Skip to main content

I've been thinking about the question of "Who benefits from marriage equality?" for a while.  I recognize that I'm wading into deep water here and I hope it doesn't get over my head.  As I've been pondering it, I realize that multiple isms crop up in the discussion - racism, sexism, classism, appearance-ism and heterosexism.  

I've heard glbt persons of color comment that the community is very often dominated by the concerns of gay white men.  The standard for gay male attractiveness is almost always the fit, white man in his 20s or 30s.  Media portrayals of gay men very often show professional and financially successful white men.  As I think back to the Showtime series Queer as Folk (2000-2005), I don't recall any characters of color on the show - despite the fact that the show was set in Pittsburgh, a city in which 28% of the population is African-American.  

A while back, I came across an article by Janani Balasubramanian in which they described arriving at a "Very White Gay Bar."  I realize I live in Utah and Utah is white as wonder bread, but Salt Lake isn't as white as wonder bread, but when I think about the crowd I see at Pride or Equality Utah events, what I see is Janani's "Very White Gay Bar."  What they wrote in the article caught my attention and has been nagging at my consciousness so, I did some googling and found other pieces of Janani's art - poetry, spoken word performances and so on.  One piece that I should have bookmarked (because it was a nightmare to find again) was a slam poetry performance on marriage with Alok Vaid-Menon and Cam Awkward-Rich that continues to echo in my awareness:

This poem, “Marriage”, also known as “Queer Rage”, is a critique of gay marriage politics as a strategy of liberation.  Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage (or anyone else’s) is not where the struggle ends, or even begins, really.  In the piece we call for a consideration of race, class, and other systems of control that complicate and intersect with queerness.  We also point to the increasing corporatization and overwhelming whiteness of gay marriage politics.

Two quotes:

So in high school I laced my shoes with rainbows
 and preached the gospel of equal rights and pride
 That tell us marriage will finally untangle
 our love from shame, will legislate us wholly human
And:
for richer, for poorer
 tell that to El’Jai who lost his job last year
 His state is one of only 12
 where you cannot legally be fired
 for having a body that doesn’t sit right with your heart
 but his job “could only be done by a man”
 and his genitals did not conform to his employers expectations.

[I do not know if he won the court case, only that he has a son,
 and that being brown and trans means being 4 times less likely to find work]
 but who needs money for bread when you can eat wedding cake!

Early in December I had the opportunity to facilitate a panel discussion with a gay man, a queer male, a transman and a transgirl (before anyone asks, she identifies as a transgirl).  During the discussion, the transgirl pointed out that "marriage equality isn't really marriage equality . . . a transperson, I can't legally marry unless I find a judge who is willing to see it as 'almost normal' enough to let me get married."

Watching the videos and images of gay and lesbian couples marrying in Utah showed an almost entirely white population.  Very few, persons of color, appeared in those images.  Of the couples I know who married in those first few days, the majority by far were white, male, and professional.  Salt Lake City, like most American cities, is a diverse place and I know lots of persons of color in our city who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.  But I didn't see them in the images of couples getting married.

A while back, there was a segment on CNN between Anderson Cooper, Andrew Sullivan and Evan Wolfson discussing marriage.  On the one hand, it's an historic moment - three gay men talking about gay marriage on a national network.  On the other hand, it's three very privileged gay men talking about marriage.  Watching the clip, it's inspiring and troubling.  Can you imagine any other topic on which CNN would host a discussion for which the panel would consist entirely of edcuated, professional (and married) men?  Is there something about gay politics that blinds us to the lived realities of African-Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, Asian-Americans and First Nation's Americans?  (Not for nothing, I find the concept of two-spirit powerful and potentially liberating, but as a white man, I'm uncomfortable when I hear other gay white men talk about themselves as two-spirit.  When does cultural interaction and borrowing become appropriation?)

For a great many gay, white men, the only area of our lives in which we have experienced discrimination is sexual orientation.  Sexual orientation can be a big deal, a source of discrimination, alienation and othering.  The widespread acceptance of marriage equality symbolizes and cements the idea of gay men as members of the cultural mainstream.  Throw in some non-discrimination laws and for gay white men the legal battle is largely over and the cultural battle all but won.  Let me put it differently - no one has discriminated against me because I'm a white man, with a good education and a good job.  The one place in my life in which I've faced anything other than acceptance is around my identity as a gay man.  White, gay professional men have the resources of time and money which allow us to sit on boards, attend meetings and donate money, which means we (all too often) set the agenda.  Marriage equality is a big deal to us, so it became a big deal to everyone else, by default.

Many lesbian friends tell me they face far more discrimination as women than as lesbians.  Certainly, the lesbian couples I know benefit from the legal recognition of their marriages.  But, legal marriage doesn't create equal pay for equal work.  

My African-American and Latino friends tell me that they're not opposed to getting married but marriage does nothing in terms of racial justice,  and the current approach to marriage among gay men (at least) is just an extension of white privilege.  I'm not deliberately excluding lesbians of color, I haven't had the opportunity to have the conversation yet; my instincts tell me I'll hear that racial, gender and economic justice are more pressing issues than getting married.  I honestly haven't had the chance to hear a womanist critique of same-sex marriage.  (Not related to the issue of marriage equality, I want to recommend the book Womanism Against Socially Constructed Matriarchal Images by Dr. MarKeva Hill; not only is Dr. Hill a friend, but she's frighteningly brilliant and the book is profound and informative.)

The Inclusion Center for Communty and Justice in Salt Lake City uses a mnemonic device for remembering and identifying the function of prejudice - "A fast car goes vavoom."  AFASHCAR (g) - Ageism, faithism, ableism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, appearanceism and racism (genderism).  Genderism has been added lately to refer to the idea of seeing gender only through the lens of the experience of cisgender persons.  VAVM are the ways in which prejudice epxresses itself - V - "verbal" is talking about "those people", A - avoiding "those people", V - when the first two are no longer options, violence against those people culminating in M murder.  

The folks at the Inclusion Center also have mnemonic device for thinking about privilage - You Avoid It - uavoidit.  U - unearned advantage, A - access to resources, V - validation from society, O - opportunity, I - inclusion in mainstream values, D - disproportionate distribution of power and resources, I - ignorance of privilege is possible, and T - taken for granted.  As a white man, in our culture, I have privilege.  The question is whether I will choose to be aware of privilege and do anything about it.

When thinking about the impact of marriage, at least in our culture, it is difficult if not impossible to separate from questions of who has privilege and who doesn't.  It's not unfair to see gay white men seeking marriage as a result of people who already have lots of privilege upset because they were denied - "I'm a white man, you can't deny my anything - I want to get married to the love of my life, you have to let me."  

The image of the successful, professional white, gay male couple is relatively easy for mainstream America to integrate into its worldview.  The image of the successful, professional white lesbian couple is easy for mainstream American culture.  It's a small adjustment.  Start adding other isms - lower income, race, different faith and it gets very complicated very fast.  

A fundamental underpinning of any form of bigotry or discrimination is the idea that some person or group of persons are less than other people because of some part of their identity.  To take one example, heterosexism and sexism interact to mutually support one another.  The idea that women are less than men supports the idea that gay men (who supposedly have feminine qualities) are less than straight men.  

Who benefits the most from marriage equality is, unsurprisingly, the people who already benefit the most in our culture.  Once we get marriage equality, will white gay men disengage?  Will we conveniently forget sexism and racism?  Will we stay engaged and remember that oppression is a system and just because we've mostly erased the negative way it touches our lives we can't stop working toward greater justice?  A truly inclusive and just society won't happen by accident.

Originally posted to glendenb on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:11 AM PST.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Ok, first, I'm not a lesbian (11+ / 0-)

    so I have second tier in my response -- I respond as a citizen of this country.

    I've been to quite a few Gay Pride parades, LGBT street fairs, and abide in a community where there are many LGBT folks -- theatre, music, art.  I've only seen an eclectic community -- maybe because my friends, associates and other folks are in Baltimore and New York City.   The hottest white gay guy I know is a hot white gay guy because he danced for the American Ballet Company for years and keeps in shape.  Everyone else I know looks like pretty much everyone else I know -- middle aged and senior, wishing we had better bodies.

    And as for the transgirl (is that a term of art -- sorry for my ignorance).  Why is it exactly she can't marry?

    The marriage issue is a fundamental civil rights issue -- which would mean it isn't a white gay guy issue.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:20:57 AM PST

    •  Identity gets complicated (4+ / 0-)

      When I asked why she preferred transgirl to transwoman, her answer was: I've been living as a female for a very short period of time, I'm still young, so I'm a transgirl not transwoman.

      The issue of marriage for transpersons gets complicated because very often official documentation lists gender assigned at birth.  So, a transwoman's driver's license could very well list gender as M.  It's requires a legal order to get the gender listed on official documents changed and some judges won't do that.  At least, that is how it was explained to me.

      •  I think that changing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        librarisingnsf, Wee Mama, kyril

        the birth certificate is a matter of state law. If there were to be a SCOTUS decision establishing same sex marriage as a right nation wide, then it would seem that transgender people in states that won't change birth certificates could go the same sex route. There are a lot of ifs in that.    

      •  probably a dumb question (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida, Khun David, kyril

        but if she lives in a state where gay marriage is allowed why couldn't she get married?

        If she wanted to get married to a man, she can because gay marriage is allowed.

        If she wanted to get married to a woman, she can because it would be "regular" marriage between a "man and a woman."

        I get wanting to change the birth certificate to reflect the new gender, but that would seem to be an alternate (although still valid) issue to marriage (providing she was in a state that legalized gay marriage).

        So what am I missing?

        •  Under the present situation (0+ / 0-)

          it is highly probable that the states that have adopted same sex marriage have also allowed birth certificate change.  

          •  Yes, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            psychodrew

            the only state (or country) with the authority to change your birth certificate is the one that issued it. It doesn't matter where you live; if you were born in a no-change state, you can't change your birth certificate, which can affect your ability to change other documentation.

            Many trans people were born in jurisdictions that don't allow birth certificate change, but live in jurisdictions that have marriage equality.

            There are also quite a lot of gay and bi trans people (most estimates have us overrepresented as compared to the general population) for whom marriage equality is an issue after documentation change.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:52:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I share your concerns and interest (8+ / 0-)

    in the more complex issues within the queer community. It is my view that the have to deal with the same hierarchies privilege that exist in the straight world. I see parallels between out movement and the women's movement. The interest of white middle class women and white middle class gay men are not identical with those of people of color and of people who are at an economic disadvantage.

     

    •  Too true (8+ / 0-)

      It's true that within the queer community is not immune to the hierarchies and privileges of broader culture.  

      I don't know how to talk about racism, sexism, classism and so on in ways that don't get me shut or other people shut down.  It's also easy to be blind to my own privilege.  A few years ago, I was on a team that was planning some big gay event.  The kick off meeting was, literally, 14 white gay men and one straight female ally.  Why?  Because the time and place of the meeting worked for those of us with the type of jobs that allowed us to take a "late lunch" and go to a mid afternoon meeting.  We were two thirds of the way through our meeting before anyone said, "You know we're not really a representative group of the wider community."

      How do we as a community create and hold space for everyone to be honored and respected?

      •  I think the "we" (7+ / 0-)

        you and me both being middle class white gay men don't create it and then deliver it for consumption as usually happens with the classic Human Rights Campaign approach. You start by listening to people from different backgrounds.

        I have seen them writing about their concerns on sites like the Gay Voices section of HuffPo. They usually get shouted down by outraged GWMs. I lived in San Francisco for many years and saw lots of really nasty racism in various gay venues. It may have been pushed by a minority of white men, but almost all of the other white men just sat there wanting the problem to go away.

    •  That's the parallel I draw (6+ / 0-)

      There are complex and intersectional issues that LGBT people of color face not unlike those women of color faced ( and continue to face) with feminism.

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:38:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what is the solution, do you think? I was (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Alice in Florida, AJayne, kyril

        a bit young when the women's movement was in its most aggressive form, but I recall some of the hostility and, while I could then and now,somewhat understand it, I didn't understand the rationale behind attempting to undermine the movement.  Same thing here.

        First, I would think anyone of any color, race or sex, would be positive about finally gaining a very important right that's been withheld, even if it's not THE number one issue for them at the moment.  Second, even if they don't give a shit about whether they have that right, how would it continue being denied help them with any of the issues that are their priorities?  If their other issues are unrelated to their sexual orientation, then nothing that helps the LGBT will likely help with those issues.

        This is one of those situations where I'd hope that a rising tide lifts all boats to some extent.  Obtaining some additional rights for any minority makes it a tad easier to obtain better rules for another minority or about another issue.

        I might well be missing something here, but I find it odd that this issue would be seen as something that's irrelevant or that shouldn't have been fought for or whatever the position is - which I'll admit, I'm not sure of.

        •  I don't think anyone's trying to undermine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, AoT

          anything. Undermine to me  implies you want it to fail. I don't think that was or is the case. Expand, be inclusive of, etc? Yes.

          Listening is a key and often overlooked first step. Not assuming is another.

          First, I would think anyone of any color, race or sex, would be positive about finally gaining a very important right that's been withheld, even if it's not THE number one issue for them at the moment.
          This is where communication is key. Do you understand how this could be interpreted as "your issues can wait because we have bigger fish to fry" ?

          I accept that some things are incremental and  we can't always have everything simultaneously, but there's a way to acknowledge that wanting and fighting for those things is a shared priority rather than a sequential one. Because you will always find people of color last in the sequence. Always.

          We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

          by Vita Brevis on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:41:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But how is this diary anything but suggesting that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            marriage equality might as well fail?

            If the idea is to expand things, it doesn't seem the best way to do that is to criticize what's being done currently.  

            And no, I don't get how being happy about one accomplishment could be interpreted as "your issues can wait because we have bigger fish to fry."

            I don't see marriage equality as being incremental at all.  It's a totally different aspect than is racial, sexist, etc. discrimination.  So this is one win.  It doesn't mean we shouldn't keep fighting for other wins in other avenues; it just means there's been one win.  Having one win doesn't mean other wins are less important or less desirable.  It just means there's been one accomplishment that means other accomplishments can also be achieved.

    •  A lot of parallels (12+ / 0-)

      For instance, white second-wave feminists tended to view paid employment as liberating, while women of color were inclined to say, "Wait, I've been working my butt off my entire life!"

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:41:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same with "work life balance" (8+ / 0-)

        issues. WOC have historically worked and had to balance child rearing, homekeeping etc.

        My mom's shared the story of a white female colleague  who thought she'd struck a huge feminist blow in her circle by working,  only to find out that she was able to because she had a black housekeeper watching her kids. Didn't miss an ironic beat that the same housekeeper (who'd been with her since before she started working) also had her  own children. Never would have occurred to her to ask who took care of them or how she balanced things.

        We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

        by Vita Brevis on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:51:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are some visible (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Wee Mama, kyril

          divisions in the feminist movement along racial and class lines with separate organizations being formed. The numbers in the LGBT community are smaller so I haven't seen a lot in terms of formal organization by people of color. I have been looking for it. There are certainly some very articulate individuals that are worth listening to.  

        •  Well, my white mother worked, too, but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Khun David, susans, kyril

          without a housekeeper, black or otherwise.  My mother worked long before the women's movement (and worked her butt off her entire life), but the movement still was liberating for her, since she could finally lose the label of being a terrible mother and something less than a woman because she worked.

          The women's movement Wasn't just about women being able to go out and work.  It was about generating respect for women, regardless of their work status, recognizing the incredible amount of work they did in their homes, increasing their pay to be comparable to men (which still hasn't happened), and providing them some choices and options in life.

          •  Of course there were white (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, kyril

            women who worked outside the home and/or didn't have housekeepers of any ethnicity. One of my black grandmothers never worked outside the home a day in her life.

            This is not an either or contest. It is an acknowledgment that there are often additional issues that those of us of color face when leveling any playing field, and that they can be subjugated whether intentionally or not.

            We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

            by Vita Brevis on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:52:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  An excellent point.... (16+ / 0-)

    As a lesbian, I too have faced far more discrimination as a female than as a gay woman.

    However, I have noticed many, many different races of LGBT getting married. I believe the first people to get married in NJ was an AA lesbian couple (correct me if I am wrong).

    There is a lot to do still! Marriage equality isn't the end of the road.

    The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy. -Charles de Montesquieu

    by dawgflyer13 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:28:29 AM PST

  •  I Think the Super-Majority of Activists (14+ / 0-)

    ...are on a journey that is deeply personal and partially (however small a part) selfish.  I have known passionate and commited lifelong activitsts, but in most cases, it was something "personal" that drew them in.

    At the end of your diary, the underlying question you seem to be asking is--once "marriage equality" is achieved--will "gay white men" still be part of the fight for greater social justice?  In order to truly answer that, you'd need to know how many of them consider themselves part of the quest for greater social justice now vs. simply want to get married.

    I suspect there will be some that do and some that don't.  

    But the way your headline phrases the question, I really don't understand.  There ARE African American, latino, asian, etc. LGBT men and women who will benefit from marriage equality.  So when you specifically say is it mostly good for "just gay white men" the answer is: "Obviously not."

    •  One of the interesting questions for me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susans, AoT, kyril

      How many folks out there woks for rights for groups they are not themselves a part of?

      But yes, being treated equally under the law and according more social dignity is a benefit, even if it isn't a complete solution.  So, you are right this benefits everyone in the community, even if not all benefit equally

      •  So I am a straight nominally White man (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature

        who has known prosperity and poverty, coming out of multiple cultures of oppression: Jewish, Polish, Scottish, Irish, Welsh…and those are just the ones I know of in the last two centuries. (Some of my ancestors oppressed others of my ancestors.) That necessarily gives me Danish, Norwegian, French, Russian, German, Roman, and various other ancestry in historical times, and looking way back, I am quite proud of my African ancestry. I was raised in a mixed-race neighborhood in Newark NJ part of the time, and in all-White neighborhoods part of the time. I served in the Peace Corps in South Korea, and lived in Japan during the first part of my Buddhist training.

        I'm in favor of everybody. Even Republicans shouldn't have such a hard time, and their children much more so. ^_^

        My main work outside of dKos is global anti-poverty via education in the One Laptop Per Child program. Ending poverty would end all of the forms of oppression based on poverty, including a lot of racism. Education on a computer with Internet means that up to a billion children at a time can get together and start working on whatever else is left after we deal with poverty. Government corruption, the remaining forms of intolerance, the global environment, reining in global corporations…

        None of which will make people happy. You can always find something to complain about. But it will make most people less unhappy, and give them the opportunity to work on themselves with fewer encumbrances.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:44:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, since you asked (15+ / 0-)
    Can you imagine any other topic on which CNN would host a discussion for which the panel would consist entirely of edcuated, professional (and married) men?
    You mean, besides every other topic, from poverty to women's reproductive freedom?

    I do see your point here:

    For a great many gay, white men, the only area of our lives in which we have experienced discrimination is sexual orientation.  Sexual orientation can be a big deal, a source of discrimination, alienation and othering.
    When you've spent your whole life taking privilege for granted - often not even realizing it's there, because that's how privilege is designed - it's pretty jarring to find yourself at the other end.  For some gay men, it gives them more empathy for other people's struggles.  But there are also ones like the guy I met on a discussion board for a GLBT-related TV show, who couldn't finish a sentence without saying something racist or misogynist.  He was enraged at the most minor slight from straight people, yet would pour out hostility on the people who were "supposed" to be on the bottom, people of color and women, especially lesbians.

    I believe marriage equality is an important step forward.  For me personally, it's meant more financial security, and better health insurance for my wife.  But of course it's not the be-all and end-all, nor should it be.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:36:43 AM PST

  •  Here's the reality (19+ / 0-)

    I appreciate that there is a perception that marriage equality will mainly benefit those who are already a bit entitled.

    I doubt that that's really true however. Consider that lesbian couples are more likely than gay male couples to be raising children and that on the whole they earn less than their gay male counterparts. Despite what's shown in the media a significant proportion of gay and lesbian couples are neither white nor middle class. My understanding is that, particularly in the South, such couples are more likely to be poor and non-white and are more likely to be raising children together.

    Marriage equality certainly wouldn't change their income in an equal-pay-for-equal-work manner. It would however provide the ability file taxes jointly and therefore to benefit jointly from the ability to claim their children as dependents. It would overall decrease their health care costs by allowing that burden to be shared without being taxed (as health insurance costs for domestic partners currently are). It would decrease their need for legal services, which cost money. There are many concrete ways in which marriage equality would in fact assist those who really truly need it.

    Different people are certainly going to view their situations differently. From my own personal perspective as a middle-class white gay man, it's nice to be able to contemplate marrying my partner. However the perks of marriage in our situation are more on the level of convenience. They won't affect the quality of our lives in the way that those of limited means are likely to be helped.

    •  Very good points (9+ / 0-)

      From what I've seen (sorry, too lazy to go dig up the stats just now), gay men outnumber lesbians in the general population, but significantly more lesbians are marrying.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:47:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  These two were huge points for us when we got (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, psychodrew, kyril

      married:

      "It would however provide the ability file taxes jointly and therefore to benefit jointly from the ability to claim their children as dependents. It would overall decrease their health care costs by allowing that burden to be shared without being taxed (as health insurance costs for domestic partners currently are)."

      We are filing jointly for the first time this year; costs reduced.  My partner is on SS and I am eligible to receive her benefits should she pass away.  As to the health care:  if marriage equality ever comes to our state (Ohio), my partner can finally retire and be on my health benefits as a spouse.  The cost of our paying for her health insurance as an individual post-retirement, was prohibitive.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:20:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are you saying the political and activist energy (5+ / 0-)

    behind pushing for gay marriage (and by association other lgbt issues) will dissipate after marriage equality is achieved?

    I can see such issues as transgender rights and other less visible issues being left behind, but I don't know how race is affected as much.

    On an individual level, everyone will benefit from marriage equality, regardless of race.

    As far as "white bars" go, I live in Atlanta and the bars seem to be as segregated as churches here as well.  I haven't gone out in a few years, but minorities were rare in the bars I went to (I'm white).  They weren't unwelcome, as far as i could tell.

    •  I have certainly seen many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, kyril

      white bars where their presence was actively discouraged.  

      •  It could have happened at the places (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        I frequented, but I didn't realize it.  I knew maybe 7 or 8 black guys who were regulars, so I hope not.

      •  Same here (8+ / 0-)

        DC used to be notorious in that respect. My first boyfriend and drove down to DC from Baltimore where he lived at the time, to go clubbing. Baltimore's gay community was at the time pretty non-racist. When we arrived in DC and went out bar hopping we (he in particular) noticed that there seemed to be "white" gay bars and "black" gay bars and almost none that were clearly mixed. Back in the early 80's my first long-term partner and I went out to a club (now long gone) with friends of his, a couple visiting us from New York. My ex and I were white, the couple we were with was mixed race. At the time I was in my early 30's, the other three of us were in their 20s. Guess who got carded. (No it wasn't me, though I think they decided to card us all after turning one of us down to make a show of "not discriminating" even though the discrimination was both patent and blatant.) Even in the Castro there have been times and places where bar owners--and probably patrons as well--did their best to make people of color feel unwelcome.

    •  The issue IMHO is that the fight for (6+ / 0-)

      marriage equality and the organizations that are fighting for it have been billed everywhere as fighting for gay rights and haven't been pushing for a broader goal. These various organizations have made the thing that would benefit white gay males most the center of their campaigns. That means that a ton of white gay males are going to drop out of organizing once they've got what they came for. Not all of them by any stretch of the imagination, but plenty. And then there will be a ton of people who fought their asses of for this thing that benefits white gay males more than them who are left holding the bag to do organizing and activism that helps people other than white gay males. Just like has so often been the case the white dudes get what they want first.

      The worry is something that is based on experience for a lot of people I've talked to. It's not like "Oh, this may happen", it's "Oh, this has happened again and again."

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:52:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can see that. (6+ / 0-)

        But gay rights advocacy groups were active long before most of us thought gay marriage was much of a possibility.  As long as gay bashing, bigotry, and youth homelessness plague the community they'll still be involved.

      •  Who Does Though? (6+ / 0-)
        ...the fight for marriage equality and the organizations that are fighting for it have been billed everywhere as fighting for gay rights and haven't been pushing for a broader goal...
        I admit I don't have any statistics in front of me, but aren't most activist groups issue driven?  Is there some generic "We just fight for all good things all the time" organization?
      •  Interesting opinion. (7+ / 0-)

        Do you have any cold, hard facts to illustrate the claims you made?

        When you refer to "he thing that would benefit white gay males most", I assume you mean marriage equality. Can you back up this claim with evidence?

        Does this mean that GetEqual never did anything that wasn't about marriage equality (except this and this).

        Gays don't care AT ALL about anybody who isn't white and male and wealthy:

        Why Immigration Reform Is a Queer and Trans* Issue

        We live in a time of increasing intersectionality in our nation. Intersections of class, color, sexual orientation, faith, socioeconomic status, immigration status and gender identity occur at every level and in every aspect of our society.  In moments large and small, we are collectively and constantly stitching together the tapestry of our nation’s evolution.

        I think for most people, however, it’s easy to view all of these different identities as independent of each other. Today my local congresswoman of the 27th Congressional District of Florida, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who is an avid supporter of the Queer and Trans community, pledged her support for the proposed Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, commonly known as “H.R. 15.” H.R 15 is a comprehensive immigration reform bill that fixes many of the worst parts of the United States’ broken immigration system. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen took a brave step forward in bridging the divide between identities and equality.

        I am a native of Puerto Rico, a Queer man, and a U.S. citizen — though I did not come to the continental United States until I was eighteen. I am still afforded the luxury that comes with the privileges of having been born an American citizen. I am guaranteed basic human rights delineated by our founding fathers, as a matter of right, preserved indefinitely for all Americans in the Constitution that defines our democracy. My liberty is among those fundamental rights and I cannot be denied it without due process of law.

        This story is very different for the 267,000 undocumented immigrants residing in the United States who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or queer (LGBTQ). The United States immigration system offers no protections and frequently little more than a series of persecutions arising from their LGBTQ status.

        This didn't happen.
        HRC recently joined NAACP President Ben Jealous, the Rev. Al Sharpton, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, SEIU 1199 President George Gresham and labor unions, civil rights organizations, and LGBT groups to oppose the New York Police Department’s “stop-and-frisk” policy. HRC was proud to be one over 60 organizations involved with the Father's Day Silent March protesting the unjust policy.
        Neither did this.
        In a news conference to take place at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar where in 1969 riots set off by a police raid became a watershed for the national gay rights movement, leaders of national rights groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people will draw a connection between the gay rights movement and the current campaign against stop-and-frisk.

        “We are all standing together against police harassment on the basis of a person’s identity,” Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said in an interview.

        “There was no rational reason to raid the Stonewall Inn in 1969, and there is no rational reason to stop black and Latino men in 2012 and frisk them simply for being who they are,” she said.

        Such a shame that GLAAD doesn't care about anyone who isn't white and male.
        In regards to cable television, the LGBT gender divide is slightly better than last season but still remains unbalanced. Of the 61 regular and recurring LGBT characters found on mainstream cable, 25 (42%) are lesbians or bisexual women, which is an increase from last year’s 32%.
        This year, overall racial and ethnic diversity on primetime broadcast scripted series remains the same as last year with 22% of 701 series regulars being people of color (POC). This is a similar figure to the 2011-2012 season.

        SNIP

        Compared to the estimated percentage they make up of the U.S. population, the Latino/Hispanic community remains one of the most underrepresented ethnic populations in American media.

        SNIP

        In regards to LGBT people of color, racial diversity has greatly improved. While last season only 15% of primetime scripted regular or recurring LGBT characters were people of color, that figure has increased to 30%. Of the 50 LGBT regular or recurring characters counted on primetime broadcast scripted series, four are Latino/a, three are API, and seven are Black. Considering that there were no regular or recurring black LGBT characters scheduled to appear at the beginning of the previous TV season, the inclusion of seven this season is a hugely positive development.

        Nope, this never happened.
        On January 3, ABC is set to premiere the new comedy Work It, a sitcom about two men who dress as women to secure employment.  During a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn’t be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny.  In fact, shows like this have the power to put the transgender community in an even more dangerous position.

        GLAAD has seen the pilot and while the show’s pilot does not explicitly address transgender people, many home viewers unfamiliar with the realities of being transgender will still make the connection.  Work It invites the audience to laugh at images of men trying to adopt a feminine appearance, thereby alaso making it easier to mock people whose gender identity and expression are different than the one they were assigned at birth.  Said GLAAD’s Acting President Mike Thompson, “Transphobia is still all too prevalent in our society and this show will only contribute to it.  It will reinforce the mistaken belief that transgender women are simply ‘men pretending to be women,’ and that their efforts to live their lives authentically as women are a form of lying or deception.”

        Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

        by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:57:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You completely missed the point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon

          I was making. No where did I say that there was nothing being  done about any other issues. The point is that of all the issues affecting the GLBT community marriage is the one that most effects white men. That and hate crimes, which have already been expanded. So quit pretending like white dudes are all going to keep fighting for homeless LGBT youth. I'm sure Jaimie Dimon is going to hop on that band wagon like he jumped on the marriage equality band wagon.

          Are you seriously suggesting that anywhere near the amount of resources that have been put into marriage equality have been put into anything else at all? Because I haven;t seen those campaigns get anywhere near the publicity that marriage has. What I want to happen and what has happened historically are two very different things. I'm basing my statements on the historical reality. Once we have marriage equality and hate crimes protection then white males will leave the movement in droves.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:13:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jamie Dimon? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33

            You mean this Jamie Dimon?

            He's a white, STRAIGHT, male. Is your issue that straight people only care about marriage equality? I don't necessarily disagree with that. Marriage equality is the big civil rights issue that has the Americans galvanized right now. We should do what....stop focusing on it because people will focus their attention elsewhere once ME is the law of the land?

            Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

            by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:31:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Jamie Dimon that was hired by HRC (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon

              to be a spokesperson.

              We should do what....stop focusing on it because people will focus their attention elsewhere once ME is the law of the land?
              No, we should focus on other things while we actually have the resources. Instead everything else will be put to the side once we've got marriage equality. It'd be nice to see people talking about other issues as well. This isn't about you or any other specific white guys on this site. You think that gay white men are somehow less racist than other groups of white men just because they're gay? I mean, look at the reaction in California after prop 8 passed and the way that people of color were demonized.
              •  Why do you say this: (0+ / 0-)
                Instead everything else will be put to the side once we've got marriage equality.
                Do you really think we gay people will stop fighting for ENDA even if marriage equality becomes law in all 50 states?  If you do, then you don't know us very well.

                Trust me, we can do (and have done) more than one thing at a time, and we're not going to give up on all the other issues just because of progress on marriage equality.  We didn't stop pushing for either marriage equality or ENDA after DADT repeal.  I don't see any reason to think LGBT activists will treat the achievement of marriage equality as the end of history.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:42:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The ones with the most power will (0+ / 0-)

                  As always happens. It's not going to be "gay people" that stop fighting. It will be a very specific set of gay people. And the ones that will stop fighting are the ones who have the most power so what benefits them most gets done first.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:46:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As I said . . . (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't think you know us very well.

                    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                    by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:52:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't know who you mean by "Us" n/t (0+ / 0-)

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:55:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Gay white men. (0+ / 0-)

                        You seem to take a very dim view of us and of our commitment to our own community's issues.  Your views are not consistent with my own personal experience, and I therefore doubt the validity of your prediction.

                        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                        by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:58:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't take a dim view of gay white men (0+ / 0-)

                          I view them as I view most everyone else. On the whole people will support a movement and change in a meaningful way only when it helps them personally. That's true of all groups of people. It's happened in all past movements, why not this time? What makes it different this time? Gay white men aren't some special groups that is morally better than the rest of the population and more likely to support social justice once they don't have to to get allies? I'm skeptical.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:02:58 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)
                            On the whole people will support a movement and change in a meaningful way only when it helps them personally.
                            Would you say this about, say, the white people who helped found the NAACP?  Or, to use a more recent and more relevant example, the lesbians who threw themselves into the battle against AIDS in the 80s?

                            Of course, if you're right, then none of our self-proclaimed straight allies on this site (or elsewhere) is being sincere.  In your telling, none of them can be supporting LGBT equality (at least not "in a meaningful way") because it doesn't help them personally.  I'd hate to think you were correct in that assumption.

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:10:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How many white people supported the NAACP (0+ / 0-)

                            when it began? There are obvious exceptions, but we're talking about a broader scale. This isn't about you or me, we're both going to fight for these things. It's about the broader community.

                            Of course, if you're right, then none of our self-proclaimed straight allies on this site (or elsewhere) is being sincere.  In your telling, none of them can be supporting LGBT equality (at least not "in a meaningful way") because it doesn't help them personally.  I'd hate to think you were correct in that assumption.
                            You've completely misunderstood what I'm saying. You seem to think that I think every single white gay man will suddenly abandon the movement once they've got theirs. That's not at all what I'm saying.

                            I suppose I'm just a realist. I think that we'll see a repeat of history where white men get what they want and then abandon the movement. It's happened before. Maybe I'm just a pessimist. I hope I'm wrong, but the fact of the matter is that the LGBT movements successes have mirrored those things that most help white gay men.

                            Again, I don't mean all of them. I mean a majority.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:18:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You should check out BK. (0+ / 0-)

                            In this post you'll learn the following:

                            Much to the surprise of many not familiar with this history, many of these [the NAACP's] founders were white.
                            Yes, as Robyn pointed out in one of her recent diaries, the people suffering from a particular oppression are going to be the ones who are most interested in seeing it end.  But that hardly means that no one else is going to lend a hand.  We're going to engage most heavily on our home fronts, but we also stretch ourselves to include helping others.

                            I also simply disagree with you on this:

                            I hope I'm wrong, but the fact of the matter is that the LGBT movements successes have mirrored those things that most help white gay men.
                            DADT repeal benefitted white gay men, but not as much as it benefitted lesbians, and in particular, lesbians of color, many of whom reported being blackmailed into having sex with male servicemembers to "prove" they weren't dykes.  This issue was diaried here during the battle over DADT repeal.  

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:35:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The fact that most of the founders of the NAACP (0+ / 0-)

                            were white is completely separate from the fact that most white people did not support racial equality when the NAACP was founded. Are you seriously going to tell me that white people supported racial equality when the NAACP was founded?

                            DADT repeal benefitted white gay men, but not as much as it benefitted lesbians, and in particular, lesbians of color, many of whom reported being blackmailed into having sex with male servicemembers to "prove" they weren't dykes.  This issue was diaried here during the battle over DADT repeal.
                            Some of the things that help white gay men help other people more, I don't deny that for a second. That doesn't change the importance of those things for white gay men to assimilate, which is what the agenda is pushing toward.

                            I realize that "those things that most help white gay men." is a bit ambiguous. I don't mean that those things help white men more than other groups, but that they are the most important issues for white gay men. I don't know how to phrase that differently but I hope you can see the difference.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 06:08:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've got to go off to a new years (0+ / 0-)

                            shindig, but thank you for the discussion.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 06:12:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  You're just wrong here: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT
            The point is that of all the issues affecting the GLBT community marriage is the one that most [a]ffects white men. That and hate crimes, which have already been expanded.
            Actually, the issue that most affects gay men is HIV.  There's no contest at all.  In fact, I'm assuming you're not gay, because I doubt any gay man would believe that marriage equality and hate crimes are the issues that most affect gay white men.

            HIV affects all gay men, even those who aren't infected.  It permeates our lives in ways that straight people cannot even begin to imagine.  Although precise numbers are hard to come by, one in five gay men may be infected.  There's no way any other issue even comes close to HIV in importance.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:49:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What activism is still to be done on HIV? (0+ / 0-)

              There's tons of funding for it. In some ways that was one of the first successes of the gay rights movements after legalization.

              I am not up on this specific issue though, so I may well be wrong.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:09:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  WTF? (0+ / 0-)

                Okay, now I KNOW you're not gay.  No gay man could possibly ask this question:

                What activism is still to be done on HIV?
                Did you think the disease had disappeared?  Do you imagine that it's not still being transmitted?  Do you think there aren't still barriers to prevention and treatment for gay men?

                Sorry, but you're really completely clueless.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:12:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not completely clueless (0+ / 0-)

                  And no I'm not gay, I'm Bi. I also know a hell of a lot of people in the LGBT community and some of them are infected. It's not a big issue among the people I know, perhaps because of the treatment options now. Homelessness is far more of an issue for anyone I know than HIV or marriage is. There might be an age difference as well given that the people I know are younger than most people here on DailyKos. And as an issue it's certainly dropped off the radar at the national level, which is what I'd expect because the treatments are available to the more well off members of the community.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:31:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  These two things cannot both be true: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT
                    I also know a hell of a lot of people in the LGBT community and some of them are infected.
                    And:
                    It's not a big issue among the people I know, perhaps because of the treatment options now.

                    Either you don't know any poz people well, or they're not talking to you about what it's like to live with HIV.  Because believe me, for those of us who are poz, it's a "big issue," even if we're well controlled on treatment.

                    I've seen you commenting about "privilege" in psychodrew's marriage equality diary.  This is an instance in which I think you need to consider your own.

                    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                    by FogCityJohn on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:39:59 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  And seriously "Gays don't care AT ALL about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, Drocedus

          anybody who isn't white and male and wealthy" is foolish. Because all of those queer people of color and women just don't count as gay? I'm talking about the things issues that affect white men being at the forefront of the movement, as per usual.

          You can cite a few outliers, but the fact of the matter is that LGBT organizations have not spent considerable resources on representations of people of color on TV. Sure, they issue a report, but what else?

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:17:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, you keep saying that. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ek hornbeck, triv33, TheMomCat

            "Gay white male issues" are at the forefront of the movement. But what you haven't done is demonstrated with any cold, hard facts that marriage equality is a white male issue. That is a falsifiable statement. Prove it. Back it up with facts.

            Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

            by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:25:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "That is a falsifiable statement" (0+ / 0-)

              Then falsify it by naming the issue that affects white gay men more?

              •  My bad. (6+ / 0-)

                I should have known better than to question that "white gay men are selfish racists" narrative that comes up here every time there is new momentum for the gay community.

                You can't back up your claims with any evidence. You've dismissed as irrelevant what I've posted above. Its winter break and I'm not in the mood to argue with somebody who doesn't know what the fuck they are talking about.

                Reality-based community, my ass.

                Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

                by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:21:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So then you can't say what would (0+ / 0-)

                  be more helpful to white gay men.

                  I should have known better than to question that "white gay men are selfish racists" narrative that comes up here every time there is new momentum for the gay community.
                  And here's where we get to the meat of it. You can't stand that anyone would point out racism. This is exactly the problem and you're so oblivious that you can't even see it.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:23:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Gays don't care AT ALL about anybody (0+ / 0-)

          who isn't white and male and wealthy.

          What a fucking stupid statement.  

        •  I'm glad that you mentioned immigration issues. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psychodrew

          This, to my mind, is one of the most important and significant benefits of civil marriage.

          And, when it benefits you directly, it is unequivocally THE most important benefit of marriage, bar none, since it directly impacts your very ability and right to cohabitate with your spouse in this country.

          Before we accept the notion that marriage equality effects gay white men more than others, I would like to see statistics on who is most likely to be in binational relationships, and who is most likely to be in a relationship with somebody who is undocumented.

          I don't have those statistics, but I do seem to recall that racial/ethnic minorities are more likely to be in both categories.

           

          An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
          ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

          by earlybird on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:53:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The first same-sex marriage in my home town... (17+ / 0-)

    ...was a Black Lesbian couple.

    Did marriage equality end racism and sexism and homophobia?

    Well, no.

    But it did allow them to get married.

    And that can be pretty important to couples when the simple act of them marrying each other is actually against the law.

    An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
    ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

    by earlybird on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:54:33 AM PST

  •  I have heard these arguments before. (13+ / 0-)

    And marriage is hetero-normative and qxz.

    Here's two people who were married.

    On the left, that's me. On the right, that's GreenMountainBoy02, my late husband. By the way, me might look "white" but he was a Mohawk.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:10:46 AM PST

  •  Intersectionality is complex (10+ / 0-)

    So, yes, you're right: those with privilege benefit more than those without (or with less).  That's pretty much the definition of privilege.  I doubt there is a single equality movement in the past or the future where this wouldn't be the case, because it's an endemic aspect of privilege.

    That doesn't excuse such things; it's just a statement or likelihood.  Intersectionality means you can't raise everyone to the same level with one movement or action: you can't level the playing field because there isn't just one playing field.

    That being said, I think there's another dynamic at play here that is probably important: while marriage isn't the end-all be-all for LGBTQ rights, it's been made a kind of "line in the sand" by the right-wing - a line that has been propagated and supported by media.  WWII wasn't won at Normandie - there were plenty of battles left to be fought - but in a way, that was the start of the end of the war, and the single battle that changed the outcome.  That is what marriage equality has become in the eyes of many, especially on the opposition side.

    The hope is that, once this falls, most other resistance will fall with it.  Whether that holds true or not, no one knows.  But no matter what, this won't be the last battle.

  •  acceptance is going to grow from the inside out (0+ / 0-)

    Allow me to play devil's advocate and point out that it makes perfect sense that the more like the Self that a person is, the more likely they are to be accepted.  The less [outwardly] different folks are not only going to get mainstreamed first, they're going to have the easiest time of it.  Racism is probably going to be the last "ism" broken down precisely because it is so superficial (i.e. visible) ... while the stereotypical gay man - white, young, physically attractive, highly sexed, and well-to-do) deviates from our society's de facto ideal only by what he feels and does invisibly.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:34:22 AM PST

  •  Marriage has become an upper-middle class (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, a2nite, Vita Brevis

    institution. Partly because people's expectation have become so (too) high that it coast $15,000 - $20,000 dollars to get married (location rental, dresses, food, etc).

    Working class and poor people feel priced out. When you factor in this social/economic class issue, you start to self select lower minority and a more male (the wage gap between men and females) population.

    With that being said, as a straight black male I don't find this to be "white gay issue" the media will always default to white men on issue if not pressed (unless they consider it to be a "womans" or "black" issue). But I've said for some time the LGBT community needs to become more media savvy and get more people of color to speak up on the issue.

    Look at the change in the polling numbers after Obama spoke on the issue. If you want more change why aren't more LGBT groups finding more POC to speak up when the Traditional Media comes calling for advocates?

    I mostly see white celebrities but not Frank Ocean, white politicians not black/Latino ones. There needs to be greater media awareness.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:55:51 AM PST

    •  A Wedding Is Just a Big Stupid Party (10+ / 0-)

      It might cost 15-20k to have a wedding; it doesn't cost that much to "get married" though.

      I was in the DJ business for years, and occasionally you'd almost weep at seeing young people piss a fortune away on a big wedding right out of the gate.  If you can afford 20k for a wedding--or if your family is willing to spend that much--put a down payment on a house or something instead!

    •  Most of the gay couples I know who've married (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psychodrew, Cali Scribe, kyril, earlybird

      have simply gone to the county clerk's office, filled out the forms, paid the fees, said their vows, gotten the forms signed and filed and gone back to work after a quick lunch. Marriages and weddings are two separate and distinct things.

      •  Yes I think that was true with the "1st wave" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        people trying to get married before the law was overturned, people's who family didn't accept them, etc.

        I'm not sure how long this let's get married in a clerk's office will last now as societies view's are changing. If both family's accept the partner's sexual orientation, try explaining why you didn't invite your parents, siblings, soon cousins, best friends, etc until presto big wedding.

        -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

        by dopper0189 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:04:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It all depends on the couple (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, AoT

          just as it does in "opposite marriage". Mr. Scribe's best friend married his wife in the City Clerk's office in NYC (they later had a small ceremony out here so his parents could throw them a party). Plenty of people go up to Reno or head for Las Vegas to tie the knot, especially older couples; I remember one Vegas trip where I joined a friend for her wedding, only to spend the weekend consoling her when the bastard didn't show up. (Long story...) Once Nevada hops on the marriage equality bandwagon (or is dragged on kicking and screaming via court rulings), you'll likely find wedding chapels there catering to the gay/lesbian community. (If something happened to Mr. Scribe and I was in a position to marry again, I'd likely go with Reno -- a little less glitz and it's handy to Lake Tahoe for a honeymoon destination.)

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:14:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh believe me (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, kyril, earlybird

          The wave is continuing. Having a civil ceremony at the San Francisco County Clerk's office means getting an appointment several weeks in advance. Marriages are being performed by volunteers specifically trained for that purpose. I know this because any number of my friends have gotten married there in the past couple of months. And THEY are the people who are getting married and going back to work or back home for dinner afterwards. Almost without exception they are couples together two or five or ten or fifteen years. Some of them hadn't yet met in 2008 or weren't ready to marry during the period in 2008 between the state Supreme Court's ruling and the passage of Prop 8; others were afraid of getting married only to see their marriages annulled while still others simply didn't want to complicate their financial situations further as long as DOMA was in effect.

          While Trapper and I are in no hurry to get married I think we both know it's going to happen eventually. And when it does, I think we also both know that when it does happen it's going to be simple and will not involve an expensive party afterwards.

          •  There's a reason why... (0+ / 0-)

            ...our own wedding anniversary is on July 3.

            LOL!

            And THEY are the people who are getting married and going back to work or back home for dinner afterwards.

            An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
            ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

            by earlybird on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:59:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Anybody who avoids marriage (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dopper0189, kyril, sfbob, Chrislove, earlybird

      because they can't afford a big fancy wedding doesn't have their priorities straight (pun not intended).

      Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

      by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:55:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I see this kind of post as generally just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychodrew, angel d

    meant to inflame and divide. Of course it would benefit some people more than others. That's how laws work. Employment non-discrimination laws help some people more than others too.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:09:10 PM PST

  •  "Can you imagine any other topic on which CNN (5+ / 0-)

    ... would host a discussion for which the panel would consist entirely of edcuated, professional (and married) men?"

    Other than, well, pretty much everything?  Like women's control over their own bodies, just as a starter?  The default panel to discuss any issue in this nation seems to be white males.

    Lead your life - don't let your life lead you.

    by lineatus on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:39:55 PM PST

  •  You didn't prove this statement. (9+ / 0-)
    Who benefits the most from marriage equality is, unsurprisingly, the people who already benefit the most in our culture.
    Please provide evidence that white, professional gay males benefit more from marriage equality than everyone else.

    Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

    by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:41:39 PM PST

    •  It is a question not a statement. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  That's a fair question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, sfbob, Richard Lyon

      We know on average men make more than women.  We also know on average white men make more than black men (and white persons in general make more than black persons).

      Those two points tell us that within the gay community, white men are statistically most likely to earn more than any other group.  Professionals are more likely to make even more money, have better benefits packages, etc.

      Since legal marriage grants things like rights of survivorship to retirement accounts, social security etc., just from that aspect, I believe it's fair to argue white men reap greater benefits from marriage than other groups.  The underlying economics alone, to me, tell the story.  

      The book Red Families vs Blue Families, the authors track a similar outcome - blue families with working professional parents who have fewer children and have them later in life benefit from marriage more than less stable red families.  I think the same dynamic comes into play.  White, gay professional men enter into marriage with more resources up front than almost any other group; marriage benefits them more because they're already better off.

      I also believe that marriage benefits gay men more because it "purchases" greater societal acceptance.  A married couple enjoys non-measurable social benefits  as well as measurable economic benfits.

      I believe marriage rights benefit individuals no matter their race or gender.  Two incomes are always better than one, two adults commmitted to one another are going to be better off (financially and emotionally) than two single persons.  

      That's how I see it, at least.

      •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

        I actually looked up information about actual sexual minorities and this is what I found. I concede the point, right off the bat, the white males have more wealth than all other groups. But to say, as you did, that

        Who benefits the most from marriage equality is, unsurprisingly, the people who already benefit the most in our culture.
        You have to measure those benefits only in the real dollars and cents.

        First, marriage equality will extend all of the rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. That includes a lot of financial benefits like avoiding inheritance taxes. That certainly benefits, in dollars and cents, wealthier gay and lesbian families than those lower in wealth. But what about things like insurance benefits.

        Let me give you the example of hypothetical couples A and B. Couple A are two upper-middle class gay men, one a college professor, the other a health care manager. Their combined incomes total $110,000 a year and they both have health insurance through their respective employers. Neither of them pay taxes on their insurance benefits.

        Couple B is a gay male couple. One is a restaurant manager, the other is a bartender. Their combined income is $55,000 a year. The manager's company provides same-sex partner health insurance benefits. But because the couple is not married, the manager has to pay taxes on the partner's health insurance benefits.

        If same-sex marriage is made the law of the land, which couple will benefit more from not having to pay taxes on the insurance? Couple A or couple B?

        Even though Couple A may ultimately save more money than Couple B, because Couple B is lower on the SES ladder, that smaller amount of money will mean more to them than people of means.

        Marriage also includes things like automatic property inheritance and power of attorney. One thing that conservatives always said was that gays don't need to get married because they file paperwork to designate a partner as power of attorney. They can fill out living wills. They can write a will. Well, who can do that most easily? Gays or lesbians at the top or those at the bottom.

        What I would submit is that it is the gays and lesbians at the top of the income scale who've been most insulated from institutional discrimination. Gays and lesbians at the top of the SES ladder have been voting Republican because they benefit more from lower taxes benefiting the rich than they would from civil rights reforms which would benefit the entire community. Hence Dan Savage's recent criticism of Mary Cheney's sudden marriage equality activism.

        Second, marriage equality isn't just about saving money on taxes. It's about family. It's about security and equality for children. And guess who is more likely to have kids. Lesbians

         photo ScreenShot2013-12-30at71849PM_zpsad591249.png

        Perhaps that is why marriage equality is more of a priority for gay WOMEN than gay MEN:

         photo ScreenShot2013-12-30at63420PM_zps3329ea6e.png

        It's hard to argue that the LGBT rights organizations are prioritizing men over women for making marriage equality their central focus when it is in fact women who are more concerned about marriage equality than men.

        Unless, of course, you want to argue that lesbians don't know what's good for them. But I don't think you want to do that.

        Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

        by psychodrew on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:26:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everyone benefits from marriage equality (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, angel d, sfbob, earlybird

    All people deserve equal rights, no matter the issue. One can question whether marriage is a good thing for any particular group or person; however, it cannot be questioned that if I can get married, you can get married (whomever you or I happen to be). One hopes for a cascade effect: every time we win something, it's more likely we will win again.

    Racism will almost certainly exist long after the issue of marriage equality seems quaint. Eliminating some of the legal barriers towards equality for women has not apparently diminished much of the sexism that exists in most, if not all cultures.

  •  Re: marriage and trans people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychodrew, AoT, sfbob

    we have to first break the trans population into several groups.

    1. Trans people who married, or if they chose to get married would marry, someone of the opposite legal sex (based on whatever IDs are required for a marriage license). This includes trans people who can't change or have not yet changed the relevant IDs in gay relationships, trans people who have changed the relevant IDs in straight relationships, and trans people who have changed the relevant IDs in gay relationships with other trans people who can't/haven't changed their ID.

    2. Trans people who married, or if they chose to get married would marry, someone of the same legal sex (based on whatever IDs are required for a marriage license). This includes trans people who can't change or have not yet changed the relevant IDs in straight relationships, trans people who have changed the relevant IDs in gay relationships, and trans people who have changed the relevant IDs in straight relationships with other trans people who can't/haven't changed their ID.

    3. Trans people who married a partner of the opposite legal sex before changing their ID and now find themselves married to a partner of the same legal sex.

    4. Trans people who married a partner of the same legal sex before changing their ID and now find themselves married to a partner of the opposite legal sex.

    5. Trans people who have no interest in marriage.

    Now obviously for group (5), marriage equality has no personal impact, although it still may be a subject of interest (most people want equal rights even if they don't want to exercise them).

    Group (4) apparently already lives in a jurisdiction with marriage equality and is in a position where they don't have to worry about moving somewhere where their marriage isn't recognized. However, marriage equality may still be an issue of interest to them as they may wish to make sure others have the same opportunities they had.

    Group (1) is mixed. For gay trans people who have not changed their IDs - or whose partners haven't - marriage equality is a major issue. Do I lose the right to marry my partner if I transition legally, or if s/he does? Is my marriage voided if I change my ID? Am I required to divorce my spouse before I'm even allowed to transition? (the last two aren't major issues in the US, but they are in some parts of Europe.) Will being legally married to my same-sex partner 'out' me as trans?

    Straight trans people who have changed their IDs don't really need to worry about marriage equality on a personal level, and many choose not to. But trans people in straight relationships with other trans people where neither partner has changed their ID can run into some issues: they might lose their right to marry if one partner changes their ID and the other doesn't or can't, and if they're already married, in some countries their marriage might be dissolved or they might be required to divorce before transitioning, forcing them to remarry.

    For group (2), marriage equality is an immediate issue. Nobody in group (2) can marry their partner in a non-marriage-equality jurisdiction. Straight trans people in (2) may be able to marry in a marriage-equality jurisdiction and have it recognized in some circumstances elsewhere, but it's complicated. Changing IDs solves some problems for straight trans people in this category but it's stupid that the problems exist in the first place.

    And for group (3) it's also an immediate issue. Is my marriage still recognized? Does being legally married out me as trans? How do we file our taxes? How will we be treated if we need to divorce, or if one of us dies or is hospitalized? Will schools, CPS, etc. recognize us both as parents to our children?

    Marriage equality absolutely is a trans issue. It affects trans people of all orientations at various stages in our lives.

    It's not at the top of the list - that's "not being violently attacked or killed" followed by "not being criminalized," "being allowed to use the bathroom," "not being discriminated against," and "having access to medical care," in roughly that order.

    But marriage equality is up there at a solid #6 or so, right on par with other legal/paperwork-related issues like being allowed to change our IDs and birth certificates. Being able to marry the partner of one's choice without reference to gender and have that marriage recognized universally would dramatically simplify trans people's lives. We have marriage-equality-related problems that even non-trans gay people don't have.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:06:02 PM PST

  •  I don't know how formal this agreement is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, AoT

    ... but as a white heterosexual woman, I get the general feeling of solidarity from friends who appreciate my activism for LGBT rights, economic rights, and rights for racial minorities in a "let's all work together to ensure our mutual rights" kind of way. Most people can see how sexual, racial and economic minorities will all benefit from gains made on each front because making our society a little more accepting and fair in one area creates a little more acceptance and fairness for us all. Especially because a lot of people fit into all of these categories at once, or at least a few. The concept of intersectionality is becoming more understood and as a result these connections are more apparent. And even when the direct links aren't as obvious, I still find friends supporting causes they aren't directly affected by. E.g. I know a lot of gay men who find time to support women's rights campaigns in addition to LGBT campaigns. It also isn't a secret that middle-class straight women have been far more supportive of gay rights than their male counterparts. I would attribute this to both straight women and gay men and women being marginalized under the hierarchy of masculinity that structures our society. As much as we compartmentalize these issues, it is apparent to most that they fall under the umbrella of "human rights" together, rather than existing independently.

    Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

    by bull8807 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:06:07 PM PST

  •  I don't think of it as marriage equality, rather (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychodrew

    that all human beings are entitled to the same rights. The rest of it is all bullshit.

    Bring me the head of Geraldo Rivera.

    by old mark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:19:58 PM PST

  •  I fail to see the point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychodrew

    behind wondering if a civil rights plank addressing a particular problem addresses all problems.

  •  Marriage isn't just marriage (0+ / 0-)

    While we argue for the "over 1000 rights we gain with marriage equality" there's one other thing we get that is never mentioned:  ACCEPTANCE.

    When national polls show that 52% people support gay marriage, up 30% from 10 years ago, it also means that people support gays in general.  There is a HUGE amount of bleedover and acceptance in general.  The reason the national attitude has shifted toward gays in general is due in large part because we've been fighting for marriage, something everyone can look at and see that we deserve equality in.  For some reason it makes a harder point than workplace equality, or housing equality.  But BECAUSE of Marriage Equality, workplace equality and housing equality are also being challenged.  It's all one big ball of wax.

    On another point -- we've been on this track for a decade.  We are SO FUCKING CLOSE to wining Marriage Equality nationwide.  Why are you pissing in the wheaties NOW?

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 05:46:15 AM PST

  •  came to this pretty late (0+ / 0-)

    I happen to agree. Intersectionality is complex and tough for a lot of people.

    A rising tide will lift all boats though. Still, I won't give HRC/GLAAD a dime because of my perception of them being exactly as you describe.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

    by terrypinder on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:21:31 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site