Silus is trying to get his TypePad account to work so in the meantime I will post the intro to his series.
I was at a dinner party a few years back, when one of the other guests there — a gay man not much older than me — said something I’ll never forget:
“Marriage is for breeders.”
It wasn’t an unusual sentiment at the time — it wasn’t long ago that most gay men saw marriage as a straight institution — but it stuck, and today I’m faced with being the only gay man in the room still holding to that opinion.
If I were an academic, I would trace the genesis of the modern gay marriage movement to some seminal moment. And then I’d explain how events unfolded in just such a way to lead us to where we are today: in the midst of a cultural war. Perhaps not the all-out maelstrom that some have painted it as, but a battle nonetheless.
But I’m not an academic, and I can only say that it appears to have started with Hawai’i and Vermont… when the debate was finally framed in a way that could galvenize a larger portion of the gay community — and could easily translate for sympathetic straights. It was a simple message, but the best ones normally are, and it was this: straight America is denying us a fundemental right — the right to love, the right to marry.
It’s a useful PR tool, but not worth a plumb nickel if we’re to ever have a serious discussion about marriage, its place in modern civil society, and legal recourses for committed gay couples — a discussion that would do our nation some good, and could pay hefty dividends for everyone.
So if you don’t mind, I’d like to take the next few days and discuss these very issues… and perhaps you’ll come to agree, with me, that marriage really is for breeders.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Defining Marriage