Ban straight marriage.

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2guys.jpgIn amongst all the post-neocon Obama excitement, there were a lot of depressing votes against equality in America yesterday. Arkansas voters barred unmarried couples from adopting or fostering, and it was clear that "unmarried" was code for gay or lesbian. Florida, Arizona and California went for hetero definitions of marriage, albeit by relatively low margins in the last two cases.

If you want to see some decent analysis for why equal status lost even in much-mythologised California, read Time. San Francisco Mayor Newsom, who only narrowly beat a Green mayoral candidate in 2003, seems to have had a Sheffield moment, for one thing.

However, a pal in Massachusetts pointed out to me perhaps the most interesting consequence. The Proposition 8 amendment to California's constitution bans gay marriage. Other parts of the same constitution guarantee equality. So if the gays can't marry, perhaps no-one can. 

All those wingnuts who said that gay marriage could threaten the traditional family may just have abolished the entire institution of marriage themselves. I know it won't happen, but stop for a second and imagine what a magnificent irony that would prove.

Some have argued that opening marriage up to same-sex couples allows them to suffer just as much as heterosexuals. Perhaps California is edging closer to a more imaginative solution, one which is just as equal.


How hilarious would it be if the people who were screaming "OHMYGOD THEY WILL RUIN MARRIAGE" actually ruined marriage? Muahaha.

I think the Hidden Cameras had something to say about this:

Right, I'm going to throw caution to the wind and go for the 'ban straight marriage' angle. I have historical, philosophical and aesthetic grounds for this which I shall refer to only briefly (my auto-rant is available on cassette).

Historically, marriage has been used to subjugate women, ensure the 'legitimacy' of children and control women's sexuality. Women being passed from father to husband, necessity of virginity, 'honour and obey', etc etc.

Philosophically, marriage is about ownership, you are with someone that no one else can have, you are a legitimate member of society because you belong to a publicly recognised couple and therefore have benefits bestowed upon you.

But probably most importantly, aesthetically, weddings are an abhorrence. The woman dresses in a hideous pantomime costume to be paraded around like a pooch at Cruffs in front of an audience of insufferables. Men in 'first court appearance' suits sweat under their polyester collars. We are subjected to mass catering's finest chicken supreme in mushroom soup, sugared almonds, damp marquees, mobile discos with flashing lights, drunk relatives in conga lines, conspicuous consumerism, excruciating speeches, lame sex jokes, reception tables named after Scottish isles, 'hilarious' photos of the couple as children, tedious table companions, temporary religiosity, painful ceilidhs, carnations in table centrepieces, avaricious wedding lists, empty promises and unflattering photographs.

If it is such a special day, why does everyone do EXACTLY the same thing? Weddings are abysmal and once the political nature of gay weddings wears off, they will become abysmal too. Why don't we all be truly subversive and really annoy the reactionary right by happily and stably living in sin? Voluntarily staying in healthy relationships and bringing well-adjusted, bright children into the world who have higher aspirations than a £20,000 debt for one agonisingly predictable day.

"Twenty years of romance makes a woman look like a ruin; twenty years of marriage makes her look like a public building."

To ruination.

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This page was published on November 5, 2008 10:17 PM.

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