Beyond the Noise | 8.30.2021

What to read this week! Reflections on the fight for gay marriage top off this week's reads.

Beyond the Noise | 8.30.2021

Week of 30 August 2021

Important Writing to Consider:

Reflections on the fight for gay marriage remind us to remember where the money is going...

This week's article highlights 20/20 hindsight for—I have to imagine—most everybody. Yasmin Nair's piece in Current Affairs, "Where the Gay Things Are," investigates the conservative, classist drive for the fight for gay marriage. As the piece makes clear, however, the piece is not hindsight for Nair. A co-founder of Against Equality, an organization that seeks to distance queer political discourse from the mainstream, Nair has long-held piercing, critical analysis.

Criticism of gay marriage is hard to swallow, certainly when the spine of it in the US is zealous Christian homophobia. Or at the least the spine of what we've heard is. Nair's piece delves into the legal property battles that spurred a queer, wealthy minority to want to benefit from marital tax breaks. Those seeking to have an easier time passing on their estates convinced local grassroots organizations that "this was the fight of their lives," distracting resources from actual life-saving efforts such as providing housing.

I focused on the fact that nothing about the gay marriage movement had ever been about ending “inequality” for all and that in fact, it had always been designed by wealthy gay men and women to ensure that they too could hold on to and pass down their estates just like their straight counterparts.

Obfuscating the nature of the fight is a time-tested tactic of the politically powerful. Reconfiguring the public's interests in gay marriage has led to a continuous disappointment in a civil rights fight. Gay marriage activists' claims that marriage was the panacea for American exclusion are akin to racism ending with the passing of the Voting Rights Act.

Nair's conclusion is almost depressing, equating the "victory" with the dissolution of positive imagination. Marriage as the solution tells of limited problems. And that no other progress should be made.

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