Is it just me or is all this Gay marriage stuff a load of old bollocks?

Glee Gay Kiss

Nice, different, unusual

The big topic that we can’t seem to get away from at the moment is Gay marriage. Why it needs to be legalised last week and why we all need to have it 3 times a day for breakfast, lunch and tea.

My thing is this: I couldn’t give a shit about Gay marriage. It will happen but it won’t happen overnight and I’m fine with that, As a card carrying fag, I care about real legal rights, financial rights, anti-discrimination laws and so on. And yes, I think it would be fantastic if a formalised, same-sex civil partnership arrangement was introduced in Australia.

But the idea of protests and marches and angst about Gay marriage just leaves me bemused. I wouldn’t get out of bed to make a protest about Gay marriage. I went to marches in the 80s when the issue was fags being bashed in the streets, funding for AIDS research & care and also to protest against Gays being treated like lepers because of HIV/AIDS. Those were dark days and real issues.

Gay marriage? My oft repeated line is “Don’t you realise there are kids in Somalia that don’t even have iPods?” I was really happy to see Lily Tomlin question the whole obsession with Gay marriage when she performed in Sydney a couple of weeks ago. Her position was really about why we would want to ape a heterosexual institution.

Some – many – think that legalising Gay marriage will solve all our problems. It will be like waving a magic wand and suddenly all will be well in homo land. But, as we’ve seen in the U.S., marriage can be granted and just as quickly taken away.

Before the 80s we didn’t have the right to be Gay. We didn’t have the right to march down the street without being bashed. For many years we could be legally discriminated against in employment and many other spheres of society. There is still some protection for religious organisations & schools to legally discriminate against us.

And until recently we didn’t have the right to our partner’s superannuation if they died – or any other financial/legal rights that a hetero couple – married or not – took for granted.

There was the “homosexual panic defence” which basically allowed straights to bash & kill us legally if they felt someone had “made an advance” towards them. Gay bashing at beats was a national recreational past time.

In the 60s, the police used to wait outside Gay clubs and, when drag queens arrived,  they would bash them and arrest them. For wearing drag. It became a competition as to how fast a drag queen could run from a car to the inside of a gay club to avoid being hit and arrested by the police.

To me these are the things that really matter. Not some bullshit about being able to drop $20k on a pointless heterosexual-copying ceremony.

There doesn’t seem to be any corporate history in the Gay community anymore. Everyone simply thinks the rights and protections we have today were always there. Possibly because a lot of the people screaming the place down in their demands for Gay marriage are GenY-ers who grew up taking these rights for granted and have never had to fight for the right to be Gay.

The Federal Government changed about 85 laws a year or so ago – to remove discrimination and the differences that treated Gays & Lesbians as second class citizens. To me that’s amazing, that’s real change and something worth fighting for and celebrating. 85 laws!

“Gay marriage” seems like a designer pair of underwear or the latest iPhone that every queer simply MUST have. Legal recognition of legal same sex partnerships is important but to me, “Gay marriage” itself, on a scale of really important G&L issues, should rate about #54.

People are changing their votes to vote against the very party that gave them all these rights in the first place. They’re slagging off the Government that gave us some real and absolute equality under law. I do not understand how someone can base their – very important – democratic vote on one single issue – “Gay marriage.”

Of course, you’re not allowed to criticise it or question it – the fag-erati will burn you at the stake and publicly shame you. We all have to be out there shouting and demanding “Gay marriage now!!!” Rah! Rah! Rah!

To me it smacks of a lack of perspective, a lack of understanding of history and a lack of knowing what’s real and what’s superficial. And it is a pity that it seems to be starving all the oxygen from any other debate on Gay issues.

Gay marriage will come in eventually and, when it does, it will be good for those people that want it. One day we’ll look back and find it hard to remember when it wasn’t legal. But making it the total focus, the all encompassing issue for Gays & Lesbians is just a load of old bollocks.

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3 Comments

  1. Marriage is a right. I deserve to have the right to marry the man I love. I did; We travelled from the UK to Connecticut to do it. Now we’re simply waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. The love we celebrated and the commitments we made that day have nothing to do with “aping a heterosexual institution”; it felt like, and was, the right thing to do. And of course none of this would be possible without the people who made a stand in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, to give us the freedom to live our lives as we wish, and not be constrained by a closet, or a ghetto, or a box. No big deal then, but not bollocks either.

  2. Well, darling, it did not seem like gay marriage was a “nice to have” when Achim and I had to leave both of our families thousands of kilometers away when our respective home countries did not recognize our relationships for legal immigration purposes.

    • Was it a Gay Marriage or was it a legal, civil partnership? They’re two different things according to the majority of Gays in Australia at least. I’m totally for legal, civil partnerships being brought in here but I have no interest in fighting to be able to use the word “marriage” to describe them. And that’s what it seems to be all about down under.


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