The big CON of gay marriage:

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    Jul 12, 2008 5:38 AM GMT
    I want to start this post by saying that I am completely for gay marriage. I think everyone should be given the same rights and Civil Unions do not carry all of the rights alotted to a marriage. We should all be equal. California approving gay sex marriages, and New York starting to recognize out of state gay marriages is a great step forward in our fight for equality.

    One of the guys at my job is engaged and two more have exchanged rings since the advent of this California equality. Good for them, I say. It's inspiring to see people actually making these relationship things work. Anyone finding love, let alone we gays, is wonderful. It doesn't happen to everyone.

    I was blissfully facebooking one day when I came across another gay man I know who's status had also changed from "In a Relationship" to "Engaged." Usually I'd be happy, except this man, was once my man... for two years. Now I have no want to be with him anymore. We don't work, we're too different, and he's kindof a tool. But he's the marrying kind. It was his goal with me, and I wasn't ready. So, I contacted him and said congrats and he briefed me on how it all went down (basically how he described he was gonna propose to me once upon a time), and I thought that would be the end of. Of course it hurt a little, but I imagined it would be fine.

    But a few weeks later, it was still bothering me. I started to realize, that it was the fact that he had beat me to the punch. It was the same feeling I got when he found this boyfriend (two weeks after our official breakup). It was the fact that he had won, in a way. Moved on and was finding happiness again. I dealt with that and I thought that would be the end. But now, this added pressure to get married. That's when it hit me: Because gay marriage is becoming officially sanctioned, GAYS NOW HAVE THE PRESSURE TO GET MARRIED!

    I never thought I would have the pressure to get married. I thought the option to stand in a lake and have a lesbian wave a stick over mine and my lover's heads sounded nice, but it was never a life marker I thought I HAD to hit. That's part of the beauty of being gay. You lived above the influence of society. You could do what you wanted. That scene from Sex and the City where the girls are moaning into their mimosas about the marriage announcements in the society section of The New York Times would never happen to us.

    With more and more official, legal statuses of gay relationships, the more family, friends, and peers will expect us to acheive them. We're becoming the new straight girls. The new old maids and spinsters. The days of the "confirmed bachelor" are now gone. I forsee it all: The 35th birthday party where married friends look down on the single birthday boy. Sitting at the kids table at an all gay wedding. The "poor you" looks at lunch for one.

    Ugh! What's the point of being gay anymore if you have to be just like straight people? I for one, refuse. If I want to get married one day, I will. But this pressure to, I WILL HAVE NONE OF IT! And I'll remind you all of that when my cats and I are babysitting your kids one day.
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    Jul 12, 2008 6:48 AM GMT
    TheOnion beat you to it.
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    Jul 12, 2008 6:52 AM GMT
    Don't get married, and be proud, I say. Funny, yes, that the Onion had this article. It's funny because it's true, I guess.

    But stay gay, and be gay, uncommitted and (maybe even) childless. I think you'll be accepted just fine.
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    Jul 12, 2008 7:01 AM GMT
    Old maids the lot of you. icon_eek.gif
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    Jul 12, 2008 7:11 AM GMT
    Personally I doubt in my lifetime if there will be a day when I'm seeing this kind of pressure for gay men and lesbians to get married. It's legal here in London and it seems simply like another choice, not the only choice. It was my choice, but for most people I know it's not. At least not yet.
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    Jul 12, 2008 9:46 AM GMT
    I guess since there is so much marriage about someone could argue that it is the natural thing to do to be hooked-up with someone semi-permanently. But marriage as an institution has really not been around all that long in terms of marrying someone you love. Marriage before love relationships was more for the purpose of passing along property.

    Now that we have the culture of marriage for love, I can see that possibly as time goes on, the same pressure that is directed towards straights, could be directed at single gays and lesbians but I think the time for that being widespread is a long way off.

    It is more important for you to enjoy the time you have as a single man. Pressure like that should be rolled off your back because it is just such a time when you allow that pressure to affect your decisions that you are most likely to make a mistake.
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    Jul 12, 2008 1:41 PM GMT
    G-d... the only thing that drives me more crazy than being forced into a small, pink box outlined by a feather boa is also forcing my relationships into that box. I wanted to burn the NYT after this piece:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/magazine/27young-t.html

    As much as I am for equal rights, there are so many problems with this movement.

    There is far too much pressure to conform to some sort of hetero-normative ideal that is as antiquated as the feudal system.

    Examples of 'successful' same-sex marriage too often focus on wealthy white men and leave out people of color, queer women, non-gender-conforming individuals, and other sub-communities of the queer population.

    It draws attention away from the fact that our trans siblings are much more horribly oppressed than the rest of the LGBTQ community.

    It reinforces the idea that the status quo is the only way to go... we should really be abolishing marriage entirely and replacing it with civil unions/domestic partnerships for EVERYONE (heterosexual couples included).

    BAH!
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    Jul 12, 2008 1:59 PM GMT
    This is an interesting commentary so far. I've actually thought the opposite though. I've always wondered why gay relationships never seem to last very long. I know there are exceptions. But, when you look at the grand scheme of things, gay relationships come and go frequently. I also attributed this to the fact there was no "official" commitment. Like, you SAY you're committed, but it's quite simple to just up and leave for the next hot guy that comes along. Guys being guys, that's what happens.

    I am very interested to see if gay marriage picks up, if relationships will last longer, or if the gay divorce rate will top the straight one. Definitely something I'm looking forward to following, that's for sure.
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    Jul 12, 2008 2:47 PM GMT
    I'm glad all of these decisions about what I should and should not do with my life and the person with whom I share it are being made for me by the opposing forces of the mainstream and queer cultures. I agree that having the option to enter into a more formal relationship with a long term partner really just makes things more complicated. Though I am an adult, I don't want to deal with choices like these, because I'm incapable of ignoring peer pressure to make the decision most appropriate for my unique situation.

    I see the concept of "marriage" as binary - you are either married, in an oppressive, living room hegemony straight from the most repressed of 1950s sitcoms, or unmarried, living the most free and idealistic of lifestyles. I refuse to acknowledge that there are in fact hundreds of shades of gray between these two extremes, and that people in committed and legally binding relationships can continue to champion the principles of progressive society.

    Thanks, everyone, for telling me what to believe!
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:01 PM GMT
    There is no such thing as marriage. Even the supposed heterosexual prototype, the one that we resist, the one that we envy, the one that we disdain, and the one that we have been fighting to obtain - is not in any way monolithic.

    I am more or less of the Tyler Durden school, that says we are not "beautiful flowers". However, long term relationships, in my experience, and I know plenty - are much more about the things that we bury in the back garden than about the things that we trot out when polite company comes to call.

    No two sets of compromises are alike, no two infidelities are the like, no two indiscretions are the mirror of each other.

    At least in the frailty of human relations there is a lot of individuality.

    Does getting what the collective "we" seem to say that "we" want render us colorless and grey, I should think not.

    The marriage rights that matter are not, in my opinion, a covenant in front of G-d, but rather they are a set of legislative constructs that deny or grant social parity on the basis of taxation, immigration, and rights of succession.

    The economic and legal issues are far more important, have nothing to do with Ozzie and Harriet, and seem to me worth fighting for.

    I agree that the mimicry of heterosexual marriage, a bankrupt institution anyway - for the most part - could be an expression of self loathing. However, it needn't be so. Nowhere is it written that marriage, whatever flavor, cannot be celebratory.

    Compromise does not always please me. However, I know it is necessary. I know that living with a man and adapting to the limits of my family, our doggies, our ability to stretch and morph our sexual, social, moral, and every other identity is fundamental.

    More choice only means that there is more freedom to choose to abstain. I can hardly see how an extra possibility becomes and obligation, or how it could be inevitable that two peoples decision to marry should mean that anyone else should feel either obliged or excluded.

    Get married, don't get married, it makes no difference. It only matters if you want to get married and you can't. It only matters if marriage would mean the difference in where one may be allowed to live and love (as is so frequently the case) and that option is denied.

    Peace
    Terry
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:09 PM GMT
    MANYC10012 saidwe should really be abolishing marriage entirely and replacing it with civil unions/domestic partnerships for EVERYONE (heterosexual couples included).


    Despite my rant, I do agree with you on this. I don't see why our government should be issuing contracts that have a religious component.
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:10 PM GMT
    kencarson saidI want to start this post by saying that I am completely for gay marriage. I think everyone should be given the same rights and Civil Unions do not carry all of the rights alotted to a marriage. We should all be equal. California approving gay sex marriages, and New York starting to recognize out of state gay marriages is a great step forward in our fight for equality.

    One of the guys at my job is engaged and two more have exchanged rings since the advent of this California equality. Good for them, I say. It's inspiring to see people actually making these relationship things work. Anyone finding love, let alone we gays, is wonderful. It doesn't happen to everyone.

    I was blissfully facebooking one day when I came across another gay man I know who's status had also changed from "In a Relationship" to "Engaged." Usually I'd be happy, except this man, was once my man... for two years. Now I have no want to be with him anymore. We don't work, we're too different, and he's kindof a tool. But he's the marrying kind. It was his goal with me, and I wasn't ready. So, I contacted him and said congrats and he briefed me on how it all went down (basically how he described he was gonna propose to me once upon a time), and I thought that would be the end of. Of course it hurt a little, but I imagined it would be fine.

    But a few weeks later, it was still bothering me. I started to realize, that it was the fact that he had beat me to the punch. It was the same feeling I got when he found this boyfriend (two weeks after our official breakup). It was the fact that he had won, in a way. Moved on and was finding happiness again. I dealt with that and I thought that would be the end. But now, this added pressure to get married. That's when it hit me: Because gay marriage is becoming officially sanctioned, GAYS NOW HAVE THE PRESSURE TO GET MARRIED!

    I never thought I would have the pressure to get married. I thought the option to stand in a lake and have a lesbian wave a stick over mine and my lover's heads sounded nice, but it was never a life marker I thought I HAD to hit. That's part of the beauty of being gay. You lived above the influence of society. You could do what you wanted. That scene from Sex and the City where the girls are moaning into their mimosas about the marriage announcements in the society section of The New York Times would never happen to us.

    With more and more official, legal statuses of gay relationships, the more family, friends, and peers will expect us to acheive them. We're becoming the new straight girls. The new old maids and spinsters. The days of the "confirmed bachelor" are now gone. I forsee it all: The 35th birthday party where married friends look down on the single birthday boy. Sitting at the kids table at an all gay wedding. The "poor you" looks at lunch for one.

    Ugh! What's the point of being gay anymore if you have to be just like straight people? I for one, refuse. If I want to get married one day, I will. But this pressure to, I WILL HAVE NONE OF IT! And I'll remind you all of that when my cats and I are babysitting your kids one day.


    Interesting, really; although not a bit convincing. Honestly concerning your ex, nobody can "take" anything from you unless you give it to them. So what about your ex, you already said you don't want to marry and he's not the guy for you, so forget about it.

    As for the pressure to get married, that's just balogna. So what if your ex is in a hurry to settle down and marry any John, Dick and Harry he meets. Just because he's doing that doesn't mean I'm going to be, and I too am the marrying type. There's no rush in it for me. And if not something you want than you don't have to persue it. Simple as that. The only people who have the right and privilege of worry about marriage are the couples that have been together for years planning a wedding before it was even legalized. Single people should just go on business as usual and let the nesters make thier homes, and they can fuck whomever they want on a Saturday night.

    Goddamn, you're no important or valueable a person because you haven't tied the knot. And if people are looking at you weird in the community it's probably cause you live a flightsy lifestyle. And in any community that's never going to be fulfilling in the long run; be it straight or gay.

    I also refuse to believe that homosexuality has to remain confined to the nightlife and back alley ways. Sure the community was force there by the greater community in general because of past stigmas, but it's no place to stay and build a successful and credible community for generations to come.

    And what the hell, when it comes to the LOVE BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE, and how they want to express it, what the hell does it matter if it's just like the heterosexuals? Seriously, you want a special society for orgies and threeway marriages, or room for couples at the club to get special sexual treatment? That's just bullshit. You're fooling yourself and doing a dishonor to your fellow man by expecting to have special guidelines for something so simple and clear as the unification of a loving couple.

    So if you want to sleep around a stay skank for the rest of your life until you're too old and unattractive to find a partner when you finally realize that you made a mistake by not giving commitment a chance, than by all means spread your legs sister, but don't expect all gay men to feel this way because the 'benefits' of the gay scene are so enticing.
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:26 PM GMT
    As I have said before, my partner and I have been together fro 20 years on the 16th. We are not married nor do we wish to be. We made a commitment to each other. We don't need any ones approval. We love each other. That is all we need. We are not now or ever will be pressured to be or do anything we don't want to. Our life is perfect just the way it is. I believe in equal rights for everyone, but I don't think you need to get married to have them. We don’t want to be like everyone else in the straight world. Look at them, Norm and I have been together longer then most of my eight sisters and three brothers. Half of them are on their third marriage. A couple are on their forth and fifth. We prefer living out lives just the way we are. I am not knocking anyone that wished to get married. I say go for it. I am just saying know one should feel pressured to do anything in life they don’t want to. Life is too short. Live it, love it. Make it the best it can be.
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:28 PM GMT
    KenCarson was thinking about the old days, before marriage, and saidThat's part of the beauty of being gay. You lived above the influence of society. You could do what you wanted.


    I don't think I'd say we lived above the influence of society. We resist it, live in contradiction to it, accommodate it when we have to, ignore it when possible, negotiate it, but always respond to it in some way. And we're talking about "mainstream" society here, which is only one of the many societies we have to deal with in our lives. Some segments of gay society have their own orthodoxies which are no less oppressive, demeaning, and tyrannical than those of the mainstream.

    You could do what you wanted, sort-of. And that's ultimately the case for just about everyone who lives in modern society, straight or gay.

    We experience the pressure to marry only to the extent that we believe it is necessary for our own personal fulfillment. Only you can decide that for yourself (and, as you've said, that's completely separate from its importance as a civil right).
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidDon't get married, and be proud, I say.


    EXACTLY!!!!
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    Jul 12, 2008 3:57 PM GMT
    Manny10012 saidIt reinforces the idea that the status quo is the only way to go... we should really be abolishing marriage entirely and replacing it with civil unions/domestic partnerships for EVERYONE (heterosexual couples included).


    And

    Hobronto concurred, sayingDespite my rant, I do agree with you on this. I don't see why our government should be issuing contracts that have a religious component.


    Since 1630, marriage in the US has been a civil, secular matter. The religious ceremony is icing on the cake (and mostly irrelevant) from a legal standpoint.

    When the priest/rabbi/minister/etc marries a couple he or she always includes the line "by the power vested in me by the state of XYZ, I now pronounce you man and wife". Under the law, that's what makes you married. Whether the marriage is recognized by the Catholic Church, Orthodox Judaism, or any other religion is a private matter.

    Civil marriage is the form of union that matters in the US because it ensures the same legal recognition and treatment of all marriages, regardless of religious belief.

    If you're interested, you can read more here.
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    Jul 12, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    Even the supposed heterosexual prototype, the one that we resist, the one that we envy, the one that we disdain, and the one that we have been fighting to obtain - is not in any way monolithic

    That probably pretty much sums it up.

    Having a marriage license gives your relationship certain legal privileges from the state, it doesn't define how that relationship is carried out -- not when it is ended either. There is nothing particularly mystical or magical about marriage -- it's quite prosaic, and as the straights have long figured out and demonstrated it's not particularly lasting either. But again it does provide legal protection for the relationship while it lasta -- and divorce provides the frame work for how it ends.

    This has nothing to do with love or committment, or the lack there of, or whatever it is that the relationship is built on.

    If there is a con to gay marriage it is that you are conning yourself into believing marriage is something that it isn't.
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    Jul 12, 2008 4:21 PM GMT
    Freedom is a bitch!! TOO MANY choices can't be good for us icon_eek.gif Seriously though, I see no cons to "gay" marriage, well lets just call this marriage and stop shooting ourselves in the foot. This is all about equality vs. second class citizenship. There is no con to full equality any more than there is a con to full liberty and freedom.
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    Jul 12, 2008 4:45 PM GMT
    I think rather than legalizing gay marriage all marriage should be de-sanctioned Why? Because the commitment and love between people should be and stay a personal thing . It is way too complicated to be codified, so the "state" should not be involved. We should not be getting married to get insurance coverage or tax breaks or force someone to be "faithful" to us for eternity.

    Mainstream Gay marriage will also set legal precedent where group marriage will also need to be recognized. So rather then get deeper in the hole we need to realize that true fairness can only be achieved by declaring equal rights for INDIVIDUALS...individuals only and stop right there.
  • kansascityman

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    Jul 12, 2008 4:47 PM GMT
    When my partner and I were at dinner last month, celebrating our 19th anniversary, we decided to take the plunge and get married. We live in Kansas, and know full well that our marriage in California will not be recognized in KS for years, and only if test cases end up at the US Supreme Court. It won't change our commitment to each other. But, it is yet another option for us. We felt no pressure from anyone to do this.

    I honestly did not think it would be a big deal, especially after 19 years. But once we made the reservations, and sent out announcements, we looked at each other and were saying: "Holy crap! We actually getting married!" It was a great feeling, and a bit scary. What we found though, was a range of reactions from friends, family and coworkers. My mom and one of my brothers expressed delight and excitement about it, as did my partner's family. My other brother and his wife have refused contact with us since the announcement. At the public school I work at, the principal, the superintendent, and many fellow teachers were wonderful, and some will now leave a room when I walk in. And all these people have always known I was gay, and have met my partner many times. Their responses have been that although they "support" gay rights, and do not discriminate, our "marriage" is not legitimate and its not something we have a right to. Our relationship is "not really a true marriage:

    It was pretty eye opening. Despite assurances that 'we're all equal", its obvious that it is not the case in many people's minds. We have to laugh at some of our detractors, especially the single parents, and those on their second or third marriages.

    We are hoping that eventually our legal marriage in California will afford us the same rights and responsibilities that other couples have, especially at the federal level. If Barack Obama is true to his word, the granting of federal benefits will make a difference as we age. We'll have the same piece of paper that hetero couples have, and hopefully the same rights. How we choose to structure our marriage is something we can decide for ourselves. There is little precedent for the structure of gay marriage, and its' traditions and expectations. We can continue to live our commitment in our own way.

    I do admit that I do like the fact that I now say that I am "engaged" and getting married to the man I love. Only one other couple we know are doing this. Our other friends are excited for us, but they don't feel any pressure to do the same things we are doing. Some are in monogamous relationships, some only play together, some play separate, a few are in "triad" relationships. There is no reason that the LGBT community has to adopt the same conventions that hetero people have adopted. We, as a community, need to be open to a variety of relationships, and celebrate whatever works for each person. Its what sets up apart from many straight folks. No one in our community should feel pressure to conform to anyone else's standards.

    For us, marriage means a lot. I never thought I would be able to be able to do this. If it isn't important to you, you should not do it, and you shouldn't be judged for your decision. Enter into whatever type of relationship makes you happy, and surround yourself with a community that respects and supports your choices. Thats all that is important.
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    Jul 12, 2008 5:06 PM GMT
    kencarson said
    But a few weeks later, it was still bothering me. I started to realize, that it was the fact that he had beat me to the punch. It was the same feeling I got when he found this boyfriend (two weeks after our official breakup). It was the fact that he had won, in a way. Moved on and was finding happiness again. I dealt with that and I thought that would be the end. But now, this added pressure to get married. That's when it hit me: Because gay marriage is becoming officially sanctioned, GAYS NOW HAVE THE PRESSURE TO GET MARRIED!


    NO ONE is putting pressure on you, but you. it sounds like you're still carrying some resentment and/or jealousy about your ex and it's manifesting in this perceived pressure.

    do what YOU want to do, not what you think others EXPECT. that's the only way you'll ever be happy (in my humble, but very correct, opinion). stay true to yourself and in time your demons regarding the ex will wane. ;)
  • Mikeylikesit

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    Jul 12, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    I believe there is no more Gay community. Its all what the Str8 world wants us to be, and how we should act...ect....Its all BS. I do as I please.=). I guess its the price we have to pay because of the over acceptance of the gay life style. icon_neutral.gif
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    Jul 12, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    MANYC10012> we should really be abolishing marriage entirely and replacing it with civil unions/domestic partnerships for EVERYONE

    Alpha13> rather than legalizing gay marriage all marriage should be de-sanctioned

    hobronto> I don't see why our government should be issuing contracts that have a religious component.

    As MikeOnMain said: It doesn't. It allows religious institutions to perform a ceremony and give it religious connotations... which are not present in vanilla, civil, marriages performed at the clerk's office (or by the captain of a ship). State marriage is just a civil union. That a priest/rabbi/imam blesses it has no legal implication.

    I think that's a better alternative than having two separate institutions. What then happens when someone gets married in a church but doesn't bother with the legal state marriage? It's easy to say it's their problem, but it would be a problem for society, too. And let's not pretend otherwise, because it's the same problems we complain about absent legal marriage for us (many have had ceremonies with no legal significance).


    Alpha13> the commitment and love between people should be and stay a personal thing

    As Wrerick already said:

    Wrerick> it doesn't define how that relationship is carried out -- not when it is ended either


    kencarson> It was the fact that he had won

    Don't get mad, get even! Mary all of us. (After all, we've all heard that lubed-up slippery slope arguments....)
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    Jul 12, 2008 5:22 PM GMT
    hotversguynnj saidI believe there is no more Gay community. Its all what the Str8 world wants us to be, and how we should act...ect....Its all BS. I do as I please.=). I guess its the price we have to pay because of the over acceptance of the gay life style. icon_neutral.gif


    Hmm, I thought it was the gays in the community who wanted to share the same civil rights as the rest of humanity that lead us to gay marriage, and the majority of heterosexuals who tried to keeps us out of their circle not the other way around?
  • coolarmydude

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    Jul 12, 2008 5:47 PM GMT
    icon_rolleyes.gif ?????????????????????? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Let's not over-think the issue.