Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fletch Some Honesty From a Lesbian on Gay Marriage

This is from a radio debate held as part of a writers conference in Sydney, Australia last year. As reported by the Stand To Reason blog -

Last month, at a Sydney Writers Festival panel discussion on the question, “Why get married when you could be happy?” Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen had this to say about same-sex marriage:

It’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist [cheers from the audience].

That causes my brain some trouble. And part of why it causes me trouble is because fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago. I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally….

[After my divorce,] I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three…. And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality. And I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.
So, yeah, they are already getting into complicated groups of parents. I feel sorry for the children. It's nice to hear some honesty for once about where this decision is taking us.

You can download the audio of the debate from HERE

3 comment(s):

Chris Sullivan said...

There is significant gay opposition to gay marriage, both from those against marriage seen as oppressive patriarchy, and from conservative gays who want to leave marriage as it is.

A useful reminder that opposing gay marriage does NOT make one an anti-homosexual bigot.

God Bless

bamac said...


ZenTiger said...

From the extract, the primary focus for this person is some kind of legal recognition that she can call herself a full "mother" of her new wife's child (i.e her step-child). To complicate matters, her step-child was fathered by her brother, which makes her step-child her sibling too.

This is a very clear example why the progression has been from civil union, to marriage, to ultimately a redefinition of what constitutes a family.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing illegal about this arrangement, but it does require a fundamental shift in society (one that has been going on for quite some time) to treat children increasingly as commodities. The child is the property that is subordinate to the family structure it finds itself in. How the child gets there is subject to the whims of the main property owner, and how strongly the other owners contest the transfer of property.

In the above situation, I am not trying to imply that the child will not be loved or well cared for, but simply that the focus has changed.

The step-mother wants legal recognition of marriage to give her an edge on any property contest over the rights of the father (her brother) who already broke the "until death do us part" vow of the marriage (just as she traded in her hubby for a new wife) designed to keep mother and father together for the child as much as to underscore that integrity and commitment to a life long marriage is the guiding principle that helps couples get through the hard times as much as the good times. Instead, once good times are over, and relationships dissolve, the above commentary suggests property rights are at the heart of the redefinition of marriage.

It's a very subtle point I think, one that is hard to explain in this brief comment, but in living this out over the next 50 years, we are going to see a radically different culture and mindset in our children. The new normal will generate a lot of unanticipated baggage I suspect.

It essentially moves us away from "family" (which admittedly had gone from multiple generations to nuclear, to complete disintegration for many), back towards a 'raise the child in a village' approach. The child loses the close family connection, to be raised by a miniature village of people that have some connection in their life. The problem with the village though, is it is even harder to maintain cohesion in a liberal "all about me" society. Some villages will be fine, and others will play out like a messy divorce - but with more people involved, the mess will be magnified, and it will be the children that bear the brunt of those breakdowns.

It's a brave new world we enter.

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