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Monday, May 18, 2009

Judith Butler Interviewed

Judith Butler Interviewed
Full: <http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/butler160509.html>

J.B.: Of course, if marriage exists, then homosexual marriage should
also exist; marriage should be extended to all couples irrespective of
their sexual orientation; if sexual orientation is an impediment, then
marriage is discriminatory.

For my part, I don't understand why it should be limited to two
people, this appears arbitrary to me and might potentially be
discriminatory; but I know this point of view is not very popular.
However, there are forms of sexual organisation that do not imply
monogamy, and types of relationship that do not imply marriage or the
desire for legal recognition -- even if they do seek cultural
acceptance. There are also communities made up of lovers, ex-lovers
and friends who look after the children, communities that constitute
complex kinship networks that do not fit the conjugal pattern.

I agree that the right to homosexual marriage runs the risk of
producing a conservative effect, of making marriage an act of
normalisation, and thereby presenting other very important forms of
intimacy and kinship as abnormal or even pathological.

But the question is: politically, what do we do with this?

I would say that every campaign in favour of homosexual
marriage ought also to be in favour of alternative families, the
alternative systems of kinship and personal association.

We need a movement that does not win rights for
some people at the expense of others. And imagining
this movement is not easy.

The demand for recognition by the state should go hand in hand with a
critical questioning: what do we need the state for? Although there
are times that we need it for some kinds of protection (immigration,
property, or children), should we allow it to define our

There are forms of relation that we value and that
cannot be recognised by the state, where the recognition of civil
society or the community is enough. We need a movement that remains
critical, that formulates these questions and keeps them open.

Posted by
Venu K.M

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always want to defend peace, justice, peoples' right to love each other and live with dignity,struggles against parochial visions and hatred;instinctively a defender of socialist and democratic values