03 March 2012

Just Two Cheers for Maryland on Gay Marriage

This week, the Governor of Maryland signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriages. My news feed on FB has turned up a whole set of congratulatory pronouncements - like this one from Lambda Legal and this one from the Human Rights Campaign. This is a matter about which, as I've said here before, I am ambivalent. So I was pleased when my news feed also turned up this post - "A Radical Queer Primer for Straight Leftists" - which comes pretty close to my own views on the subject. I agree that "Despite the ranting of the right-wing Christian lunatic fringe, gay marriage is not a radical issue, it’s a way to assimilate, to fit into the dominant heterosexual culture." However, I don't agree that marriage ought to be abolished. Let people do as they please, including getting married or not. That said, marriage should be de-legalized in the sense that it should thereby be decoupled from a whole range of things like one's tax status and the availability of employment benefits of all sorts, and so on. The "Primer" I link to makes two additional very smart points about the relationship of gay constituencies to progressive politics that strike me as being right on target. Indeed, if we hope to de-legalize marriage we will need to implement a progressive agenda on things like health care. Highly recommended.

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