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Gay Marriage: Is It Love Forever?

3 years ago
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NEW YORK -- We've had no big celebrations on the streets of this city of tolerance after the federal judge's decision in California overturning that state's ban on same-sex marriage. For sure there were plenty of fist pumps and happy hearts all around on Wednesday when the ruling came down, especially in the West Village, and Chelsea where I live. It's an arts-and-nightlife area where rainbow-colored gay banners flutter all year long from some apartment windows and restaurants.
This city, cradle of freedom and guardian of human rights, hasn't gotten around to granting gays and lesbians the right to sign on the dotted line until death do us part. We've got a City Council leader and a state senator, representing a Manhattan district, who are gay, and countless officials, celebrities, power brokers and ordinary New Yorkers who are proud of their sexual orientation and don't mind telling you about it. But we've got a stodgy, not to say incompetent, state Senate up in Albany which last year voted against letting us marry whomever we want.
So we wait for our turn, or for the landmark 136-page ruling to make its way through the appeals process. The first stop is the liberal federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth District in San Francisco, but the most likely terminus is the U.S. Supreme Court, where all bets are off at this point. For the political parties and President Barack Obama, who opposes same-sex marriage, this is a hot-button issue that, like abortion and immigration, no one wants to touch.
Still, there's big hope across LGBT land -- that's jargon for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender folk -- and big questions, too.
Just to mention a few:
Will the approval of same-sex marriage strengthen gay relationships? Will official declarations and lawyer-vetted documents grant stability and longevity to those relationships? Does gay marriage -- certainly a measure of equal rights -- provide a solid foundation for the raising of children, adopted or born via sperm donors, and for inclusion in the everyday life of society?
What is it about that piece of paper that gives us the ultimate seal of approval?
It's everything, but it doesn't guarantee living happily ever after any more than it guarantees happy endings to straight couples.
Forever, it seems, the conventional thinking in and out of gay life has been that gay relationships burn out quickly. They are easy marks for infidelity, lies and recriminations. They are volcanic, fleeting, sexually driven (especially among gay men) and devastating when they end, sputtering or imploding, or as in the darker past, in suicide.
This summer the gay marriage theme comes refreshed and redesigned for our new century. We are treated to the little gem of a film, "The Kids Are All Right," about a stable lesbian couple with children, and to the atrocious reality show "The Real L Word." Friends who identify or sympathize with the gay conundrum (though themselves straight) wonder why infidelity (in "The Kids") and transient sex (in "The Real L Word") seem to be the bread-and-butter of gays and lesbians even when they clamor for the right to marry and establish faithful and lifelong relationships in the mainstream.
I don't see a contradiction. I think it's probably true that gay and lesbian couples have a shorter relationship life span than straight couples. I think it's probably true that gays tend to have more short-term relationships or affairs that fizzle within two to three years or within a month. There is, or there was, a meet-and-bed quality to gay and lesbian relationships. Lesbians are known and mocked for wanting to move in together the day after their first date. That's an exaggeration but not a total distortion. Gay men, especially the young and hunky, are known and sometimes reviled for their sexual appetites and nights lived on the disco floor. That, too, is an exaggeration but it is not entirely off the mark.
There's little doubt that legal marriage -- more than flimsy domestic partnerships and civil unions -- will give gay and lesbian couples a serious foundation on which to build. It makes a difference when you declare publicly your intention to live with someone forever, when it is not just sweet words in the night that vanish in the light of day.
But marriage is no guarantee of anything. Look at the divorce rate among straight couples. Look at the number of children brought up by single women (far more than children brought up by single men). Look at the statistics. They tell the story.
In Massachusetts, one of five states plus the District of Columbia where gay marriage is legal, divorces are popping up with some frequency. Some marriages last less than a year. Divorce is costly -- in money and emotional upheaval -- just as it is for straight couples, and even more so for couples with children. With the right to marry, we will also see more gay and lesbian couples splitting, divorcing and fighting over custody of the kids.
But we will also see the positive side of marriage -- the commitment for the long haul, in good and bad times, that is not to be tossed out when the romance fades and the first signs of complacency or boredom set in, or when the eye strays.
So let the wedding bells ring.

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pemphantom

Whether Ms Torregrosa is a gay, illegal immigrant remains to be seen. The fact is, homosexuality is a perversion. The dictionary descibes perversion as abnormal. According to various authorities, homosexuals represents 5% of the usa democratic population, which under the constitution, majority rules. Therefore to ban proposition 8 in CA because it has something to do with equal rights is a contradiction in terms. The founding Fathers would be turning in their collective graves at this kind of interpretation of their "by the people for the people" document. I dont think any fairminded person would believe the constitution was intended to include homosexual marriage.

If we accept this latest affront to our social order, then we also have to accept that bigamy, incest, childmarriage and other perversions can be included in our changed social structure as it relates to marriage. As such we are on a clear path to Robert Borks "Hurtling toward Sodom & Gomorrah".

Activist judges continue to invade the constitution in a way that can destroy its original intent and history will be repeating itself in the same way it did with the Eygptians, the Greeks and the Romans, where moral decay brought about their downfall from gretness to mediocrity, corruption and poverty. The USA could well be the most shortlived empire as a result. In the same way as we have a separation of church and state, there should also be an acceptance of moral and religous standard as was clearly intended by the founding fathers during their various deliberation. These were based on judeo/christian values. Muslim, Hindu, Buddism and other religions had little if any part of that scene at the time. So it is a crime against society for activist judges to be searching for every opportunity to discover an i that was not dotted or a t that was not crossed in the constitution and use that as a means for them to make their mark on history. It is time for "we the people" to make our mark!!!

August 15 2010 at 10:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dainiz

Making an abnormal relationship legal is another step in our becoming an immoral country and lead us down the wrong path.

August 08 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DAVES

EDITOR I do applaud that there is an editor riding herd on the comments to prevent the inclusion of hateful awful fights etc. I do worry however about someone having the power to control the input. It seems fair however. HOPE IT STAYS THAT WAY.

August 08 2010 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DAVES's comment
JosephEbey

Not so - the screening process is based on your comment aligning with the screener's opinion - He has not posted any of my civil and respectful views I suspect because he does not agree with my opinion of upholding the law written on the books in California.

August 08 2010 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nukeya

All wrong people, marriage is a legally binding contract, and the laws of the states are going to eventually change, you will get your wishes, but you should be careful what you wish for. Lets consider the aspect of divorce, are you prepared to lose assets when the marriage disolves? Are you prepared for the bitterness, anger, frustration, legal costs, court drama etc. that will come with your new found rights? Will you need pre-nuptials that stipulate who gets the house, who paid for what, who gets the child you adopted? Aside from the legal aspects, welcome to the world of marriage, now that the fruit isn't forbidden will life be as exciting?

August 08 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Welcome Matt

This is the best article I've read all day.

August 08 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
diagd1

This is not good for society, and if people were honest with themselves, they would have to admit that there is something wrong with this. Saying that a union between 2 people of the same sex is the same thing as a union between 2 people of the opposite sex who have the potential to produce children is just not true. It is very un-pc these days to admit it, but at heart people know it is not right, and society will pay a high price for it. In countries that have allowed gay marriage, the overall marriage rate is down, and the out of wedlock birth rate is in the 80 percentile rage. This is not good for children, who (studies show) do best with a female mother and a male father (all other things being equal). That isn't to say that there are not some wonderful gay parents, but the very best model for children is the traditional one.

August 08 2010 at 4:12 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to diagd1's comment
arthurhr

It is very easy to follow your argument to the conclusion that any two people incapable of procreation may not marry.

August 08 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vgasteacher

This is one of the most fair assessments of LGBT society- thank you. As I was cleaning my house this morning, that I've shared with my partner of five years, I realized that a piece of paper isn't going to change us. Our private ceremony on Koko Head Summit in Hawaii was our commitment to our God and each other. It would just be nice to wake up and live, work, and just be--in the same country as my fellow American neighbors. Legally, "marriage" gives us rights that "civil unions" don't...namely over our property, our life...OUR LIFE. It doesn't affect people that aren't gay. It's TIME.

August 08 2010 at 4:11 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
deac507

Everyone seems to be forgetting that marriage - gay or straight - is about legal federal rights...the right to collect social security from a deceased spouse, the right to make financial and medical decisions for/about a spouse. Until true federal and legal rights are obtained, gay marriage is in name only.

August 08 2010 at 3:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to deac507's comment
db1219

Deac, where does a little thing called "love" fit into your equation? According to you, marriage is all about financial decisions, there is no love. I'm glad that I've never met you.

August 08 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bevercask

You know for many years people have been fighting for their rights from women voting to freeing the slaves, and now our brothers and sisters who are gay and lesbians. I do believe the constitution says:every man is equal!!!does not say if you are gay and a lesbian it says every man.. Do gays and lesbians pay taxes and work, well yes they do: do they raise children as they should be raised? Yes. We have all kinds who flaunt themselves, gay,straight, purple or green. We have people who go through divorces. To me, no one is any better than anyone else and I think that everyone who wants to get married should be able to .

August 08 2010 at 3:44 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jgriz2000

it's simple; do away with marriage altogether. everyone will have a civil union which will be a legal thing. if churches want to have a religious rite they can do so by their own doctines

August 08 2010 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jgriz2000's comment
revblueroof

You may not know it, but that is exactly what Martin Lutehr said so many years ago, during the protestant reforemation. He was right then, and you are right now.

August 08 2010 at 3:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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