Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Maybe Marriage isn't the Answer?

There’s a really interesting article at the Bilerico Project by Yasmin Nair about why we should abandon the marriage equality fight. I’m not sure quite where I feel about fighting for marriage equality, although I know it doesn’t feel like a fight for my rights. I like how Nancy Polikoff points out that although Prop. 8 was an attack on all lgbt people it doesn’t mean that marriage should be the national focus of the gay movement. Here are the nuggets from Nair’s piece (The comment section is actually impressively interesting):

The recent ruling will re-energize gay marriage advocates, but I suggest that we use it as an opportunity to drastically alter our course: Dump marriage now.

Today, the biggest rationale for gay marriage is that it would provide health care and benefits for spouses. Over the years, we have seen the gay movement withdraw its support for universal health care - which is what we fought for in the years of the AIDS crisis.

Over the last many decades, gays and lesbians were beginning to forge interesting and productive social networks outside marriage. Remember when domestic partnerships were actually seen as sexy and desirable and a really good alternative for those who didn't want to marry?

As we quibble about marriage, it's easy to forget that a rise in poverty and the lack of health care means that large segments of society are already denied their rights to decent education, housing, and a sense of security about their well-being.

As for the famous line about the 1000+ benefits that can only come through marriage - what about those who are excluded from those benefits simply because they're not married? And here's the basic question: Why should marriage guarantee any benefits that aren't available to those who don't want to marry? Why build up the power of the state to coerce people into marital relationships they don't want just so that they can get the basics like healthcare (sic)?


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