Don’t read E. J. Graff’s new column, “What Straight Allies Need To Understand about Gay Marriage and States’ Rights”, because she’s longtime lesbian activist. Don’t read it because she’s a great writer with a talent for cutting to the chase. (“But too many people whose marriages are not up for debate have been griping that his announcement was too little, too late…. Such critics of Obama are wrong. They are wrong about what the administration has done and said, wrong on the politics of gay marriage, and — most important — they are wrong on the law. “)
Read it because Graff has thought longer and more deeply about marriage as a cultural institution in the Western world than just about anyone.
Read it because she explains why Loving v. Virginia and the interracial marriage bans it overturned aren’t a good parallel for same-sex marriage…but divorce laws are.
Read it because of her deeply thoughtful and nuanced explanation for why Obama’s strategy (“first action, then language“) and his tone (“talking about his emotional shift on the issue“) are precisely the right tools for building a United States in which all gay and lesbian couples have equal marriage rights with their straight neighbors.
Read it because even if you end up disagreeing with her, chances are you’ll have strengthened your own argument by having wrestled with hers.
Crossposted at: http://masscommons.wordpress.com/