Defining Marriage

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The purpose of this essay is to analyze fastidiously and personalize Warner’s Beyond Gay Marriage article. Three convergent points of Warner’s argument will be broken down, and examined. First, the concept that marriage consecrates some pairs at the cost of others. Second the question of why marriage has become such a prevalent organization in gay politics. Finally, the definition of marriage in public, private, and state terms.

Marriage is far beyond what it has been previously defined in history. Present day American society has made marriage a significant right of passage, a way to show maturity, or the complete path to becoming a functioning member of society. The act of becoming married truly states to society “I am ready to comply with social norms, and therefore become accepted.” Existing and participating in this structure unconsciously states that this relationship is more worthy than others.

The benefits of marriage comply with this by rewarding the couple in unison, and rewarding when they divorce. As Warner eloquently describes “the ennobling and demeaning go together” (Warner 82). The legalization of gay marriage would, in turn, be only furthering the deep etching of oppression that marriage brings on people who choose other lifestyle routes. “But what about the gay people who want marriage? Would they not in turn derive their sense of pride from the invidious and shaming distinction between the married and the unmarried? ”(Warner 82).

For someone like me who has been truly against the, in my opinion, absurd reasoning for marriage, it is hard for me to completely understand why anyone would want to battle for such a domineering institution. The way that marriage is, in society, just another oppresso...

... middle of paper ... acceptance.

Everyone, not just the homosexual community, needs to fight the inequalities of marriage. It needs to be vastly rewritten and redefined, and if this is not possible it needs to be demolished. We should be rewarding woman who gain jobs as CEO’s, professors, and lawyers. Not women who get married and then get divorced. I do not want to be the antagonist of this exact institution, but a fighter against what it enforces. Marriage supports only a select number of individuals, and then oppresses everyone else. The homosexual community must understand that this win will only continuously enforce the biggest oppressor in our society. Equality cannot be gained by a completely unequal system.


Warner, Michael. The Trouble With Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life.

New York: The Free Press, 1999. 81-147. Print.

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