Is marriage the wrong goal?

Marriage is controversial.  Ironically, the institution that’s touted to bring stability to society causes more disagreements, more turmoil, than many other issues (on the controversy scale, I’d put it somewhere between the ‘Support mandatory, third-term abortions for everyone!’ and ‘Let’s give President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize!’). There’s a lot to unpack, surely: whether or not states and governments have legitimate roles to play, whether religious institutions do, whether fiscal benefits should come with the marriage licence or not, who should get to issue said licence (if we decide there should be one), whether marriage has ‘traditionally been between one man and one woman’ (hint: you’re a damn fool if you think it has been), whether it’s better for kids to be raised in a two-parent home, whether fears over single mothers is justified or not, whether fears over black mothers is justified or not, whether the whole point of marriage is to have kids, or to create a stable economic bloc for the state, and so on.

Yes, it’s no secret that same-sex marriage is controversial, though it might be a surprise to some that there are some in the LGBTQQ community whose answer to the question, “Should we fight for marriage rights?” might be anything besides a resounding, “FUC HELL YEAH!”  Everyone’s joining the discussion (even, upsettingly, Facebook).  And everyone includes the gay community.  There is a pretty heated intracommunity debate about same-sex marriage (see this Symposium in the Rutgers Law Review for a scholarly review of the issues at hand).

Is marriage a fundamental right?  Is it an institution that gays and lesbians have been denied, and so is an issue of civil rights?  Or, conversely, does the whole institution of marriage need to go?  Is the institution useful to the liberation of the LGBTQQ community?  Are there more pressing issues that need to be addressed first?

One of my roommates took a stab at this question and started a blog – well, ok, a blog post – on the issue.  It’s got the very informative title, “Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!,” and can be found here


One thought on “Is marriage the wrong goal?

  1. I had already read this blog post, actually–someone on facebook posted it–and I really liked a lot of what it said. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the central claim that queer people are “not like everyone else”, but marriage often seems to me like a frivolous claim in light of issues like jail, housing discrimination, international law, and homelessness issues. As a queer person who doesn’t really believe in marriage as any kind of institution other than a government one, I’ve often felt alienated by queer people who insist that we need marriage in order to be considered the same as straight people–I think it’s important to show that families outside of the heteronormative structure–including multiple parents, single parents, etc–are just as valid as marriages within a political sphere.

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