Bryan Ball's Reviews > Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage

Against Equality by Ryan Conrad
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's review
Sep 09, 2011

did not like it

Life is far too short than to waste time reading allegedly intellectual garbage like this...
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Bryan Ball If you're for whatever reason not for marriage, fine, but I spend too much time fighting for the rights for those who want them (and have no reason for their denial). I've come across arguments that look to be the kind in this book, and I stongly disagree with them, nor have the time for them. If I'm getting the wrong impression of what this book is from what I have looked into about it (thank you very much), perhaps this should be better marketed before it's release.

Yasmin Hi Bryan,

We would be happy to take anyone's suggestions regarding the marketing of the book - whether in terms of improving what we're already doing or using new methods (full disclosure: I've written the introduction and an essay).

Alas, we can do nothing about marketing books - which are, in their essence, meant to be read - to people who will describe them as "intellectual garbage" without even reading them. I mean, that's a pretty strong term to use for something you haven't read, no?

Also, how is it possible to "strongly disagree" with views for which you have not even had the time?

Somewhere, Sarah Palin is beaming.

To everyone else - welcome and thank you for visiting this page! If you'd like to bring our spirited book and equally spirited dialogue on these matters to a venue near you, drop us a line.

Bryan Ball I read quite a few entires on the blog and recognized arguments like criticizing the marriage equity movement and push to repeal the military's don't ask, don't tell policy because the community is demanding we be included in these institutions, etc, and I truthfully see no value in that. If you do not want to be part of any institution, you have every right to do so, but as far as criticizing those who are fighting to be included in those institutions on the basis of equality, that I strongly disagree with.

And I'm perfectly free to do so, without having to read a thesis on the idea.

But thanks for the original Sarah Palin slam.

Bryan Ball Yasmin, I repeat I read the blog and I just read your argument. Yes, I understand what you are posing, but there is nothing in that argument worth agreeing with or debating at this moment in my opinion. And in fact I see it as very much counter-productive.

As far as domestic partner legislation interfering with marriage and vice versa, as someone who has physically worked with legislatures on this issue and preventing the two from ever canceling out the other, I can tell you that you would be hard pressed to find any activist fighting for marriage equality who would support the dissolution of domestic partnerships. (Although maybe you did, and interviewed the two of them for your book?)

As far as DADT, calling someone like Dan Choi "bloodthirsty" and "imperialistic" is, frankly, bizarre and that I honestly don't understand how someone could contort his heroic deeds of standing up to a segregated military institution to fit those sensationalist terms.

What makes me feel so strongly about arguments like these, that throw blanket covers over these issues, is that these theories discourage participation in the real fight, against our real enemies, like your good friend Ms. Palin. Marriage Equality is a civil right, and that does not ever have to interfere with anyone one person's/religious organization's/what have you's own civil rights to exist freely. DADT is a real evil. I can start naming dozens of people I have personally met and know who's lives are not able to be freely lived because of this evil. The same for ENDA laws; I can start naming dozens of real people who have been fired from jobs because there were no such protections in place to preserve their civil rights.

The real, worthwhile fight is getting DADT repealed, getting Marriage Equality passed in all 50 states, passing ENDA, UAFA, and the list goes on. And that's why I'm willing to say I disagree with anyone who opposes this movement, whether they be Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin, a certain Democratic congress that refuses to uniformly act on these issues, or yourself.

Yasmin Bryan wrote: "Yasmin, I repeat I read the blog and I just read your argument. Yes, I understand what you are posing, but there is nothing in that argument worth agreeing with or debating at this moment in my opi..."

Well, Bryan, I invite you to actually read our book, which is different from the website - and to speak to the many people who have been compelled to marry in states like MA precisely because dps have been dissolved. So, I think you need to get your facts straight.

As for Dan Choi, anyone who goes on as he does about wanting to preserve U.S. values of freedom in Iraq as he does is in fact bloodthirsty and imperialistic. But I will defer to our colleague (and contributor to the anthology) Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore on this:

Gay marriage is not being fought as a civil right - it's enabling the worrisome legal idea that *only* marriage counts as a relationship worthy of basic benefits like health care. As Nancy Polikoff has pointed out, the U.S. is the only industrialised country that connnects so many benefits to marriage. As John D'Emilio points out, we were achieving a stage where the benefits of marriage were increasingly being disbursed with other forms of non-marital relationships or even outside relationships. Gay marriage, by returning so vehemently to the idea that only marriage counts, is rolling back the hard-won struggles on that front - the domestic partnership issue, on which I advise you to check your facts, is just one example.

Our very fine essays in the book, which include new work, dispute the idea that marriage is simply about "equality." I know others here will actually read the book before arguing endlessly about its merits. So I bid you farewell.

Bryan Ball Yasmin, we're clearly not going to agree on anything. I'm not going to read your book, and not only because when I disagreed about the book's premise I was attacked by one of its contributors (though that certainly doesn't help, for future reference) but because I inherently see arguments such as these as unsound distractions that seek to prevent real change and justice from being effected.

I will continue to go about how I work to effect change, and I'll hope that you are working from a point where you believe you're working toward the same goal-- regardless of my personal feelings or opposition toward it.

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