Marriage is a cultural relic, a “throw-back”, if you will. No, I am not just talking about “traditional marriage”, I am talking about marriage full stop. I am talking about the state having the power to certify certain relationships over others. Actually, not even that, it is the fact that the state has any say at all in our private affairs that is at issue.
I am not going to go into the history of the institution of marriage in the western world, but let’s just say that it is a story about private property rights. Full Stop. It has nothing whatsoever to do with love so let’s just get that straight to begin with.
Marriage is not some romantic ideal which transcends the historical, the cultural, and the geographical. The very idea of romance and marriage, and even our very concept of love itself, is ideologically driven. An ideology that is not born out of religion, or art, or poetry, but from economic necessity. Let us not be blind to this truth.
So, where does that leave us today in Australia, in 2015? Well, same-sex marriage is not about love, it is not about equal rights under the law (we have those already) it is about our own insecurities. It is about a community which has seen great change in the last half a century, which, at one time, pushed against the dominant culture, challenged heteronormative, stood up and said “Fuck That”. However, like many other political and cultural movements, we have been absorbed by the dominant ideology, we now no longer want to push the boundaries, we no longer fight to change the system, we want to be part of it, and in doing so, we are no longer act as an oppositional force.
By asking for same-sex marriage, by allowing our pride symbols to be co-opt by major financial institutions and by fast food companies and the like, we are capitulating. We are saying that there is no longer a fight, that there is no queer, that we are all the same. We need to stop, think, realise what has happened, and re-start the fight. If the Queer movement isn’t acting as an oppositional force, then it is no longer queer.