Okay… Overturn Prop 8, but F*ck Marriage Anyway

Caveat: this blog is seriously high on my crone/curmudgeon scale of crankiness.

I have problems with these Prop 8 protests. If you don’t already know about the Proposition 8 mess going on in California and nation-wide, here’s a wiki-summary. Yeah, if I’m not working, I plan to join the protest. But no, I won’t be protesting a ban on marriage equality. I’ll be protesting because I care about the legal ramifications and precedents set with passing Prop 8.

Marriage_joysThe brouhaha concerning marriage equality is generated by people who say they’re speaking for all LGBTQ people everywhere in this country. Omigod, yes there are TONS of supporters of marriage equality within the LGBTQ world. But not all of us agree with you. Some of us think we should abolish marriage altogether. I’m speaking as part of that minority. We’re mostly radical queers, dyed-in-the-wool feminists, old lefties, socialists and other bogey people whose only desire is purported to be tearing down both church and state, and making everyone’s life a living hell. Some of us think that triage-wise, marriage falls pretty far down the list of priorities of political focus for the LGBTQ world.

I don’t care about a ban on marriage equality. Fuck it. What I care about is the violence done to queer kids. I care about LGBTQ and any freaky kids who get thrown out of their homes for following their heart’s harmless desires. Prioritizing marriage equality is dangerous to the health of those kids. So I ask myself: what’s so important about marriage to the vocal and visible (and probably even majority) of LGBTQ people?

There nearly 3,000 additional rights awarded to people who are married. These rights are awarded them for why? Inheritance, hospital access, partner health directives, health benefits, sure. But most of the rights awarded to married people are there for the sake of their children’s welfare, safety, and education. Hah!

Blind_justiceWhat grinds my coffee beans is that these nearly 3,000 rights hardly ever get taken away from married people who abuse their children, neglect their care, or throw them out, or torture or kill them or make them want to kill themselves because they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer… or any kind of freaky-to-the-married-people kid.

Fuck marriage equality. Fuck marriage. We’d be more in line with the US Constitution to abolish marriage altogether as a function of government. We could give everyone the rights that come with marriage, via a civil union—a union that isn’t based in gender, romance, religious belief or number of partners involved in the union. And excuse me, but marriage between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman still leaves out a LOT of people!

If what people want is rights, civil unions for everyone is the answer that wouldn’t make anyone a second class citizen. And church and state would be nice and separate. The way they’re supposed to be separate, remember? If any married couple wants their civil union blessed by the religion of their choice, well fine. And I’m not speaking against religion. I’m religious. I’m a devout, practicing Taoist. (I practice and I fail, but I am a practicing Taoist.)

So, if you see me at the protest in Seattle this November 15th—and that’s a long shot, because I’m teaching a workshop for queer youth writers in the afternoon, and performing with them that evening—but if I make it to the protest against the passing of Prop 8, you’ll be able to spot me. I’ll be the cranky old tranny holding a poster that says, Overturn Prop 8 but Fuck Marriage Anyway.

With Love and Respect,

Cranky Old Kate


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been saying very similar things for weeks now but it seems post election so much of the community has lost their mind over this.
    While folks are out protesting Prop 8, I plan to be reading the most recent edits from the ‘Kicked Out’ contributors—-if the ‘community’ spent 1/2 the money and energy on supporting homeless and kicked out LGBTQ kids as they do on marriage I can’t even imagine the difference that would be made.
    have an incredible time doing LOP!!!

    I’m fucking married and might have it taken away with prop 8 passing. But um, I’d rather lose that and be able to, say, be able to present the way I want at work and have my job protected. Or see Duanna Johnson’s murder investigated proplerly and charged as a hate crime.

  3. rocko bulldagger

    Hi Kate,
    Right on and you rule! I have been trying to balance my opposition to marriage with my opposition to the religious fundamentalists, the mean spirited fanatics and all the other haters who hide behind family values. You captured it all in the title of the post.
    rocko (dyed-in-the-wool feminist, radical queer, etc!)

  4. I believe that LGBTQ folk who want to marry should be able to do so, the same as straight people, but where was this anger and outrage when ENDA or the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Act were shot down? Why didn’t Fred Phelps and his traveling circus of hate meet such fury? Why, as Riley noted, hasn’t there been this much outrage about the murder of Duanna Johnson? Reading commentary on Queerty or Citizen Crain, or even Billerico, it’s pretty obvious there’s something very (dare I say it?) “bourgeois” about the reaction to Prop 8. It seems to be more about access to privilege for some than establishing rights for all. Is being denied access to middle class respectability the most important thing to affluent queers?

  5. hi kate,
    this is my first visit to your blog. nicely done!
    a friend pointed me to your post, because I’ve been a reluctant participant in some of the anti-prop 8 activities myself. i must say, i love love love almost everything you say here- with one small disagreement. i just can’t help but wonder if the government ought to be doling out benefits on the basis of people’s sexual arrangements at all- whether they call it civil unions or whether they call it broccoli. Maybe the government should be subsidizing ANYONE who provides a good, loving, stable home for kids or ANY people wanting to make commitment to own property together.
    y’know, there are some very cool folks talking about this exact issue all over the place, so if your readers are looking for some more info, they can check out the very cool statement by Dean Spade and Craig Wilse, “I Still Think Marriage is the Wrong Goal” by clicking here: http://makezine.enoughenough.org/prop8.html
    Anyway, I’m glad to know through Helen that you’re in good health… and that you’re still out there doing the wonderful work you do.

  6. marriage equality — what a crock of equal rights bologna. Marriage is an elitist institution that has historically been a business transaction. Sell your daughters and marry into a family that has more than yours. Have none of us read women’s history books? Marriage equality was never something that the queer movement was after, until it became a political quest to normalize the radicals. If we subject ourselves to marriage equality we will be eligible for the 1500 + rights that people who are not married do not qualify for but we have to sell out our culture. The gay marriage movement sells out casual sex, bath houses, fag hags, bull dykes, and an entire culture of radical sexuality that has historically gone against everything mainstream leave it to beaver culture has offered. Why are gay people so hell bent on getting hitched? It is an elitist institution that forces the culture of normalcy on all of us. No more fucking marriage! Ban Marriage, private property, abstinence only education, and bring back smoking in bars. What the fuck is wrong with the world? Normalcy is not something to covet — it is something to pity.
    Keep Up The Awesome Work Kate — we love you!
    Widow Centauri

  7. Love the post. Thought you all might enjoy this trailer for the radical trans/queer marriage abolitionist film we made, its called Homotopia.

  8. I love this post.I enjoy this trailer for the transqueer marriage.

  9. Amen sister! (I like to throw religious terms around like that, ’cause it’s my way of making fun of Christians and the like).
    Before finding this website, I updated my fb profile to let everyone know I DON’T support their f-ing marriages until I have the right to get married too.
    You have courage and the initiative to make your voice heard. We should ALL go on strike and refuse to support marriage until it is about love, partnership, and equality and recognition for all people. I just don’t see any other alternative: I will not lie and smile for the cameras any more; the truth is I’m never really invited to the party, so I ‘vow’ to stop pretending.
    Here’s to growing up and owning up.
    Congratulations! *throws rice that birds will probably die from ingesting*

  10. I think Quakers have had this one right for a long time: God marries people, not a minister, or a congregation, and for fucking certain not the government.
    Amen. (Unlike the previous commenter, I mean that un-ironically. Radical queer Christians representing! Woohoo!)
    ‘Cause separation of church and state is just as necessary for the health of religious communities as it is for civic institutions.

  11. Marriage is a clusterfuck, a joke, an establishment initiative, to enslave people to a unified idea of how /what life should be. Thereby allowing governments (the elite) to collect monies from the citizens of the world (those that are allowed to have it) allowing them to project false scenarios proclaiming people of one country are better-off than those in a different part the or the world. Thereby, creating a global market, an economic institution that is easily ruled by the elite, for those that are stupid enough to follow. Life isn’t forever nether is love, you are born into this world naked helpless and alone the same way you depart it. Life is what you make of it and way to short to tie yourself to another person for the rest of whatever time you have left. MARRAGE SUCKS!!!!!

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