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Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage
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Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage (Against Equality)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  292 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
While what feels like the entirety of the gay and lesbian movement is marching in unison towards some vague notion of equality, the Against Equality collective has been quietly assembling a digital archive to document the critical resistance to the politics of inclusion. This pocket-sized book of archival texts lays out some of the historical foundations of queer resistanc ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Against Equality Press (first published September 1st 2010)
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Bryan Ball
Sep 09, 2011 Bryan Ball rated it did not like it
Life is far too short than to waste time reading allegedly intellectual garbage like this...
Jan 08, 2013 Stefani marked it as not-even-if-you-paid-me
Shelves: no-sense-made
I don't....get it. So, LGBT people should not support gay marriage because by doing so they are promoting a conservative cause....wait, what? What the hell does marriage and equal rights under the laws of this land have to do with Republicans?

I'd be much more impressed if this book addressed the issue this way: Gay marriage, straight marriage, none of it matters. Why should the government be involved in ANY of our relationships? Why should it be the government's business who ANY of us want to ma
Mar 11, 2013 Amelia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
Man, what a refreshing read. I have a lot of thoughts about it, and will probably blog about it in length later, but there were some seriously bold and brave (and correct!) essays in here.

The short version of my reaction to this book is this:

Marriage has always made me feel weird. Realizing that I'm gay hasn't changed that, and I haven't been entirely behind the gay marriage movement as a result. But it's been hard for me to articulate why that is, exactly-- probably because all the liberals in
Amber Lea
May 13, 2013 Amber Lea rated it liked it
I feel like the writers in this book misunderstand a lot. There's this common "either/or" argument running throughout all these essays that if you're for gay marriage you're against everything else worth fighting for...and therefore you're a classist, racist, transphobic a-hole. I think you can be for gay marriage and still give a shit about poor people and poly people and people of color and genderqueers and everyone else.

And let me clarify that I have no intention to ever get married and I hav
Oct 29, 2011 Emma rated it it was amazing
this was so easy to power through!! a whole bunch of righteous and unapologetically brutal critiques of gaystream marriage campaigns.

it was refreshing to read succinct and accessible rants that progress (relatively) logically to condemn the reformist, civil-rights appropriative and privilege-consolidating arguments for gay marriage. these are campaigns that have cost the GLBTQ community and its allies A LOT over the past decade in the U.S. - in terms of time, money and also in terms of the seve
Jul 02, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic and extremely accessible. Most of the essays were originally published on blogs.

The essays discuss the authors' very practical objections to same-sex marriage. Generally, they argue that marriage is a historically fucked up institution that shouldn't have legal privileges attached to it. Because most of the privileges marriage confers tend to benefit (or are only accessible to) middle class queers, the authors don't see same-sex marriage as being a benefit to a majority o
Jun 23, 2012 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Presents essential dissenting viewpoints on what is now an even bigger debate (if that was possible). Kenyon Farrow’s essay is particularly stand out in its analysis of the perceived divide between GLBTQ and African American communities. I have two dissenting points of my own: 1) if you frame your policy position with the language “against equality” you are not making it any easier on yourself; 2) perhaps a position against marriage is the minority one in both queer and hetero communities. If th ...more
Amy P.
Jan 10, 2011 Amy P. rated it it was amazing
It's so nice to hear queer voices bringing up logical arguments against gay marriage. This book is full of short vignettes featuring writings from different sources. Some of the vignettes are well researched, and some verge on the side of polemics. However, all the writings give thought provoking arguments of why gay marriage is not the fight that all queers are behind.
Jul 29, 2012 Liz marked it as to-read
I am kind of hostile to this whole thing because being radically anti-marriage actually is the mainstream position in my social circles, and I guess I'm feeling a personal backlash to the backlash. I get frustrated because I kind of agree but think it's a bit of a misdirection of energy. why not spend your time actually working on the issues you think we should prioritise over marriage? working to dismantle the border or the prison industrial complex or get universal health care, rather than wri ...more
May 15, 2016 Wendy rated it it was ok
Shelves: good-riddance
Last night, in an attempt to finish all the books I've begun by the end of the year, I finished this thing called Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage. One essay was quite outstanding, a couple were good, many made some good points, and some were so fucking obnoxious that I not only want to kill the book by slow, painful, controlled fire, but also rip it into shreds and hear it scream, then throw it from a mountaintop into a raging river, only to have it reincarnate just so I can ki ...more
Nov 04, 2015 E rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book much more than I did. As a historical document about a particular moment in the marriage frenzy of gay America, it's pretty good. As a political text that addresses marriage abolition in transnational or philosophical terms it was very uneven and unsatisfying, primarily because several of the arguments against gay marriage become null when applied to stronger welfare states. Opposing marriage because you think everyone should have universal healthcare makes sense if yo ...more
Mock Shark
May 17, 2011 Mock Shark rated it it was amazing
Amazing - I never thought I was super brainwashed by conservative white gay agenda - but I was. I will never support HRC or gay marriage ever again. This totally 180ed my thinking and I think these essays will do the same for you. Reallly great - short to the point, and most importantly from a diverse pool of queers who are standing up and not just accepting status quo and what sounds right. So good! I recommend everyone read this - queer and queer allies
David Teachout
Jul 23, 2014 David Teachout rated it it was amazing
I actually didn't read this for a while simply because I knew my easy view of gay rights and the social change involved with it would be challenged. Once I started though, I couldn't stop. While at times amusing, particularly when reading an article that declares the push to legalize marriage equality is failing (it was written before the string of victories), the overall message is one of expanding a view of social justice and community involvement beyond isolated projects. This expansion means ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it
This quick and dirty little tome provides a much-needed intervention in the hopelessly polarizing and, frankly, distracting gay marriage debate (hardly even a debate these days, with most Americans resigned to the inevitable triumph of same-sex matrimony). As it's popularly portrayed, gay marriage is the cause of freedom-loving progressives everywhere while opposition to it is an archaic position reserved for right-wing, fundamentalist dinosaurs. This unhelpful binary has kept us from having dee ...more
Oct 06, 2011 firesandwords rated it really liked it
This book is pretty good. I've read most, but not all of the essays in it. It offers a number of essays by a handful of authors critiquing gay marriage as a priority for the queer/lgbtq... movements. it deconstructs the common reasoning behind gay marriage as THE goal of queer communities and how that goal reinforces state recognition, state intervention in our relationships, heteronormativity, the nuclear family (and therefore capitalism), as well as marginalizing trans people, non-mongogamous ...more
Kathleen O'Neal
Jan 23, 2015 Kathleen O'Neal rated it really liked it
In this excellent first volume in the Against Equality series, LGBTQ writers explore the ways in which an excessive focus on marriage among mainstream LGBT leaders has often obscured the patriarchal roots of the institution, failed to critique the problems with using marriage as a way to allocate benefits to individuals in lieu of a strong social safety net, contributed to not entirely benign assimilationist tendencies within queer culture, and failed to recognize value in a diverse variety of h ...more
Feb 02, 2011 Addy rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, read-in-2011
Two stars = it was okay.

The essays within range in quality to an astonishing degree and push this from 3.5-ish to 2 stars. Several essays are poorly reasoned but have some excellent thoughts; two essays are very well executed and deserve your thoughtful attention.

The idea behind this volume is great. There aren't enough voices involved in setting the national agenda and there are some decent arguments to be made for why gay marriage shouldn't be a part of that agenda at all or that it should be
Apr 10, 2014 Cornfed rated it liked it
The usual queer claptrap you'd expect from these writers, but I'm giving it a good review out of anti-gay-marriage solidarity. I'm so disappointed in my fellow homos for seeking straight approval. Let's dismantle heteropatriarchy, not embrace it.
Jul 30, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, queer
One of the first collections I've come across from the perspective of the TRUE left - those asking the important questions like, "Why oh WHY are we pushing for the 'right' to be included in an inherently patriarchal, homophobic, capitalist institution [i.e. marriage] instead of working to change the damn institution itself?!" An AMAZING collection from some amazing writers, activists & thinkers.
Aug 02, 2011 Sky rated it liked it
I liked it. It felt like a series of glancing blows at a titanic issue that reaches beyond queer politics. It's worth a look for anyone who cares about the issue, and it's designed for friendly (non-homophobic) people to understand the need to refocus their energy for supporting queer community.
This book is really more of a 4 star collection but because most of the material collected within is freely available online (even if the book is a pretty good deal at 8 bux, and a few pieces are slightly modified)which makes me err more towards "this is good but not great collection"
Dana Lee
Sep 14, 2012 Dana Lee rated it liked it
It wasn't so much the writing style that made me like this but the challenges to my thinking that happened. It is written from an American standpoint, so being Canadian I didn't find all of the arguments relevant.
Feb 16, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Some great essays, and some blog posts I could have done without. Though I didn't agree with every argument, I agreed with many of them. And this little volume definitely offered some food for thought.
Oct 18, 2013 Colin rated it really liked it
give this to yr mom/dad/square coworker next time they ask what yer goddamned problem w/ gay marriage is
Jean Hardy
Apr 03, 2011 Jean Hardy rated it really liked it
Definitely a must read. Brings so much to the table that isn't talked about within the mainstream "left."
Steph Mclean
Apr 24, 2011 Steph Mclean rated it liked it
I am still digesting this one.
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Ryan Conrad is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD offered through the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Society and Culture as well as a faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Studies program at Concordia University.

Conrad is also the co-founder of Against Equality, a digital archive and publishing collective based in the United States and Canada. He is the
More about Ryan Conrad...

Other Books in the Series

Against Equality (4 books)
  • Against Equality: Prisons Will Not Protect You
  • Against Equality: Don't Ask to Fight Their Wars
  • Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion

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