Over the Rainbow (Michael Bronski, The Boston Phoenix) 08/01/03
The Stakes (Maggie Gallagher, The National Review) 07/14/03
THE BOSTON PHOENIX
Response to Michael Bronski on marriage
August 8, 2003
Letters to the Editor
In his article "Over the Rainbow" [News and Features, August 1], Michael Bronski laments that the gay movement is not as radical as the Gay Liberation Front was in 1970 and calls equal marriage rights "crumbs." I am amused by the notion that my roots as an activist are in the feminist view of marriage as hopelessly patriarchal. Admittedly, I am a bit younger than he is, but I never signed up for that any more than I feel included in Bronski’s term "queer."
Also amusing is the way he lumps together the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign, writing as if these groups are "obsessed" with marriage to the exclusion of all else — when NGLTF is notoriously unwilling to keep its focus on gay rights because of its concern about wars, newspaper strikes, and welfare, and HRC has geared up for the marriage fight only in the past few months, having focused for years on hate crimes and employment discrimination.
Bronski asserts that for gays, marriage would supply "validation" that "mutes some of the hurt and pain inflicted on so many queers by their families ... and society at large." Here we go with the victim mongering. Pardon me, but if I seek to marry, it will be for the legal benefits, not for validation or to ease the pain. If we were all such self-pitying victims, we would never have gotten this far. And I would love to know how Bronski’s sexual freedom could be curtailed in any way by gays gaining another legal option that we don’t have now.
Bronski also refers to William Eskridge’s "archconservative, destructive views on sexual morality." Surely anyone who wishes, as Bronski apparently does, that we were still behaving as we did in the ’70s should not be calling other people’s views destructive.
As Bronski mourns the fact that most of us have moved on from the radicalism of the 1970s, the Boston Globe editorializes in favor of gay marriage, and people all over are replying to the Vatican that an organization so concerned about immorality should start by ending its own facilitation and cover-ups of child molestation. I know our fight is far from over, but life presents some wonderful ironies sometimes.
Richard J. Rosendall