Thursday, June 15, 2006

More Important Than Marriage?

There is a lot of talk about where the "gay rights movement" is headed. Are we becoming a movement dedicated solely to making marriage legal? I hope not.
There is a great article in the Boston Phoenix about the past and the future of the gay rights movement.
The queer activist community is split today. Some say gay marriage has divided the country. Has the issue also divided the gay community? Are there issues more important than marriage?
In most of the United States you can be fired from your job for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. In most states you can be evicted from your apartment for being GLBT. Gay youth suicide rates continue to be much higher than their peers. Gay teens are still being kicked out of their homes for being honest. And everywhere, gay people struggle to come out.
What's more important than marriage? A lot of things. We should be working on all these issues. We need to right these wrongs. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't also be working to protect equal marriage rights. The right to marry affects many people in our community. These rights should be sought after and celebrated. While marriage is not for everyone, equality is for all. Equality does not mean assimilation. The queer community is as diverse as the world we are a part of. Marriage rights are important, but should not be the Holy Grail for the gay community.
We need to take a clue from the civil rights struggles of the past. Social justice needs to be our aim. We must not work exclusively for "gay rights"; we must work for "human rights". After all, gay rights are human rights.
Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, had it right when he said, “There is still a question of our fundamental humanity and equality. Either we’re fully equal and fully human or we are not. There is no other way to frame it.”


Post a Comment

<< Home