Monday, July 14, 2008

Men's Resource Center on gay marriage


The Men’s Resource Center for Change has a number of position papers on a number of problems about the way men fare in political and domestic problems. For one thing, women live about eight years longer than men, and men are supposed to bow down and treat women as queens (pun intended). Somewhere they say that.

But one article that caught my eye was a Summer 2004 article by Michael Dover, written shortly after the Massachusetts state supreme court decision on gay marriage. The piece is titled “On Gay Marriage: Historical Moments, Flawed Arguments,” link here.

He goes through the usual “anti-gay marriage” arguments, like “every child has a birthright to a married mother and father” and dismisses them the way a judge might. But the argument that comes closest to how a lot of “straight” people feel is the best and the last. LGBT people are “The Other” and not entitled to live line “Us.” Put it this way, to work as a reliable social (and socializing) institution, marriage needs to confer some sense of privilege that demands respect and sometimes deference or outright subservience from others. That’s where some of the “second class citizen” thinking comes from. The social approbation is one of the features that make active lifelong monogamy possible.

I think something more is going on here. It has a lot to do with the importance people give to the blood family as a center for emotional attention. It’s difficult for many people to make their own way in the world as “actualized” individual adults without knowing that emotional world is still there for them.

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