The Dartmouth Observer
Friday, December 09, 2005
If We Are All Equal, Why Do We Need Different Names?
Do governments think that we liberals are dumb enough to believe that the second-class citizenship they are enforcing on gays (in the name of equality) is going to pass the bulls**t meter?
Congratulations to all those gay couples poised to tie the knot, as the UK's new law permitting 'civil partnerships' comes into force. For those who want to pledge their undying love, it's nice that there is now a formal way of doing so; just as it is humane and practical to permit gay couples the legal rights that civil partnership will bestow.
If its marriage, call it marriage. Surely the road to perdition is paved with good intentions; it would be nice to see action once in while though.
What bothers me most, though, is why the sex lives of gay people are so important. The author suggests the government wants to regulate the bedrooms of gays--that may be true--but it seems to me that this whole fuss about marriage, pair-bonding, and true love, etc. are just more social fabrications people buy into to ameliorate the atomizing effects of society.
In boiling the essence of marriage down to property and pension rights, the civil partnerships for gays strip marriage of its mystique. In refusing to call a civil partnership a marriage, this new law is denuded of any of the progressive properties it might otherwise have. And in hyping up the whole thing beyond any impact it has upon the homosexual population, the civil partnerships scheme is fast becoming a caricature of gay naff.When did we liberals come to accept heteronormativity and the capitalist nuclear family? Gay sex was once radical; now it's just passe, and, at times, a bore, or, even worst, an annoyance. I definitely support people making "commitments" and "life-long promises to each other" but if the struggle for gay marriage becomes another tool for some people to tell others how to live, then I must say liberated sex soon seeks a straitjacket to replace its fetters.