking problem.)

    • Amir Flesher Says:

      Johnny B,

      I agree with gay that you (nor any one else) has not elucidated what the “marriage agenda” is other than or in addition to a legal claim that marriage equality is mandated under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

      However, I do think that in this last post you’re on to something. Your raise an entirely valid concern when you ask why “Legal benefits exist only for romantically linked benefits of two people.” Perhaps you should start (or join) a movement that seeks to broaden the legal definition of families to include two or more non-romantically linked people for the sake of allowing people in such families to enjoy legal benefits. If there is a critical mass of such people, there is no reason they could not band together to make themselves known as a group that seeks equal legal protection under the 14th amendment.

      A counter argument, however, is that there has to be a line drawn somewhere between what does and does not constitute a family for legal purposes. You may succeed in pushing the boundary of where that line is drawn to include, for example, three non romantically linked friends who have cohabitation for many years (assuming a critical mass of such people exists). However, I doubt you will ever succeed in erasing or blurring the line completely. Otherwise, any two or more people chosen off the street at random could constitute a family. The case for redefining a family legally has to be clear, coherent and consistent for it to succeed legally. I am curious to hear your suggestion for a statute that would broaden the definition in such a manner.

    • jet Says:

      Exactly. Its the privileging of only one type of family (the heteronormative nuclear one) thats so disturbing to me.
      I wish we were putting all of the resources used to fight for gay marriage towards extrapolating these privileges from the structure of marriage all together. Perhaps thats the next step. For many queers it has taken this campaign for gay marriage to allow us to formulate a solid rhetoric around why marriage is NOT a path toward equality, but a path that would allow only one type of minority group access to a fundamentally exclusive institution.

  19. Will Says:

    This reminds me of my parents, 60-something lesbians who have been together 26 years, would talk to me about the need to remember the gays of the 60-80′s who fought and battled and dies for my right to openly express who I am.

    Reading this rant made me feel like I was reading a 15yo’s journal. As a ‘queer’ child or a ‘queer’ family I think it is absurd to think that gays should not want to right to marry, and in working for that right they are somehow implicitly supporting war, deportation (maybe of people who should even be here) and police brutality. In the comments above there is a great reference to how you thinking equates to all architects, vegetarians, and children of Jewish mothers should be just like Hitler. Funny, how when you rephrase the argument it just doesn’t work.

    I am also surprised that in that whole boring rant there is NO mention of the fact that gays pay taxes WHILE being treated as second-class citizens. I mean, wouldn’t THAT be something to rally around, withholding the money that these people use to hold us down!?

  20. smartalyk Says:

    I think author of this post fails to understand how a movement works. You say that fighting for marriage denies resources needed to fight around more important issues of lgbt equality. But I think that fighting for THE RIGHT to marry is not the end, but the beginning of the movement.

    I just returned from the incredible, huge, wildly successful National Equality March in Washington DC – more than 200,000 people were there! I went with a group of organizers from Join the Impact Chicago. These young people, mostly students and new to the movement, were inspired to fight because of their outrage at Prop 8.

    What started as a fight around marriage equality has blossomed into a movement that is taking up broader issues – an end to DADT, a repeal of DOMA, the passage of an all-inclusive (trans too!) Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and most importantly, a national strategy that insists on nothing less than full legal equality in all matters governed by civil law for all people regardless of sexual orientation.

    The march organizers and participants are consciously rejecting the limited state-by-state fight for marriage/civil unions being promoted by stodgy conservative lobby-oriented groups like HRC and the state EQ groups.

    To those naysayers who are hostile to organizing around marriage, I say get involved with the movement as it currently exists. Argue with activists about why marriage is an oppressive institution. Recognize that the movement is not monolithic – there are as many ideas about lgbt equality as there are activists participating. You can have an influence.

    If the march showed me anything it’s that we can actually win equality, but the march itself was not the end, only the beginning!

  21. SheWho Says:

    I had a variety of responses to this article.

    Same-sex marriage is not, and cannot remain, the only issue that GLBTQ folks organize around.

    OTOH, as a heritor of the African-American Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements, I know that any movement makes one win at a time; and the velocity of change in things I don’t care much about can unexpectedly blow open doors about issues I *do* care about passionately. Here in Massachusetts, since same-sex families have been normalized, there has been an decrease in homophobic hate crimes, and an increase in attention to homophobia in anti-bullying initiatives in schools. These unexpected changes in straight peoples behavior keep precious GLBTQ people safe and alive.

    I think the essayist’s moniker ‘kids” is significant, because marriage means more than emotional commitment as we age. Valuing the destruction of family, and the notion of ‘chosen’ family is, IMHO, a fairly youthful and very ethnocentric position. As my radical lesbian friends from my 20′s now face our 50s and 60s and 70s, many are surprised by how very temporary the bonds of ‘family of choice’ have turned out to be. Consanguinity and marriage create a web of long-term obligations rather than ‘choices’, a web whose importance to our survival becomes clearer as we age.

    Civil marriage creates that web through law and property, not feelings. Its lack is why men who lived through the Chinese Exclusion Act (who were legally prohibited from marrying) lived and died alone, or were unable to provide for their legally unrecognized families when they died. It is how my Cherokee ancestors refused to be removed from TN and GA, by marrying men they did not love so that their children could grow up on their heritage land. It is about learning from this history, and making sure that my partner is not stripped of our home and life savings when I die.

    While this article brings up good points, it regrettably suffers from the same narcissism it decries — “Screw this issue, it is not about ME”. It is clearly advocates against civil marriage, but it offers little that an well-seasoned adult, or simply a reader of history, can advocate *for*.

    • ella Says:

      Very well put. Thank you. There is nothing glamorous about being poor, or lonely, and without resources or options. It may seem punk rock in your 20s, but after awhile, its just very, very hard to maintain.

  22. Amir Flesher Says:

    Sorry–there are about five million typos in the above post. I was hurrying in an effort to get out the door to do something important with my life….:-)

  23. Jack Fertig Says:

    HOORAYYY!!!!!

    As a veteran of the Stonewall Era I can’t tell you how happy I am to see this article, to see kids following up on our work and not buy into the bourgeois assimilationist bullshit that has overwhelmed Queer Revolution with a bland, stupid, selfish and short-sighted “Gay Rights Movement.”

    Today you have made an old man very, very happy!

  24. northaufzoo Says:

    I like the gay marriage movement fine, and I don’t see it as a threat to other social and political priorities. Still, I have to admit, it would be nice to see the right to marry movement paired with a movement to put and end to joint income tax forms. It’s a worthy goal to make marriage an institution open to all who choose it, but it IS unjust give certain domestic arrangements special tax status.

  25. kelly densmore Says:

    katie and jane!

    from one queer kid of queer parents to another, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! this post means so much to me and expresses the complicated, frustrating feelings that i have been struggling with for a long time now. i really appreciate you writing this and putting it out to the world. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

    kelly densmore
    a queer kid with lesbian parents, 26
    oakland, ca

    • Lauren Says:

      Hi Kelly!

      And thank you, Katie and Jane.

      This is one of the clearest critiques of the marriage movement I’ve read in a long time. I hope people can take a deep breath long enough to actually read it instead of retreating into defensiveness. Nowhere here is anyone advocating “keeping families apart”–what is being called for here is just the opposite: respecting, supporting, and fighting for ALL KINDS OF FAMILIES and not only those that receive the title (and privilege) of marriage.

      Thanks very much,

      Lauren Wheeler
      Black queer daughter with a black dyke mom, 32
      Emeryville, CA

  26. Jay Says:

    Thank you for this beautiful article, and for imagining a community big enough for all of us. As a trans person of colour, I often fall in the cracks of assimilationist identity policies, and watching those claiming to represent me criminalise my communities, and call for war on countries close to where my family are from, has been increasingly unbearable for me.
    I wish your kind of queer spread at least as quickly as the assimilationist, gay marriage/hate crime agenda, which is being e x p o r t e d everywhere from the US. In many places in West Europe, the hate crime discourse is actively pushed through gay racism, as more policing in migrant working-class, especially Muslim, areas, is needed to ‘protect’ the gays from the ‘homophobic immigrants.’ (Maybe tracing this travel of the assimilationist agenda would be a further idea for activist inquiry?)
    I wish more people could have had your childhoods! Thanks also for your bravery to speak from the generational perspective of ‘the children’. This in no way diminishes your experiences but embeds you firmly in the families and communities you are remembering, and trying to build.

    • Amir Flesher Says:

      1. Is homophobia not rampant in immigrant Muslim communities in Europe? I would guess that it is for two reasons: 1) the lower classes tend to be more homophobic than the middle and upper classes. 2) Most predominantly Muslim countries are not known for being pluralistic and certainly are not known for being tolerant of homosexuality. For example, it is fairly common for gays to flee the Palestinian territories, where homosexuality is very taboo, into Israel (a more pluralistic Western style society, notwithstanding its apartheid policy in the West Bank). That gays flee the West Bank into Israel DESPITE the rampant anti-Arab racism that exists in Israel speaks volumes for just how bad they have it in the Palestinian Territories. See this link:

      http://www.glapn.org/sodomylaws/world/palestine/psnews003.htm

      2. While there SHOULD be a natural alliance between oppressed minorities of all stripes, there often isn’t. I don’t have any hard evidence, but I do have a fair amount of first hand experience that suggests that homophobia is significantly more virulent among the poor and those with less formal education than it is among middle class people who have gone to college. (If you want such evidence, I’ll be happy to find it).

      3. There exist some persuasive data that support the idea that blacks as compared to whites are significantly MORE homophobic–especially those with a higher socio-economic status. See these links:

      http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/10/are_blacks_more_homophobic_than_whites.php

      http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/10/are_blacks_exceptionally_homop.php

      4. Making assertions not based on facts leads to erroneous conclusions. Sometimes the facts are unpleasant, politically incorrect, and often time unfortunate. But if we try to solve problems based on a misdiagnosis of reality, we have no chance of succeeding.

      peace out,

      Amir

      • Jack Fertig Says:

        “Making assertions not based on facts leads to erroneous conclusions” Yes, and “There exist some persuasive data …” introduces a hypothesis, not a fact. I’ve known poor folks and black folks all my life and would say that they are no more homophobic than rich white folks, just more outspoken and honest about it. At least among black folks who make it into politics and achieve positions of leadership there is a broad understanding of values of equal rights and the need to build broad coalitions.

        http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2009/10/african_american_civil_rights.html

        We see this all the time at lower levels, too. Even the divisive publicity conceals facts. For instance, Much was made of Marion Barry’s opposition to same-sex marriage in DC, little mention was made of the fact that he was the only one. ALL the other members of the council, most of them Black, supported our rights. Funny how when you have a room full of black folks being reasonable, thoughtful, and constructive, the media focuses on the loud, disruptive trouble-maker. Of course, that’s what sells papers and we should always keep in mind the media investment in sensation and division when we read their reports.

        And here’s another blow to the divisive stereotypes: There are two African-American Muslims in the US Congress and BOTH of them are in the LGBT Equality Caucus!

        Where there is a lack of coalition building it is easy to complain and point fingers. It is harder work, and much more worthwhile to build those coalitions. “Why should we support them when they don’t support us?” Can “they” reasonably ask the same question? We should support them so they will support us (Duh!) but if our support is only tactically self-interested people will see that and not reciprocate reliably beyond a few quid pro quos. We should really support struggles for racial and economic justice because it is the right thing to do. And if that’s not enough and you only care about the queer community, remember that we are all colors and classes, and economic and racial injustice hurts a great many queer folks.

    • Amir Flesher Says:

      I posted a reply to this yesterday that seems to have evaporated. Hmmmm?

      • Anita Says:

        wow, you really are full of hate against everyone except white gay people

      • Amir Flesher Says:

        Dear Anita,

        I got hate, hate, hate, hate, hate..
        so much seething anger
        I just cannot relate
        I have hate, hate hate hate
        hate when I get out of bed
        pounding on my heart
        and pushing on my head
        hatin’ when I’m on the train
        hatin’ in the sunshine
        and hatin’ in the rain
        so much hate
        I’m going insane.

        I got hate hate hate hate hate!
        For Everyone!
        Except for gay white people
        All other people are evil,

        I’m talkin’ about:
        straight whites, black dykes
        Old women, girl tykes.
        Latino bachelors on bikes
        Asian butchers flying kites
        Mulattoes spittin’ into mics
        and also hermaphrodites,
        they can all just go
        take a hike

        I got hate, hate, hate, hate hate
        hate, hate, hate, hate hate!

  27. rizzla Says:

    this is whats up

  28. Steven Says:

    Thank you!

  29. Resist gay marriage agenda « River of the Letter Wood Says:

    [...] Read the rest of this piece here. [...]

  30. seeta Says:

    Many, many, many thanks for this. Time to end the privileged single-issue agenda of the lgbt movement and advocate for a more diverse agenda on behalf of a diverse people and a more egalitarian system. Marriage, by its very nature and history, is an oppressive institution. The entire movement has stockholm syndrome. I’ve cross-posted this to my blog and have disseminated to allies, adversaries, mentors, friends, family, and others.

    Seeta

    http://riveroftheletterwood.com

  31. nome Says:

    There are so many good points on here! It’s the best critique of the movement’s focus on gay marriage that I have read in a long time. Thank you for writing this.

  32. Abbey Volcano Says:

    I love this- I like how it’s so plainly stated and easy to understand. I’ll cross-post where I can. Cheers!

  33. duncanroy Says:

    I am so happy to read this. So happy. Let us not let the mediocre ‘politics of invisibility’ ruin us. I too am shocked by the rhetoric of misguided gays.

  34. queerartist Says:

    Gret work! glad this movement is growing. Will link to your site from our blog, http://www.queerartist.wordpress.com. We have some good essays in our pages section on the same subject. For this old queer this fight has been so long. This We are just like you crap makes me vomit.

  35. Randydog Says:

    Wow, this is really spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in for 100% equal opportunity, but it IS important to remember that marriage, when we get it, is just one more valid option as a way to organize intimate relationships – not the default, not the best choice (or even 2nd or 3rd best choice) for all.

    Indeed, I think our biggest value as a … Read Moresub-culture to the greater society is to provide role models for valid stable alternatives to the status quo – and it would be a great tragedy – greater than any injustice we currently face – to lose that.

    (I’ve thought for a long time that if the far right *really* wanted to destroy the gay community and the threat they think we represent, they would *encourage* and fully embrace equal rights for all. Nothing nourishes an alternative more than resistance to it, and nothing destroys a threat more completely than it’s assimilation.)

  36. Jessica Naomi Says:

    Marriage equality is about one issue only – EQUALITY. It is about unconditional constitutional equality. Our rights must not be dependent upon the agreement, acceptance, tolerance or agreement of heterosupremacist tyrannical theocRATs (who voted for Prop Hate in California, Florida and Arkansas and dozens of other states).

    Once we claim our birthright as Americans to unconditional constitutional equality every single law in America that applies to heterosexuals will apply to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and questioning Americans.

    Once this happens, and it will if we realize that this is the real goal, then we will define our families.

    Until our rights are unconditional, we must continue a 50+ year fight for one right at a time – the right not to be beat up and killed by tyrannical theocRAts, the right not to be fired or denied employment, the right to live where we want, the second amendment right to join a well organized militia (where btw many are Arabic language translators talking not shooting), the right for immigrants to remain in America with same-sex partners, the right to marry or not to marry (and enjoy more than 1400 federal marriage rights, the right to full and equal unconditional benefits in EVERYTHING.

    But if even one of us or our families or friends do not believe that the issue is unconditional equality, then we will remain divided, and we will continue the revolution for another generation.

  37. Kay Paiva Says:

    I believe what people are searching for is the reform of marriage. Why joint tax forms? When you are married does this invalidate your individuality? The issues with marriage exist for heterosexual and non-heterosexual families.

    However, people must be specific of the religious action of marriage versus the legal action of marriage. I am assuming that you are speaking about the latter.

  38. Scott Says:

    Assumptive, naive, entitled and lacking demonstrative examples. A laundry list of what’s wrong with the world and an almost frightening willingness to lump just about anyone with a resemblance of sexual deviancy into the “queer” bucket. In fact, dare I say, I no longer feel “queer” after reading this?? (GWM, 40, living the bay area)

    But I say fight your fight, as scattered and socially tangled as it may be. Save everyone from the scary white people in the valleys!

  39. Devin Says:

    Thank YOU! It’s about time some real words are spoken.. Solidarity is what we should aim for, not passage to the mainstream by adopting hetero-normative ideologies and leaving behind thousands of folks, whom you should be in solidarity with, behind. Lets work together not against one another!

    Keep it gully folks..
    Devin

  40. Heather Says:

    so, um, I’m not real sure that by fighting for one equality, we are suddenly against all other issues of equality. Is this like the argument from women during the women’s lib movement that said they choose to stay home and cook and clean and have babies? Or the constant argument in Seattle about the transit system… we don’t like how you have this set up, so we are not going to support it, BUT we NEED a better public transit system! Hey, nothing is going to please ALL the people ALL the time! True?

    All movement become a one thing at a time exercise. Just look into our fabulous history and see that each time there is a fight is has to be on one thing people just don’t listen.

    You can’t ask your parents for a new car, a trip to europe and a brand new computer for your birthday… Pretty sure you won’t get any of those things when you ask for them all. Now, if you ask for the car, and offer to work the summer to help pay for it you may just have yourself a car.

    Are you actually fighting against equality for all us homos? Whining that things should stay the same cause we are different dammit and should embrace being different, otherwise we are just like “them?”

    Cause that’s all I got out of this piece.

  41. Dan Says:

    The article is a restatement of arguments that have been made against assimilation since the start of the queer rights movement. While there is validity to these arguments, the article above is ignorant of the history of the marriage equality struggle. Every single state ballot measure so far on same sex marriage has been put on the ballot by the homophobes. The queer community has had no choice but to try to defeat these measures. We’ve seen most of the state constitutions in the US sullied with anti-gay language. Whether one wants to marry or not, we must fight discriminatory laws.

    In 1991, I was part of a crowd that rioted and set fire to the old State Building in SF after Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed AB101, which would have banned employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. One might have argued that this was a waste of energy, that should have been spent overthrowing the government, rather than fighting for limited protection. AB101 didn’t even provide protection for trans people. But the reaction to the AB101 veto helped propel a series of legal protections for LGB and trans folks in California that have helped change the culture of the workplace in the state.

    Many young queer folks today take for granted some of the cultural changes that have happened, and any stirrings of a resurgent questioning of the status quo is heartening. It’s good to question the focus on same sex marriage, but also understand why we must fight discriminatory laws as well as address other societal injustices.

  42. Queer Community Solidarity « for Seattle University’s LGBTQI and Ally Community Says:

    [...] http://queerkidssaynomarriage.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/queer-kids-of-queer-parents-say-no-to-the-gay… Published in: [...]

  43. Brynn Craffey Says:

    Bravo!!! And thank you for writing this! It is the most well written and best critique I’ve seen so far of the Marriage Equality movement. (Reading it’s like getting a shot of inspiration!)

  44. tiz Says:

    Hi there! Can I traslate in italian and spread everywhere??? Thank you!!

  45. jude Says:

    queer, 60, mom of bi-girl – glad to see this spelled out so well & glad it’s from those who will have to keep these values & visions alive.

  46. Sarah Carso Says:

    A few of you spoke of the ramifications of marriage equality on the economic powers of the queer community. What “gay marriage” (notice this movement hasn’t been called ‘queer marriage’ or ‘lgbtq marriage’) will do is not simply provide an “option”. Let’s be real-marriage certificates provide real economic power to those holding them.

    Here are the questions I would like “pro-marriage” folks to ask themselves:
    How can we have “marriage equality” if we can’t even speak of transfolk, genderqueers, and other identities in a national setting?

    Why should relationships have to be legitimized by the state?
    Why should an exclusive legal relationship take precedent economically over single, polyamorous, or other kinds of people?

    We have a government that actively promotes racism, transnational slavery and state-sanctioned violence against anyone not in the middle-class white bracket. By seeking legal affirmation of certain, very specific relationships (and all the economic goodies that come with them), I feel that the “gay rights” movement is turning a blind eye to those who have truly advanced and strengthened the fight to overturn oppressive regimes: transfolk, people of color, immigrants, the elderly, and all the other folks who remain invisible in our abusive system.

    It makes me very angry when folks say they simply want “another” option. Marriage isn’t just another option. It’s a state-sanctioned economic benefit package awarded to those who fit the state’s model of what relationships “should” be. Please consider your position: we so desperately need new voices to be heard over the megaphones of EC and HRC.

  47. Sam Says:

    Beautiful and well-spoken. Pokes a rather large hole into the fantasy that gay-marriage will magically elevate GLBT people to equal footing with heterosexual folks of longstanding privilege and advantage.

    I think you are right to think that marriage equals assimilation into a nefarious capitalist schema and who fucking gives a shit if gay military are “non-violent” arabic translators or combat-troops, its still a really. fucking. lousy business to get into.

    Stay fringe and stay sexy.

  48. Sue Katz Says:

    I love this article; I applaud the writers. I have been writing against marriage for decades and against making marriage & military the big drains on queer resources. The nuclear family was never a particularly warm, safe, encouraging place for queers to grow up in, but it is a great unit for retailers. Why does inviting the church & state into your bed make you feel victorious? If that is the rite of social assimilation, then surely it should be making queers question the desirability of such failed institutions.

    Queers point out, rightly, how many privileges are connected to legal marriage on the state and especially the federal level. But we should be asking why twosomes are so privileged. What about single people? What about blended families? If I receive health insurance through my employer (if only!), why can I only share it with someone who lives under the same roof and who can sign my checks? Why not with my very best life-long friend?

    Thanks again for this.
    Sue
    Visit my blog: Consenting Adult: suekatz.com

  49. eli Says:

    yessssssss, queer kids, best fucking piece I’ve read in a long time. thank you.

  50. Jess Says:

    Wow. This is the biggest piece of bullshit I have heard from a group of queer people in a very long time.

    1,) Of course marriage isn’t the be-all-end-all of the fight for queer civil rights. But do you *actually* believe that we can create any kind of equality while the legal system still practices laws that treat my right to marry as separate from a straight person’s? Come on.
    2.) Your family structure is valid. But so is mine, goddamnit. I wasn’t raised by a queer family; like the *vast majority* of queer people, I was raised by straight people. I plan to lead a monogamous lifestyle. How does my ability to have a monogamous relationship that is legally equivalent to a heterosexual’s relationship infringe upon your right to live within an entirely different framework?
    3.) Your separatist politics in general fail to acknowledge that queer people exist who grew up in straight families. The “queer community” as you have defined it is not representative of all queer people, but of radical queer people–who, by definition, do not represent the majority of queers.
    3a.) I agree that the middle-class whitewashing of the queer community is bullshit and needs to stop. But monogamy is not just a white middle-class heterosexual value. If you think it is, you have no understanding of the world.
    4.) Radicalism in and of itself is not a virtue. It is a means to an end. What are you actually trying to achieve?

    • Robin Says:

      I applaud the writers of this article, while at the same time not being 100% sure that I agree with everything they have said (surely we don’t want to aspire to the model of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”!). I do believe that marriage has taken a wildly disproportionate amount of resources in the GLBT community, and I have long been an opponent of assimilation.

      The problem I have here, Jess, is in your question #2. You say “how does my ability to have a monogamous relationship that is legally equivalent to a heterosexual’s relationship infringe upon your right to live within an entirely different framework?” This, to me, is an excellent, and a very dangerous, question.

      Here’s the problem, as i see it (ymmv). That question is nearly identical to the argument against gay and lesbian people wanting an equal right to marriage (which I assume you support from your comments, please correct me if I’m wrong). It’s nearly exactly the same as what straight people have been telling us for years: “How does my marriage [i.e. a “monogamous lifestyle” or a “heterosexual relationship”[ infringe upon your right to live within an entirely different framework? Go ahead and have your gay lives and your gay relationships, but don’t expect us to pay taxes to support your lifestyle”.

      I think, through this irony, you have highlighted precisely one of the points of the article these kids have written. That’s what they’re saying, Jess! They’re saying that straight people saying that to us=monogamous married gay or lesbian couples saying that to anyone with a different model of familiy. And they (we?) are responding by saying “What gives you the right to have those rights and privileges to yourself? Why aren’t they for everyone, regardless of their family structure? Why are they reserved for monogamous (purportedly!) heterosexual couples and for monogamous (purportedly!) queer couples whose relationship, as you say is “equivalent”? Why are some of us deemed “equivalent” and some of us not? And why is the measure of equivalence the heteronormative standard?

      To me, that’s all this article was saying, and Jess, I think you highlighted their point beautifully.

      I love irony. LIke nothin’ else. Wow.

  51. Jared Says:

    I suspect you’d like this read as well. Goes with the thread of what you are saying in many ways.

    Terrorist assemblages : homonationalism in queer times / Jasbir K. Puar.

  52. Chloe Says:

    As a transwomen who lives without the right to healthcare, housing or job security and in a loving stable poly relationship, thank you for standing up to your elders. Its about time the radical queer youth spoke its mind. Here is another supporter of solidarity not marriage.

    Chloe Flora

  53. Brandon Lacy Campos Says:

    I absolutely love and adore whoever wrote this. I wrote much the same, though much abbreviated, on my own blog:

    http://myfeetonlywalkforward.blogspot.com/2009/10/equality-march-now-what.html

    And I stirred up quite the bee’s hive, even being called communist. Thank God for that.

    Much love and solidarity.

    Love,
    Brandon Lacy Campos

  54. Brandon Lacy Campos Says:

    PS I reposted your essay at: http://myfeetonlywalkforward.blogspot.com/2009/10/queer-kids-of-queer-parents-against-gay.html

  55. married and poor Says:

    i am so, so conflicted about this. because: you’re RIGHT. you’re right about the fact that the gay marriage agenda has occluded really important, vital, serious issues in queer communities. you’re RIGHT that it’s an economic benefits package. you’re RIGHT that it often represents middle-class hegemony.

    here’s the thing.

    i got married.

    i’m 26 and my partner is 27 and we got married when we had the chance, in part because when we have children? i DO want them to be protected legally in the most comprehensive way possible. and in part because i wanted to say NO to the models of marriage that we were presented with as children: the dysfunctional, temporary, heterosexual models i was presented with in the form of my mom’s 5 (count ‘em. 5) marriages; something similar for my wife’s parents (one of whom is queer). in part because, honestly? the middle class folks are WRONG. it doesn’t assimilate us. everyone is thrown when the word “wife” comes out of my mouth, so i say it as often as possible. in part because i grew up poor and if there’s a shelter of economic security, imma duck under it. (actually right now it’s a disadvantage because the way in which we file taxes is pretty fucked up.) and because in a life beset by instability and abuse and serious, serious brokenness, it offers a security i have never, EVER gotten from “chosen family.”

    and because i think it IS possible to envision a day in which it IS an option equal to others. and because i think there IS this assumption that queers are supposed to be one way or the other–and the way you suggest is just as monolithic as the queer-dad-with-the-baby-bjorn-and-the-station-wagon alternative. i don’t dance or have casual sex or riot. where the fuck is my place in the queer community? because what you’re describing, in both ways, isn’t me.

    so i guess what i want is to know how i can be an ally, having made the choice i made, in these serious and vital fights, without being treated like an uncomplicated, assimilationist, aspirational traitor.

    • chris Says:

      i think your words are really powerful. i think one thing that this piece wants to point out is that marriage will not solve the issue of poverty, for example, for marginalized queer people. your story is already an ally to telling a complicated tale of who we all are. marriage may have some positives in the society we live in, but ultimately our u.s. society is so oppressive that we will not have true freedom unless we look at the systemic problems we are facing, such as capitalism’s inherent need for poverty.

  56. Mike Says:

    These are all really good and provactive arguments. While I agree with most everything in the article, I’m not sure that the issue of gay marriage can be left at the alter. Let’s remember that the fight for gay marriage became heated when right wing groups created ballot initiatives denying gays the right to marry. To walk away from this fight would be the same as accepting second-class citizenship.

    At the same time, all of the points in the article are right on. Spending time and resources on gay marriage does divert attention from more pressing social concerns. Politicians do use the issue of gay marriage to distract voters from their vicious and unjust policies and practices. And promoting gay marriage does marginalizes “non-traditional” family structures.

    I think the issue is not whether gays should have the right to marry, but why does the state attach so many rights to the institution of marriage in the first place? Even more to the point: why does the state even recognize marriage which is, at the end of the day, a religious institution? My feeling is that we should all turn our efforts and attention towards abolishing state sanctioned marriages for gays and straights alike. Once we get rid of this out dated and ridiculous institution we open new avenues to recognize “non-traditional” families while detaching health care provision from “traditional” family structures. At the same time abolishing state sanctioned marriage would be a key step towards achieving equality not just between gays and straights but for all people that don’t fit into state sanctioned marriage’s narrow definition of family.

  57. Kate Bornstein Says:

    I couldn’t be more proud to be an elder, with you as the up and coming co-leaders of a coalition of the margins. Bless your hearts for looking further than your own comfort, and for taking into account the lives, safety, and well-being of all folks oppressed by not only gender and sexuality, but also by age, race, class, religion, looks, ability, citizenship, and family status.

    This is an excellent stance, well-articulated. Please call on me for whatever backup I can provide. kiss kiss, Auntie Kate

  58. Amy Says:

    You have eloquently stated many (all?) of the problems that I have the with mainstream LGBT movement.

    Well said.

    Amy

  59. keith Says:

    Thank you so much!

    In California the protests after Prop 8 won were embarrassingly ignorant for two reasons:
    1. we already have all the rights that people were calling for
    2. in the same election more people voted for chickens to have more room in their cages (Prop 2), than for people (Prop 5 – which would have reduced jail time and increased addiction counselling to non-violent drug offenders).

    Ending the war on drugs and the war on terror ought to be much higher priorities to all people. Gays, step up!

  60. Ambrose Austin Says:

    I’m sure I felt this way (if not in quite this attitude and tone) five or more years ago. And the thing is, I still don’t want to get married. And I don’t give money to HRC. And I don’t want to have turkey baster babies. And I think universal health care is of the utmost importance. And immigration laws need to be reformed. And on and on. But this essay really misses the mark. There’s a lot that could be said and others have pointed out much in the way of logical fallacies and lessons of history. The most irritating thing about this essay is its claims to truth and knowledge about the queer community. Please don’t try to define queer people, just as you wouldn’t want to be defined by the “baby-toting” set as “just like straight people.” But neither would many queer people like to be defined otherwise. Sure, it’s weird, but who cares? What gives you a stranglehold on truth for gays?

    Start movements and action for immigration reform and universal health care, fight poverty and oppression, the gay marriage movement is not trying to stop you. In fact if gay marriage does make more headway, a void will be left for new movements. People who are unable or unwilling to get married will not have less rights than before, they’ll have the same lack of rights. But more gay people will have more access to legal protection, health care and custodial rights. And it will happen sooner than the myriad of other things that you rightly mention. I see nothing wrong with more rights for more gays now, with more battles in the future. It doesn’t close those doors, if anything it opens some of them.

    And I’m not a gun-toter, nor a pro-war-let’s-get-em type, but I do come from a military family (not a happy, supportive, queer family like you) and you can hate the military and think long and hard about it, but does that really give you the right to deny that anyone who identifies as gay or queer be disallowed from choosing to join? Seriously? It’s needlessly bossy and dictatorial. If you don’t want to be told how to live your lives, don’t take it upon yourselves to make those decisions for others.

    I’m glad these discussions are out there. Debate is important. And healthy and stuff.

  61. Debbie Says:

    Personally believe that discussion and disagreement is the fundamental aspect of critical thinking; and I applaud the author’s enthusiasm and genuine concern. However, I do believe that the author implicitly makes one assumption that might not be true.

    From my position and perception, there is sufficient energy and capability to address more than one issue at a time. Why do you assume it is a binary decision? I believe we can address Gay Marriage and other issues simultaneously. I readily agree that Gay Marriage is not the most pressing issue facing society or even for the GBLT community; but it is a visible issue. It is an issue that is supported by many non-GBLT individuals which can be used to unite people and form alliances … alliances that just might tip the scales in more pressing issues.

    Please don’t lose sight of the fact that Gay Marriage is about more than the ability to legally declare I love this person and we are a family. Legalizing Gay Marriage is about providing medical and death benefits for people in a long-term committed relationships who are not currently afforded coverage. They are refused health care coverage by insurance companies because their union does not have legal standing. As the author very correctly points out, health care is one of our most pressing issues … let’s address it!

    My sixty years of life have shown me time and time again … you fight the battles you can win; when you can win them. Jousting with windmills rarely accomplishes anything.

  62. Sam Says:

    This is truly beautiful. I often feel alone because I currently live in an area without a community who expresses these politics, and this reminded me that I’m *not* alone.

    Thank you, from the depths of my being.

  63. Wendell Ricketts Says:

    Jess (and others) hit it on the head. This is not about being “radical” or “politically progressive” or anything else. It’s about the appearance of being “cool” because you appear to reject something that THEY (the “establishment,” “middle-class queers,” “older people”) appear to believe.

    In short, it’s largely nonsense as a political position because it doesn’t allow anyone to DO anything other than be AGAINST what someone else is doing/thinking/saying/espousing.

    For me, the biggest hypocrisy in this article is that the author(s) are guilty of the very thought crime they intend to criticize; to wit: this issue isn’t about me, therefore to hell w/those to whom it is important; the only important issues are the ones I say are important, yours are trivial.

    I can’t believe some people actually see a deep analysis here.

    • Robin Says:

      To me, this is where it gets interesting. I am all of those things, or would be identified as such: Establishment, middle-class, older (I’m in my 50′s). Nearly all of my friends (mostly younger, by the way) are fervently in support of the marriage agenda. I am in agreement with the authors. Things aren’t always what they seem.

      There’s nothing wrong with being against something. It’s the opposite of being for something. What’s the problem? I’m against torture. That makes my political position nonsense?

      Forgive me, I don’t get how the authors are guilty of any “thought crime”. They are members of the queer community (twice over!) who have an opinion about what the priorities of the “movement” are (and if you don’t think such things exist, then maybe you should read the reports of the march last weekend…there are clearly organized priorities). All the writers are saying is that there are people in this community whose priorities are not the ones espoused at the march. I don’t see where people are getting that they are saying to hell with others. They are simply disagreeing. Is that not allowed anymore?

      • wanthappiness Says:

        Robin,

        Saying they are simply disagreeing is no defense. People were only disagreeing when not wanting women to vote. When what you say takes away the rights of others, you are not just disagreeing, you are making a statement someone does not deserve the same rights as others. This blog post comes across as a couple of teenagers that have not experienced life. I want the happiness in my life, I have a legal right to it. That includes having the same right to have a husband as any female has the right to have a husband. I was married to a female for almost two decades. I can tell you from experience, in most cases being married has a permanency “just living together” does not bring with it. I want this legal right to marry and have a husband that given would be given to me if I waned to marry and have a wife again. I should have a legal right to be happy with the same laws regardless if I marry and have a wife or a husband. Anyone that can’t see this is telling me I don’t have a right to happiness. This blog post is a divide a group from within so the “outside” has no work to do. When your disagreeing is so loud and powerful it keeps me from rights others have because of my gender, then you need to be quite. That is how we get along with others. You don’t have the right to yell fire in a theater, you don’t have the right to tell a woman she can’t vote, and you should not have the right to tell me I can’t marry a person because of their sex. Giving me equal rights is not taking away from anyone else or any other civil rights cause. Let these two blog writers go out and change the world, just don’t take away my right to want equal rights in a way that means the most to me. Who are they, or anyone else, to say I should not want what makes me happy and should want to fight for issues they want to fight for? I should have a lawful right to be happy.

  64. Powodzenia Says:

    Having been reared in a small town by very loving straight parents, my children and grandchildren, some of whom are also gay, as I am, were reared in a most traditional way. They had two parents who loved them, a mother and a father and then a step-father, my husband. Ours is a family of history and tradition, not in a strictly straight model, but in our own unique system of family.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand that equality is a social choice that touches not only the group that it affects, but everyone else around them, doesn’t understand society.

    A door that is open to one person must be open to every person. Period. It’s no more complicated than that. Until that happens, we do not have genuine equality… and because of that, everyone suffers. Believe it.

    Just like the law, ignorance is not an excuse. If you don’t understand why this issue is vitally important, educate yourself. If you don’t agree, take a look at how your ethics and morals were built.

    The family that says blacks and whites shouldn’t marry, or that women shouldn’t vote are the same families that say marriage equality for all Americans is not an issue. That statement may seem ridiculous to you; however, to those of us who are fighting for equality, your statements appear equally ridiculous.

    James Glica-Hernandez

  65. Maelo Says:

    I’ve spent most of my life in the closet. A great hope that I concealed was to, one day, enjoy enough economic independence to move away from a non-accepting environment and settle elsewhere with a man that would take me as I am… I don’t want children, but I don’t want a non-monogamous existence either.

    My hopes for legalization of long-term same-sex unions in California went up in smoke with the passing of Prop8. I thought that Prop8′s constitutional ammendment was a generational phenomena or the result of religious lobbying. I now find that an incipient sector of the gay community was probably sabotaging my hopes for a legal union all along.

    For me, gay marriage is much more than a wedding. It is a right that is owed to every member of the LGBT community that has ever felt treated as a 2nd class citizen. This anti-gay marriage movement from within the community is the last thing I was expecting. There’s nothing “awesome” about being marginalized, unless you like to be a victim, IMHO. The fight for gay rights should be a fight for inclusion and not a celebration of our exclusion from mainstream society.

    I am saddened by the lack of solidarity from valuable members of the gay community depicted in this letter.

    • Unbridled and ready for a fight Says:

      Maelo- Please know that there are TONS of awesome and politically active queers who are not interested in being marginalized!

      We’ll work to get solidarity in the community.

      honestly? The article on this website looks a lot like something Rush Limbaugh would have written (conservatives looove to manipulate the narrative to seem like they’re critical of liberals for not being liberal enough.)

    • Justin O. Says:

      Did you read the article? It’s hard to tell from your comment, because the authors are not for marginalizing people. Their point (as I took it) is that a single-minded focus on marriage IS what marginalizes people. I’d suggest giving it another re-read before you feel too attacked by it and reconsider how your own perspective and biases might be preventing you from seeing their argument (whether or not you end up agreeing with it).

      • Maelo Says:

        Justin,

        Yes, I read the article carefully before commenting. I think that the article indirectly supports keeping gay people marginalized by undermining our efforts to end the differential treatment that we receive when denied the rights of married couples. I also think that the fight for equality does NOT need to take a backseat to other outstanding issues such as the current economic downturn, pervasive racism, health care reform and the gay military service.

        I won’t resist the “gay marriage agenda”, despite being told that I miss the point.

  66. yonghokim Says:

    i think the issue of which fronts to prioritize should naturally occur within the queer community, but it’s a bit hard to blame allies for taking on the easiest issue of all. also, if the goal is to undermine the heteronormative social order, it’s not that clear what is to be done – not from the philosophical approach (which should be clear), but from a traditional organizing “talk to people and push for power gains in small steps” approach.

    is the first step to not really do much but to go around explaining how oppression operates at the symbolic level? that just feels too inside-our-heads to be authentic and will scare activists/organizers by the dozens

    • yonghokim Says:

      an idea:

      leave the mainstream lgbtq movement as it is and organize your movement. did ella baker write criticisms of sclc on newspapers? or did she help organize sncc?

    • yonghokim Says:

      second thought:
      i don’t think mainstream lgbtq org organizers necessarily *think* marriage is all of it. to present themselves as authentic to the general public (potential supporters). because, if i was demanding A and was publicly saying “I really want B but A is just a tactic”, would I be credible to most eyes? probably not.

  67. Jack Fertig Says:

    It’s hardly an either/or question, but one of focus and vision. Yes, we have to fight for equality, even for marriage and military service, because they are the civil rights issues at hand, and yes, they matter to a lot of GLBT people, but what is our larger vision and strategy? Do we have one? I don’t see it from our self-proclaimed “gay leadership.” I do see a lot of middle-class white gay men and lesbians focused on “gay rights” without connecting homophobia to other bigotries or economic issues.

    In fact, we lost Prop 8 in California exactly because the leaders of that campaign didn’t have a broader strategy, did not connect our civil rights issues with others, did not demonstrate the support for economic justice, immigration justice or racial justice that would have built a stronger network and pushed us over the top. Instead those campaigners focused narrowly on ‘our rights’ with no concern for anyone else’s. We were then, after the election, treated to the mortifying spectacle of young gay white men screaming at older black women that they didn’t understand what prejudice was about.

    • Robin Says:

      “I do see a lot of middle-class white gay men and lesbians focused on “gay rights” without connecting homophobia to other bigotries or economic issues.”

      Amen, Jack.

  68. edr Says:

    There is hope! This is a wonderful piece! The community has lost its way. The goal of being shoehorned into mainstream straight culture through its Marriage and its Military is a form of cultural suicide.

    • Anni Says:

      AMEN! Marriage and military … the two things should should be ABOLISHED … are now being used in an attempt to get queer people to accommodate to the sick and broken “moral” majority that is so desperately in need of recruits that it will do anything to get them. CULTURAL SUICIDE!

    • edr Says:

      Debbie, what exactly are you saying?

  69. Unbridled and ready for a fight Says:

    “we reject the liberal gay agenda that gives top priority to the fight for marriage equality.”

    I hate the idea that there is a finite amount of fight in the queer community.

    Gay and lesbian people have been balancing all kinds of sundry fights simultaneously for GENERATIONS. We’ve fought against AIDS, for parental rights, for partner benefits, for feminism… We’ve done all of this at the same time. There’s no reason that marriage and AIDS advocacy have to get in each others’ way.

    Here’s the thing, folks. When queerkids or anyone speaks our against basic rights for queer people it hurts our community. What if lesbians said “hey- AIDS doesn’t even TOUCH the lesbian community in the same way that it affects the gaymen and the heterosexual women…”

    But they don’t. Lesbians have fought in ACT-UP and other groups for YEARS to make sure that gaymen have healthcare and access to health information.

    Queerkids… You’ve got a right to your thoughts but don’t congratulate yourselves on supporting anyone but the right wing anti-marriage agenda.

    • Bring It On Says:

      Unbridled says: “Gay and lesbian people have been balancing all kinds of sundry fights simultaneously for GENERATIONS. We’ve fought against AIDS, for parental rights, for partner benefits, for feminism… We’ve done all of this at the same time.”

      I say: and what did you accomplish? Getting into a privileged position that continues to deny rights to transgender, bi-sexual, intersex, queerkids, and other people who fought along side you and you don’t even acknowledge them properly in your fricking acronyms. B O O H O O. Take yourself out back to the glue factory and pull the trigger. The days of the old guard “gay and lesbians fought so hard so we can turn around and discriminate against everyone else now” are over. Times have changed, grandma.

      • beene Says:

        that was a pretty ass-y thing to say. it’s not ok to call someone out on not acknowledging folks in acronyms and then turn around and say something ageist and vaguely threatening.

      • Bring It On Says:

        Beene says:

        “that was a pretty ass-y thing to say. it’s not ok to call someone out on not acknowledging folks in acronyms and then turn around and say something ageist and vaguely threatening.”

        I say: WAAAAAH!!!!! Let’s distract from the bigger picture by focusing on politically correct “-isms” and “vague threats.” SHUT YOUR HOLE and acknowledge the fact that YOU (conservative gays and lesbians) are at fault here and need to do something about it. And here’s a Kleenex.

    • Liz in NYC Says:

      //You’ve got a right to your thoughts but don’t congratulate yourselves on supporting anyone but the right wing anti-marriage agenda.//

      This. This article plays right into the kind of divide and conquer tactics right wing politicians are trying to use against *all* minorities. They tell the LGBTQ community that black and hispanic voters are against us, to keep white gays from supporting the fight against racism. They tell people of color that gay rights are entirely a white, middleclass issue that doesn’t concern them. Meanwhile, the same homophobic, racist, misogynistic people who are all our enemies draft anti-gay-marriage laws with one hand and racist, classist, sexist anti-abortion legislation with the other.

      When you present marriage equality as an idea that somehow exists in opposition to anti-racism, to immigration reform, and to healthcare reform, you hand more ammo to the people who’d like to shut down *all* kinds of reform.

      The writers of this article remind me of the Democratic congressmen who voted against the hate crimes bill because it was attached to a military appropriations bill. “Let trans people and queer people and minorities be beaten to death — the important thing is that I showed everyone I’m anti-war! I’m so *progressive* and *radical*, teehee.”

      • Bring It On Says:

        No … you are an ass clown.

      • Jack Fertig Says:

        I’d vote against that myself. Our rights should not be tied to, or depend upon military appropriations. Liz, you make a great example here of how some homos want “equal rights” regardless of who gets neglected or hurt along the way. Granted, with everything in politics you need to look hard at specifics, but while you may see those Democrats as posturing, but it looks to me like they took a princpled stand — and good for them.

      • ella Says:

        Well congratulations. The jackass phobes will win big time when they see we can’t even keep our shit together.

        And when the so called “radical” queer kids grow up, they will then be the “conservative” queer adults. Because thats what happens with time. We all get older, loose our cool, become bougie, and co-opt the norms we have been trying to fight.

        Trying being a radical queer chic newly on the side of 30. You’ll start to wonder if you’re a sellout too.
        But fuck that. Fuck whining about my marginalization. I’d rather fight for it. Which I why I went to grad school, and why I work for the man now. I get to destroy the system from the fucking inside.
        It’s kinda neat.

      • Robin Says:

        The elitism that has taken over the fight for equal rights is astounding to me.

        Here, Ella says that the “phones will win big time when they see we can’t even keep our shit together”, which obviously presumes that, in order to “keep our shit together”, we would all have to shift to support the mainstream, monied, assimilation paradigm. If we all switched to the politics of this piece, we would all be on the same page as well, “have our shit together”, no? Face it, it’s not about all agreeing (and when did we ever all agree anyway?). It’s about accepting which voices are the “right” ones and which are the “wrong” ones. In some circles, that’s called oppression.

        Speaking as a not-so-radical kid who grew up (I’m 52, well on “the” side of 30), I can testify that not everyone grows up to the conservative queer adults. Some of us get more radical with age. Yes, I’m older. Yes, I sometimes lose my cool (don’t we all?), no, I’m not bourgois, and no, I most surely have not co-opted the norms I have been fighting. And I haven’t sold out. It’s simply not true.

        I’d rather fight, too. Not for my marginalization (which is what the above seems to say), but for equal rights for everyone, and most importantly, for a movement that doesn’t have a us/them attitude, which is the most destructive of all. The homophobes won’t win because we don’t all agree. They will win because we fight amongst ourselves, and marginalize one another within our own community (such as it is). The answer to that is not to always agree or “come together” but to welcome dissent, be proud of our diversity WITHIN, and show respect for different perpectives and voices.

        And just for the record, I grew up too. I went to grad school, too, in several manifestations. And I don’t work for the man, and never will.

        All things are possible.

  70. backwards-land Says:

    i am just asthonised.

  71. AnotherJess Says:

    I write as an ally, and not someone who identifies as LGBTQ. As such, I realize that it is not for me to determine the boundaries–or even successes or failures–of the LGBTQ movement; I, do, however want to commend the Kids for writing a piece that dismantles the hegemonic and anti-unification rhetoric of the state, of capitalism, and of “Marriage Equality.”

    As someone who ostensibly could benefit from the institution of marriage at any point I desire, it is not justifiable–or just–for me to withhold this “right” from anyone else. (Which, clearly, this article does not support.) Nevertheless, as a woman (a feminist), I am constantly troubled by the invocation of “equality” as the utmost ideal of a (this?) democratic society, as the fulcrum of liberation and social justice movements. Which is to say: no, I do not demand “equal rights” as a woman from men, from the state–I demand difference first, and rights respective of/to that difference second. I demand rights to abortion, to maternity leave, to protection of my body from the state particular to my sex and gender-identification, and the ways in which those rights might explode the hegemonic, oppressive, exclusionary descriptions of such by which the state rigidly abides.

    So following, I read this article to demand the same. The first demand is difference–not some bullshit, commodified pluralist rhetoric that only denotes difference in order to consume it–but respect, either within the bounds of the state or through an abolition of its terms, of real difference: differences in the categories of loving relationships and in family structures. The goal is not to exclude anyone from marriage, but to open the machinery of the state, to redefine the parameters of loving, legally-sanctioned relationships (or, more radically, to dissolve the place of the state in said relationships altogether). Absolutely LGBTQ pairs deserve all rights that heterosexual couples enjoy, (if not others specific to LGBTQ families) but NOT only insofar as they might appear to structurally mimic them.

    The bourgeois nuclear family norm that “marriage equality” advocates must be interrogated, for all families toward social justice: LGBTQ, straight, working-class, detained, etc. Which does not aim cheapen the love and commitment of LGBTQ coupling–instead, to challenge its ostensible claim toward universality that the “marriage equality” agenda champions and prosthelytizes.

    To legal benefits for all (different) families!: beautiful, tangled, LGBTQ, straight, working-class, multi-ethnic, detained, war-torn, heterogenous families.

  72. carob Says:

    To QueerKids:

    1. I agree with you in principle that way more money has been funneled into the gay marriage fight than should have been. However, I’m thinking about Prop 8: I was incredibly disappointed when the “gay” side lost. Banning gay marriage is just another way of legally encoding the punishment a subset of non-heterosexuals. It doesn’t matter that I think that some of these non-heterosexuals are incredibly hetero-normative and that they do invisibilize non-heteronormative queers. At the end of the day, having more unequal rights codified in law is not a good thing.

    2. However!! I was shocked and somewhat angered to see all that money pouring into the No side. Where was this money for supporting immigration reform, welfare, and public health care? The sentiment was similar to my reaction when billions of dollars were suddenly “found” to bail out the banks, yet none was there to help the marginalized.

    3. So who should I really be angry at? Should I be angry at the queers who want to marry and take advantage of the legal protection and symbolism that gay marriage affords? I don’t think so. As much as I think that the fight for gay marriage *does* obscure other fights for equality, I think that accusing gays who marry of selling out is blaming the victim.

    4. Why should our anger be focused at queers who want this form of equality for themselves? If anything, take your anger, your votes, your political energy outside. I’m angry that so much money has been funneled into fighting for gay marriage, but is this the gays’ fault? Isn’t it the fault of conservative governments who oppose this one form of social equality? Should they not be the targets of our opposition the most, rather than fracturing bonds (yes, there are still bonds!) within the queer community?

    Likewise, I’m angry at the systemic inequities in the US and Canada. I’m angry at institutionalized racism and xenophobia, at growing inequities in wealth and opportunity, at gender oppression, inequitable access to health care. But my anger is not diverted to the queers who don’t have this stuff on their agenda. For god’s sake, a lot of straights don’t either! My anger is, again, at those in the highest echelons of power who maintain these power inequities. My anger is at neo-liberal policies, government inaction, and yes, the people who vote for them – no matter how they identify.

    5. Finally, Queerkids, I agree with a lot of what you’re writing, but I still think that you’re being presumptuous in creating your ‘boxes’. To me, fighting for gay marriage goes hand in hand with working in other movements to increase equity in our society and in the larger world.

    Supporting gay marriage does not necessarily entail ‘selling out’ other marginalized groups. Please don’t put me in a box with your bourgeois, “white, middle-class gay” strawmen; you know nothing about my gender, racial background, political leanings, and activities, beyond what I’ve hinted at here. For every ethnocentric, neo-liberal individual out there who supports gay marriage, there’s another one who supports it to, but also other movements for equity. It’s easy to paint a big picture of the “sell-out queers”, but that’s the thing: it’s easy, not necessarily accurate.

  73. Jack Fertig Says:

    I’m amazed at some of what I’m reading here.

    While the headline has queerkids declaring themselves against same-sex marriage, the text says rather that our focus on it is a diversion from the deeper issues it pretends to address. Is the title really the point or is it just an attention getter?

    Legalizing my marriage would give me access to my husband’s obscenely overpriced insurance. But what about universal health care? Legalizing your marriage might allow your immigrant partner to stay in the country, but what about broader immigration justice? Marriage would solidify the legal relationships of non-biological parents, and that’s great. There are many other parenting issues – public education, day care, food quality, public safety, etc., etc.

    Granted this is just a generalization, but there’s one thing about us Stonewallers: We were mostly involved in the Civil Rights struggle and the anti-war movement. We included many men who supported “Women’s Lib” (as it was then called). It would be idealistic puffery to deny that we were simon pure and free of racism and sexism, (The record from women and people of color is very clear that we had much work to do!) but we were largely committed to a vision that extended beyond ourselves. Through the 60’s and early 70’s I marched with SNCC, the UFW, and the anti-war mobilizations. I was at the March on Washington in 1963, arrested in the Pentagon in 1969, and dodging the national guard in the May Day riots of 1971. Not that I was in any way special, just one of many, doing what we all did. We took those experiences and came to understand our own oppression as part of a matrix. Wendell Ricketts accuses the queerkids of not caring about issues they feel don’t affect them. Au contraire, mon frère. They are reviving an ethos of a broader vision that I thought was moribund in our community.

    For narrowness of vision, witness Barney Frank’s and HRC’s abandonment of the trans community in pursuit of ENDA last year. To their credit, yes, they’ve come around – because enough of us said that it was BS to leave our TG sisters and brothers behind, expecting to bring them up to speed someday in the future. Yes, Frank and HRC do important things, but they are functionaries, not leaders. As “leaders” they have demonstrated that they should not be trusted. To be fair any sort of “leader” should never be blindly trusted, we should always speak up and hold them accountable. And to be fair they have responded to criticism. We should criticize more.

    To Amir Flesher: Even in the US neo-cons and long-notorious homophobes have suddenly taken to “defending” gays against Muslims. Thanks, but no thanks. This needless polarization sets up a false dichotomy which (1) promotes existing Islamophobia in general and (2) pushes Muslims further into a “circle the wagons” mentality. There are opportunities to work together with Muslims, and in fact organizations of queer Muslims. The straight Muslim mayor of an Amsterdam suburb welcomed and marched in the local Pride Parade in his town this year. I’m a gay Muslim with many straight Muslim friends, and I know a couple of imams who would officiate at a proper Muslim wedding should my partner and I choose do have one.

    With little exception nearly ALL Muslim countries are also former colonies and satrapies of European powers (Turkey in the latter category is the one clear exception to the first. Bosnia’s history is a bit complex, but as a “Yugoslav” nation they were subjugated to Serbian rule, and their independence before that was erratic.) Most of them have still have neo-colonial governments that exploit religion to distract from their political malfeasance, and the politics, economics, and history have to be considered in any generalization of “Islamic countries.” Actually before the colonial period and the rise of Wahhabism, most had cultural niches supporting same-sex relations and gender variance. In many countries the “sodomy laws” are colonial holdovers.

    Reacting against colonialism, yes, many are fiercely nationalist and traditionalist in an effort to reconstruct their own identities. Under authoritarian regimes these are distorted to further consolidate power.

    Pluralism of different sorts is in fact common in many Islamic countries. Iran is only about 50% Persian with large Arab, Azeri, Turkomen, and other ethnic minorities. Parliamentary representation in the Majlis is guaranteed for the Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian communites. Lebanon and Malaysia were constructed by colonial mandates and have been struggling to find balance in that artificial pluralism. This is also one of the huge issues in Iraq. I have found pluralism with calm, mutual acceptance in Morocco and Malaysia (at least at the personal level) and among the Croats and Bosniaks in Sarajevo. Albania is moving towards legalizing same-sex marriage!

    As you point to Palestine it should be noted that, while acknowledging the homophobia that is a problem there, GLBT Palestinians and Arab and Muslim activists are almost unanimous in support of a free and independent Palestine. Israel neither welcomes nor makes life easy for queer Palestinian refugees. Also, before the rise of Zionism, Palestine was a very pluralistic society where Muslims, Jews, and Christians coexisted quite nicely. It would be anachronistic to discuss gay acceptance before the mid-20th century, but that sort of diverse milieu offers an easier chance for GLBT folks to thrive.

    Any of this has little to do with the subject at hand, except to point out that our relationships with other communities can be very complex, but do offer opportunities to build bridges. Where we imagine hostile communities there is in fact diversity with chances to connect and build. That requires cultural sensitivity and willingness to embrace their issues. Again, failure to do so cost us victory over Prop h8. That should be our first clue.

  74. Bi-Furious! Says:

    [...] Aviva Leave a Comment Categories: Uncategorized I just read Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda!, the first (and so far, only) post on the new blog Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay [...]

  75. Gyrl Power Says:

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for putting these words out there. You hit the nail right on the head. The last thing we need is another goddamn throwback to the days of “Ozzie and Harriet” (or “Harriet and Harriet” for that matter) with LGBT folks suddenly thinking that marriage is going to be the panacea that solves all the world’s problems, meanwhile ostracizing and stigmatizing all other relationships as “immoral.” And what about bisexual people? And transgender people? And polyamorous people? And all the other people that don’t fit into these sick little cookie cutter molds that are being mass produced by Rosie O’Donnell (now split from her “wife,” by the way) and others. Wake up and smell the coffee, people. LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO LIVE!!!!! LOVE WHO YOU WANT THE WAY YOU WANT TO LOVE!!!!! This whole marriage farce is a smoke screen to distract you from the fact that our society continues to deny people the right to just be who they want to be. Let’s have a real revolution now … not just another mass sell-out.

  76. Oona Says:

    Yay you!

  77. Balaclava Says:

    What a crock of shit.

  78. katy Says:

    it annoys me that “queer” is used to denote radical people who are against marriage and anything else mainstream, and “gay” is used to denote mainstream, bourgeois, white, middle-class marriage-lovers.

    i’m a married bi radical. i want to be a queer too. i agree with some of what you say here, but the general “radicaler-than-thou” tone is distracting me. as well as the fact that my lesbian moms would reap very real benefits if either of their two weddings had resulted in their legal status as a married couple. should those benefits be exclusive to married couples? of course not. but in the real world, it will be a long time before we convince anybody to ditch those benefits entirely, and in the meantime, i’d like my moms to be as financially stable as possible as they age.

    this movement, like all movements, has always needed both idealists and pragmatists. the pragmatists go for the short-term goals while trying not to screw over the idealists’ long-term goals. sometimes that’s the best we can do. in the meantime, i’ll take action over talk any day.

  79. tommi avicolli mecca Says:

    Thanks for this. I think it’s important that there be statements such as this one. I am especially in love with the first paragraph. I was part of gay liberation almost 40 years ago. This is the kind of analysis and questioning we did as a matter of routine. We took nothing for granted except that massive social change (revolution) was needed. In watching a special on Joan Baez last night on TV I was reminded of that marvelous period when we didn’t want marriage or military, but rejoiced in the idea of a revolution in solidarity with all oppressed peoples. I know that that was then and this is now, and movements change a lot in four decades, but the movement we have today is sad in so many ways. Yes, major changes have happened, but the fact that our community has as much (and in some cases more) poverty than the straight community, the fact that 75% of transgenders in the Bay Area are not employed full-time, the fact that 40% of people with AIDS in SF are marginally housed or homeless, the fact that 40% of homeless youth in SF identify as LGBT, says to me that we have a serious problem. We need a war on poverty in our own community. That’s my priority. I’m not interested in marriage, a monogamous relationship, entry into the military or being part of any religion. If others want those things, fine. But my struggle is for healthcare, living wage jobs and housing for all and a war on poverty within our own community.

  80. Emilia Says:

    Hi there,

    I am a queer kid too I suppose. My dad is gay and I am straight. I am happy to hear another voice out there about gay marriage. I find the media surrounding the fight for marriage equality a bit forced and somewhat off the point. Seeing “happy gay couples with kids” also obviates another common part of our families, our mother or father that is not part of that 2 parents and kids equation. My mother did not just magically disappear just because my father was gay. With gay marriage how do you define the relationship between my mother and my father or my mother and my father’s boyfriend. They don’t stop being loving parents or caregivers because one is coupled and the other is not.

    Thanks for sharing a different view based on reality and not some sort of weird Madison Avenue advertisement of what a family “should be” but never was!

    Thank you!!!!

    Emilia

    Thanks for your post!

  81. Ron Williams Says:

    I read the “Queer Kids of Queer Parents . . .,” response to the Gay Marriage issue. I can’t totally connect in its full context of the article, but I totally relate to the core of its message. As Queer people we are unique today just as we were 40 to 50 years ago or a 1000 years ago, for that matter. I remember the fear of being found out I was Gay, shunned by my family, humiliated by my peers and made to feel unworthy of anything. I’ll be 66 years old in a few weeks and the Gay families I’ve been part over the past 45 years have given me strength and resources for my senior days. During my late teen years of the late 50’s and early 60’s, I was desperately struggling with my sexuality and eventually, I realized there were other people like me in the world, besides the stereotypical homosexual child molesters that our parents and family warned us about. I instinctively sought out other Queer people, trying to create a bond and form a family. The only difference for me during those days was the lack for political motivation. But, I had become a political radical not by choice, but by the simple fact that I felt the need for intimacy with another human being of the same sex. I was only interested in finding comfort with other Queer people. Whether we like it or not, being Queer and trying to fit into the hypocritical double standards of American culture is a political statement. Not much has changed; the struggle is the same, the theme and players are the only difference. 40 years ago we were experimenting with recognition, liberation and acceptance from society; today we are looking for “equality” in our polarized, dysfunctional culture we call the American society. The Queer Kids have it right, it’s fucked up! I don’t care that much about Gay Marriage, per se, what I care about is the Equality we have the right to, but are denied.

    I attended a rally in Sacramento, post-election last year. I wanted to photograph and document the feelings of the fired up crowd on the steps of the capital, then in San Francisco at the Civic Center for the California Supreme Court ruling. Suddenly, I found myself standing in the middle of an angry crowd, tears started to stream down my cheek. Puzzling was the sadness had overwhelmed me, then suddenly it became very clear, I had been participating in the same public political demonstrations over the last 40 years and that nothing had really changed. Oh, sure we have made political gains across the GLBT spectrum. But the core of society’s bigotry still exists and the struggle must and will go on. I applaud the Queer Kids of today; they have their work cut out for them. I only wish they valued the trails blazed by the Queer Seniors that had the same motivating force before them.

    One sentence in the “Queer Kids of Queer Parents . . .,” response that really jumped out at me.

    “Queers are sexy, resourceful, creative, and brave enough to challenge an oppressive system with their lifestyle.”

    That statement was true 40 years ago and is the basis for the ongoing struggle and revolution of today and for future Queer leaders.

    Thanks Kids,

    Ron Williams
    GLF 1966

  82. adele Says:

    yay, queerkids! this is thoughtful and accessible and smart and generous and timely.

  83. Katie Says:

    Way to go! I don’t agree with every point but love that you’re getting another essential perspective out there.

    That said, the “those responsible enough to survive [the AIDS crisis]…” statement rubbed me the wrong way. It’s obvious what you’re getting at and I’m sure everyone understands, but the responsibility thing is a bit of a fuck you to everyone who had or still has HIV/AIDS. It was just as much about luck or misinformation (or consent) as it was about responsibility…plenty of “responsible” people were infected, and plenty of “irresponsible” people weren’t.

    • queerkidssaynomarriage Says:

      Hey Katie,

      Thanks for your response! Reading your comments, it seems that what we wrote was misunderstood. When we said, ” Those responsible enough to survive realized that they wanted children, and promptly settled down into relationships that were monogamous and that, presumably, carried no risk of HIV contraction,” we were actually referring to the narrative constructed by many mainstream gay groups to explain why more queers have been having children recently. Like you, we see that narrative as offensive to people with HIV/AIDS and believe that the idea of “responsibility” and “irresponsibility” is largely unhelpful and unfair. We hope this clears things up.

      -Katie and Martha Jane

  84. Savannah Says:

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.
    LOL,

  85. A. Rockefeller Says:

    Please think before you write. A brain is a terrible thing to waste.

  86. Flood Says:

    All valid observations and well-heeled radical analysis. It would be invaluable commentary if it wasn’t so steeped in pompous ideological exceptionalism.

    Those whose personal agenda is topped by marriage and military will advocate for marriage and military. Given the assimilationist nature of these two causes, there’s going to be a lot of leisure time and discretionary funds thrown their way. Nothing will change that. Everyone’s got the right to push their agenda. Advocate for organizing around the critical and fundamental issues you highlight – in short, get your own movement and stop hating on others. I’m with you, but i’m not against others.

    The assimilationist agenda, if successful, establishes the precedent of equal protection under law. It is not damaging to the cause of equal protection for all relationships, it is a critical precedent toward that goal. Furthermore, the marriage rights movement is also steeped in advocacy for domestic partnership and civil union rights as well. Conveniently ignored in your spiteful screed.

    How can you claim the moral high ground when you’re fighting against the protection that current (unacceptably prioritized) law gives children of married couples, fighting against the economic rights and empowerment of people running a common household, fighting against common property rights, powers of attourney, inheritance, medical benefits? This is not the exclusive realm of the rich – in fact, the rich don’t need most of these rights. Marriage rights enhance the sustainability and survival of working-class and poor couples and families who need those protections right now; couples and families that will die out while you wait for the Revolution to succeed. You’re misguided analysis on this point reeks of oppressive bourgeois ignorance.

    Finally – what i truly can’t believe is the part about how the marriage issue sews division between us and “our natural allies”. So, because our “natural allies” are homophobic bigots, we should drop the agenda for equal protection under law? I’ve been in the anti-racist, economic and environmental justice movement for 25 years, and the homophobic chauvanism of the progressive left always calls for the suppression of the gay rights agenda for “the larger cause”, specifically and unabashedly argued because so many of the truly oppressed are homophobic bigots. Well, queers have worked our asses off for everyone else’s civil rights – too bad if they’re going to continue to leave us hanging dry when it comes to fighting for ours.

    Stop the hate.

  87. Mombian » Blog Archive » LGBT Parenting Roundup Says:

    [...] Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!” Blog authors Jane Kaufman and Katie Miles say: We know that most families, straight or gay, don’t fit in with the standards for marriage, and [...]

  88. maybe take some action. Says:

    The LGBT Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission invites the public to participate in a forum to discuss how to recognize alternative kinship structures among people who are not related by blood or legal adoption. Emancipated youth, seniors, those estranged from their legally recognized families, and others will discuss how their alternative families have been created from bonds of friendship, mentoring, and caregiving.

    Panelists:
    - Cathy Sakimura, Staff Attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights
    - Alice Kessler, Government Affairs Director for Equality California
    - Judy Appel, Executive Director of Our Family Coalition

    Comments by:
    - Mark Leno, California State Senator, 3rd District
    - Tom Ammiano, California State Assemblymember, 13th District
    - David Campos, Member of San Francisco Board of Supervisors
    - Theresa Sparks, Executive Director of the SF Human Rights Commission
    - YOU, members of the public with experience in non-spousal alternative families

    For Discussion:
    - What kinds of non-spousal alternative families exist?
    - What obstacles or legal hurdles exist for these relationships?
    - What can be done to support alternative families through legal and other means?

    Please join us for a one-of-a-kind discussion on the future of alternative families.
    Snacks and engaging discussion will be provided at this free event. Special thanks to the SF LGBT Center, Center Women Present. For more information contact Nadia Babella, SF Human Rights Commission, (415) 252-3212, nadia.babella@sfgov.org.

  89. Polprav Says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  90. wancha Says:

    I don’t know much about the complexities of this whole debate, but on the surface I think it’s fine and fair if gay couples/singles have the same legal rights as straight people as far as civil partnerships/other laws go.

    However, my understanding is that marriage is something that was invented by God to join a man and a woman. I think it’s fine as far as the secular system goes for civil partnerships to be granted – it seems wrong for them not to be. But as far as God goes, I don’t know that he has changed his mind about what the original idea of marriage is about i.e. a spiritual union between a man and a woman. (If someone has had a direct revelation from God about this let me know).

    When church and state separated, I think the state kept hold of a lot of laws that only really applied to the church/spiritual community, and so the modern state has vestiges of the old church laws in them, which are outdated in the modern secular context.

    I think it’s right for gay people to have the right to a legal union if they want it (since the laws of the land have little, if anything to do with the laws of God). And as far as secular gay people go, I think they should have the freedom to have whatever kind of relationship seems best to them – that shouldn’t have to be registered in a civil ceremony in order to be considered ‘real relationships’ in the eyes of the law (or any other joe blow for that matter).

    I just think it’s important to realise that a genuine spiritual marriage is only something that is ordained by God, and to the best of my wisdom, is only something that would happen between a man and a woman.

    • Jack Fertig Says:

      As long as you agree to legal equality, you are free to believe whatever you like for your own religion.

      The notion that God ordained One True Form of Marriage flies in the face of religious history. Different religions allow polygamy or not, divorce or not, some have changed in these regards through their histories. All these variations have been found under the various Christian sects and in many other religions as well.

      And the notion that a Genuine Spiritual Marriage can only be heterosexual is a huge insult to those of us who are devotedly partnered in same-sex partnerships.

      But some people believe that interracial dating is against God’s will (Bob Jones University) or that heaven is racially segregated and has no room for people of “mixed” parentage (Galun Fong)

      Whatever… People have a right to their religious beliefs no matter how much they deny science, history, or the dignity of others — just as long as those are personal beliefs and not the basis of law or public policy.

  91. wancha Says:

    without wanting to divert from the main subject too much, just thought I would say that I think that following God and following a religion are two VERY different things.
    where one leads to truth, one leads pretty much nowhere.

    I did not mean to insult anybody when I said that a ‘genuine spiritual marriage’ is only between a man and a woman. I am just trying to see it from God’s perspective. I don’t doubt that there are some gay people in very committed, spiritually satisfying relationships. If they are truly happy and satisfied, then they should do what’s right for them. That doesn’t mean that it is something sanctified by God…but before people get too upset, I have that opinion about most heterosexual relationships too (hhmm, actually, saying that will probably win me even less friends, hey!?). Think about it, most heterosexual people get married in a church and go through all the religious BS but I doubt that 1% asked God what he thought about the relationship before they got married. In that sense I think most ‘marriages’ are a sham anyway. They are just two people making a commitment (a temporary one anyway, since the divorce rate is so high).

    I think the ‘institution of marriage’ should be abolished since in today’s world it has lost it’s real meaning anyway (imo). It’s just tradition for most people, which isn’t really a good reason to do anything.

    Ok, I probably won’t say anymore, as I don’t want to derail things.

  92. rozele Says:

    just another anti-marriage queerspawn here, making sure that if the folks who wrote this want to get us all together and glitterbomb the assimilationists, i’ll be on the guest list.

    big hugs, kisses, and wrist-flips
    and also love, and rage.

  93. Castro Says:

    You guys rock!

  94. Sisu Says:

    Queer Kids, another kudos from an old (ok, well middle aged!) queer who had despaired of finding any form of activism in the younger generation.

    Jack Fertig, you’re my hero. :)

  95. Gwen Says:

    Look, I live in Holland so I may not understand everything about American politics or the American gay movement. I do know not a lot of people are happy about the HRC, but is that a reason to rally against the ideal of same-sex marriage?

    I first read your post a few days ago and thought you have some very good points. However, thinking about it a bit longer, I don’t think the type of movement you are suggesting is what we need right now.
    The fight over same-sex marriage has been going on for a very long time, and will probably continue to go on for a while. In my country, it started in 1985, and civil marriage was opened up for same-sex couples in 2001. That’s 16 years.
    In those sixteen years (and forgive me for bringing up some points of the “liberal gay agenda”), some people died without being able to leave anything to their partner. Some people’s husbands or wives died and then they had to go through a hell of a legal battle to keep their children with them. You seem to completely ignore these things, these very real things, in your post. Not everything we are fighting for is to emulate the image of a picture book straight family. Some things we are fighting for have to do with life or death.

    The Netherlands legalizing same-sex marriage meant that now members of parliament are able to fight for the legal rights of lesbian mothers with a law backing them up. For instance, if I get married to a woman and have a baby with her, she will have to adopt the kid before it will be legally hers. Obviously this is a very weird situation, but if we didn’t have equal marriage, no one would be able to say: “But the guy married to the mother will be the legal father right away, why is this any different?”
    And everyone will have to see it is not any different.

    The biggest Dutch gay rights organisation COC did the opposite of what the HRC is doing at first. They were totally unwilling to get on board with the gay marriage movement. But now gay marriage is here, they are using it as something the Dutch (and very importantly, they!) set as an example to the rest of the world. Well b.s. They don’t do nearly as much as the HRC. Most of the changes in Holland come from grassroots organisations that are hardly recognised in main stream media.

    The way you see the future is a future I can see as well. But you’ve got to be realistic. A few days ago, 52% of Maine voted against same-sex marriage, just like California voted for Prop 8 a year ago. Clearly most straight people have a problem with the idea of gay people marrying. If we can’t even get this into their minds, how on earth are we going to convince them marriage is an old-fashioned thing? (Which in some ways it is.)

    Like someone in the comments above me also said, the fight for marriage is not the end, it is the beginning.

    Another thing by the way: I’m bisexual. If we never got same-sex marriage here, I would be able to marry a guy I love, but not a girl I love. What would have been the effects of that for how I felt about myself and the dating choices I would make? It would have probably made me a lot less proud and a lot less outwardly queer. After all, that would’ve meant my attraction to girls is somehow less worth compared to my attraction to guys. Which it isn’t.

    You have your ideals, and you are willing to fight for them, which is great. But you should think about some of the issues you are too eager to shove aside first.

  96. Horrified by your ignorance Says:

    It is typical to blame others for your anger. This article is typical in that way. The issues at stake are clearly issues the authors do not understand. At the core, the word at stake is EQUALITY. You can be as angry as you want about all the socio-economic issues you’d like, but those of us who are gay parents, who fight the fight, are interested in EQUALITY. That does not mean that we aren’t planning to stay political, to continue to fight for justice, social and political, to raise our voices, to teach our children, but the fact is . . . we deserve equal rights under the Constitution. The issue of Constitutional law is–THANK FUCKING GOD–not up to these ill-informed, young, angry women who are looking for some way to stand up and say, “LISTEN TO ME, I’m different and cool!” We ALL deserve equality. Our 5 year old still thinks that if we tell one of her friends how neat she is that we don’t still believe in our own daughter’s specialness. Well, she’s five. She will learn that there is enough coolness for both girls, and then some. The authors of this article need to take a deep breath and realize that equal rights on one front neither negates the necessity for equal rights on another front nor makea up for a deficiency that the community still recognizes. If these ladies want to see less divisiveness within the community, they should consider creating less of it. Where is the love? Stop smacking down those who stand in the streets and fight for their equality just because it’s not exactly and totally what you wanted for your birthday. Entitlement is ugly. This is a long fight and every victory counts. My marriage, which WAS performed legally, about a a month before these women and their friends didn’t fight hard enough to keep those rights in California, is born of love and devotion. There is NOTHING wrong with that and shame on you for criticizing it.

  97. Jim Van Buskirk Says:

    Dear Ms. Kaufman & Ms. Miles,
    Thank you for your position paper. Finally, my thoughts are being articulated! I am very impressed by your statement. I am a 57-year old, white male living in a long-term committed (non-cohabiting) relationship in San Francisco. When I say I don’t support the energies expended in the fight for gay marriage, I’m looked at as if I’m a self-hating homosexual. I have always maintained that youth will be responsible for our future, and I urge you to operationalize your ideals. You go, girls!

  98. D.B.Valentine Says:

    “Once you have your formal rights (like a marriage license), you can participate in the market economy and no longer need a political voice.”

    SO true. Im glad to be outside of the establishment. I can see any genuine benefits trying to become like our hetero cousins. SO lets see we have climate change which may over a short time cause unknown destruction & death, the GFC which is still causing profound woes for many, wars are happening all over the world causing death & destruction etc etc… and gays think the marriage agenda is the most important thing in the world & are carrying on as if it really is! Its not.

    Im glad theres another conversation going on. Im proud to be gay & the last thing I would ever want is fit neatly into the market economy & lose my political voice too.

  99. Greg Says:

    Because there is other shit going on in the world Gays are supposed to sit back and wait to fight for rights?
    There is always war, there is always poverty.
    This reads like straight propaganda to me. This ‘group’ should work for the American Republicans.

  100. streykatt Says:

    I have to agree with queerkidssaynomarriage, yet, I would like to get married for different reasons… as to try to poke the u.s. gov, religious sects, and naive & brainwashed people here in the usa and in other places where it is actually legal to hang or kill gays just because they are gay, on the shoulder for making life so difficult for all of these years for people, such as, gays (and especially gays who are positive [who I now understand, can be put in jail for not having disclosed their status to sexual partners, prior to sex]), who have not been able to marry, adopt, express themselves, have sex or walk down the street without fear or concern for their life. These people and entities, have collectively, been given minimal punishment to offenders who have gone way beyond the basic disapproval of such a thing, by torturing, harming or killing us.

    It is not a very good idea to allow this to go on any longer, and if making the simple act of being able to marry as a same-sex couple, will at least, let people who are in doubt and who may have been considering doing harm in any way, large or small, because they think or feel or believe that homosexuality is wrong then they need to reconsider their pent up feeling, and think again, especially if it is now a legal right.

    Already the gay community is and has been divided over so many things.. it would be normal for any one group to have differences and preference over the other constituents, so at least, by being able to marry, is it in some way an eye opener to the rest of the outsiders who frown and have frowned upon gays collectively.

    At some point, these so called, “gay marriage movement” people, who may or may not understand what queerkidssaynomarriage’s post is about, will come to understand, that the main point of everything in our lives is about everyone being able to live as they would like as long as it is not hurting someone physically, and ruining the opportunities that the univers has to offer to everyone, because if being controlled by a government that is corrupt, greedy, insensitive, and authoritative, is part of the real univers, then it is true that that evolved as it is because it was a stronger force. something like the ‘evolution from ape to man’. stronger forces dominated! it doesn’t mean that it’s just, or moral or kind, to be free.. it just means that that is what people would like to have, in the right wa, for all… i hope!!!

    all the problems that the institution of marriage holds should be reconsidered and corrected, just like american healthcare, immigration, gays, schools and children, animals, nature, medicine, everything! it is incredible that we are at the place we are today, as a human race, where cures have been found, technology is advanced (medical and industrial), housing option (construction) and so much more, yet all of it is only for those who can afford it!

    I think it’s a natural thing to occur (in monkeys fighting for a territory in the canopy to get the the figs [I do hope that you guys know what i mean]), but people can really offer the best to everyone, and if people choose to ‘F’ it up for their-selves by wanting to live on a fault line, or by smoking cigarettes until cancer takes over their body, then at least they knew and we knew that they accepted this, and all that can be done is to offer what is available to them for them to survive.

    I strongly believe that there should be a month in the world where all of the professionals, (doctors, lawyers, cooks, nurses, dentists etc) offer to make an exchange with people who are artists, actors, musicians, pilots, hosts, hotels, entertainers, etc, so that many people are able to receive the best of both worlds.. and people who can not offer this kind of exchange, are most likely people who happen to be unable to do so, perhaps because of a disability, or maybe as the result of the way that the system is today that they have not been able to construct something for their-selves, and that is where we would all come in to help those and get them involved by eliminating this awful way of discriminating.

    i think it will be truly difficult to not be known as ‘gays’ or ‘whites’ or harry-chested, or blond or by any other category.. it’s in the genes.. but in the end, we can not not allow people to live based on these things, because there is someone there who likes what the other doesn’t have ( which may lead to a one exact race someday..hehe) ..

    i know that my input will be scrutinized and picked apart…. but that’s what i had to say!! thanks! (sorry for the bad spelling too)

  101. Gregory Says:

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but the article is pretty much how I feel. 27 years in a committed queer relationship has not been easy but fulfilling. I know my queer family is stronger than my blood family. I want the benefits of commitment without the associated buy-in to the religio-fascist stereo type of the deluded 50s in which I grew up.

    There are real issues. My partner has private health insurance he pays out of pocket; I am HIV+ for 23 years. I paid for my health care and insurance until I depleted my savings and had to go on state aid. HIPP paid my health coverage for a while until Blue Shield raised the premiums to $1400 a month a decade ago. My going on my partner’s private health plan would eventually destroy his ability to afford health coverage. He never had a job that provided health coverage or retirement. Too many people live with the delusion that everyone has great opportunities through their job for health care and retirement. some of us have to do this ourselves planning for our elder years.
    Indeed there are greater issues than marriage.
    I feel that the generation of queers after me (a young man of the 70s in San Francisco) are building a new kind of genteel closet. I and generations of queers before me worked hard to tear down those closet walls and be out and proud. But the queer bashing and other unmasked disdain for the life style still prevails. Living a “normal married” life is a form of delusion in my opinion.

  102. Midweek Insomnia-Induced News Update « Mixtapes for Hookers Says:

    [...] Is the gay agenda being hijacked by the marriage issue?  Kids think so. [...]

  103. Jason Victor Serinus Says:

    Unfortunately, this is another example of divisive politics that pits the queers
    who are “right” against the queers who are “wrong.” It sets up a mutually
    exclusive dichotomy, then proceeds to shoot down those who have been arbitrarily placed on the other side. It’s just what the people in power love – the oppressed fighting with each other.

    I’ve been involved in political action since 1965, when I traveled down South with SCLC. I’ve seen more examples of this kind of bifurcated thinking than there are stars in the sky. It divides the movement, and sets people against each other. Playing the “I’m more radical than you are” game is not the way to build a healthy movement.

    Of course I agree with the premise that the queer movement should be
    multi-issue. But you cannot order people how to think. Nor is it correct to assume that the queers who support same-sex marriage are single-issue sellouts with a major investment in the status quo.

    Popping the bubble of those who find value in marriage, and denying their personal truth, is not constructive. If you want to build a multi-issue movement, build it. But you don’t need to attack others in the process.

    jason victor serinus

  104. BeeSquared Says:

    Hearts on fire! I love the multi-faceted arguments made here, particularly the ones in relation to appropriating the movements of racialized communities to make a point rather than including people of colour in the struggle for equality. I support Queer Kids for breaking the silence and voicing opinions which many queer people of colour have had difficulty speaking on. This gives me hope in the next generation.

  105. Bananas Says:

    When i was in college in the early 90′s, the fight for gays to have the right to openly serve in the military was “THE” issue, and it was not “MY” issue at all. I wanted to keep the gays out of the military, keep my brothers and sisters from getting killed. I naively thought that the people who wanted to be in the military were “misguided”, or “ill-informed”. I hated that all the energy seemed to be going towards getting gays into the Army than what I saw as the “REAL” issues the queer community should be dealing with. So I stayed out of that fight, and even talked out many times against it.

    What I didn’t understand then, was that, like many single-issue battles that arise, there was a slim opportunity that had opened relating to gays in the military, and the movement just reacted exactly as it needed to, by jumping on it and seizing the moment. Of course, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was the initial result, which is bullshit, but the point is, when a moment presents itself in the fight for equality, you have to be ready. And sometimes that small moment sparks a huge battle, and you just have to go with it and fight for what you believe in. The battle is there, so you may as well pick a side, or go to Switzerland.

    When Gavin Newsom used the minor clerical error on the marriage forms in SF to alloy same-sex couples to marry, thus forcing the state to consider the matter, he was doing just that, seizing a small window of opportunity. That is unfolded as it has is just the nature of non-violent equal rights movements, step by step.

    Thank you for posting this article…it is important that the many voices of the queer community have their viewpoints out there!

    >>>>>
    Now, you should be able to closely guess my age, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, formal education level, marital status, native first language, and income level from my post, right? So no need to put those labels down at the end!

    • Jack Fertig Says:

      Actually, Newsome was looking for a way to win support when he was about to issue a ballot that necessarily had a lot of cutbacks. Without some fast dancing his political throat would have been as slashed as that budget. “Legalizing” same sex marriage, which he had no power to do, was a bold bit of political theatre, upstaging that budget and winning a key constituency.

      Gavin’s not even that smart. His handlers and patrons are, though. Think George W. Bush with liberal leanings, but still a figurehead for the local elite.

      • Amir Flesher Says:

        Newsome is dyslexic, as probably is Bush. Dyslexia is a learning disability and is not correlated to lack of smarts in any way. I have students who are dyslexic who struggle to be articulate and who have to slog through dense readings. Nonetheless, they are all quite perceptive and intelligent.

        Obviously, you disagree with Newsom’s politics, which is fine. But that is no reason to make an ad hominem attack against him.

        This all relates to my original and subsequent posts about this thread. Standing up for what you believe is right does not mean you have to tear down others–even those with whom you disagree–especially those with whom you disagree.

        Peace, peace, peace,

        Amir

      • Jack Fertig Says:

        Newsom’s dylsexia is news to me, but irrelevent. I know many dyslexics, including a few in my family. Many are indeed quite brilliant, and all in all they are about as perceptive and intelligent as non-dyslexics. no more, no less. My asessment of Newsom is based on my meetings with him on local SF community issues. I neither know nor care about how he scores on reading tests, but as he is mayor of my city and erstwhile candidate for governor his putative intelligence and character are indeed fair issues for discussion.

      • Amir Flesher Says:

        I agree that an elected figure’s character, and especially his or her policies and governing style are fair issues for discussion and I believe that you discuss these issues fairly in your first paragraph in the above post. However, the second paragraph is a superfluous, unsubstantiated, and (it seems) mean-spirited attack.

        Discussion is characterized by an open minded exchange of ideas (including criticism and even harsh criticism when merited), not by attacks and put downs. Calling somebody “not that smart” and implying that he is a puppet does not seem to be an assertion made in the spirit of dialogue and open exchange.

        Let me provide an example related tangentially to our previous exchange about Israel and Palestine:

        Open minded fair harsh criticism: The Israeli occupation is illegal, immoral, violates basic human rights, and includes elements that are similar to the apartheid regime of South Africa. It’s continuation breed hatred and division and is a major obstacle to a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict.

        Unsubstantiated mean spirited attack: Israel is a racist state whose leaders are all war criminals and cowards. Zionism is racism, but other forms of nationalism are not, including Palestinian nationalism. Israel is not legitimate and has not right to exist, but France, England and every othern sovereign nation do etc.

        in peace,

        Amir

  106. Jack Fertig Says:

    That latter paragraph is an assessment of Newsom’s intelligence (sic) and agency — all quite relevant in politics.

    Any sort of nationalism can be taken to a racist extreme. Zionism is a unique form of nationalism that is racist from the beginning. If Israel claimed its right to exist based on simple conquest and possession, that would be no different from the legitimacy of most sovereign nations. Its claims go much further, denying history and the rights of the people who have been living there, even claiming a divine mandate that would be generably risible if made by any other people. Such observations are quite factual, not at all mean-spirited. Denying the truth of this is to deny the history and rights of the Palestinians, either out of mean-spririt or utter deludedness. My converations with zionists suggests the latter is more usually the case.

  107. jory Says:

    As a queer coming of age, thank you. Thank you for not taking it. You have me as a comrade.

  108. Iris greenbear Says:

    Dear Kids,

    Not all of us queer people were made to procreate. Many of us are intersex and don’t make eggs or sperm. Some of us have non-standard sex chromsomes: XXY, XXYY, XO, XX/XY, XXXY, XXX, and there are women with XY sex chromsomes and androgen insensitivity syndrome (I think this is what Jamie Lee Curtis has – oh why can’t she come-out?!. I think if the marriage equality movement leaders (and CNN, etc.) would look to these facts and educate the public AND advocate stopping “gender-normalizing” medical interventions on babies’ genitals and post-pubescent bodies…….maybe, just maybe, the “electorate” would examine their realized homophobia and transphobias and see how everything is not “Gay” or “same-sex.” Some people have queer sexual orientations, some have queer gender identities, some have queer looking bodies (i.e., micro penises, large clitorises, breasts on men, woman with small breasts, etc.) = QLGBTI. Corporate America would have us believe there are only two sexes and two genders – look at what we have to buy and wear! I like color not browns and dark grays!

    And, kids, don’t be afraid to educate yourselves on these issues – the rainbow has many flavers…………………………

  109. Tommy News Says:

    Regarding the Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda! post:

    This premise is way off base.
    All people should have the right to choose who they wish to marry or not.
    There are over a thousand laws and benefits granted to legally married people, which single people cannot enjoy.

    We must work for full equality under the law, and then we will have the freedom of choice.
    Anything less than full equality in all 50 states is unacceptable and must not be tolerated or endorsed.

    Anything less than full equality makes gays into second class, unequal citizens.
    Therefore, I strongly disagree with this premise the queers should stand AGAINST marriage equality.

    We can choose to be different, but we should not be forced to be different by discriminatory laws.

    Namaste and blessings for Thasnksgiving,
    Tommy News
    Tommysnews@gmail.com

  110. Paul M Says:

    Bravo! I addressed this issue the other day on my blog:

    Why can’t I get behind all this gay marriage hoopla? In truth, I find it embarrasing.

    Yesterday, some redneck queen on Democratic Underground announced that his partner of twenty years asked him to marry him, and there was an outpouring of congratulations. He went on and on about invitations and vows and clothing and catering and flowers and…I wanted to barf.

    To me, the best thing about being gay was the outlaw status that automatically gave one. If you were gay, there was no way you could be considered a part of the mainstream. And considering how utterly nauseating mainstream society is, what could be better? It made us “cool.” And when we got “married,” it was a subversive act.

    Now, the whole goal of gay people seems to be to become exactly like straight people. Why? What in that world is so worthy of emulating? As for marriage, as an institution, it has been in major decline for half a century. Half of all marriages end in divorce, and each succeeding marriage has even less of a chance of survival. And of those that last, how may are really happy? Glomming onto this dying institution makes as much sense as our insisting on the right to have slaves. Everyone else is getting over it, and we must have it? Why?

    Yes, unfair legal and tax advantages are given to the married. That is called discrimination. Why aren’t we fighting that, instead of trying to join-in? Once gay people can marry, we will have a situation where part of our community will be oppressing the part that doesn’t choose to participate in an unjust system. How is that progess?

    This probably sounds odd coming from me. I have always decried the inability of most gay men to make and stick to a commitment. But that fact only supports my position. If gay men are rushing to get married because they think it will make it easier to stay faithful and maintain a relationship, they are kidding themselves. Put two horny male dogs in a cage surrounded by bitches in heat, and see how well they get along.

    I am convinced that commitment is an important value. I think there is no greater tribute one can make to one’s lover than fidelity. But decades of experience have shown me that the odds of men being true are infinitesimal. And no state-sponsored, artificial contract will change that.

    Of course, perhaps the real motivation here is financial. They want the tax breaks, and have no serious intention of being faithful in any case. To that, I can only say once again: is that fair to those who can’t or won’t get married? If this is supposed to be about justice, where is the fairness in that? Why should single people be robbed to benefit those who choose to participate in this farce?

    I read the fine print of the Washington domestic partners act. For every “right” there are lots of responsibilities that made me cringe. I could feel the walls closing in around me with every line. I can’t imagine walking willingly into that prison, let alone the even more confining one of marriage. No thanks.

    If I am lucky enough to one day meet a guy who loves me enough to want to make a commitment to me, that will be wonderful. We can make our own financial and legal arrangements, if necessary. We can have our own ceremony if we feel the need. But I see no need at all to force ourselves into a cookie-cutter institution that fails the vast majority of people who sign-up for it.

    And look at the harm this push for marriage is causing us. Look at the animosity toward gay people it is arousing. Look at how our enemies have organized around this cause. For what? What do we stand to gain? I just can’t see it.

    I think back to when our movement began in the sixties. I remember subversive groups like the Radical Fairys, the Cockettes, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The movement then was about finding unique ways to express our gayness, to create new ways of being. How appalled those brave souls would be by this current mania for becoming exactly like our oppressors. The real movement for change today is among those young people who protest the WTO, who are trying to over turn our whole system of economic oppression. Where are the gay voices in that movement? Nowhere. We are too busy trying to become married yuppie shitheels. All we care about now is getting our own, and fuck everyone else.

    Sorry, but that isn’t a movement I can be inspired by.

  111. ArrinaLurrish Says:

    I am frequently searching for brandnew articles in the internet about this subject. Thx!!

  112. Jillian Says:

    Thank you so much for articulating these concerns so effectively. I’m working on a story collecting project for people in non-traditional families to challenge the idea that marriage is a one-size-fits-all solution to the queer community’s problems. Please email me at pcfe@riseup.net if any of you folks would like to submit!

  113. Some end of the year ramblings and our friends. « A Few Queers on the prowl Says:

    [...] a stir. You can find their site and the wonderful uplifting, telling it like it is essay called, Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda and have a real good thought-provoking read. We don’t know very many older gays and lesbians [...]

  114. Esme Rodriguez Says:

    I am a genderqueer, activist, drag queen and I fully agree with most of the sentiments and ideologies presented in this blog. All marriage should be illegal due to the separation of church and state. Hey! How about giving all people equal individual rights regardless of relationship status? I am glad that others are provoking dialogue regarding the injustices of patriarchal social systems.

  115. Amir Says:

    Thanks for this post; right on.

    The biggest problem for me is the lack of imagination, creativity, and gutsiness of the pro-marriage LGBTQ folks. We only get to have this conversation (about what it means to take responsibility for another adult human in a legal, formal sense) once in a generation…. and the pro-gay-marriage people are frittering the opportunity away on their attempt to gain access to a structure that’s crumbling and in shambles, even for the (straight) people it was built for! WTF??

    The queers should be uniting with the divorced, the polyamorous, and freethinkers to get the state out of the marriage business altogether… instead of begging admittance to a piece of crap, broken institution. Pro-gay-marriage people are just as selfish as breeders who buy ginormous SUVs to protect _their_ kids…. other kids in smaller cars be damned.

  116. Therese Says:

    Wonderful, thanks. Divorce marriage from rights; all rights for all people!

  117. Flood Says:

    The New Yorker has a typically hyper-detailed look into Ted Olsen’s case that i’d really recommend spending the 20 interesting minutes to read.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/01/18/100118fa_fact_talbot?currentPage=all#ixzz0ceMUd5uO

  118. Eric Says:

    This is a great blog! The idea that married couples (gay or hetero) are somehow preferential to single unmarried or single people is an affront to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Access to health care as well as “tax credits” should be doled out equally irrespective of one’s marital status. Why does our society insist on promoting the antiquated notion of marriage anyhow? 50% success rate really that convincing?

  119. AlanW Says:

    Seems to my like hardly anyone agrees with this idiotic article. I would not be surprised to find out the the person who wrote this is actually a bigoted, hateful, discriminating, hetrosexual who had nothing better to do than try to get people to believe that gays don’t really care about equality.

    • Jack Fertig Says:

      Oooh…. Alan! Name calling and unfounded ad hominem attacks! That’s real constructive and intelligent. Actually a number of old movement veterans have chimed in in support of the “queer kids” and there are a bunch of full names in here you can google to check on our street cred.

    • Genderfuck or is it Fuckgender! Says:

      Shut up AlanW. Marriage is not equality it never was and never will be. What about those who are polyamorous or single or not looking to get married because it won’t actually give them much and could hurt them financially. Plus what about all the Transfolk and Genderqueers and queer teens and poor queers who are consistently trampled over so you morons can get your stupid marriage approved by a racist sexist homophobic murderous…state! Plus marriage always seems like another big assimilationist tactic so “gay” people can be more and more and more like regular straight people except maybe with a bit better sex.

      You want equality then fight for equality for ALL not just for rich gays and lesbians!

      I agree with this article and I know many other queers who agree with it. I disagree with your comment and your rude remarks against the authors of this fine article. I think the only hetero here is you Alan?

  120. Jessica Says:

    If you think that you wouldn’t benefit you are wrong, flat wrong.

    A gay couple with two kids on average LOOSES $248,000.00 over their lifetimes to the lost benefits of marriage. Depending on incomes and such it can be plus $43,000.00 to minus $834,000.00. Families in the plus are very rare but remember that the average gay family looses a QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS.

    That is a collage education x 2 at a medical collage. A house in most parts of the county or day camps every summer. Family vacations, clothing, food, medical care, the ability to provide for yourself in retirement, etc.

    You do loose and you loose big.

    Granted there are a ton of other issues in the world but gays shouldn’t have to wait until everything else is solved before they get their due.

    Equality for all not some!

  121. John K. Says:

    You guys are so full of shit it’s not even funny. This is about government treating us UNEQUALLY. It is not about marriage per se, but the availability of marriage to us like to everyone else. I can understand a position against marriage generally, but MARRIAGE IS NOT GOING AWAY! So, your second choice is just to have us excluded from it and from all the benefits that come along only with marriage (whether you like it or not)? Outrageous, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Genderfuck or is it Fuckgender! Says:

      Who said any of these people were guys? Also I think you should be ashamed of yourself. Queers didn’t riot at Stonewall and elsewhere so you could assimilate and be a straight guy just with butt sex and BJ’s they rioted for their freedom too be who they were against government repression. It wasn’t a movement too get married it was too keep their community alive and strong. I would think all those queers and trannies at Stonewall might end up smacking you assimilationists if they could be transported into the future. Plus the government and the church should be SEPARATE and each one should be put into a tub and drowned (along with Grover Norquist) The corrupt as hell state should have no business in marriage and the corrupt as hell churches should have no business in the state. As Spanish anti-fascist Buenaventura Durruti said “the only church that illuminates is a burning church” I think he was right!

      The focus is always on marriage never on transgender rights or totally smashing gender binaries and social norms? Or even ending Gay Gentrifuckation. When the rich mostly light skinned gays move in poor folks have too move out because they cannot afford to live there. Then when lets say gay clubs in a “bad” part of town are threatened with closure these gays never seem to come out too stop the closures. It seems mainstream gay culture always turns it’s back on everyone else and just wants things for themselves.

      The only gays I want in the military are ones fighting in their own military for total queer liberation not for a racist, fascist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and hetero-sexist state.

  122. Michael Joseph Says:

    I agree with a lot of this, except I think that “Queer Community” is an oxymoron. The term “Community” is as bogus a term as the notion of “marriage” that is excoriated here. Also, the term “Queer” is now quaint, it doesn’t pack the same punch as it did in the late 80s. The basic message of diversity and not fitting into a 1950s notion of a family, though, is something I agree with. The government has no business having anything to do with marriage in any way, shape or form. Just separate any marriage “rights” from the state and there will be no more arguments between gay and straight. Some people I have talked to about this say that marriage is one of the oldest institutions. So what? So is prostitution. I don’t see anything about marriage in our constutution. Get rid of it.

  123. megan Says:

    I’m a bi female or lesbian and US citizen who has been in the closet until a couple years ago. Since I came out I have been in a serious relationship with a Chinese national female. We left our countries and luckily accepting families in order to live together in Canada. I imagine many of you will think it’s lame, but I have a weak and ambivalent experience with the gay rights fight. I am drawn to it and try to inform those around me who know nothing about it, but at the same time it terribly depresses me to know that so much hate and ignorance exist. I will continue to fight as I can, but every night I have nightmares and everyday I feel depressed.

    Thanks for the discussions,
    MA

  124. josh Says:

    This blog is destructive and vicious. It purports to argue about war, racism and the economy, but with a name like “Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!,” all it does is run down other people’s families to pursue a purist and elitist agenda, as if the Writers Know Best.

    With nothing to say since October 9 of last year, they still managed to con The New York Times into quoting them. For what good purpose?

  125. Flood Says:

    Jessica and John K: it’s good to see some reality making it’s way onto this blog. What’s so “radical” about shunning a movement for economic justice? Regardless of how uncomfortable the thoughts of property and children make the urban left, there are poor and working class gay couples struggling, splitting, and dying because they cannot marry. Only the exceptionalist left could scorn the struggle for equal rights as assimilationist.

  126. Althea Tremaine Says:

    I think the underlying assumption of your entire case against gay marriage is that it should require this much work from the LGBTQI community to be able to wed. However, I believe that assumption is flawed. The fact that our society still has not moved to accept the LGBTQI is the real problem here.

    I agree that there are many other things going on in the world that seem much more prudent, but we all choose our battles. We can’t fight them all– as much as I am a supporter of LGBTQI rights, I feel that at this point, I need to focus on helping get rid of the injustices felt by those who are in a lower socio-economic status. However, my support for this movement is still strong. Why should we have to put up with these injustices?

    Perhaps marriage is not your bag, and that’s completely your choice, but you can’t expect everyone else to turn their back at such a crucial time. You can’t make those choices for the people who have, for years, been waiting for the moment to marry their significant other.

  127. Chauna Says:

    Thank you so much for this essay and for getting this conversation started. Several years ago I searched for articles questioning the focus on gay marriage as an issue and didn’t find much. I’m so glad to see that this thoughtful reconsidering of gay marriage is coming from children of queer parents. As a lesbian mother of a 2 year old, you are an inspiration!

  128. Flood Says:

    You folks claiming that Marriage and Military are haughty borgeoise (sic) issues must be comfortable enough to not realize that Marriage rights are primarily an economic justice issue.

    There are poor gay couples that are deteriorating in the face of economic segregation, dying without the rights to join their partner’s health insurance, or becoming destitute after a death of one partner because they’re not entitled to joint ownership of anything.

    They don’t have the privelage, as apparently many of you do, to wait until the final victory of the revolution. So get off your horse and help them out.

    Military is a major path out of both poverty and isolation within a hostile community. So you don’t like war – good for you. So let poor straights escape through the military route but keep the even more escape-needy gay kids trapped? Because you don’t like war? Cry me a river for your emo superiority, and get out of the way.

    I’m done with the elitist urban left shitting on poor people seeking equal rights because they feel culturally superior to the institutions involved. The only radical stance on any issue is fighting for the right to equal citizenship status, and a special eye on the economically oppressed.

    The radical right has successfully used this issue to institutionalize second-class legal status in state constitutions and national policy. That status stands as a blockade to every other issue on the table, and all those struggling to get on the table, which is why every one of us needs this victory. This is the front line that all rights are riding on, so suck it up.

  129. Sarah Says:

    First of all, there is no reason why I can’t support same-sex marriage and all the other tradegies in the world at the same time.

    Second, it isn’t just about have a perfect cookie-cutter family. In fact, it isn’t that at all. Marriage is more than just a commitment- if your partner was dying in a hospital, and the hospital only allows “family members” to see them, guess what? They can tell you that you can’t see your partner. And this happens all the time. Even if you’ve been together for years. We want marriage so we can have the same rights as everyone else. This article is bullshit.

    • Anarqueer Says:

      The problem is then is not needing marriage but changing the system so shit like this doesn’t happen. If you want equal rights and equal treatment you have too fight for it marriage isn’t going to bring it. Marriage is not equal rights it is supremacy by those who choose to get married and our privileged enough to get married and in some cases involve forced marriage. You want equal rights then you have to get rid of this entire system that won’t give equal rights too anyone but special rights too the rich and shit too the poor. You cannot have equal rights while millions of people don’t have any rights except sitting down and shutting up and being harassed by police if they don’t go too the forced education centers known as schools nor for the billions of animals slaughtered and mistreated each year for human use (mostly food and clothing) Or how about people of color who are still not treated equal. Sure if you are rich white and gay you can be a little more equal too other rich white folks but their is no real equality in that.

      The thing too do here is too shut down the system and build a real democracy based in the rule of the people too the degree in which it effects them without any representation because nobody can represent you but you. That way no need for marriage unless you choose too do so because you are part of some church cult!

  130. Flood Says:

    Marriage is not for the privelaged. Marriage is for the poor, who cannot access health care because they cannot get on their partner’s plan, who cannot afford the difference joint-tax-filing makes, who cannot bear to be stripped of all their possessions if their partner dies.

    Those of you who do not have your livelihood, health and comfort jeapordized by the lack of this right – those of you comfortable enough to sit on your ass complaining that the revolution hasn’t come to free everyone – YOU are the overprivelaged.

    As far as the “noone has equal rights until everyone does”? Right on. But does that mean that every struggle for civil rights is invalid unless it insists on liberation for all? So racial justice ’causes are elitist bullshit? So anti-poverty advocacy is elitist bullshit? So trying to prevent child sex trafficking is elitist bullshit? So anti-war movements are bullshit? So environmental campaigns are bullshit?

    Or is it just gay civil rights struggles that are bullshit?

    • Anarqueer Says:

      No what I am saying is exactly what I wrote nobody has equal rights till everyone does. How can you have equal rights when there are people out there with no rights or few rights? How can one have equality if others don’t have it. Most Gays I know who are talking about marriage are pretty fucking privileged, they just want too be as close to straight people (will still being gay sexually) as possible. They don’t care about queer youth that are thrown out of their houses or about transgendered folks who are always getting thrown “under the bus” when the gays want something for themselves or because gender binaries are so fucking important too everyone. Not once do you here HRC sticking up for queers of color or poor folks (from their nice big fancy office in D.C. that cost millions) Not once do you hear most gay people talking about Stonewall being what it really was a riot of queers and trannies against the police and the state and rich folks. It is always marriage and joining the military too go fight in someone else’s country for someone else’s profits.

      Fuck that if you aren’t going to include all then don’t bother. No this is not too say don’t stick up for homeless folks don’t attempt too save the earth or any of that. It is too say don’t just ask for equality for a few while ignoring others who are in your boat. As in don’t throw queers and trannies under the bus just so a few mostly rich gays can get married.

      Look at what gay culture has become it is now a marketing tool, it is a way for Subaru and Budweiser too make more money by assaulting us with ads with rainbows. They now feel it is ok too start pandering too us because they know they can make profits. It is bullshit and many gays are eating it up. It is fucking sad all the hard work that the awesome rioters at Stonewall and others have done is just being flushed down the toilet so gay people can be “normal” yet people fought to be themselves.

      Speaking of advocacy again what about the gay clubs in the poorer and more diverse areas of SE in Washington D.C. that were shut down too build an unneeded stadium for a crappy Canadian team? Why did none of the these poor poor marriage gays ever stick up for them? Why was their no complaints from Dupont Circle (the heavily white gayborhood of D.C.) none of those people raised a fucking finger too help the poorer gays in S.E. As long as they had their nice houses and comfortable lifestyle they were OK and didn’t need to worry at all about the poor gays of color because they could now go see baseball with their partners. I am just curious here you talk about the poor gays wanting marriage yet usually most of the ones I have seen are at least comfortable if not generally well off. Sure I am not saying their aren’t poorer gays out their standing up for marriage but I see a lot more being left out by the mainstream gay culture than being a part of it.

      Marriage is a tool of the church not of the state and there is supposed to be separation of church and state. Keep that in mind. Yes I am aware it isn’t always true and that civil unions aren’t always perfect but it should be noted.

  131. Flood Says:

    1. Marriage is not an institution of the church, it is and has always been a legal instrument defining how a group of people interacts with the economy. Churches were involved because there was no separation of church and state. To seperate church and state, it’s churches that need to get out of marriage and let it remain a civil affair.

    2. YOu being pissed off at rich gay people does not excuse condemning poor gay people to being blocked from reaping the benefits – some as important as life or death – of civil marriage.

    3. Oh YOU see a lot more rich gays than poor gays? Good for you that you’re that exposed to the wealthy. I see a larger proportion of poor gays to rich than exists in society at large, the effects of adding discrimination to ordinary life struggles. I have two friends who are HIV+ that now have health care through their husbands in CA. You apparently don’t know anyone in these situations, because this clearly remains a conceptual matter to you – one where your class-crippled indignation trumps simple civil equality and justice.

    You don’t see poor and working-class gay people campaigning for marriage because they don’t have the leisure time to be visible organizers or advocates. That goes for every struggle, including anti-poverty work.

    4. You try to back out of the “all-or-nothing” stance and then immediately return to it. You don’t think marriage rights should be worked on if gay youth issues aren’t included in the struggle? Then go harass gay youth advocates about not including marriage rights in their agenda.

    • Anarqueer Says:

      You are honestly saying marriage is not part of the church? I am tempted to go after your other points but your first point is silly but worth a little analysis because I have some extra time. Sure the state is regulating marriages but only because the church got involved and tried to re-unite church and state! I am not opposed to civil unions meaning a state thing with all the benefits and shit that the straights have but marriage should be an issue you take up with your local church and it should not ever be regulated or used by the government. Civil unions are a state matter marriages should be a church matter. Get it?

      Also please re-read my previous comment because maybe you didn’t understand it.

  132. Flood Says:

    Atheists get married all the time – it is called marriage, it is marriage, the civil benefits conferred are under the title of marriage, and the church has nothing to do with it – plus all the other faiths, worldwide, who don’t have a church and get married anyway. Marriage is a civil institution, and the church’s claim on it is succeeding thanks to ideologies like that being fostered on this blog. Marriage is a civil institution, and is being conferred on a priveleged class. There are laws from local to national relegating gay people to encoded second-class citizenship – by instituting marriage inequality. Plug that legal precedent into any and all gay rights issues – this is a struggle of universal importance to the LGBTQI community..

  133. Flood Says:

    Let me take a moment to recant my nasty attitude toward other opinions than my own. My passion about the importance of this issue is equally matched by the validity of everyone else’s passion about it. I shouldn’t be attacking anyone for having an opinion, i should be addressing it with my own. So i’d like to take-back my above attack on “ideologies like that being fostered on this blog”, which itself was a roundabout direct personal attack on Anarqueer (jealousy for scoring that handle?). I think the church is laying an invalid claim on marriage, and that we’re buying it, and want to put that perspective out there. Oh, and i’m really pissed off about it. Really really really pissed off about it.

  134. equalnotspecial Says:

    Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live,
    It is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
    – Oscar Wilde

    Any and every law that denies equality stigmatizes us all and that harms us all. There is no room for prejudice and discrimination in the law. No matter how you feel about marriage or the military or adoption, legal discrimination harms everyone of us and must be removed wherever it exists, no matter how you feel about the particular institution.

    Legal equality will not require anyone to get married, etc. It simply gives them the same choice given to everyone else. So, by all means, live your life as you wish, just don’t prevent others from living as they wish.

  135. Another Take on the Why Black Women Can’t Get A Man Meme - Jack & Jill Politics Says:

    [...] vocal segment of the LGBTQ activist community has been making this argument for a while now. People like Kenyon Farrow, Jasmyne Cannick andYasmin Nair have long been arguing [...]

  136. Quoted: Dani McClain on Fierce Single Black Women and Activism | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture Says:

    [...] vocal segment of the LGBTQ activist community has been making this argument for a while now. People like Kenyon Farrow, Jasmyne Cannick and Yasmin Nair have long been arguing [...]

  137. Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Linkspam : Short and Sweet Says:

    [...] vocal segment of the LGBTQ activist community has been making this argument for a while now. People like Kenyon Farrow, Jasmyne Cannick and Yasmin Nair have long been arguing [...]

  138. Support LGBT pride= Support marriage rights, now? « Chartreuse Flamethrower Says:

    [...] http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/marriage-bandage/ http://queerkidssaynomarriage.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/queer-kids-of-queer-parents-say-no-to-the-gay… [...]

  139. gay marriage is not my priority. « Freedom Fighter Says:

    [...] “Rather than choosing to fight the things that keep structural racism intact, the liberal gay agenda has chosen to promote them.  The gay agenda continually fights for increased hate crimes legislation that would incarcerate and execute perpetrators of hate crimes.  We believe that incarceration destroys communities and families, and does not address why queer bashings happen. Increased hate crimes legislation would only lock more people up. In a country where entire communities are ravaged by how many of their members get sent to jail, where prisons are profit-driven institutions, where incarceration only creates more violence, we won’t accept anything that promotes prison as a solution.  Our communities are already preyed upon by prisons – trans people, sex workers, and street kids live with the constant threat of incarceration.  We believe that real, long-term solutions are found in models of restorative and transformative justice, and in building communities that can positively and profoundly deal with violence.  We challenge our queer communities to confront what we are afraid of rather than locking it up, and to join members of our community and natural allies in opposing anything that would expand prisons.” -queers kids say no to marriage [...]

  140. glenn Says:

    The government doesn’t want gay marriage. You don’t want gay marriage. I don’t think you can use enough words to convince me your idea is somehow more noble than theirs. It seems like both of those positions revolve around other people Not Doing what makes you uncomfortable.

  141. Reading: My somewhat complicated relationship with Gay Marriage. « Critical Masculinities Says:

    [...] BUT, The Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay marriage articulated this a WHOLE lot better than me, so read their views on it here. [...]

  142. azdelslade Says:

    This is a beautiful, powerful and important piece of writing. Thank you so much. As a trans woman who is spending a lot of time struggling for a world without borders, and struggling to survive in a world that feels like it wants me dead on most days, I think you raise so many very valuable points and I really hope that people can hear this better, coming from you. We have so many more urgent issues to struggle for in the queer community, marriage and the right to kill for imperialism being way lower on my own list of priorities.

  143. Tracey Says:

    Whilst I agree that the gay marriage debate may obscure other important aspects of the struggle for rights, I am concerned that you may have missed the pure ironic genius the campaign was based on.
    What better forum than the institution of marriage, the white picket fence, the two kids, and Mom’s apple pie?
    It isn’t about conforming, it’s about redefining!

  144. unprivileged Says:

    The problem of “marriage” as it is commonly understood, is a governmental institution for privileged kind relationships defined by the State, in the expense of relationships undefined by the State. Those who do not meet the criteria defined by the State must pay for the benefits of the privileged. What we need is to abolish this privilege and support affordable health care for all individuals, regardless what relationship you are for. And in fact, resist marriage altogether as a legally recognized institution. Everybody has a right not to be discriminated against, whether you are married or not.

  145. Polyethylene Says:

    of course we need to know our family history so that we can share it to our kids ,’*

  146. Marina Brown Says:

    You remind me of a bitchy old trans woman i knew and loved. She said pretty
    much the same things you do.

    Her name was Sylvia Rivera.

    It’s been a long time since i heard this argument. It makes me miss her.

    —- Marina

  147. Anon Says:

    For many LGBT members, the passing of gay marriage is not so much about having the right to have your union legally recognized as it is symbolism that straight COUNTERPARTS are slowly but surely becoming more accepting of the LGTB community. I do not view it as an attempt to assimilate, silence, etc and would never wish such things upon the LGTB community.

    • jackfertig Says:

      It’s not a question of either/or, but one of priorities. Equality, symbolic or real is important, sure, but equal to what? As an example, my partner of 18 years and I are getting on and need health care reform more than we need to get married (which would royally screw my eligibility for benefits and cost us a lot.) With our country slipping more and more into poverty, militarism, and fascism I see other issues more pressing than marriage equality. And the more we work alongside others for broader justice issues the more we will gain acceptance and respect for our equality in all matters.

  148. Anon Says:

    Yes, marriage is a faulty institution, but also one that has been engraved into society for thousands of years. Trying to bring it down will take a massive amount of effort and time from both straights and gays. It’s not something that can happen in a decade or even a life time. I also believe that the benefits of marriage should not be a privilege deemed exclusively for the married. Why can’t my ill neighbor of 10 years be listed under my health insurance? Or my best friend for that matter? Why can’t my partner of 5 years (heck, what about those who have been together for decades?) make emergency medical decisions in my time of need for me when a recently married couple that has only known each other for 2 years can?

    But as long as marriage is here, it’s the one I have to endure to secure the rights of my union. I will use it and I will fight it.

  149. on queer politics and gay marriage. « breathe deep and dive Says:

    [...] * A statement put out by Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage. [...]

  150. NathanDST Says:

    http://nathandst.blogspot.com/2011/08/dealing-with-few-secular-arguments_15.html

    My thoughts on this article, and response to it.

  151. jews love Says:

    jews love…

    [...]Resist the Gay Marriage Agenda! « Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage![...]…

  152. FHC Says:

    It seems this article is sadly correct. Because as more and more States allow same gender marriages, the issues of poor children and their families is being more and more ignored. As now that everyone has equal rights, poverty must be choice. Does anyone update this page? Is there anybody out there?

  153. pinkagendist Says:

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  155. Angele Says:

    I appreciate this article, but I have never viewed the Gay fight for equality in accomplishing recognition for there long term recognition as being about the title married. I went to a large seminar for the rights of gay and transgender people and the issue as I observed it was to give couples the same rights as married people. These people weren’t obsessed with being labeled married. There concern was based on rights to adopted children when a partner dies, there was one man and his partner became deathly ill but because they werent recognized as a family because of not being married, they had problems in the hospital accessing the room when only family was allowed, they also had a problem with there employer not allowing the time to be with there loved one and would have lost there job trying to take the time needed to care for them. These are the issues of equality surrounding the rights for gay people to be married, not just a superficial journey for a title to be like everyone else.

  156. Darren Blaney Says:

    I agree with many of the points in this article, including that prioritizing the right to marry over other structural inequalities might cause problems… not only for “queer families” but for other disenfranchised groups. However, the writers do make some fundamental errors in their argument: they assume that the so-called “equality movement” is comprised of people who don’t give a rat’s A about racism, the poor, housing, healthcare, etc. That is simply not true. Many of us who are “liberal professors” or “liberal gays” were very happy that Obama prioritized healthcare reform, for example, and felt he compromised too much by taking government-run insurance off the table too early. There are also many gays out there who feel the same way I do about last week’s news: though I was happy in some ways when Obama made his pro-marriage equality statement, I was also very worried that it might cost him the election.. it’s not that I think he is any kind of superman really, or perfect in any way. But when I consider the alternative (Mittens leading a Republican-dominated Congress), I must say I for one am much more concerned about getting Obama reelected than I am about gay marriage rights. I’m willing to let an issue that affects me personally take a back seat to other issues that I think are more or equally important (housing, healthcare, immigration, education, etc.) If Obama had waited to make this announcement until after the election, it might have had less integrity (after all, he waited this long anyway!), but it might have had less of a negative political impact for him. So I’m waiting to see what happens, I admire him in many ways… but also hoping that he didn’t throw away his chances of getting reelected. In many ways, I am MUCH more worried about what could happen if he doesn’t win another term in office than I am about what would happen if he had remained silent about this issue for several more months.
    Also, please know that I DO sympathize with the writers’ general feeling about the smarminess of the 1950s-style nuclear family imagery that the equality movement embraces, and reject the idea that only monogamous couples with children are righteous or moral or entitled to rights in society. That is simply ridiculous. But one flaw with all the “queer” anti-marriage rhetoric I see is that it overlooks the fact that having a choice does NOT limit one’s right to express one’s sexuality in any way. At all! It certainly doesn’t for straight people: think of all the strip clubs for straight men, swingers groups, hetero porn, etc. out there. Straight people have the right to choose marriage if they want to, but not all of them do. And some who marry reject monogamy, but still enjoy the social benefits of marriage (taxes, insurance, immigration rights, etc.) The idea that the government would force people to live in certain domestic configurations (simply by allowing gays to marry) is ridiculous. Of course there are benefits bestowed on married couples (health insurance and immigration rights among them) that might encourage coupling over other configurations. But allowing the right to marry for all does not limit one’s freedom to choose whatever sexual or domestic situation one wants.
    Another main issue I take with this article is that there is a contradiction inherent in their logic: they are pro-welfare, pro-housing, pro-universal healthcare, yet they do not want the government to play a role in shaping people’s domestic, social, and economic lives? This sounds like a Tea-Party argument to me… fear of the so-called “nanny-state” etc. I don’t know if you can realistically be anti-government, or anti-big government, and pro-social equality, pro-economic justice, at the same time… this idea that queer people are going to magically pool their resources and create their own welfare system is kinda naive, I think, even though it sometimes does happen. The Republican agenda right now is about removing all of the social safety networks that already exist. I do not see how extending some of these networks and benefits to gay couples is a bad thing… especially if this platform coexists with one that is also pro-education, pro-Dream Act, pro-Social Security, pro-student loan reform, pro-universal healthcare, pro-economic justice, etc.
    I hope my main point here isn’t lost: the notion that middle-class white gay people don’t care about other social issues, aren’t allies in the fight for economic justice for all, etc. is a fundamental flaw. There are many queer families out there who ARE in fact hurt economically by the lack of marriage rights, so why stand against them, when there are actual villains in the picture here, who want to not only withhold “equality” for gays, but also, destroy all of the social safety networks that the Democratic party has championed since the 1930s?
    Another thought: I completely agree that EQUATING the gay-rights struggle with the black civil rights struggle is erroneous and problematic. However, the writers do not acknowledge that institutional-structural-homophobia ALSO DOES EXIST! They are NOT the same struggle, however, there are parallels and similarities. And the two communities CAN in fact learn from each other and borrow each other’s strategies, and find overlaps and shared concerns, and THEY HAVE IN FACT DONE SO HISTORICALLY!! (One example: the early Gay Freedom movement in the early 1970s wanted to participate in the Black Panther movement, but were rejected by them!) These writers don’t know their LGBTQ history very well, it seems to me, by choosing to ignore that gays throughout history have also been beaten, killed, arrested, denied access, punished, executed, and otherwise institutionally and structurally shut out of the system. This still happens today, even in the so-called “utopian” space of academe, as you well know. Obviously the scale is very different than the African-American experience of injustice in the U.S. However, to deny that these things ALSO happened to gay people, it seems to me, is another kind of ERASURE of which these writers themselves are guilty!!! GUILTY!!!
    My last comment is that I honestly DO have sympathy for the writers’ apparent frustration with the image of the kinds of millionaire gays out there, say, who might donate huge sums of $ to the Equality Movement and the political agenda for gay marriage rights, yet who could care less about the poor, the disenfranchised, etc. I can definitely see their point here: the resources in our community often ARE getting funneled into this agenda, and that creates a drain on other services and issues. But I would also like to mention that many of the social services organizations that DO in fact serve the LGBTQ community in our country (I’m thinking of Gay Men’s Health Crisis in NYC, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles, etc.) were initially created by middle-class gay white men and women, and are largely supported with donations from wealthy gay white folks. Over the past decade or so, a large percentage of the funding in these organizations has specifically targeted people of color, transgender people, poor people, youth, and others who are disenfranchised by society in some way. The writers of the article seem to forget this: often, when the U.S. federal, state, and local governments have ignored the plight of AIDS for example, the so-called “liberal middle-class white gay men” that this article demonizes to some extent… were in fact the ones who picked up the slack left over by a government that couldn’t have cared less (think back to the 1980s… when ACT UP started, Reagan and Bush had barely said a word about AIDS…) So I’m all for calling out problems, but also, please give credit where it is due!
    So… please know I do sympathize with many of the themes of this essay, and I appreciate their desire to “queer” our view of what is happening in the Equality Movement… I also see many valid points they raise (especially regarding incarceration, etc.) and appreciate the ways they are speaking to issues that the Gay Marriage push has (perhaps inevitably) silenced. But still, especially in the first paragraph of the article, the writers are setting up a logic that is in fact illogical. They seem to think that you can’t have one (queer lifestyles) and the other (marriage rights) at the same time, and this doesn’t make sense.
    I think the writers of this have forgotten a most fundamental point in the struggle for equality and economic justice for all: in order to have allies, you must also be one!

  157. Joseph Navarro Says:

    The “liberal” argument for gay marriage, like I have always said is an economic movement. The idea that a man or woman can not receive the financial security that their “hetero-” counterparts can is the fundamental argument behind the push for marriage equality.

    The website is an excellent perspective for those who do not necessarily wish to take part in the “mainstream” American democratic process. I think that is where the Marriage Equality Movement resides, through the spectrum of the United States Constitution. It will take the U.S. government, making equality acceptable for the wealthy homosexual before the rest of the gay community is able to reap the rewards of choosing to pursue a monogamous versus a free relationship lifestyle, uninhibited.

    I whole heatedly agree that marriage is an absolute economic transaction. To argue that gay marriage would only add restraints to the community, is a mute point, you either choose to take part in the system or you decide to live of the grid in your own cultural enclave. The ability for homosexuals to marry will not result in an enforced monogamy for all gay’s, it will simply force the U.S. Constitution to take a very late but important step in guaranteeing civil and economic rights for all.

    After all, that is where this issue rests. If one group of people within the U.S. and really World for that matter, is denied any form of civil rights, than we all as a society suffer. We must always remember this fact, because once true equality exists, than the Queer movement like all other cultural groups, will be able to have a choice to take part in whatever social activity they desire.

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