Dad, political sociologist, local councillor, drummer from Malta

Friday, May 17, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Deniers: An invitation to resistance

Michael Briguglio

This blog appeared in Malta Today, 17-05-2013
http://maltatoday.com.mt/en/blogsdetails/blogs/Same-sex-marriage-deniers-an-invitation-to-resistance-20130517


Just as more and more countries around the world are introducing same-sex marriages, and just as more and more leaders including socialists (Hollande), conservatives (Cameron) and democracts (Obama) are joining progressives for the introduction of this right, Malta's own Today Public Policy institute has said that Malta is not ready for same-sex marriage, and that it would be 'one step too far' to introduce it. Which reminds me of those who some years ago said that Malta is not ready for divorce, anti-censorship legislation, and so forth.

So here we are. The Today Public Policy Insitute wants same-sex couples who would like to express their love through marriage to be content with civil unions. To me, this is nothing but discrimination.

It does not make sense to speak of equality in family and social policy while only allowing opposite-sex partners to marry. Such exclusionary practice effectively means that symbolic and significant aspects of marriage, such as being “husband” or “wife” can only be articulated, experienced and recognised if one marries someone of the opposite sex. It is indeed ironic that in a day and age of increased separations and divorce, couples who wish to marry are denied this right solely because of their sexual orientation.

If anything, recognition of same-sex marriages can lead to the strengthening and democratization of the concept of the family, through a process of social inclusion and recognition of different family forms.

Whilst I accept that same-sex marriage is not the be-all-end-all of LGBT rights, and whilst I also accept the fact that the Labour Party pledged to introduce civil unions and therefore is working accordingly in Government, I insist that this policy is discriminatory and based on evolutionist philosophy which holds that we Maltese are some inferior people who are not ready for certain rights.

As Michel Foucault, the great social theorist once put it, for every power there is resistance. I hope that the discursive power of the 'same-sex marriage deniers' gets the resistance it deserves. In a way The Today Public Policy Institute can act as an incentive for such activism.


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