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PINK BLOCK With Banner: We R Not Like You

What if more LGBTQ activists focused on more than marriage?

A group called The Against Equality collective just released a new collection questioning queer politics, Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion. In an interview with co-founder Ryan Conrad, Waging Nonviolence asks “What if the LGBTQ movement fought for prison abolition rather than same-sex marriage?

Today, gay marriage is centered as the LGBTQ issue. But the first section of the book is an archive of critiques of gay-marriage legislation in favor of more broad-base policies like universal healthcare. Why?

At the first event I ever did, this woman from Athens, Maine, which is a town of a couple hundred people, came. She’s a down-home, DIY mama kind of person. She’s raising a disabled daughter and her partner at the time was disabled. One is an intellectual disability and the other one is a physical disability.

After she came up to me and said, ‘I’ve been with my partner for 20 years… We would never get married because he’s on social security income, and because my daughter is disabled I have secondary income from the state to support my daughter. If I got married, both my benefits and his benefits would be reduced because we would become a double income family.’ She was explaining that marriage doesn’t work for poor people, and that it doesn’t work for disabled people. Having really simple examples like hers are important.

There are two versions of the critique of marriage: one is cultural and one is materialist. That critique I just shared is materialist. There are other people who think that marriage will ruin the ability of gays to be alternative, and cruise and public sex and blah, blah, blah. And yeah, that’s cool and all, but people are dying. This cultural critique is fine, but it doesn’t hold much water if you are talking about the material realities that people face.

[…] There are lots of poor people who have been convinced that this is the way forward by a bunch of upper class gays that have rammed it down everybody’s throats. I think that if we get back to people’s actual lives, we can find a way forward. If people want to make the argument that gay marriage will get more people health care, let’s talk about how to get all people health care regardless of marital status. Same thing for immigration. Same thing for having secure family law. Family law should not revolve around the ideology of the nuclear family. It should reflect people’s actual lives.

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Photo by Jamie Rainbow-Warrior from “Fuck Hyatt” by Kit O’Connell. All rights reserved.
Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and Occupy.com.

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