Ten Reasons Women Are Losing While Gays Keep Winning | Jay Michaelson for the Daily Beast
This is a fascinating read. Some thoughts:
Obviously this debate is more about comparing the workings of the social movements than the causes themselves. 10 or 12 years ago, none of this would have applied to the LGBT cause. The early 2000’s for us sort of mirrored what’s happening to reproductive health now — marriage bans and religious exemptions popping up — and it took lengthy and deliberate restructuring of movement rhetoric to get where we are today. Yes, you have to make it about the person. “We deserve equal benefits” does nothing for the gay cause; “we deserve to express our love and commitment” works wonders. Like the article says, abortion is not a joyful or sexy or celebratory cause like marriage is, so there’s an inherent disadvantage in how we can speak about it.
Not everyone’s happy about the look of the modern LGBT movement, though. The article is totally right in saying that supporting the marriage movement (specifically marriage, very rarely workplace equality, homelessness, hate crimes, etc) has become corporate, part of a profitable business model, even cultural. The construction of “pride” has pissed off a lot of queer folks who would rather it represent our anger and retaliation against oppression than function as a way for corporations to hand out business cards with rainbows on them. Some would rather the queer movement look more like the reproductive health movement, and some think it’s dishonest that it doesn’t.
Finally, "gay equality" is not moving at the speed of light, as this and other media posit. Marriage equality is doing exceedingly well, but health care, youth homelessness, anti-trans violence, and other ugly, unsexy problems are mostly at a standstill. (And for the record, the Arizona law didn’t “die a fiery death.” It flew through the state legislature but was vetoed.) Some of the folks mentioned above think marriage equality is progressing at the expense of these harder problems, which may be true (that’s a whole other debate). These are culturally ingrained problems that will need more than a court decision to fix. So, is marriage equality doing better than reproductive freedom in the courts? Yes. But it’s not all about marriage equality. In a lot of societal ways, LGBT folks are still getting screwed over, too.