There’s an argument out there against marriage equality that only oppositely-gendered couples can have a successful marriage. They argue that same-gendered couples, on the sole basis of their same-genderedness, are bound to fail. If you are straight and married this should be mightily insulting (and not just because your LGBTQ friends and family are being discriminated against). Why?
The same-gendered couples I know have relationships that look a lot like my marriage. They show affection and care for each other, they put up with silly flaws and foibles in their partners, they worry through problems together, and they become brothers or sisters, sons and daughters to their in-laws. Couples, regardless of their genders, ride all of life’s ups and downs together hand-in-hand. They have to resolve conflict, have faith in their partner, care for children and parents, and sacrifice personal wants for the family’s good. Couples cook dinner and walk the dog and kiss scraped knees. As far as I understand these activities, gender basically doesn’t enter into it. Successful marriages result from commitment, patience, compassion, and charity.
There are only two differences between straight marriages and LGBTQ marriages: what’s in people’s pants and the regular injustices suffered by LGBTQ couples. If conservatives are so convinced that only straight marriages can be successful what they are saying is that one of these two reasons must be the cause, right? Well, they are more than welcome to join the crusade against sexual orientation bias (though honestly, they’ll be a little late to this party since it’ll be over as soon as they abandon their deteriorating cultural-war fortifications). But saving marriages and people from discrimination isn’t what they want, even if it were a clear source of marital discord and where the seeds of divorce are sowed. They argue against marriage equality at every chance they get. In states and countries where marriage equality exists, where LGBTQ people enjoy at least some protection under the law, conservatives still argue that LGBTQ marriages aren’t “real” marriages. Well, if it’s not the discrimination thats why conservatives believe LGBTQ marriages are a sham and doomed, then it must be what’s in people’s pants.
Yes, that’s right, what’s in your and your straight spouse’s pants is why your marriage is successful and worth protecting under the law. Not your hard work, your sacrifice, your years of love and commitment. It’s all in the naughty bits, that’s where good marriages come from. That’s what anti-marriage equality advocates believe. I wonder if you asked them about their own marriages if they’d say that the source of their marital success has to do with having different primary sexual characteristics. Seems like a stretch to me.
By barring entrance to marriage solely on the basis of sex they say that sex is the primary requirement for successful, legal marriages. If you are married, do you find that’s true about your marriage (obviously other than the fact that you and your partner have to be a gender that the other is attracted to)? I for one, think that it’s pretty insulting, don’t you?
Why do anti-marriage equality advocates hold such demeaning views about straight marriages, the very ones that they purport to protect? I’m starting to think that they don’t know much about marriage at all. Maybe we should, finally, stop listening to them.