I’ve written about this previously, but maybe this will make crystal clear why I view same-sex marriage and its proponents as so abhorrent: It will be 10 years before I even get an answer (that could very well be no) to my immigration application here because my status here was originally contingent on my relationship with, and thus the good graces, of my former partner. She leveraged this power over me when we split up, and the next decade of my life is now her revenge, as she sought to harm me through every means at her disposal when our relationship ended, including having my status removed and even attempting to have me deported (that failed, thankfully).
When you make people’s ability to work and live contingent on state recognized personal relationships and/or tied to one specific employer, you give those with “status” near complete control over the other party. This in turn sets the stage for all sorts of forms of abuse, coercion, and harassment.
Marriage as an answer to poverty, immigration, and health care, rather than universal access for all to the resources to live and thrive – along with the freedom to move, stay, or return – sets the stage for abuse.
This of course is not a new argument. Feminism made a lot of important interventions in discourses on marriage, before the gays decided to make marriage their cause celebre, playing right into regimes of neoliberalism to revitalize an institution that should have died long ago.
And now, thanks to all the powerful gays who were more concerned about their bank accounts, property, and inheritances, poor queer and trans people find themselves at the mercy of relationships – when they have them – and are losing income (i.e. elderly people who see their incomes slashed when married) and health care (as companies and states narrow coverage only to legally married people), in addition to having to contend with the structural power that such institutions give others over them when their ability to live is dependent on another.
This is not an indictment against those who choose to marry for these and other reasons because we are left with so few options. I completely understand the strategic choices people need to make to survive. This is, however, an indictment of the institution and the settler white supremacist politics that dominate in LGBT rights circles and “movements” (to the extent that one can call organizing to capture the benefits of white supremacy rather than overthrowing it a movement).
Love is not love: it’s actually institutional power. And yes, there is, has been, and will continue to be immense harm caused by the same sex marriage hegemony.
Good fucking work clamoring into the homonormative cisgender white supremacist patriarchy, gays. And fuck you and all the cavalry (and I use this image purposefully) you rode in with.