Lately, I’ve been getting asks asking me to detail why some of the more radical queers are so “anti-marriage equality”. Well, first off, I can’t really speak for everyone in the community, so I’m just going to give my perspective on it. A lot of radical queers aren’t the biggest fans of marriage equality for a number of reasons. Some aren’t seeking state sanction of their lives. Some aren’t interested in what is perceived as a perpetuation of a capitalist, sexist institution under the guise of a union. Some don’t see much legitimacy in marriage equality when there are a number of other issues affecting queers that marriage equality won’t fix.
For me, I think a lot of the issues with the excessive promotion of marriage equality is when people try to make it the main issue of the queer community. It’s when people think that our happiness or our struggle as a community ends when we achieve marriage equality that it becomes a huge issue.
It implies that achieving the right to marry will somehow erase all of the other struggles we face. It implies that we’re a one-issue movement, which is not the case. I think that’s where the issue arises, which is something I agree with because it’s a foul assumption to make that the right to marry will be the panacea to all of the prejudices we face as a community.
dez-ray, this might help.
Homophobia is a central organizing principle of our cultural definition of manhood.
Homophobia is more than the irrational fear of gay men, more than the fear that we might be perceived as gay. […] Our fear is the fear of humiliation. We are ashamed to be afraid.
Shame leads to silence—the silences that keep other people believing that we actually approve of the things that are done to women, to minorities, to gays and lesbians in our culture. […] That clammy-handed silence when guys in the office make gay-bashing jokes.
Our fears are the sources of our silencs, and men’s silence is what keeps the system running.