Internationally, demands for gay marriage are galvanising important mass movements. These movements develop from diverse origins: Australia’s Equal Love campaign regularly mobilises thousands, while same-sex marriage is one of the constitutional demands in Nepal’s ongoing revolutionary struggle. In countries such as Sweden and South Africa, activists have achieved the demand for gay marriage; in countries such as New Zealand, activists have achieved an equivalent in the Civil Union Act.
These achievements leave important question marks. The Civil Union Act did not grant adoption rights to same-sex couples; did not grant any rights to polyamorous relationships; both Civil Unions and marriages are fairly uncommon. Ultimately the new status quo leads many in the queer movement back to questioning marriage itself. Activists in Wellington’s newly formed Queer Avengers, which mobilised hundreds for its Queer The Night march, have discussed ‘repeal of the Marriage Act’ as a possible slogan. It’s important in this context to tease out the historical nature of marriage, and the arguments for marriage abolition. Read the rest of this entry »