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Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage Paperback – September 27, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


Rather than being merely anti-marriage, the book deliberately articulates multiple alternative visions - such as building and valuing our own grassroots familial 'networks of accountability' - thus edging us closer to true 'equality,' or dare I say liberation, celebrating our differences as queers. - Jessica Max Stein, Make/Shift Magazine

[This Anthology] brings to light that a venomous black-and-white rhetorical split has developed on gay marriage. The dichotomous engagement with the issue is damaging to the cohesion of the GLBTQ community and stops discussions short. This collection offers valuable, if controversial, much needed nuance to a radically fractured debate. - Ericka Steckle, Bitch Magazine

"Against Equality makes the powerful argument that same-sex marriage is an essentially conservative cause, an effort to prop up a fundamentally unfair system. As an alternative, it offers us the inspiring vision of a truly radical queer politics, devoted to attacking injustice, not just allowing a few more gay people to benefit from it." --Walter Benn Michaels, author of The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Against Equality Press (September 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615392687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615392684
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,256,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Ryan Conrad is an artist, activist, and scholar from central Maine. He co-founded Against Equality ( with Yasmin Nair in 2009, and he is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in Sexuality Studies at Concordia University in Montréal. His visual work is archived at and he can be reached at rconrad/at/

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on November 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
With essays by the likes of Kate Bornstein, Dean Spade, and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, you know this is going to be a good book. The first part of a trilogy addressing the unholy trinity of gay marriage, gays in the military, and hate crime legislation, this book is a welcome contribution to the much needed discussion about the right-wing agenda of mainstream LGBT activists. As the authors of this book insist, gay marriage is an anti-feminist, reactionary cause draining our movement of money and energy that should be spent instead on truly important issues like universal healthcare, racial equality, economic justice, prison abolition, and world peace. At a time when grassroots, directly democratic LGBT activism has been co-opted by racist, right-wing, capitalist organizations like HRC and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, this book is more important than ever. Though a little short and the print could be bigger, this is really a fabulous book and I hope that every LGBT person reads it.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craig Bowers on March 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
If somebody sees you reading this, they may think you are anti-queer/lgbt. If you feel this way, I understand. When first told about this by a friend I dismayed that she would feel this way.
However, after listening to her more, I thought I would give this a try.
This book is filled with pieces that explain various reasons to oppose the same-sex marriage movement. There are some that I do not agree with completely, but that is okay. They aren't asking you to give them a high-five on every issue, just to realize that there is so much more to the queer movement than marriage. Here are some that struck me as influential.
- Marriage should not benefit people, gay or straight. Why should the government say "Oh you have found a soul mate? Here are a whole bunch of benefits!"? It doesn't make sense to me. If two people want to stay together forever, awesome. But do they deserve a tax break?
- Legalizing same-sex marriage will hardly solve health-care and immigration issues within the society at large or the LGBT community. Will gay marriage provide coverage to every single gay man with AIDS? Nope. What about other health issues? And the immigration debacle that our country practices is explained in here too.
- Organizations like HRC are classist. They focus on providing more rights to those who don't need them. Will some with lower-income benefit? Sure, but for the most part same-sex marriage will help those who don't need it. Another example was how all of the funding and "activism" provided to same-sex marriage results in other issues--such as the disproportionate number of queer people who are homeless--being ignored. And how its activism can actually make life difficult for those in extremely bigoted communities.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ManMadeNightmare on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Amidst the discourse surrounding gay marriage, I thought "Of course gay marriage should be legal, we shouldn't be denying anyone such a right". But the more and more I saw the push toward gay marriage becoming popular politics, I couldn't quite put my finger on why I was questioning its dominance. This book gives any radical feminist (straight, gay or queer) the words to argue why marriage in and of itself isn't (and shouldn't be) considered victorious, and the ability to do so without the support of the far right Catholic gay bashing agenda. The discussion moves through the overwriting of queer history by gay history, ideas about marriage as a normative social force designed to keep a select few in control of resources, and how historically the feminist movement was designed to empower women as individuals, rather than creating economic and social dependency based on monogamous relationships. Also discussed are concepts of immigration, imprisonment and denial of social services (especially health care) based on relationship status, resources denied to single people as well as queers. The system itself is flawed and creating band-aid legislation isn't helping to fix the flaws, rather it's creating false securities. This is a take from a straight feminist, who does not hate gay people, on the possibility that while marriage might be a lifestyle choice for some, it shouldn't have to be an economic choice for others. I'm imagining the possibilities.
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