I could hear that undercurrent in your voice when I was talking about the marriage thing today. You were thinking: why is this so important? I know that there's a large part of the population, the queer population, especially on the east coast who feel that way. "Don't we have other more urgent issues?"
No, we don't. Each issue is as important as the next!
All the issues (as we learned in Feminism 101) are connected. The right of queer people to marry is the same as women's right to choose, children's right to education and everyone's right to food and shelter. I don't say fight for equal marriage over everything else but I do ask why would we walk away from an equal right? Would you?
The Frameline Queer Film Festival is on right now in SF and it's miraculous to see the hundreds of faces--so many familiar, so many not--but it makes us feel like there really is a community. We're not as amorphous as it seems most of the year. And often people have announced the number of newlyweds in the crowd. Extraordinary! I know I've made cracks about lesbians and gay men wanted to have kids and blend in w/all you people in the nuclear families. And I do think it is an unexamined impulse. But it's also a human impulse. Marriage seems to be that too for many.
And even our local paper ran a couple of pages of couples who were just married (most had been together longer than our 15 years!). That's a sign of equal rights not an irrelevant or trendy issue. Watching Phyllis & Del get married (again) and the dozens of other weddings in City Hall I saw a sign of change. Revolution can begin in the cracks and crevices. That's what I'm hoping straight people get when it comes to voting. You take something like this for granted. The progressives are the worst! Because it's an institution that needs deconstruction it's not worth using it as a tool to pry open fingers around our necks.
I do worry that it's too much mainstreaming of our movement. But I do believe we can use more than one tactic to change the world. Maybe these the 'ordinary' steps are ones we have to take to get to the other more radical ideas. Maybe the ordinary things are the stepping stones to the extraordinary.