Writer Eileen Myles on the Election, Gay Marriage


GWEN IFILL: Let’s try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?


SARAH PALIN: Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage, and my answer is the same as his, and it is that I do not.

Looking back on the campaign, I am particularly intrigued by this political marriage. On TV, the vice-presidential candidates have issued (with grins all around) the idea that for now, today, tonight, it’s OK that gay people don’t have full civil rights. That’s it in a nutshell, folks. They both also say all this blah-blah-blah about how the Constitution protects us, but nobody really wants that. With only a civil union, I can’t file joint federal taxes, and I can’t help my partner get citizenship, and in most states, I’m limited in my gift-giving—and I can’t make decisions about her health, either, except in the state our union is in. That’s a lot to not have.

Why am I being held at bay? Why now? I mean, if you think about it, women used to have a lot fewer rights in marriage before they changed the law. Maybe those changes are what ruined marriage. And we’d just ruin it a little bit more. Pretty soon, nobody’d want it. Let the kids have it. Maybe we should just cut it up into little pieces and feed it to the world. No one’s going to notice. For a while.

More artists, writers, and performers on next week’s presidential election here.