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Lisa Duggan and the Revolting Queers

Lisa Duggan from Beyond Marriage gave a lecture at the Loft Literary Center Saturday March 31st. Lisa is a part of the April Working group which formed last year to present a new vision for LGBT activism. Lisa talked about how the focus on gay marriage has stalled the LGBT movement and lead to a backlash that has produced major set backs.

Instead of reinforcing the heteronormative institution of marriage Duggan stresses that we have to have a new approach to marriage. The institution of marriage is strongly tied to many economic benefits. Duggan suggests that we should be fighting to make these benefits available to all sorts of non traditional nuclear families. A vast number of people live in non nuclear families, ranging from single mothers to groups of elderly people who act as each others care takers. Duggan suggests that the LGBT community need to reach out and build alliances with groups that are not living in nuclear families regardless of sexuality. By doing this the LGBT community can shift the marriage rights movement from a wedge issue to one that can unite people across lines of sexuality. Duggan also stresses that the LGBT community needs to focus on issues of race, class and gender. Currently we are living in a society with decreasing health a civil service benefits. It makes little sense that members of the LGBT community are fighting for access to a partner’s health benefit plan if those benefits will be nonexistent in a few years. We have to fight for a caring civil society where all people can gain access to heath care regardless of race, class and sexuality. By forming a bold new vision which links the LGBT community with other groups and by shifting the focus from self interest to a global vision of the future we can better fight against the right’s politics of economic greed and oppression.
Following Lisa’s talk the Revolting Queers had an after event fundraiser. The Revolting Queers is a group like many across the nation that echo the beliefs presented by the April Working group. The Revolting Queers are planning a protest/artistic presentation at this year’s Pride festival. The Revolting Queers are focusing on the issues facing the queer community that are left behind by the mainstream LGBT focus on marriage. Also the Revolting Queers are commenting how Twin Cities Pride has become less about community and more about corporations and economics. The focus has shifted from building community to cow towing to major corporations and politicians who are trying to get the queer vote and the queer dollar. Instead of being excited to have sponsors like Miller and Target we should be taking a closer look at the corporations and their policies regarding members of the LGBT community.