Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There's Nothing Gay About Marriages [a small rant]

I am tired of them all calling it "gay marriage." What's so "gay" about marriage anyway? If there's a celebration, a party, good wine, beautiful dresses, alcohol and cake, we could call it a happy event indeed, but is that what they mean by gay marriage? As from now on, shall we make an effort and call it for what it is: same-sex marriage?

As I got irritated about gay marriage (a.k.a. homonormative male wedding-- yucks!) I went to dig into a book I had read over a year ago. Here's what Ruth Vanita says in her book Love's Rite:

"Commitment between two persons of the same sex is not inherently different from commitment between persons of different sexes. "Gay marriage" is a misnomer. A marriage is not gay (though the two persons may define themselves as gay). Being gay is just one dimension of a person, and marriage encompasses the whole person. (...) When people claim their right to marry, their sex or sexuality is not intrinsic to that right, although social prejudice makes it appear so."

-- Ruth Vanita in Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005: 2)


feral geographer said...

Can I quote this at my wedding next year?  I think I might need to...

A while ago, I was chatting with a classmate in the electrical program at college about what we'll do after we're journeymen.  He was one of the few students older than me, and is married to a South African woman.  He said he liked my plan to start a workers co-op, but if I wanted him involved we'd hafta do in it in South Africa because he promised his wife they'd move there.  I replied that I didn't think I could, because I don't think my partner and I would be considered married there (which could make immigration hard, among other issues).  To which he responded "Oh...  Yeah, I'm not sure where they are at with alternative marriage."

This guy was a great friend and ally to me in the classroom, but this threw me:  Alternative marriage?  Really?  Alternative to what?  Non-marriage?  Isn't it marriage that we're talking about? 

I'm sick of "gay marriage" too.  Though, I'm not too keen on "same sex" marriage either... But at least it's better than when people say "same gender"!  My butch fiancĂ© and I are rather differently gendered, thanks.

feral geographer said...

I'll definitely look up that book!
On the topic of SA, yes, I do now realize that it would be more hospitable a place for us than I'd thought at the time... Though I hadn't known about the blood/organ donation, and am glad to learn of it! When that conversation took place, I'd had yet to investigate queer-related law in other countries, and was speaking from a place of ignorance. Now I'm trying to fix this, as I look into potential opportunities for working abroad... And really, I still can't believe that only 7 countries allow same-sex marriage.

Beth said...