Commission Music

Commission Music
Bespoke Noise!!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Disengaged

I don't feel engaged on the Prop 8 thing. Some of this is distance, certainly, but not all of it. I mean, I have benefited personally from Same Sex Marriage. My (now ex) wife and I got married in Canada in 2003. And then, alas, got divorced in California in 2005, in what was likely the state's first ever same sex divorce.

The value of divorce as a civil institution is extremely high. Unfortunately, things don't always work out and couples need a structure to disentangle their finances and lives. As divorce is usually an adversarial process, having things like precedent and laws protects both halves of the divorcing couple. Otherwise, the stronger half of the ex-couple would steam roll the weaker half, whether that strength be emotional or financial. Divorce is an important right for that reason and also for tax consequences. If you own property, as in land or a house, it's going to most likely change ownership status during a divorce. If it's a divorce, the state doesn't ask for taxes on this transaction, which is good because splitting up is already incredibly expensive.

So my disengagement with this isn't because I don't see the value of gay marriage. I'm very much aware of how it has helped me. But when they started same sex marriages in California, the larger gay rights groups put out word that a ballot measure was coming and asked gays to please look presentable. Which meant: no men in dresses. Because people like me are embarrassing.

Obviously, LGB people should have all the same rights as straight people. But this battle for marriage is incredibly normative in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. No, I am not just like you, Mr. Cis Hetero, and I refuse to pretend that I am. Which means that I'm not really invited to the party. And despite that exclusion, we lost anyway.

We can't have ENDA protection for trans people because we're too weird and gays come first. We can't have marriages for visibly-trans people because we're too weird and gays come first. Not that we have either of these things, mind you, but just in case let's make sure trannies are out.

The support-gay-marriage "cause" on Facebook, which is a pseudo charitable thing one can join, is attached to the HRC, a gay rights group which actively lobbies against trans people and gives assloads of money to Log Cabin Republicans. Are you fighting to be included in the right wing? Is it your dream to be an oppressor instead of oppressed?

I want our side to win. I want the State Supreme Court to decide that narrowing the Equal Protection clause of the state constitution, or declaring marriage not to be a fundamental right, would be a major revision and not a minor amendment, as this would seem logically to be the case. I want marriage for everybody, including me. But can we stop pretending that all queers are just like straight people except we happen to fall hopelessly in love with people of the same normative gender? Because I'm tired of being told to keep quiet and these kinds of normative lies leave too many of us unprotected.

No comments: