One of the things I’ve occasionally wondered about myself has finally turned up in an article on gay marriage. Actually, no, it’s in a review of a same-sex wedding planner book. The issue is this:
Maybe we only think we want same-sex marriage. Perhaps all we really want are same-sex weddings.
I don’t necessarily fault gays in North America for accepting the essentially right-wing value system that governs social relationships in that society: after, I’m not anti-marriage, and I don’t think gays necessarily would have to be either.
But it does signal that gay culture is vying to escape the position it once claimed for itself as the counterculture, the questioner of all received values. Why shouldn’t they? It’s badly paid, dangerous, and not very fun. But I wonder how many people have questioned what they’re accepting as normative, the way this author Joy Parks does. After all, regardless of what Conservatives tell you, marriage in America is nowhere near being a sacred institution. It’s pretty messy, dysfunctional, and all that.
It seems funny to me that in Quebec, plenty of straight couples have kids and live their lives a couples, without getting married, something they seem to view as just outmoded and silly and old-fashioned, while in the USA gays are fighting for the right to do the same thing. I guess those with institutional acceptance often care little about it, while those denied it can choose either to fight for it, or fight the institution that denies them. The latter fight is more exhausting and perhaps less winnable, though it might be more “true”.
In any case, I wonder what percent of gay couples will actually get married a few decades after same-sex marriage is legalized. Do you think it will match the averages for heterosexuals? Somehow I kind of doubt it.