The Gay Agenda, HIV/AIDS, and Marriage Equality

Today I am sharing a terrific post by Michael Bronski who explains the role HIV/AIDS played in the same-sex marriage movement in the United States:

As a point of interest, lesbians, who continue to lose custody of their children on the grounds that their sexual orientation makes them unfit mothers, called for changes in family law well before HIV/AIDS became an American epidemic. Only once the legal benefits marriage conferred interested a large number of white gay men did marriage became an item on the national gay rights agenda. (Yes, there is a gay agenda. Actually, agendas.)

lesbian custody
Flyer from the 1970s. Heading: “We are not with you today because we are scared.”

The second national March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, held in 1987, included among its demands state recognition of same-sex marriage.

1987 March on Washington; same-sex marriage
Bumper sticker distributed in advance of the 1987 March on Washington. The text reads: “We’re going to The Wedding”.

The impact of HIV/AIDS on the birth of the marriage equality movement cannot be underestimated. It is also evidence of just how much influence white men have had, and still have, over the national gay agenda in the United States.