Tuesday, June 24, 2008

'Til Death

I listened to a really interesting podcast from PBS this morning - a special, online edition of the newshour about gay marriage from the perspective of two constitutional law scholars.

What really got to me this morning was the blithe assumption that marriage has always been this wonderful institution that benefited all concerned. What really interests me is that every proponent of marriage - for gay or for only heterosexual only - I've heard thus far has been a man. Every time there's a discussion, there's been no concept of a feminist input - that marriage hasn't always been that great for women, that they only belonged to husbands or fathers, that it was a method of transportation of property and titles between men. Not that it is that now predominantly like that in the US or Britain, but it intrigues me given this is the ground we're debating, with gay marriage opponents citing its history and traditional place in society ("that's how it always has been") as the reason why it cannot be expanded to gay couples. Why, therefore, do we never hear a feminist riposte regarding its often oppressive effects on women throughout history?

Anyhoo, my favourite moment in the podcast is when Professor Cruz slaps down Eastman for making the assumption that bisexuals would have to marry one of each sex. I love the "slippery slope" argument that Scalia has made - that somehow bestiality, incest and paedophilia are the same thing as homosexuality. Brilliant. Arseholes.

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