As a wise woman advised, don’t determine what is impossible before it’s even possible.
Same-sex spouses, who cannot divide their labor based on preexisting gender norms, must approach marriage differently than their heterosexual peers. From sex to fighting, from child-rearing to chores, they must hammer out every last detail of domestic life without falling back on assumptions about who will do what. In this regard, they provide an example that can be enlightening to all couples. Critics warn of an institution rendered “genderless.” But if a genderless marriage is a marriage in which the wife is not automatically expected to be responsible for school forms and child care and dinner preparation and birthday parties and midnight feedings and holiday shopping, I think it’s fair to say that many heterosexual women would cry “Bring it on!”
Gay marriage can function as a controlled experiment, helping us see which aspects of marital difficulty are truly rooted in gender and which are not. A growing body of social science has begun to compare straight and same-sex couples in an attempt to get at the question of what is female, what is male. Some of the findings are surprising.
Fantastic, necessary article by Liza Mundy on what gay couples can teach us about healthy, happy marriages as society’s conception of marriage in general continues to evolve.
Even the penguins can attest.
Heartening stat of the day: Gallup finds that support for marriage equality has doubled since 1996, with approval now surpassing disapproval. Also see this animated GIF map of the geography of marriage equality since 1970 and the seminal 1993 essay instrumental in shifting the paradigm.
And don’t miss the most beautiful meditation on the issue yet – from a politician, no less.
Pair with The Politics of Homosexuality, the seminal 1993 article that turned the tide.
Exactly twenty years after Andrew Sullivan’s seminal essay “The Politics of Homosexuality,” Minnesota state representative Tim Faust (D) delivers an absolutely extraordinary, stirring speech on marriage equality, leading the Minnesota House to pass the same-sex marriage bill with a vote of 79:59.
Well, I have to start by admitting that not too long ago, I probably would have voted ‘no’ on this bill, but in the past there have been a couple things that changed my mind on this… . The question that keeps going through my mind over and over again is, “Do we, as a society, have the right to impose our religious beliefs on somebody else?” A right that I have taken for granted, and most of the people in this room have taken for granted, since the day we realized what the opposite sex is. That is a right I have taken for granted for a long time, and yet some people, because of others’ religious beliefs, do not have that right.
Last summer, I got married. And, before that, I had dated a woman for four years. And she was a wonderful woman, and I realized, after four years, that I could’ve married her and I would’ve been happily married to her for the rest of my life. But I also realized I could be happy without her. And I decided, after four years, that I wasn’t going to marry somebody I could live with — if I got married again, it was going to be to somebody I could not live without. And so we broke up.
And in a few months, I met my wife. And it didn’t take me very long to realize this was somebody I could not live without. And how lucky I am, how lucky we are. And yet, in this state, there are people that feel that way about each other, that cannot live without that other person, that feel the same way they do about each other that I feel about my wife — and yet, because of religious beliefs of other people, they do not have the right that I have taken for granted since the day I realized what the opposite sex was.
Now that the numbers are in on same-sex marriage, many Republicans are falling like dominos all over themselves to express their support for something that only a few months ago they steadfastly claimed to stand against. They’ll probably soon claim that this is how they felt all along, and they were simply too hamstrung by politics to be able to say what they really meant. Well, okay. In the spirit of openheartedness and what life is really all about, I’ll go so far as to say that the fear of others may mask some deep-seated desire to understand, and maybe even to love. Because really, what is there to be afraid of?
Equality Sans – a typeface for human rights, supporting the fight for marriage equality.
Decades prior to this bold public display of queer affection, African American female couples in New York strategized alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses in the 1920s and 30s.
Fascinating read on queer African American women and the history of marriage.
Ellen DeGeneres is … almost a litmus test of where we have been as a society. When she first came out and really put the issue of same-sex partnerships on people’s agendas, and I mean people who really wouldn’t have thought about it, I think the country was still in a very different state.
[Rob] Portman … became the only sitting Republican senator to support marriage equality, as well as the highest-profile conservative currently in government to do so.
Will Portman proved, once again, that the most powerful political act any gay person can take is coming out.
Portman wrote about learning that [his son] Will was gay:
He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he was. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he was gay, but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.
The New Yorker’s Richard Socarides on Republican Senator Rob Portman’s historic stance for marriage equality, driven by his son’s coming out.
This takes place less than two weeks before Senate’s hearing to overturn DOMA – and mere days after Bill Clinton’s eloquent case for overturning it.