October 29, 2004

Love and the single guy

It would seem that the Civil Union Bill has more to do with political expediency on the Labour Government's part (let's do something pragmatic for the crowds at the Big Gay Out, who were doing mass Moonie-like weddings there and all) and a welcome chance for fundamentalists of all ilk to find a stick to beat their particular drum, than with what Mr and Ms Joe/Jo living on the sunny side of Lesbian Street in Gaytown may want.
Even though the proposed Bill is promoted and supported by the usual suspects, there are some rumblings in liberal quarters and among those who live more on the wild side.
A good example of the liberal view (i.e. we want full marriage and adoption rights, not some compromise that satisfies no-one and antagonises everybody else) is David W Young:
The Civil Union Bill is a cowardly half-measure. It will continue to prevent gay couples from adopting children or getting married. Those are the exact two rights that I want. I'd even say they are the only two rights that I want.
Card-carrying lesbian Marilyn Waring suprised a good many white picket fence lesbians with her submission against the Bill and quoted in a Queer Nation interview (quoted by, of all people, the Society For Promotion Of Community Standards. What is the world coming to when busybodies want to stay up late to be offended by queers on TV?):
I don’t want to live in a country that thinks that separate but equal has anything to do with human rights so I am completely opposed to civil unions.
They both have good points, so I'll add my own.
As a good old fashioned ("Ni Dieu, ni maitre") anarchist, I prefer the state out of my private life. Relationships approved by the state rewards them with all sorts of goodies unavailable to single people or in alternative arrangements. And those goodies are what gay people, who want to marry, are after. So in that sense it is a campaign to extend privileges to a variety of couplings between people but denied to anyone who hasn't had the luck to find someone who he/she can stand being with the morning after.
What should happen is a thorough privatisation of human relationships, and a return of marriage to its original purpose (something akin to what the Romans had): a freely entered into economic contractual arrangement between people. None of that sentimental love or families-are-the-touchstone-of-society, please.
The discrimination not addressed in any form of "marriage" system is against single people. Only when individuals are considered equal, and not inferior to people in a "relationship", there can be progress. Extending privilege is a step backward.

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