A peaceful spring break quickly turned into a hectic one. Surprisingly, the continuous plans I made to keep me busy weren’t the most hectic part of it all. Dinner and Jersey Boys, a Giants game, and catching up with friends were the least of my chaos. The most frenzy came from Facebook and this symbol:
and my having to explain my position.
This post is not about arguing for or against the issue of same-sex marriage. That’s not the point. I myself am weary about marriage as an institution, specifically because of the inequalities it perpetuates and small population marriage is even applicable to. I invite anyone to click here, here, and here, for more reading on this topic, as more educated people have been better able to articulate their thoughts on the matter.
And yes, I do realize that this issue reaching the Supreme Court is historical and could produce significant legislation, so that’s not what this post is about.
What this post is about, however, is how the issue of same-sex marriage is being deployed as a solution to injustice towards the LGBTQ community, the solution to everyone’s problems. And as I struggled to formulate my opinion on the matter, Jack Halberstam, Director of The Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California and queer theorist, came as my saving grace with the following quote:
"Get married by all means--gays, straights, whatevers--but don't confuse recognition with liberation or the cementing of social norms with social justice."
If anyone needs any proof that other and more crippling problems persist, then I wish I could show you my Facebook News Feed, filled with posts from conservative LDS Facebook friends that directly and indirectly denounce not only same-sex marriage, but most importantly homosexuality and being attracted to members of the same-sex. Attraction. Within these spaces, many are not even at the point of grasping the acceptability of individuals interested in members of the same sex, and allowing these people to express their interest through romance and relationships. Even if same-sex couples are granted the right to marry, there are still many problems facing people in the LGBTQ community. The fact that people identifying in such a way can only be accepted in my church if they abstain from romantic relationships is one issue, as it’s unfair to deny anyone to feel and experience the Christlike emotion of love, and build a family, which is one of, if not the, most important teaching of the church.
I admire those allies in support of same-sex marriage, as, for some, it reflects a genuine interest in gay and lesbian politics. But I beg that these same people become allies to the LGBTQ community as a whole, and keep this vigor and passion in issues much more plaguing and vital to the larger community. There are causes and actions more worthwhile than changing a profile picture, and these movements call for personal involvement to work towards solutions towards these problems. Because when “faggot” continues to be yelled at me as I walk down the streets of my community at night, I must admit that same-sex marriage is only a pit stop on this journey, with stops of homophobia, acceptance in religious spaces, and LGBT youth and homelessness needing to be addressed. There are many more issues plaguing the community that are vital to the mere survival of some. Before marriage, survival and basic necessities must be met first.