The philosopher Peter Rollins, in his inimitable style, has an intriguing take on the decision last week by the US Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages:
One of the common threads that I’ve seen in relation to the Supreme Court decision concerning same-sex marriage is the idea that same-sex couples can now participant in the transcendent and sacred sacrament of marriage. Whether people agree with this decision or disagree, they all seem to hold marriage up as something truly sublime.
I’d like to take a more psychoanalytic approach and reflect briefly on the idea that what makes this decision so important lies predominantly in the other direction: that now same-sex couples have access to a profoundly mundane and unfulfilling type of relationship configuration that was previously prohibited to them, and that is where the true radicality of the ruling lies.
Later on in his article he adds:
Many people get married because they think it will satisfy, but at its subversive core the marriage act involves two people opting out of the excessive demand for multiple partners, sexual satisfaction and constant stimulation. It is freedom from this exhausting and ultimately oppressive dream. Marriage does not hold out the freedom to have sexual satisfaction, but the possibility of a freedom from having to seek that out.
The marriage vows are then a way of saying, “look, lets hang out, have fun, explore our sexuality, and care for each other while basically accepting that the idea of some perfection out there doesn’t exist.”
The whole article is well worth a read. His take on polyamory is interesting too.