Posted by: meaplet on: June 17, 2008
With all the preparations for Pride this year, it’s already a breathless season. Increasing the fervor of the season, of course, was the beginning of gay marriage in California yesterday at 5 pm. I watched coverage from some of the first gay weddings last night, live on the local news. It’s exciting to live in a state with legal gay marriage again.
On the other hand, a visit to my old roommates last weekend gave me another reminder about the problems that come along with gay marriage–the enforcement of the same norms that affect straight people. For as long as gay relationships exist only outside the law, all sorts of extra-legal legal precedents can sneak their way in. In the case of my former roommates, three lesbians who decided to raise a child together, gay marriage ruins the hopes they had of securing a three-parent adoption for their little girl once she was a toddler and they could argue their parental rights.
For so long, homosexuality has been an outstanding shelter for any number of norm-violating sexual and romantic arrangements–polyamory, kink, domestic partnerships without marriage, etc.– that heteros have engaged in too, but which have generally been more accepted in the queer world than in the world at large. With the harsh light of legal marriage shining on gays and lesbians, will we all line up and join the establishment? What happens to folks who don’t want to?
I continue to hold out hope that the government will step out of the business of providing “marriage” as a concept and will just do civil unions, leaving folks to chose whatever idea of marriage works for them, be it traditional or nontraditional. (This is one of the times I side with libertarians on an issue.) However, the precedent does not seem to be heading that way.
In other news, looks like Google is branding search results containing terms related to gay pride with rainbows. For a limited time only! Catch it while you can!
ETA: As usual, Alison Bechdel has commented on a similar aspect of things that is both subtler than what I’ve said here, and more poignant.
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