Love and Marriage: Three Questions

This being June, the traditional month for weddings (though I’ve never been married in June), I thought I’d ask some questions about matrimony.

I was very interested in the post from Gay Prof last month about gay marriage. One of the things he wrote: “What concerns me is that the discussion of same-sex marriage is largely being shaped without our input.”

My heterocentric (is that the word I want?) self was a bit surprised to read that. People I know, including a member of a lesbian couple who is at the heart of a legal challenge by 44 couples suing for equal protection under the law. Elissa (in the picture on the left with partner Lynne) works for a local library.

Yet, I do recognize that well-meaning people DO assume what is best for others, not understanding how patronizing it can be. (I suspect men do this to women more than occasionally, e.g.)

So, I’m really curious:

1. To you, the idea of gay marriage is:
a) an anathema to all that is good and holy
b) a plot by breeders to make gays “be like them”
c) going too far, but those domestic partner arrangements are good enough
d) an idea whose time has come
e) irrelevant, because marriage is just a statist construct anyway

I choose d.

2. If gay marriage is allowed, how, if at all, will it affect heterosexual marriage? The suggestion that gay marriage will somehow threaten to destroy “the family” as we know it mystifies me. I must be rather thick, because I just don’t get it.

3. A local story that has caught my interest is this one: Empire Blue Cross insurance policy covers the domestic partner of a same-sex couple but not an opposite-sex couple. The complainant notes: “Empire’s own standards for domestic partner requirements — as posted on the company’s Web site — were the same for opposite-sex or same-sex couples. He said this policy was discrimination.” Presumably, Empire’s rationale is that opposite-sex couples could, if they chose to, get married, while same-sex couples don’t yet have that legal right.

How do you feel about this case? Does giving domestic partner insurance to opposite sex partners threaten marriage? I’m ambivalent, for I see Empire’s point, yet, based on the application of law, I think they’re wrong legally. Moreover, I’m in favor of getting closer to a universal health plan, and domestic partnerships, for either gay or straight couples, works in that direction.

BONUS: What makes a good marriage? And/Or: What makes a marriage work?

My answer: Compromise, but not on core values. That you share those core values.

Please feel free to answer these questions in the appropriate place. If you’d like, note your orientation and marital status (or would-be marital status).

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