The entity known as "gay marriage" only aspires to replicate a very limited, very modern, and very culture-bound version of marriage. Gay advocates have chosen wisely in this. They are replicating what we might call the "romantic marriage," a kind of marriage that is chosen, determined, and defined by the couple that enters into it. Romantic marriage is now dominant in the West and is becoming slightly more frequent in other parts of the world. But it is a luxury and even here has only existed (except among a few elites) for a couple of centuries--and in only a few countries. The fact is that marriage is part of a much larger institution, which defines the particular shape and character of marriage: the kinship system.
Marriage as an affirmation of love? What an idea!
...marriage is concerned above all with female sexuality. The very existence of kinship depends on the protection of females from rape, degradation, and concubinage. This is why marriage between men and women has been necessary in virtually every society ever known. Marriage, whatever its particular manifestation in a particular culture or epoch, is essentially about who may and who may not have sexual access to a woman when she becomes an adult, and is also about how her adulthood--and sexual accessibility--is defined.
Nowadays we define it with a set of brass knuckles, a well aimed stilletto heel to the essentials and a can of pepper spray.
This most profound aspect of marriage--protecting and controlling the sexuality of the child-bearing sex--is its only true reason for being, and it has no equivalent in same-sex marriage. Virginity until marriage, arranged marriages, the special status of the sexuality of one partner but not the other (and her protection from the other sex)--these motivating forces for marriage do not apply to same-sex lovers.
Because gay people are all polygamous commitment-phobes or because they like and respect women enough not to enslave them with chastity belts? YOU decide.
Now to live in such a system, in which sexual intercourse can be illicit, is a great nuisance. Many of us feel that licit sexuality loses, moreover, a bit of its oomph. Gay lovers live merrily free of this system. Can we imagine Frank's family and friends warning him that "If Joe were serious, he would put a ring on your finger"? Do we ask Vera to stop stringing Sally along?
No, I can't imagine Frank's family telling him something like that because they aren't conservative fucktards who want to impose their misguided moral values on other people. Also - ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!
Even in modern romantic marriages, a groom becomes the hunting or business partner of his father-in-law and a member of his clubs; a bride becomes an ally of her mother-in-law in controlling her husband.
marriage is a part of the kinship system, and kinship depends on the protection, organization, and often the exploitation of female sexuality vis-à-vis males.
So, what he's ultimately saying is that marriage is an outmoded concept created by the cult of the patriarchy to oppress and control women, which gay people should be denied for their own good so they can continue with their merrily polygamous, promiscous, non-women hating, non-controlling lifestyle?
I...think I can actually get behind that. If I fry my braincells a bit.
I thank anti_feminism for linking this and bringing such joy into my life.