When the subject of gay rights comes up, most people assume that everyone in the GLBT community agrees that gay marriage is one of the most important issues.
In reality, there are a range of views and not everyone feels the same about gay marriage.
While many people believe strongly that the fight for equal rights begins with the right to equal marriage, some in the gay community find the focus on gay marriage problematic. Here are three main reasons for this view:
- We are fighting for an outdated and problematic institution.
- Too many resources are going into this one issue.
- Rights should not be related to whether someone is in a romantic relationship or not.
Recently, a book called, Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage, continued the conversation by arguing that the fight for gay marriage is ultimately just furthering a conservative cause.
There has also been some discussion about this issue in the forum Most of the teens who have weighed in deeply support the gay marriage equality. But recently one teen offered this view:
I noticed that there are a lot of people on here talking about how LGBTQ people should be able to get married and so on. I propose a different solution entirely. My solution to the "legalization" of gay marriage is as follows:
- Require everyone [who wants a legal partnership] to get a civil union at the local court house. Civil unions are a legal, rather than religious, service. This would be a binding legal contract between the two parties, tying all worldly assets and accounts together.
- Allow each couple to get a religious marriage if they would like. This is completely optional.
This sounds like a pretty rational solution. Another idea is to push for the separation of rights from matrimony, so that people can designate anyone they choose to be the recipient of the benefits that typically go to a legal spouse.
However, we still live in a society that places a lot of emphasis on marriages and weddings, and the idea of creating a new system is really alien to a lot people, both gay and straight. Nevertheless, proposing new ideas, no matter how farfetched they may see is one of the most effective ways to make real change!