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>Against Gay Marriage

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>In Leo Bersani’s canonical essay from 1987 “Is the Rectum a Grave?”, which has been recently repackaged with a number of his other essays, he accurately predicts what is now the tyranny of the gay marriage movement:

On the whole, gay men are no less socially ambitious, and, more often than we like to think, no less reactionary and racist than heterosexuals. To want sex with another man is not exactly a credential for political radicalism – a fact both recognized and denied by the gay liberation movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Recognized to the extent that gay liberation, as Jeffrey Weeks has put it, proposed “a radical separation…between homosexuality, which was about sexual preference, and ‘gayness,’ which was about a subversively political way of life. (my emphasis)

So he reiterates a divide between the “homosexual” who is homosexual only in sexuality and the “gay” for whom homosexuality is an imperative to subvert classic notions of gender and sexuality. The arguments for gay marriage largely center around the idea that homosexuals are “just like everyone else” and the fight for gay marriage is the “Civil Rights of our era”. A “sameness” with other minority and majority groups. This “sameness” may be true for those HOMOSEXUALS that participate in same-sex pleasure but are normative in every other way. This “sameness” is not true for GAYS that participate in same-sex pleasure in conjunction with an aversion to normative modes of gendered living. Perhaps this dichotomy is too simplistic, or perhaps it allows for us to stand on the “outside” of the homosexual monolith and productively criticize and critique it.

Written by alexgfrank

May 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm