• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The right not to marry

Now, I really believe there is true equality:

The first time I heard the question was a year ago at my brother’s wedding, an occasion where such coaxing is commonplace. “When are you and Christian going to get married?” asked a well-meaning aunt whose daughter married another woman several years previously. “I know it’s legal in New York. Wouldn’t it make your mother happy?”

Weddings always make my mother happy, so I have no doubt that it would, but I always fancied myself not the marrying kind.

[. . .]

 Speaking of Facebook, immediately after the verdict was handed down, I posted, “Christian and I are happy to announce that with today’s historic decision we have decided to continue being legally unmarried forever.” My friend Lux, a woman who is in a long-term relationship with a man, almost immediately replied, “It brings a tear to my eye that you’ll now finally have the right to constantly defend the decision not to get married, just like straight couples have been able to do for forever.”

Yes, gay people now have not only the right to marry but, just as important, the right not to marry. They get to (have to) make the same kinds of choices the rest of us have always had to. To have the choice is, of course, both a blessing and a curse. And the curse comes in the form of (usually) well-meaning relatives. Why aren't you married? When are you going to get married? Aren't you lonely? You need to settle down. What's wrong with you.

Gay marriage has been around just long enough in just enough places that we're already starting to see things like divorces and ugly custody battles. Wonder if they'll finally get it right or end up screwing up the institution as much as straight people have.