Some gays think that our battle for marriage equality is misguided. Marriage is an antiquated and oppressive institution, they believe. Having marriage equality as the primary thrust of the current day gay rights movement is a mistake, they maintain. Instead, they believe that we ought to be focusing on things like workplace protections, hate crime prevention legislation, etc. They want to jettison the fight over marriage, because they believe marriage give the religionists a public relations tool to use against us.
I disagree with this for two reasons: 1. Marriage is first and foremost a civil contract that can and does stand apart from religious sanction for many people, and 2. We ought to take on the religionists whenever and wherever they seek to impose their beliefs upon us.
There is no reason to think that if we cede the battle over marriage to the religionists that they will all of a sudden approve of us and support our demands for other forms of gay rights legislation, and every reason to think that they will continue to oppose gay equality across the board. On marriage, as with DADT, I say make me equal first, then we can talk about whether or not certain institutions are oppressive.
As for gay rights organizations like HRC and president-elect Obama, of course they'll disappoint anyone who has their head screwed on properly. We should detach our fight for equality from the Democrats and HRC. As was the case with the civil rights movement of the 60's our movement should be politically neutral. Let the Obama's come to us for our votes and approval, rather than handing our support to them on a silver platter in spite of their unsatisfactory positions on gay rights.