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Is gay marriage really worth all the fighting? Maybe not

December 4, 2008 |  2:37 pm

Gay_2 Here's an interesting take on the whole Prop. 8 debate from across the Atlantic. Writer Mark Simpson talks in the Guardian about whether marriage -- gay or otherwise -- is really what it's cracked up to be, and whether gays should really be marching to tie the knot. He notes that definitions of traditional "man" and "woman" marriages are changing fast, the success of such unions is not assured (he notes Madonna's breakup). More:

Gay marriage is being presented by many gay people and liberals on both sides of the Atlantic as the touchstone of gay equality. Settling for anything less is a form of Jim Crow style gay segregation and second-class citizenship. But not all gay people agree. This one sees gay marriage so much as a touchstone as a fetish. A largely symbolic and emotional issue that in the US threatens to undermine real, non-symbolic same-sex couple protection: civil unions bestow in effect the same legal status as marriage in several US states – including California. As a result of the religious right's mobilisation against gay marriage, civil unions have been rolled back in several US states. Living as I do in the UK, where civil partnerships have been nationally recognised since 2004, perhaps I shouldn't carp. But part of the reason that civil partnerships were successfully introduced here was because they are not "marriages". At this point I'd like to hide behind the formidable figure of Sir Elton John, who also expressed doubts recently about the fixation of US gay campaigners on "gay marriage", and declared he was happy to be in a civil partnership with the American David Furnish and did not want to get married.

More on Elton John's take on Prop. 8 here.

--Shelby Grad

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