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April 27, 2004

A Gay Banana Split

I've been arguing against same-sex marriage and for civil unions again. I came to an interesting conclusion after an interesting analogy.

I think gay activists are demanding a banana split when all they really want is ice cream and nuts. I say you can't have the banana split when all I want is to keep my banana and cherries.

If conservatives from the Christian Right and Jehovah's Witnesses marched into the Castro and demanded with bullhorns that gay sinners get married before God, would they go, just to be accepted, just like everyone else? Would they give up their rainbow bumperstickers for Jesus fish and Marriage Encounter bumperstickers? Is what we call marriage what gay folks want?

I think not. I think that gay couples want to express their love for each other in a way that has more social resonance than 'civil unions' and I think that the state cannot offer that. I think the demand for Marriage, above and beyond civil union is an admission that the alternative lifestyle is not self-sufficient and needs more public, and religious acceptability.

Activists for the gay cause must recognize that public and religious acceptability cannot be demanded. These things must be negotiated.

Posted by mbowen at April 27, 2004 12:15 AM

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Tracked on April 28, 2004 01:51 AM


There was a Salon article along these lines: We're here, we're queer, we're married. Yawn.
Off-topic, but have you ever tried Furl? Neat for keeping tabs on stuff..

Posted by: Steve D at April 28, 2004 12:51 PM

That's a great article. Will use it.

Posted by: cobb at April 28, 2004 01:35 PM

As a 'conservative' gay man. I completely agree. Thank you. When the tolerant left folks yell at me with my BushCheney sticker, I am reminded I have far more in common with the republican party than the democratic party.

Posted by: Mark at November 26, 2004 07:26 PM