Same sex marriage has been a heavy topic between lawmakers and the LGBTQA community for quite a while now, especially in California after Proposition 8 passed restricting the recognition of marriage to opposite-sex couples in 2008, and in Utah where the LDS church’s public support of the proposition prompted statewide protests.
I believe same-sex marriage should be an unalienable right, and as a gay man I helped promote these rallies against Proposition 8 and those who supported it. I’ve fought for equality and human rights for many years, but with recent events I’m being told that I’m undermining the gay rights movement and disrespecting the LGBTQ community.
Many people have voiced their disapproval over my recent marriage to one of my best friends who doesn’t identify as such, but is for all intents and purposes a lesbian woman. We married for insurance benefits because we plan to have children and raise a family. Our marriage has been the subject of controversy amongst the small group of people who know about it.
“I don’t think you represent the [gay] community appropriately,” said a friend of mine during a very lively and public debate, “[marriage] should be between people who love each other, not between a gay man and a lesbian.”
Marriage for the sake of love sounds old fashioned, but on the contrary it’s very modern. For centuries people have married for one benefit or another. Rather it’s a social benefit amongst royal families or the financial benefit in countries where fathers literally sell their daughters for marriage. It’s still not uncommon in some parts of the world for marriages to be arranged for certain benefits, and love doesn’t write well into their contracts.
My wife and I may not love each other in a conventional manner but we do love and respect each other as friends, and it has always been my belief through equal rights rallies that the morality of marriage shouldn’t be measured or validated by sexual attraction. We will have children and we will love them irrevocably, doesn’t this satisfy the argument that one should marry for love?
Many have argued that we are setting back the gay rights movement because we entered into a seemingly straight marriage. How is exploiting a traditionally straight institution for the benefit of a gay union disadvantageous to the gay rights movement? Are we to protest traditional (opposite-sex) marriage under the pretense that lawmakers give a rat’s ass if we get married or not?
My best friend and I married to ensure the best possible future for our family, and I believe that to be sufficient justification for any marriage, gay or straight.
Salt Lake City