Equal in the Eyes of Capitalist God: Gay Marriage and the Contemporary Intimacy Regime

  • Abstract:

    The United States Supreme Court’s decision no. 4-5, from June 2015, ruling that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are illegal, was received with excitement all over the Western world. On top of it being a global milestone on the way to improve gays’ civil rights, it also conveyed the consistent position of the capitalistic culture by giving its approval and legalizing its influence on emotional identities and establishments. In this paper, I would like to examine the global reaction to the court’s decision, in light of our times essential conflict, which differentiate between two modes of capitalism: the industrial and the consumerist. The tension that prevails between these two contradictive modes of present capitalism, does not relate exclusively to economic and social contexts, but also to the way individuals choose or obliged to lead their emotional lives. It serves as a depth structure, which activates essential neurosis concerning identity politics and self-management practices. The heart of this paper will be a reading into the marital institution, positioned in the neurotic encounter point of the two capitalistic modes, hence arising overwhelming emotions of anxiety and compassion. What can the US court’s decision, and the way it was received, tell us about marital life functioning in the capitalist ideology context? and what is the price all humans – either identified as gay or straight – will be called to pay because of it?