My latest article for Red Pepper, “Married Strife” written in response to the UK government passing the “Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013” back in July. It would have been better published immediately after, but that’s the beauty/frustration of print magazine journalism. In many ways, this debate is regarded as old news. Critiques of state-endorsed marriage and how LGBT-rights campaign groups decide their priorities remain valid, however, as they have done for over forty years.
I also want to point readers to an excellent essay by Brooke Beloso (2013), who makes an intervention I strongly agree with on the dangers of anyone–but particularly academics–too-readily dismissing the urge to marry:
“Unlike many of my comrades on the left-of-liberal spectrum, I want to resist the temptation to accuse people who marry of false consciousness when they say that they marry for love (gah, unromantic grumps)—if only because such posturing runs dangerously close to suggesting that it is possible for some brilliant radical few of us to resist capitalism’s affective siren song. In reality, to make the “choice” to forego marriage is often a privileged position rendered possible only by a given subject’s access to compensatory alternative material and/or cultural capital (e.g., the perks of membership in the academy and/or “an aestheticized radical queer counterculture”).
– From “The Affective Economy of Marriage: Or, No Spouse Left Behind”, on Organising Upgrade