A well-known feminist philosopher has a more hopeful take than many on the setbacks for gay rights that have added so much sorrow to the joy we feel about Obama’s election:
Apart from the fact that I have considerable political reservations about the movement for gay marriage [the usual things: marriage is not an institution worthy of feminist respect (I think) though socially respected fairly stable and erotically involved unions of two or more people forming something like households may be a good thing in a society and worthy of state support; civil rights, entitlements, and access to health care should have nothing to do with whatever couple-ish things people form up, nor with employment; lobbying to be included in marriage feels to me like just lobbying to get privileges that no one should have….oh, and on and on.] Anyway…
When my state passed an anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment, I had this thought: Hmm. So 40-45% of my fellow citizens voted FOR something they thought of as a benefit to and approval of gays and lesbians coupleing to form domestic something-or-others. That is amazing! Had they had the chance to vote for something that had that meaning for them, say 30 years ago, I’ll bet about 10-12% would have voted for it, if that many. We’ve really made progress.
So…for those who want the institution of the status of marriage for gay or lesbian pairs, and the rest of us who at least can see “gay marriage” as some sort of indicator of admission of lesbians/gays to civil and social okay-ness, I think we just have to keep at it. We’ll see-saw on, and move by inches to a world that is not systematically hostile to same-sex lovers.
Please note: Some of you may know who this philosopher is, but please don’t refer to her by name on this blog because– for very good reasons, and like so many of us here– she prefers to remain anonymous on the web.