What’s So Great about Same-Sex Marriage?

After my first marriage broke up, I spent fourteen years as a bachelor in Manhattan before getting married again.

Naturally, I made full use of this extraordinary opportunity. I dated numerous women, and in perhaps seven instances things went far enough that one party or the other started talking seriously about the possibility of getting hitched.  Whereupon the other party demurred, and before long the relationships sputtered to their inevitable conclusion.

The problem, I now see in retrospect, is that the state of New York permitted heterosexual marriages. If heterosexual marriages had been forbidden – just as homosexual marriages were until recently – either my girlfriend or I, depending on which of us was uninterested in marrying, would have had an airtight excuse.

“I’m sorry, dear, but as much as I would love to marry you, and spend the rest of my life coping with your eccentricities, it isn’t permitted. Let’s continue on with our idyllic relationship, which no doubt will last a lifetime anyway, and hope for a better day. Maybe we could even band together with other couples suffering from the same discriminatory plight, and lobby our legislators for the right to marry members of the opposite sex.”

Instead, perfectly sound relationships fell apart because one party wasn’t committed enough to suit the other. Tears were shed. And both parties found themselves back in the dating grind — which is, I can assure you, much less pleasant than having someone around that you can count on.
Some states, like New York, no longer ban homosexual marriages, but most still do. I don’t think the homosexual residents of those traditional-marriage states appreciate how fortunate they are.
Really, getting married is a terrible idea, even if it means that you get better tax treatment and qualify for other government benefits that might not otherwise be available to you. I’ve got news for you, my gay friends, President Obama has his eye on your pension and investment portfolios, and his hand in your pocket. The day is not far distant when you won’t have a penny that the government can’t call its own.

But I digress.

Nowadays, half the people who get married soon find that it was a mistake – and I’m talking only about those who go ahead and get a divorce.  Nobody can persuade me that everyone who remains married is happily so.

I have to admit that homosexual marriages offer certain advantages that heterosexual marriages do not.

For example, there is zero chance of an unwanted pregnancy, so nobody has to feel the pangs of guilt that follow an abortion. (You do feel guilty, don’t you, ladies?)
When two men marry, probably neither will throw a fit if the other leaves the toilet seat up, or swills beer and grinds potato chips into the rug while watching a football game.

When two women marry, and it gets to be that time of month, there will be full understanding  between them, not sturm und drang. In fact, very likely their periods will become synchronized, and they can both truthfully say: “I feel your pain.”

Also, it’s unlikely that either of two women married to each other will throw a fit when one of them backs the car into a wall at the parking garage, or spends four hours at the local boutique deciding which blouse to buy.

But none of this trumps the fact that marriage is a bad idea, no matter what the combination of sexes.

Fortunately, there is still free mobility across state lines — ask any illegal immigrant — and you gay couples don’t have to stay where you are if your state legalizes same-sex marriage. There are lots of states that won’t let you marry your partner – list available upon request — and you can go to one of them if you truly want to live happily ever after.

Author Bio:

Arthur Louis spent more than forty years as a print journalist, with the Philadelphia Inquirer, McGraw-Hill, Fortune magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, but he is not asking for sympathy. He is the author of two non-fiction books: The Tycoons, and Journalism and Other Atrocities, as well as a novel, The Little Champ. In retirement, he has decided unilaterally that he is a profound political pundit.
Author website: http://bernardgoldberg.com
  • http://www.facebook.com/walter.mattson.39 Walter Mattson

    For over 2000 years, the definition of marriage has meant that it was a union between a man and a woman. What right has the government or anyone to change that definition? They don’t. I have no problem with the gays and lesbians to enter into a civil union or any other term and be provided with the same rights as married men and women. Just do not call the union “marriage”. That term was established long ago and should not be changed. I would agree if all religions of the world came to a consensus that the word may be changed. So far they have not and the government hasn’t any business in sticking its nose into the discussion.

    I know that the liberals like Obama and his minions do not agree since they are for the relabeling of any and all words especially if the new meaning can mask the true meaning. Words like “war on terrorism” is now called “an overseas contingency operation”. What it the world is that? It makes it sound like a medical procedure. Also how can a word like “apartment” mean that is racist remark. Don’t all races live in apartments? The list could go on and on but I think you get the message.

  • trailbee

    Having read all the comments, I have one more idea to add to this mix, and it might not be very pleasant. It is a psychological issue.

    I believe that same-sex marriage, when performed as a Secular Union, appears to lack the respectability and acceptance of a traditional heterosexual union, performed in a church. I also believe that this is the unspoken driving force behind the demands that churches perform these same-sex marriages based on religious tradition of one man/one woman. Thus, if churches balk, the next step is judicial force through the Supreme Court.

    When the Court comes down on the side of gays/lesbians, it no longer matters, because the performance of that marriage will still be seen as a forced legislative act, not a voluntary ceremony by the church. It will still be man/man or woman/woman, an abomination in the eyes of believers, who know their religion was trumped in Court.

    It comes down to demanding respectability for something that is perceived by many as deviant behavior.

  • artlouis

    Allen,

    I was saying that marriage started as a religious practice, and I pointed out that it has been secularized. Count on the government to butt in and make you pay them for the privilege.

    I agree that same-sex marriages shouldn’t be banned by law, because they cause no harm to other people, only to the poor fools who get married. However, I don’t think the real issue in gay minds is marriage, but rather equal rights under the law.

    • ARJ127

      Your last sentence is interesting. Why shouldn’t everyone have equal rights under law? The civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s was about equal rights. We should all support that goal.

      • artlouis

        ARJ,

        Where do you see any indication that I am against that?

        • AllenJ

          There’s nothing in my response that says you are. However, Republicans in general are opposed to same-sex marriage. Just ask Ralph Reed for his opinion.

          • artlouis

            Mustn’t generalize, you know. Leads to false conclusions and is sometimes defined as bigotry.

          • ARJ127

            Art:

            I quote to you from the Republican platform:

            The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.

            You’ll note that marriage is defined here as “the union of one man and one woman”. There’s no recognition of same-sex couples qualifying for marriage. Your generalization comment seems a little off-base. We all know where Ralph Reed stands on this issue.

          • artlouis

            Well, we know that platforms don’t often have the unanimous support of the parties. Look what happened when the Democratic leadership wanted to put God and Jerusalem into the platform.

            My own opinion, if anyone cares, is that same-sex marriage is ludicrous, and makes a mockery of what I have always thought of as marriage, but that I have no business trying to legally prohibit it.

          • AllenJ

            ARt

            Fair comment. I’d like Republicans more if they thought like you.

  • DOOM

    I love the folks that claim they’re arguing for marriage equality, but staunchly oppose polygamy.

    • artlouis

      Yes, I’ve noticed that too.

  • AllenJ

    Arthur

    Based on your marital history, you don’t seem to be an authority to me. The question to consider is what does marriage represent? If it is simply a a union to produce children, why not ban all marriages for people over 50? If it’s a celebration of a lifelong union between two kindred spirits, then what’s the problem? The opposition seems to stem from some religious conviction. We should chuck the religion out of the equation. After all, America shouldn’t promote or discourage any religion. By banning same-sex marriage, we cater to the religious people among us, in violation of the 1st Amendment.

    • artlouis

      Allen,

      Didn’t marriage originate as a religious tradition? I can understand why religious people look upon same-sex marriages as repugnant to their beliefs, because they are. Religious tradition made no allowance for same-sex unions, and in fact considered them an abomination.

      However, it is the secular authority that regulates marriage in the United States. If religion still has an impact on the debate, it is because religious people are also voters and this is a democracy. It is not that easy to “chuck the religion out of the equation.”

      People who hold religion dear — and a lot of people who don’t — feel that American culture and values have slipped badly during the past few decades. I happen to agree.

      Other people will tell you that the shift in values actually is a form of liberation.

      That is most of what this past election was about. Fundamentally, the election was based on social issues, even though superficially it seemed to be centered on financial matters. People on both sides were extremely angry, and it wasn’t because of actuarial disagreements over the marginal impact of tax policy.

      However, that is not the point of this largely satiric essay. I chose to stress that marriage of any kind often is a foolish mistake.

      • ARJ127

        Arthur:

        Please explain what you mean by the slippage of American values. As far as I can see, they haven’t slipped at all.

        • artlouis

          ARJ,

          If you are saying that the people who held traditional values have tended to stick with them, I would agree that there has been no slippage there.

          However, I consider the drug epidemic and the collapse of the American family to be slippage. If you are a mom, but not a single mom, you are laughed at in some circles. And if you haven’t struggled with a drug problem, you are hopelessly square.

  • RickonhisHarleyJohnson

    You’re right, Arthur. It ain’t only fun and games. Someone much wiser than I, thought, “for better or worse” belonged in the vows.

    • artlouis

      Yes, and it’s hard to find many people who take their vows seriously.