“June is Busting Out All Over” The Gay Marriage Map
June is Gay Pride Month, as recently proclaimed by President Obama. It’s also the most popular time for heterosexuals to marry in any state they choose.
Gays and lesbians do not have that privilege. Same-sex marriage is limited to twelve U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Gay Marriage Gaining Momentum
However, The Bloomberg Poll, conducted May 1-June 3, found that most people want national sweeping reform granted by the U.S. Supreme Court rather than state-by-state decisions. Reflecting popular opinion, fifty-two percent of respondents are in favor of gay marriage, especially the under-35 age group.
Critics of Gay Marriage
Despite the growing momentum for gay marriage, there are critics who believe that marriage is meant for the raising of children and that only heterosexuals (a male father and a female mother can do this job). Under the 1996 federal law DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), marriage is defined as a heterosexual union. The Supreme Court this month is expected to rule if same-sex couples can receive federal benefits that heterosexuals now enjoy.
What’s the Purpose of Marriage, Anyway?
Is marriage solely for the raising of children or is it an emotional union entered into for pleasure and companionship between adults? If marriage exists just for procreation, where does that leave married heterosexual couples who can’t bear children?
A Threat to Heterosexual Marriage?
Is gay marriage a threat to traditional opposite sex marriage? As researchers have discovered, gay unions have lower dissolution rates and are more egalitarian in their division of household responsibilities.
So, is it a threat, but in a good way? “Yes,” says The Very Reverend Gary Hall, Episcopal Priest and Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.,” it will change marriage altogether. It’s asking you a crucial question about your marriage that you may not want to answer. If I’m a man, am I actually sharing the duties and responsibilities of married life equally with my wife?”
As sociologists have found in heterosexual marriages, the household duties are still rooted in gender roles. It is assumed that the husband will mow the lawn, take out the garbage, and pay the mortgage. The wife will fill out the school forms, buy the birthday gifts, and raise the children.
Even if she works outside the home, “the second shift” of housework falls mostly on her weary shoulders. If the husband works and controls the purse strings, he has more power than his wife, causing resentment.
Vive La Difference!
Gay couples cannot fall back on old stereotypes and old assumptions based on gender that often cause stress in heterosexual marriages. They must invent a relationship based on equality.
Same-sex couples are breaking new ground because they are discussing how they are going to handle living together equally. Author Liz Mundy, in her cover story “What Straights Can Learn from Same-Sex Couples,” for The Atlantic, June 2013, concluded “gay marriages tend to be happier and more intimate.”
The Future looks Bright
So, with the country’s momentum for legalizing same-sex marriage, and researchers validating the superiority of gay marriages, your gay child has a good shot at not only being married, but happily married. Who knows? It may prove ironic, but your gay son or daughter, in comparison, may wonder if you are happy in your marriage.