Recently Canada has become one of a handful of countries to legalize same-sex marriage. This, and the summer months in which there are queer pride celebrations around the world, have made queer sexuality all the buzz these days. Living in Canada and being together with my boyfriend for 5 years, the question of the day has become “so, when are you two getting married now that it’s legal?’ Well intentioned as this question may be, I can’t wait for the din of marriage to settle and the question to stop. I feel like my friends are waiting for me to say, “yes” so they can tell everyone they know some fags who are getting married, “Isn’t it hysterical? Who would have believed…?”

People see same-sex marriage as a marker of progress, that “things are getting better,” that this is something all queer people should be proud of. “We’re one step closer to being equal,” and even the people who aren’t interested in getting married are saying “well, I may not want it for myself, but I think people should have the choice if they want it.” This makes me think that these same people, under the right circumstances would, in fact, tie the knot, that the romantic idea of a fairy tale wedding is something we all secretly, deeply aspire to. Admittedly it’s hard to not want it given that the idea of marriage is wrapped up in so much fantasy and promise of bliss. I mean who doesn’t want someone to be there when you need them, to love and hang out with, to have lots of sex with and to grow old with. Unfortunately marriage can’t provide any of these things.

Relationships take a lot of work to grow and remain loving. I have yet to see the evidence that marriage makes a difficult relationship easier. I have heard several people say that being married means they are much more willing to fight to stay together than if they weren’t. At what point though does working at a relationship go from being admirable to just plain stupid. Not that people who get married are stupid, it’s just that if the fear of divorce is all that’s holding a marriage together then what is the point? If the relationship is dead then it may as well be over.

If people are in love and make a commitment to each other to work at their relationship then why should the government or laws be involved? Why should anyone feel the need to be validated by these laws and traditions? Traditions that seem to be based on ownership and transferral of property. Is the right to become someone else’s property really a sign of progress? Is this really something I should want for anyone?

As expected, since the news of legal same-sex marriage was announced there has been a flood of weddings and marriage licenses issued to many nice gay people. Queer marriage has become the latest impulse for loads of homos who truly feel like they are performing a political act, advancing the quality of life for queers all over. “Us good queer people are that much closer to becoming just like everyone else!” Ugh! Even if I weren’t queer I wouldn’t want to “be just like everyone else.” I don’t want to be part of social traditions that privilege certain people or relationships over others.

The worst of this whole thing though is the way that same-sex marriage is the next cash cow. “Get that wedding video you’ve always dreamed of,” “Diamonds are forever,” “www.gaywedding.ca,” “Wedding photography: free second set of prints,” “We do wonderful wedding cakes!” and it goes on ad nauseum. I imagine countless marketing execs planning it all out, “They’ll be dying to get married since it’s been illegal for so long.” “We have to strike now while the iron is hot!” “Not only do they have disposable income, but studies have shown that gay people are extremely loyal customers.” The wedding industry is repulsive enough without adding all the homos to the target audience. Please make it all stop, please, please, please! The next generation of reality TV will undoubtedly have a plethora gay wedding shows such as “Which One of You is the Man?” “The Even More Odd Couple.” “Gays of our Lives.” And “The NEW Facts of Life.”

Unfortunately, being opposed to same-sex marriage puts me in the same boat along with all the crackers on the religious right, the one’s who keep saying that people marrying their dogs is only a step away. At least that’s how a lot of the queer “community” seems to see it, because obviously if I’m opposed to same-sex marriage I’m homophobic, and now that we can get married we are truly free.

Ah, but I’m sounding like a curmudgeon. I seriously don’t see how anyone can’t though when during Gay Pride the wax strips, tanning salons and Botox ads skyrocket. Looks an awful lot like queer culture is an easily packaged commodity selling to the highest bidder. Luckily I’m pretty broke these days.