Monday, August 29, 2011

Marriage Yes but Marriage Reshaped and Transformed...

For years the argument was for equality -- even justice.  Give gays what straights already have.  Give them the right and the opportunity to be married.  Some of the cynics thought this was more about tax benefits, insurance, and the like.  Others found the justice in the same rights for survivors accorded to the married and the same rights for determining medical care, visitation, etc. for their "spouses."  Still others wondered if there was much of a marked for a traditional style marriage among gays and lesbians.  I did a post weeks ago on the low number of gay men who are seeking marriage as opposed to lesbians seeking to be married (where it is now legal).

A friend passed on this article from The Advocate [the World's Leading Source for GLBT News].  Now I do not know much of this news source except by reputation and I have never read anything in it.  But the link that was passed on to me was very interesting.

Anti-equality right-wingers have long insisted that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of “traditional marriage,” and, of course, the logical, liberal party-line response has long been “No, it won’t.” But what if—for once—the sanctimonious crazies are right? Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing? With divorce rates at an all-time high and news reports full of famous marriages crumbling at the hand of flagrant infidelities (see: Schwarzenegger, Arnold), perhaps now is the perfect time for the gays to conduct a little marriage makeover.

You can read more of the article here. The writer is suggesting that perhaps gays do NOT want the kind of marriage that we have known but that they are quite willing for the sake of GLBT and straights to redefine marriage and reshape the institution that they now have access to in a handful of states.  In other words, thanks but no thanks.  The marriage that they are entering is not the same monogamous relationship in which fidelity is prized as one of the highest expressions of love.  Instead the marriage that GLBT are entering is not so monogamous as it is monogamish, sort of.  It is “mostly monogamous, but there’s a little allowance for the reality of desire for others and a variety of experiences and adventure and possibility.”   It is marriage which embraces the occasional dalliance as long as it does not get too crazy and does not put their partner at risk.

Here's more:  “The 1950s family, with a mother, a father, and 2.2 kids was very much a representation in popular culture, but it wasn’t necessarily representative of real life. There was still divorce, nonmonogamy—consensual and non-.” In other words, the one man, one woman (or one man, one man) forever ideal may not be the most realistic or attainable model for everyone, and a little leeway can go a long way. 

It appear that this is not so much a choice by some of the partners but an accommodation.   One explains. “But I’m open to this because of who I’m with, not necessarily because of who I am. But I’d much rather be in an open relationship than be sexually frustrated or divorced. I’d far, far rather be in this situation than be in any of the supposedly honest alternatives.”

One thing is clear.  Gay marriage is not just about gays marrying.  It is about a giant step of change in the transformation of marriage.  In part, it accommodates the changes already hidden under the surface of marriage and family in America (for example, the recent statistic I read that suggests more children come home from school to cohabiting parents than divorced parents).  We have a long road ahead of us as marriage continues to be reshaped by states making decisions to legalize gay marriage but this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Even more nefarious changes are lying under the surface. 

In the time travel movies, travelers are warned against doing anything to tamper with history since such changes have consequences that cannot be predicted.  Such is what happens when we transform the societal structures to fit momentary desire and forget that these changes will have impact no one can forsee.  And the victims in all of this are most certainly the children who will bear much of the brunt of our experimentation and then will pass on the broken pieces to their children.  


Anonymous said...

Sadly, the Christian Community needs
to understand one fact: Gay-marriage
is about Gay RIGHTS. The gay
community is not interested in God's
institution of marriage between one
man and one woman and their sincere
commitment to each other for life.

Gay RIGHTS are about being able to
have the same privileges as straights
and what the gays do with these
rights is not about morality.

Anonymous said...

It is not about gay rights. It is about gays being told they cannot have something straights have. I have never understood why a group that flagrantly and proudly spits in God's face wants his acceptance so badly.

If it is about a commitment and they do not care about God's institution, why do they seek it so desperately? They know they are in the wrong, and are trying to force everyone else to tell them they are accepted and that it is okay for them to live in sin.

According to the statistics, their marriages aren't much of a commitment at all.

Marriage/commitment means ONE person for the rest of your life. Not one person unless you meet up with another cute fella you would like to shack up with tonight.

Anonymous said...

How about the obvious explanation; homosexuality is a mental disorder, therefore the afflicted persons do not act reasonably. The whole tolerance thing doesn't work with the mentally ill. They don't get more reasonable if you accommodate them, just like bratty children don't behave better if you try to appease them. We just need to embrace our authority as the majority and just say, no.