No, this is not a coming-out post. Amidst church bells ringing and waving rainbow flags, I would like to address the issue that has made almost everyone gay over the last couple of days (including the White House, the last place you would think of as queer): marriage equality. This is how I started the first chapter of my dissertation which I wrote last year:
With the majority of the American population now endorsing same-sex marriage, it is highly expected that in a few years time, marriage equality will be nationwide.
In a few years time. There is a rather long journey of my involvement in the gay rights movement and I have evolved on the issue, much like President Obama has over the course of his presidency, but in different, if not almost opposite directions. How so? Not long ago, I shed tears of joy and waved all of my spiritual rainbow flags in bliss as I celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, in the summer of 2011 while wishing upon a star that I get to see marriage equality in all 50 states during my lifetime. Two questions now come to mind: what makes the gay rights movement the fastest growing social movement in the US and why did I not shed one tear at the news?
A few years ago I argued in favor of same-sex marriage in front of a committee, using arguments from the other civil rights movement, when interracial marriages were illegal. It was a turning point in my life, both personally and academically, which curved itself to yet another turning point (which marked my departure, however temporary, from the academia), when I argued, again in front of a committee, against marriage equality and against a discourse centered on marriage rights. And this brings us to the kernel of my brief political rambling.
What is so sacred about marriage if you have to get married in order to get this and that benefit (specifically health care benefits that are countless)? What is so sacred about marriage if while your partner places a diamond ring on your finger as you recite your heartfelt vows a boy in a dress is harassed and beaten to death mid afternoon in a nearby neighborhood? Where is the sanctity in rejoicing over wedding cakes and rainbow glamor while the abandoned gay son is roaming the streets or while children roam the streets in search for food and shelter? LOVE WINS. LOVE HAS WON. JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED. Whose love for whom? Whose justice? Continue reading