In Part 1, the struggle for gay marriage and how it benefits corporate interests.
In a disconcerting quote, demographer Gary Gates told CNN that “corporate support for the LGBT community largely preceded public support for [gay marriage]. Corporate America perceived that there was a big consumer market.”
This was exactly what I warned against, writing last year that “the corporate sector is going full-speed ahead” in trying to turn the community of gender, sexual, and radical diversity “into a market so they can get millions [and billions] of dollars in profits,” an expansion of the “specific market” that exists for this community.
Numerous articles attest to this fact: Business Insider wrote that “many brands [are] making concerted efforts to target the LGBT market” which they subtly said was “untapped,” Bilerico explained how “responsible consumerism continues to be an important issue for the LGBT community,” a Reuters article said that financial advisers should approach gay and lesbian people, an article advised corporations on how to market to the LGBT community which they said was a “legitimate market segment,” and much more.
All in all, such marketing is not a surprise considering that “a number of the nation’s most recognizable brands are behind all of the concerts, parades, and rainbow flags … [since the] decision to promote gay rights is simply good business sense” and that Pride festivals and parades are a market in and of themselves.
Considering that the corporate community benefits from gay marriage and that they perceive (mostly) the gay and lesbian communities to be a market, it may be time to question gay marriage itself. In order to that, I bring in what scholar Leila Ahmed wrote in her book, Women and Gender in Islam about Egypt’s New Kingdom which lasted from about the 16th century BCE to about the 11th century BCE.
Ahmed wrote about marriage and divorce in the New Kingdom: “… marriage and divorce alike were private agreements in which the state took no part and no ceremonies were necessary, even available, to sanction a marriage in religion or law. [Still,] the state appears to have regulated sexuality only to ensure public order.” 
At the same time, the Egyptian state “took no direct part in marriage and divorce and did not regulate the family [while] … the purpose of marriage among Egyptians was apparently not the production of heirs for the patriarchal head of the household but the shared life and the pleasures and comforts it had to offer.” 
This ended as Greek and Roman mores spread, causing Egyptian women to lose most of their rights, and their position in society to decline, which was only exacerbated when Egypt was conquered by the Arabs. 
Today, it is possible for any state in the world to follow the model of Egypt’s New Kingdom. This means that the state would not have any part in regulating marriage or divorce. Personally, that seems just. Going even deeper, this snapshot of history begs the question that has been lingering in my mind for a while now: Why does the state have to officiate people’s relationships?
To be clear, I am not saying that marriage should not exist. Rather, I am saying that it should be taken out of state control. Someone could still have a temporary marriage, instead of it being a “fixed, timeless institution.” Perhaps marriage is a part of society, but I am not convinced that marriage itself as an institution should be abolished, but that view could change in the future. I know my mom and dad are happily married, and while they spar from time to time, they still love each other deeply and want to stay together. That is, in theory, what marriage is supposed to be.
Despite my view on marriage, I believe, like Garrett Shaw and others, that those that take a position critical or opposing marriage should be respected. If someone takes a position similar to Sherry Wolf, dismissing their critique of marriage and not understanding where it is coming from, then they are acting in a dominitive manner, which is not good. Hence, while I agree with self-identified queer activist Anders Anichkowsky’s view that he is not enthusiastic about gay marriage being a goal for the gay rights movement, that the marriage equality movement takes away time, energy and attention from more pressing issues, that this movement does not advocate the removal of capitalism and that it may be a distraction from other issues, I do not agree with everything he says about marriage.
Beyond marriage, there is something that disturbs me more than anything. It is not the corporate backing of causes such as gay marriage, rather it is that the corporate community sees a “big consumer market” as existing in the gay & lesbian community. The marketing of these products along with the commodification and commercialization of aspects of gay and lesbian life is, I would argue, an imposition of domination.
Ecofeminist Karen Warren writes that “superiority justifies subordination” and that the “logic of domination thereby operates both as a premise and a process whereby others are constructed or thought of as inferior” but that the construction of inferiority may not “be consciously, knowingly, or even intentionally maintained.” 
Warren argues that this logic of domination privileges certain “Ups” as justifying the subordination, domination, treatment as inferior, and enslavement of “Downs,” those being oppressed and dominated. 
She later writes that domination “reinforces the power and privileges of Ups over Downs in Up-Down relationships of domination and subordination” and that “all oppression involves subordination,” with oppression limiting “choices and options.” 
In my view, the corporate sector marketing products to gay & lesbian people, mostly, is a form of domination, and oppression. Once these products are marketed to this community, gays & lesbians may become dependent on some of them.
For digital programs and software, Eli Pariser calls this dependence a lock-in or the point “at which users are so invested in their technology that even if competitors might offer better services, it’s not even worth making the switch.”
This idea could also be applied to consumer products, since people can become so invested in the product that even if a new and better one comes along, they don’t want to make the switch. Hence, the choices and options of people would be limited, meaning that oppression is occurring. What the corporations are doing is what Martin Luther King outlined near the end of his life as one of the “triple evils,” along with racism and militarism: economic exploitation.
Warren does not talk about this in her book, but it is vital to tie into the relationship of domination at play here. In such a logic of domination, the big corporations and big business would be the ups, and the gay and lesbian community would be the downs. There could be an element of patriarchy, or “the systematic domination of women by men through institutions … behaviors, and ways of thinking … which assign higher value, privilege and power to men than given to women,”  occurring in this situation as well.
I say this because many men are at the top of these huge corporations, which are marketing to this community of human “others,” and women, specifically lesbians, are in this community, which is being exploited, dominated, and oppressed by such practices. In addition, it must be recognized that “some or all men may themselves be harmed by patriarchy,”  since they are being exploited, dominated and oppressed as well by such marketing to the gay & lesbian community.
In writing this article, I know that a lot of people will not be pleased, and might be angry because of my argument against state sanctioning of marriage and criticism of supposedly “gay-friendly” corporations who are helping to destroy the planet. Despite this, I will not back down from my views expressed here.
I know that currently, in the US (I’m not sure about other countries) there are tax benefits for married couples. These benefits, I’d argue, should be eliminated. There should be no tax benefits for someone being single, nor in a relationship or married.
In order to eliminate any misconceptions, let be clear: I am not against people loving each other for whatever personal reasons it may be. Love is, in my view, a wonderful thing. However, I believe that someone can be attached to or love another person outside of marriage and that such a relationship doesn’t have to be sanctioned by the state.
Where have the conceptions of love in this way, the idea, as Emma Goldman once described it, that “love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere” gone? This idea of “free love” seems to have evaporated from the horizon of conversation and has been taken out of the capitalist political landscape.
In the past I’ve argued that the gay mainstream is flawed, that “it is is absurd to cry for “equality” or “freedom” when the struggle for gay rights is supported by the corporate sector,” even saying that “if corporate support and sponsorship is not abandoned … then it may be time to walk away from the gay rights movement.” In its place there needs to be radical, “creative and nonviolent resistance” that “challenges capitalism, established institutions such as government bodies, marriage itself, militarism, and … [fights] … the root causes of problems in communities with gender, sexual and radical diversity in America.”
However, this in and of itself, is not enough. Radical journalist Doug Ireland provides an even more powerful challenge to the existing gay rights movement, including the fight for the expansion of the marriage franchise and anti-discrimination laws.
Ireland writes that in the long term, the “gay movement … [will have] to begin a serious and radical rethinking of homosexualities and gender identities,” which means “breaking the forms of social control implicit in the gay market ideology” and that only the original project of gay liberation can bring a “fundamental redefinition of human freedom that includes a re-characterization of human sexuality in all its glorious varieties.”
In the end, not only is Ireland’s challenge valid, but if the gay rights movement really wants to become a movement that advocates those who are part of the community of gender, sexual, radical and diversity, beyond gays and lesbians, it has to engage in self-critique, and move beyond advocating for narrowly-defined goals such as gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws.
 Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. 32.
 Ibid, 33.
 Warren, Karen J. Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2000. 48.
 Ibid, 55.
 Ibid, 66.
 Bryson, Valerie. Feminist Political Theory: An Introduction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2003. 173.
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