Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do What's Right, New Hampshire

I really care about the marriage issue in NH.

"But, Bi Avenger," you might say, "I thought marriage equality was less of a priority to you than other LGBTQIA issues, like whether or not trans people can change their birth certificates and driver's licenses! And why do you care about New Hampshire if you are from Ohio?"

Well, dear readers, let me address these issues for you.

First of all: I have decided that we need to approach LGBTQIA equality on ALL fronts. I am and will always be a strong feminist. When I asked Robyn Ochs how she felt about marriage knowing that she has been a feminist since the late 70s/early 80s, that she brought feminist values to the groups she was involved with, and that some people feel marriage is the cornerstone of the patriarchy, she stated that fundamentalism is fundamentalism, whether it's from Christians or feminists. There isn't necessarily one correct way to do feminism. Besides, something like two women marrying is a radically queer thing to do and challenges heterosexist paradigms. Finally, she stated that she believed we needed to approach equality on all fronts. Based on this conversation and other recent ones I've had, I've changed my tune a little on marriage. I still have some trouble reconciling my support for non-monogamous friends and non-traditional families with supporting marriage. I'm not sure how to resolve that.

It also still bothers me that marriage equality is often reduced to a gay or gay and lesbian issue and bi and trans people still get gaywashed. And gay, lesbian, and allied people seriously need to recognize the importance of bi, trans, intersex and asexual rights, and examine their privilege (everyone needs to do this, but monosexual cisgender people often overlook it). In truth, marriage has always been an important issue to me, which is why I've gotten so irritated when I feel people are taking the wrong approach (like using the term "gay marriage" and ignoring issues of race, class, privilege, etc. when it comes to marriage and the message we send about it...).

Anyway.

I spent a good amount of my childhood in New Hampshire. My parents are divorced, my mom lives in NH, and my dad lives in OH. I'd say 2/3-3/4 of my time was spent in NH going to school, and I spent summers and some vacations in OH with my dad's family. My dad's family is from Dayton, OH (Appalachian KY and TN a few generations back) and my mom's family is from Lakes Region/Northern NH.

So MA and VT have approved marriage equality. They're generally more progressive than NH. A lot of New Hampshirites have a libertarian attitude. But MAINE?! Maine supported marriage equality? Maine is more of a supporter of individual liberties than NH?!? Since when is that the case? We can't let those Mainers be bigger supporters of minimal government involvement in people's lives and keep religion out of the law more than we do in NH!

And so I ask New Hampshire to do the right thing: call your legislators, write John Lynch, whatever it takes. I ask NH legislators to approve same-sex marriage and send a message to Maine that they are not better than us, srsly.

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