Gay Marriage vs Gay Charity and Gay Everything Else

6 Oct

I realized that the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent on the campaign for same-sex marriage over the past two and half decades would have been better utilized saving lives. Same-sex marriage will not solve teen homelessness, economic disparities, HIV/AIDS, the prison industrial complex, healthcare access, pinkwashing, violence against queer and trans* people (mostly of color), and racist immigration laws.

Andrew Núñez

I’m getting married next year (hurray), and while I have never given money to the same-sex marriage cause I did spend money in a similar fashion: I moved to New York. Not only did I pay my gargantuan one-time fee, but I clawed at low-paying jobs and made the decision to stay here and suffer high taxes and rent.

Why did I do that?

Self-preservation. Sanity. Because New York is better than gay-friendly, it’s gay-doesn’t-care. I feel at my most normal here.

You could not say that the money I spend to stay in New York could (or should) be easily transferred towards a charity, but I feel like that is what writers are saying when they write the above quote. The difference here is between moneyed self-interest and charity. My giving to charity is rarer. It’s a mood that strikes me during Christmas or when I need to feel good about myself. What I give to charity is always lesser than what I give to myself.

The “hundreds of millions of dollars” given to gay organizations can’t all be considered charity. Many couples, moneyed, and older have fought for marriage as a means for self-preservation, and if you don’t live in a state that allows it then the clock continues to tick.

These funds are not the same that would have been given to a charity, but we should ask ourselves what it is that we can do to funnel more interests towards charities and causes that aren’t gay marriage. I’ve talked about the issue of whether or not LGBT homelessness is an LGBT cause here and many of the issues above are wrapped up in other problems. When we talk about homelessness we are talking about class, and race, and in America people don’t want to see those as problems.

That is the issue at hand, not that money should move from self-interest towards charity, but that few people can grasp the humanity and suffering behind these causes.

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