who write things like a blow job is as good as a marriage do so in the
knowledge that it will be used by those who hate us. If they do not realize that,
they are incredibly ill-informed or naïve. While they are entitled
to their opinions, personally I find these kinds of statements irresponsible in
the current political climate. These nitwits are painting
The debate over same-sex marriage has created some strange alliances. At the parliamentary hearings on marriage, conducted by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Canadians heard right-wing traditionalists use queer progressives to support an argument against same-sex marriage. How can this be?
Traditionalist and Pomo-Homo Perspectives
Traditionalists and Post-Modernist queers share many of the same fears. Both groups define people primarily by sexual orientation and both sides feel that their values would be compromised if equal treatment led to the normalization of homosexuality.
Both sides fear interference from the state: traditionalists want judges to ignore Canadian Charter rights in court. They expect compliant politicians to keep the status quo, while the post-modernists fear state regulation of their lives.
And both groups are concerned about gender roles: the traditionalists insist that a husband and wife is essential to marriage, while the post-modernists seem concerned that "outlaw" gender roles would be further marginalized.
Modernist gays who are fighting for same-sex marriage believe first and foremost in equality. Same-sex couples should be treated the same as opposite-sex couples. We want the benefits and the obligations that come with marriage, and we believe that rigid gender roles are not relevant in the definition of family.
Opportunities for the pomo-homo
Only someone who has internalized the bigotry of the traditionalist would argue for ongoing discrimination against gays and lesbians. We can't expect society to abandon marriage because it doesn't fit the pomo aesthetic. Instead, the pomo-homo should revel in the space for discussion that has opened up as a result of the pursuit of marriage by modernist gays and lesbians. The movement for same-sex marriage has expanded options and experiments, not restricted them. Registered domestic partnerships have been introduced, and white papers have been developed to explore how to recognize other relationships outside of marriage.
The modernist embrace of same-sex marriage, and the day-to-day example of two women forming a family will deconstruct the rigid gender roles established by the traditionalists and open up space for all. The gender outlaw will be a rebel without a cause.
Modernists will win their right to marriage, with or without the pomo-homo. However, the pomo-homo risks irrelevance, or being seen as a collaborator for oppression, if the only contribution made in this effort is to mirror the fears of the traditionalists in the name of leading-edge thinking.
A new vision is required from the pomo advocates, one that contributes to, and leverages off, the opportunities made possible by the modernist fight for equal marriage. Isn't that what being post-modern is all about?