The Blaze, owned by Glenn Bleck (does he need another outlet?!?), is painting the marriage equality movement with a big old deranged and homophobic brush with its eloquently entitled article, "Lesbian activist's surprisingly candid speech: Gay marriage fight is a lie to destroy marriage."
Taking Masha Gessen’s nuanced and thought provoking stance on marriage equality from the Sydney Writer’s Festival panel titled, “Why Get Married When You Can Be Happy?”, The Blaze misleads the audience and characterizes Gessen (who is supposed to represent the entire movement, apparently) as a “radical lesbian” who believes the right to marry “is about diminishing and eventually destroying the institution of marriage and redefining the “traditional family.”
Oh finally! Someone revealed the secret plot to destroy “traditional” marriage! No more hiding, everyone!
First of all, when will the media comprehend one person does not represent the beliefs or behaviors of an entire community? This still baffles me. Second of all, I am so tired of trying to have rational arguments with people who refuse to listen to reason and facts. The Blaze conveniently cut out a very important part of the sentence. The complete (still out of context) sentence in question is, “No brainer that we should have the right to marry but I also think equally that it’s a no brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist so [applause]... that causes my brain some trouble.”
Gessen goes on further to explain her feelings about this dichotomy and why it causes her trouble. She declares that “fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there. Because we lie that the institution of marriage won't change. And that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change and it should change. And again I don't think it should exist.”
Well, duh. Of course the institution will change. It’s accepting a new definition of marriage. Isn’t that the whole point? In this panel, she is not saying "gays will come destroy your precious institution with its lies!" she is introducing a valid and mostly invisible part of the marriage equality debate. Should the institution of marriage still exist? Is this something worth fighting for? If so, is this the best way?
Masha Gessen and the rest of the panelists brought up other important points rarely (thoughtfully) discussed in the mainstream media that give some context to the hand picked quotes from The Blaze. What is the value of marriage equality? Does the right to marry movement distract and hide other important issues? Should the LGBTQ community or anyone else want the state to sanctify their love or family? What constitutes a family? Why do we ask for permission to get married but not to have kids?
I wholeheartedly believe in self determination. In the case of marriage equality, if you want to get married, you should be able to. If you don't, then you should be able to. Though something I think we should all try to remember, marriage equality does not equal total equality. This is just one part of the massive, complicated puzzle.
Oh, and DO NOT read the comments in The Blaze article. I repeat, DO NOT.