Some of you may have heard about the social media storm regarding hate group Marriage NZ which posits to “protect marriage” by ensuring that marriage remains between one man and one woman. They tweeted the article linked below presumably as proof that Teh Gayz are not just interested in joining the institution of marriage but destroying it altogether.
In reality the article acknowledges a truth. That the institution of marriages privileges and legitimises a very specific family structure to the exclusion of all others. The nuclear hetero married family is not the only family structure that exists in the world, although sometimes it is incredibly hard to see that because it is often the only one we see and the only one continuously rammed down our throats in various forms of media.
It also acknowledges that marriage equality is not the ultimate struggle for gay rights. That after marriage equality is achieved we can’t all just do the happy dance, clink our classes and go nah nah nah nah at our oppressors because we have won.
I guess this thought makes conservatives quiver and think “what next,” because in reality there is no good reason for these institutions to remain privileged as they are. There are many types of family and they are all equally valid, just as there are many types of relationship and they are all equally valid.
So no it doesn’t frighten me like MarriageNZ thinks it should, that queer people expect more from society. Like them I expect more too. I expect a society that takes care of all its people equally, not just certain groups that manage to tick arbitrary criteria such as heterosexual, married, cisgender etc…
So yes, marriage equality is just the beginning of the slow and painful dismantling of the institutions that privilege those who do nothing to deserve it. If you had any compassion for your fellow human beings, instead of fighting so desperately to fight this , instead of scaremongering and spreading hate you would accept that people live differently to you, and that in reality this has no impact upon you personally.
I’m not seeing a group that can claim any sort of moral high ground. I just see a small group of people who are so terrified of losing their privilege that they are willing to hold on to it at all costs, including causing very real harm to others.
At the end of the day, queer people would not be struggling so hard to join the institution of marriage if they did not believe that it was a worthwhile institution, perhaps something that you are actually both agreed on. The fact that groups can and do acknowledge that it is not the be all and end all of family structures, and that there is more work to do in making society a more inclusive place and therefore a better world for us all to live in does not make them evil, it makes them compassionate human beings.