Nor'easter Statement

When mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom first introduced gay marriage to the U.S. political scene in 2004, the California Supreme Court was quick to overturn it. But Newsom warned that he had started a ball rolling, and it was unlikely to stop until every state deemed the ban unconstitutional, whether California agreed or not. Five years later, Newsom's prophecy is beginning to come true: A majority of New England states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine, as well as Iowa, now recognize same-sex marriages, with New York and Washington, D.C. currently working on similar bills.

Gay allies everywhere are excited by the success of the campaign. But as legislation changes, state by state, it is important to remember that -- along with racism, sexism and transphobia -- homophobia itself has not been written out of daily life.

Furthermore, to the extent that gayness has been accepted in the mainstream, it has also been commodified. Institutional acceptance could limit the movement to seek change through legislation, stripping it of the revolutionary nature that has for thousands of years shaken the foundation of hetero-patriarchal society. Only a partial milestone, the legalization of gay marriage does not guarantee liberation and dignity for all.

Legalized gay marriage should not marginalize those elements within the movement that challenge gender binaries and hetero-normative instiutions. Keeping queerness radical and pluralistic will be essential to the gay rights movement. Because, as with any movement, no one is free until we all are.

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