If Gays Can't Marry, Nobody Should
BY SHAYNE ALDRICH
07.12.2007 03:37 | DISPATCHES
As a gay man raised in a loving and affirming home with wonderful parents and siblings and surrounded by equally wonderful extended family, friends and acquaintances, I have come to realize that I want more than just acceptance and tolerance, I want equality! If it weren’t for the fact that I have been predominantly surrounded by people who accept and love me for who I am, I might not even realize that I have a right to this or at the very least, I might not have the courage to speak up. But luckily I have and I do. I want the right to marry, should I decide to do so. Until then, I refuse to celebrate or acknowledge the weddings of others, as they have no relevance in my world, a world where I am equal to any man or woman, a world in which discrimination has no place, and a world where denying a group or individual their civil rights is an abomination.
I challenge all gays and lesbians, as well as heterosexuals, to boycott marriage as it now stands, as a prejudicial institution. I believe that we need to wake up our friends and relatives to this reality. I ask all people to stop contributing to weddings in all regards: stop photographing them, stop designing the dresses, baking the cakes, and arranging the flowers, stop attending them and stop having them. I invite all people to stand in solidarity on this issue. Don't just say you support equality, stand up for it, and show the world how you feel. Show the queers that you know and love that you will not stand for this and until all people regardless of sexuality may be united in matrimony with all the legal rights and privileges, you will not celebrate the legal unions of those who are considered more worthy and are favored by our laws at this time. I even challenge those who are already married to get divorces.
I want everyone to know that this institution, beautiful as it may be in many ways, is also damned ugly, far too ugly to overlook. It is an embarrassment to both state and country and a compromise to liberty and equality. I know that what I am asking is seemingly radical, but no one ever said acquiring and defending freedom was easy, please join me!
D. Shayne Aldrich is an artist whose sculptures, drawings and assemblages contemplate death, life, sex and chickens.