Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reflections on Marriage

With the fourth anniversary of the landmark Goodridge decision to extend marriage to same-sex couples in Massachusetts coming up on Sunday, perhaps it is necessary to reflect upon the broader movement for gay and lesbian nuptials since the Supreme Judicial Court issued its historic ruling. This reflection came up during a lengthy conversation with a good friend in Boston who is writing about the racial, class and masculinity implications with regards to this issue.

The movement appears to remain all too quick to highlight the gay or lesbian who lives in the suburbs with 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence in their lobbying efforts on Beacon Hill, in Albany and other state capitals across the country. Rarely does one see an economically disadvantaged same-sex couple (of color) speaking about the impact of their inability to get married during a press conference outside a public housing project in a crime-ridden neighborhood. A lesbian couple with two foot mohawks wearing 'Dykes on Bikes' t-shirts are an equally rare sight with regards to efforts to change hearts and minds in support of marriage. These categorizations are obviously dramatic but they point to the conclusion that the movement for LGBT rights and particularly the movement for marriage for same-sex couples has embraced conformity in order to achieve its goals. This conformity is obviously politically sound policy but both movements have arguably sacrificed its non-conformist tradition in order to advance an issue to which the majority of Americans [including a sizable portion of the LGBT community] remain opposed.

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