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Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

Last post 08-11-2006, 8:11 AM by randomturtle. 5 replies.
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  •  08-02-2006, 3:02 PM 2944

    Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

    Hi all,

    This is part two in my effort to introduce a little more contraversy to the Integral By Topic forum.

    It seems, from a lot of conversations I've had, that "the Integral perspective" on same-sex marriage is that it should exist with the same status as hetero marriage. I'd like to challenge that, just a little.

    I'll happily grant that most of the people arguing against same-sex marriage are doing so from an ethnocentric "Gay folks is different" position. But just because there are people supporting a position for reasons we don't like doesn't mean the position is inherently invalid.

    A few years ago I read a book by Michael Warner called The Trouble With Normal, which I'm still digesting. He (who happens to be tall, bald, and brilliant, much like someone else I can think of, though Ken doesn't seem to have Warner's taste for men) basically argues that the effort to secure marriage rights is in the end counter-productive for the queer community. He says that activists often portray queer relationships as being basically the same as breeder relationships, plus or minus one penis, and that in doing so they alienate the less "normal" members of the community, and only reinforce a heteronormative view of sex and romance. Warner proposes instead that the queer community, together with forward thinking straight folk, should be working to abolish that view and create a wider range of romantisexual options. This is much like Foucault's "new economy of bodies and pleasures," for those of you who are into that.

    I'm still not sure what I think of the proposal, but it does make a certain amount of sense to me. In AQAL terms, he's proposing that the LL should be more accepting of a wider variety of types, instead of trying to change the LR to squeeze a few more people into an existing mold. He's furthermore pointing out that the association of marriage as a relationship (defined in LL terms) and marriage as a financial arrangement (defined in LR terms) is essentially a left-over from conventional Puritan morals anyway, and the gay community should be changing that, instead of trying to fit in.

    So I'm curious what y'all think.

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  •  08-02-2006, 6:36 PM 2976 in reply to 2944

    Re: Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

    I pretty much agree with your analysis, and Warner's, too. Trying to force Blue to accept a higher level vMeme on this issue is tough and equal rights could be more easily accomplished by removing the government policies based on the idea of marriage altogether.

    I imagine that governments would only regulate things like monetary and access rights for people who entered into "partnerships" - either for romantic or for business reasons, which wouldn't necessarily be recorded. The government would simply allow for some special rights for partnerships that were based on the benefit to the general community (better security, better health, less need for government assistance, etc.) While the romantic and traditional aspects of marriage would be governed by civic institutions that would be as diverse as people needed them to be. Depending on your personal beliefs and practices, you could choose to be married by the Catholic church, the Unitarian Universalists Church, a Jewish Temple, a psychological counsellor (like my husband and I were, the second time*), or even by an athiest/agnostic bike chopper gang (like my friends were!). You, and your three best pirate friends, could be married as a quad in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if you really wanted.

    I know it seems at first a step backward to remove marriage rights from the government, but I don't think it ultimately would be. I think the seperation of what has traditionally been a church driven morality from a state driven legal rights issue would free all vMemes up to do what they believe is right in all their quadrants.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles!
    Turtle
    * who's fisrt wedding ceremony was a very private (just the two of us) handfasting ceremony that we made up on the spot while hanging out on a completely deserted (of other humans) and bitingly cold and windswept beach that we bused, biked, and walked to on Martha's Vinyard.
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  •  08-04-2006, 1:31 PM 3253 in reply to 2944

    Re: Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

    You know Yschacter, I'm really starting to like your cotroversial threads Big Smile [:D]

    What is intersting to me about s-s mariage, well about  marriage in general. Is that marriage itself IS a religious institution isn't it?  What I mean is that marriage originated out of early human religious societies as a way of cementing social relationships and providing a somewhat organized way to provide new people who were needed to plow the fields,  etc.

    Obviously many of those early needs are no longer relavent in todays world.  But marriage itself is still largely a religious institution. And those institutions still largely operate at blue structures.. Its no wonder that churches don't want gay marriage. But blue churches can't and shouldn't be forced to marry gay couples either,... Should they?

    And as turtle  said, people should be allowed to get married by the "Church of Cookie Monster"  Wink [;)] if they want to, (my sister was planning on having her fiances friend get his ministers license online in order to marry them next summer).

    But is some pot head kids "internet minister's license" marriage, really a marriage. I mean in the LR forms of marriage it is. But I think that in  many ways as marriage itself becomes more and more secular, and gets more and more deconstructed it does scare people. And their definitely is some "Boomeritis" marriage ideas floating around in society. Many people don't take marriage seriously at all.  And isn't that cause for concern in some ways. 

    Now little of that directly relates to gay marriages.But it is all part of the picture. I think that marriage as a predominatnly blue structure does seem to be coming apart at the seems from the pressure cooker of Postmodernis and modernism. (Just like blue religion) And I think that it does need badly to be updated., somehow. (maybe supplemented, higher meme marriage structures, alternatives outside of mainstream christian churches that provided a new framework).

    Because unlike the pluralisitc idea that everyone is the same, gay marriage really is different from straight marriage. And it probably should follow a different model and maybe have different rituals, contracts, etc, that are better suited to it specific type. Just as there should probably be alternative types of social contracts for straight couples, beyond just marriage or being swingers.

    Whatcha think.
    Zip it! [:#] Confused [8-)] Idea [I]
    Benji

    "Should it matter that my mind won't fit back in my head" -S. Davis
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  •  08-06-2006, 12:52 PM 3546 in reply to 3253

    Re: Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

    Thanks, Benji, I'm glad you're having fun. Now let's get technical!

    Marriage, of course, is a four-quadrant affair. (BTW, I kinda want to write an AQAL romance novel, "A Four Quadrant Affair" about two young (level) lovers who resonate deeply (UL) with one another, but whose LL's are keeping them apart. Maybe throw in something of he's an Ascender, she's a Descender, can they reach non-dual awareness together? Finally, with the power of second-tier thinking they manage to integrate their way to live happily ever after. But this is a tangent).

    So marriage manifests in all behavior, intension, culture, and society. When people insist that marriage is a religious institution, they're privileging the lower quadrants, particularly the lower left. When people insist that marriage is about love and support for one another, and isn't the government's business, they're privileging the upper quadrants, particularly the upper left. When people insist that marriage is between a man and a woman, they privilege the UR, primarily. Warner says that the mainstream gay rights movement is trying to show that their UL is just like the hetero UL, so they should get the same LR rights, but in doing so they're sacrificing a lot of LL uniqueness. His solution, though, is to throw out everything but the LR and say that people should be able to have the legal rights of marriage in any close interdependant relationship.

    I guess by technical, I mean jargonny. So it seems to me that the integral approach would say something like:

    "Marriage has been around forever, and has always been a four-quadrant affair. A large community is developing for which the upper quadrant components of marriage are in place, and there is a LL supporting them, but the LR is still such as to correspond to a specific LL. The solution is to somehow allow the LR to mirror the other three quadrants which can already support ss marriage."

    I think this takes care of Warner pretty well, because it implies that whenever a significant number have changed in UL, UR, and LL regarding marriage, it should continue to change in the LR, and this doesn't necessarily exclude anyone. I get stuck there, though, for two reasons. First, I'm not sure how to change the LR to "follow a different model and maybe have different rituals, contracts, etc, that are better suited to it specific type," as you said. Second, the trouble is that a lot of people share a single LR who share very different LLs. And that gets to the real core of a lot of political debate in America. So how do we fashion a LR that will flexibly correspond to a variety of different intermixed LL situations? I'm really not sure about that one.

    Thoughts?

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  •  08-11-2006, 6:55 AM 4067 in reply to 3546

    Re: Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

    Sorry for the long absence,

    I think that the deal is that the LR religious insitutions, have a hold on marriage in that they essentially own the marriage lineage, since it came from their traditions.

    Sure there are many LL's that must share the same LR. It seems that that Damn LR is the slowest to change/evolve since it is by definition,  institutional.

    It seems that democrats/ss marriage supporters are seeking out LR changes through the legal system, through law suits, typical right hand polical approaches.  But they are essentially trying to legislate the morality of the LL and UL.  Not that that approach is wrong, but it ignores the very large blue meme population in america, who will never be convinced of the acceptabillity of gay marriage. 

    Further, I do think that Marriage IS a religious institution. And it seems that it is now in the process of differentiating from its embededness with traditional religion into a more secular and democratic type of social contract. 

    However this new contract is not necessarily marriage in the traditional religous since, because religion has still not accepted the legitamcy of gay marriage. So advocating for gay marriage in the since of traditional marriage probably will never happen or not for a long time. I think the best chance for SS marriage is for the development of a parallel institution that can be developed outside of the church and then maybe later be reintegrated with the churches if they change their thinking on it.

    Ben

    "Should it matter that my mind won't fit back in my head" -S. Davis
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  •  08-11-2006, 8:11 AM 4080 in reply to 4067

    Re: Integral View of Same Sex Marriage

    Just for the record, the history of marriage is a complicated mess, and the idea of a community/tribe recognizing a couple (or more!) seems to have come long before organized religion had anything to say about it, at least in some regions of the world.

    Though, admittedly, once religion got hold of marriage, they really took it over. But tradtionally marriage was more of a practical community thing than anything religious.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
    (who researched marriage failrly well before actually getting married, so she would know what she was getting into!)
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