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New York Legalizes Gay Marriage: Celebrate, But Remember Singles June 28, 2011

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Heteronormativity.
Tags: , ,

Yay! Previously homophobic (and possibly still homophobic) Senator Mark Grisanti breaks a deadlock in the New York State Senate’s vote to allow gay marriage:

Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife who I love or have the 1300 plus rights that I share with her?  I vote in the affirmative.

This sentence could also easily apply to single people who are deprived of those same rights (caveat/clarification: the 1300 rights Grisanti mentioned are 1300 laws in the federal code that reference marital status, and not all of them favor married people, although the vast majority do).

I’m amazed how people can advocate for Rights and Social Justice while playing right into a system that inherently disparages (the single) half of the population. Actually, I shouldn’t be amazed, because until a few years ago I was one of those advocates.

We at Onely have said it before and we’ll say it again: yes, everyone should have the right to marry, but marriage should not be privileged over other lifestyles.


Photo credit: rikkis_refuge


1. Solitary Diner - June 28, 2011

While I agree that society should be moving towards being more inclusive and accepting of single people (such as myself), I also think that the decision of the New York State senate to recognize same-sex marriage is a remarkable achievement – one that shouldn’t be diminished by concerns about the recognition of single people.

Onely - June 29, 2011

Thanks for the comment, Solitary Diner! We agree that the decision is a remarkable one. Luckily for everyone concerned, our response to the NY State achievement doesn’t make for a zero-sum equation… That is, our critique here doesn’t detract from or diminish the value of what’s already been achieved. As the title of the piece indicates, we hope all our readers are celebrating this decision — but we also don’t want to forget that this step toward equality doesn’t actually add up to equality for all (for more about Onely’s stance on the matter, you might want to check out a much earlier post by Lisa: http://wp.me/pgY9h-oq).

— LA and CC

2. RachelAB - June 29, 2011

It’s rather timely that your post appeared in the summary of blogs i follow at the same time as a post on the invisibility of privilege: http://baynvc.blogspot.com/2011/06/invisible-power-and-privilege.html – and marital privilege is invisible even in that article…

Onely - June 29, 2011

That was a really interesting post. I “liked” it on Facebook. = ) She makes a lot of good points, including the one about some privileges being invisible to people who have them, but not to people who don’t. The interesting and unique thing about singlism and marital privileges is that: not only are the married people not necessarily aware that they are being unfairly privileged over single people, but usually even the single people themselves are not aware of the discrimination. That would never happen in any other ism. Thanks for flagging!

3. Alan - June 30, 2011

Sad to say that it’s been my experience that gay people are nearly as likely as straight people to engage in singlism, which has greatly diminished my enthusiasm for gay marriage. I still support it but I’m increasingly concerned that it may actually prove harmful to those, gay and straight, who don’t participate in marriage.

Charlie - July 3, 2011

I could not have put it better. Completely agree.

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