Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage!
I agree and disagree with this. The last sentence very much resonates with me - I really, really do not like that same-gender marriage has become The Queer issue, both because it results in other issues being ignored and because where I live, same-gender marriage is a national right, and people act as though that has taken care of all issues faced by the lgbtq community.
But on the other hand.
“We have far more in common with those straight families than we do with the kinds of gay families that would benefit from marriage.”
The kinds of gay families that would benefit from marriage. It is a line I see a lot when queer people talk about not supporting (or prioritizing) same-gender marriage, and it seems to come with the implication (or occasionally the outright statement) that the only people who would benefit from same-gender marriage are middle/upper class and white and non-immigrant and so on.
And this blatantly is not the case.
Marriage can mean inclusion on an insurance plan, which sure as hell is a benefit to everyone, but especially when you deal with chronic physical and mental issues. That insurance can keep you from thousands of dollars of debt, from avoiding treatment to avoid debt, can literally be a matter of life and death. And when suicide rates are far higher in the lgb community than in the straight community, and even higher in the trans community, access to mental health services is vital.
Marriage sure as hell is important when you’re a would-be immigrant or non-citizen resident. Marriage can be vitally important when it comes to sponsoring someone as a resident, and when it comes to the West’s incredibly racist immigration system, every little bit counts when you or your partner is a person of colour.
Marriage very much makes a difference when it comes to custody when you’re in a same-gender marriage.
There seems to be the idea that we have a choice between supporting same-gender marriage (and thus giving the rights that come with marriage to a few more) or making familial rights and benefits available to all families, regardless of marital status. But that choice really doesn’t exist. The families that do not benefit from same-gender marriage also fail to benefit from a rejection of same-gender marriage.
We live in a political system that is strongly resilient to change. In an ideal world, we could completely overhaul the system at once, but our world doesn’t work that way. Instead, we have to fight for every inch, for every minute change. And we’ve come to a point where we can make a change, where more families are slowly coming to be legally recognized as valid families, and to say “I won’t support this change because it’s not enough” helps no one.
Don’t settle. Don’t let same-gender marriage be the only way the legal definition of a family is expanded. Don’t let other families be left behind. Keep working for change.
But don’t reject this one change because it’s not the only change you want.