In case you hadn’t heard, the Supreme Court of the United States has started debate on whether Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California, is constitutional. Obviously America, being the wonderful, open place that it is, has lost its shit. It feels like a battleground; people are falling to one side or the other. However, most of this fighting seems to take place on Facebook.
This is symptomatic of our generation. We often engage in online activism, or slacktivism, but don’t often do much in the real world. Anyone who logs in today will see that many of their “friends” have changed their profile picture to the above logo. How many of these slacktivists will do anything that is actually important or helpful?
I’m gay, yes. I’m not condemning these people for their support of the cause. Actually, I am, but more on that in a bit. If these online activists wanted to really progress the gay marriage movement, they would engage in a mix of online and real-life support, discussion with their political leaders, and support of programs that try to convince the political middle of the benefits of same-sex marriage. However, most stop their support in the online realm.
But, back to my comment about condemning people for their support of same-sex marriage. I’m also an anarchist. I’m not sure that marriage is a relevant social institution. Marriage is pretty antiquated. It has its roots in religion, so why do the non-religious want to partake. Really marriage is another way society captures an individual.
Society uses marriage to capture individuals as a measure of control. Those who who are married, are forced to accept certain forms of behaviors and actions. The large majority of married people don’t move around, work steady jobs, and generally are docile participants in society. It is generally harder to be a political dissident when one is married, rather than when one is single. Kafka spoke of marriage in the following manner, “I must be alone a great deal. What I accomplished was only the result of being alone.”
Perhaps this tension that runs throughout society is not the only force that drives the marriage-for-all movement, but it seems to be something to think about. As homosexuals, we find ourselves free from this specific preasure. Marriage does not capture us, we are free from this one form of control. Of course society chains us in many other ways. Nothing is more true than that. But should we throw away this freedom so freely without thinking? Maybe. Perhaps the benefits could outweigh the costs. But we cannot act without thinking.
Before you marry, gay, straight or otherwise, think about what you are truly accepting.