From Yasmin Nair of Against Equality:
“I know this will seem obvious to what is, after all, the Facebook page for Against Equality. But sometimes, the obvious needs to be stated, especially in the face of an overwhelming tide of forgetfulness and a disregard for the larger context in which gay marriage operates.
Gay marriage is not simply about “love” and “commitment” between sweet and adoring couples who “just” want to get married. It is a multi-million dollar campaign waged and controlled by some of the most powerful non-profits and richest gay neoliberals, and it is about a systemic disregard for those who want no part of an institution that continues to oppress women, children, and anyone who does not fit the norm. Dan Savage and others who celebrate this recent Obama declaration might want to pay heed to how much the Prez has damned and shamed anyone who is NOT in a “normal” marriage: Three-ways, begone! No more rights for you if you dare have an open relationship! But much more importantly: Gay marriage is one more spoke in the wheel of the neoliberal state; it persuades us to forget that, in a world driving relentlessly towards the privatisation of what should be the most basic benefits like health care, water, electricity, the air we breathe, “rights” discourse has become the most effective way to prioritise the wants of the very, very few against the greater good and the often desperate needs of the many.
When gays and straights celebrate Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage, they are admittedly celebrating what might look like a common-sense matter: the end of a discriminatory practice that willfully excludes some from an institution. BUT, and here is the very large “but” to which I wish they would pay heed: gay marriage, particularly in the United States, is an argument not for inclusion but for denying benefits to those who choose not to get married, gay or straight. In states like MA and CT, you HAVE to get married to get health care for your spouse, or face the consequences - watch your partner die without insurance. If gay marriage were simply about “leveling the playing field,” its advocates would have first refused to compromise the health of the unmarried and taken the more ethical stance that health care needed to be de-linked from marriage and that marriage ought simply to be a civil/private/religious matter. But they didn’t, so they’re perfectly aware of and support the discrimination that is written into marriage and the state. Just as importantly: Obama’s statement allows gay marriage supporters, gay and straight to forget the harsher truths of his administration: He has deported more people than both Bush II administrations combined, continues to wage war on nations, accepted the fucking Nobel PEACE Prize with a statement about the necessity of war, thinks indefinite detention without trial is just fine and dandy, is in bed with multi-billionaires (including several gay ones, natch) and will compromise your abortion rights if he thinks it will get him more votes. The man plays to win: He made this statement based on advisors telling him how popular it would with be a rich and powerful gay lobby. The only thing this statement proves is that gays now constitute one of the most powerful political lobbies in this country, not the rightness of this cause or the worth of relationships which have never needed state legitimacy to survive. And here’s why gay marriage will never do a damn thing for most of you. Your tits will rot in hell, but they will look so divine in those tuxes and gowns. Evolve Already. See this for what it is.”