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LGBT Lessons for Straight People: The Quota System for the Right to Marry

January 14, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Like many others, I have been following reports from the courtroom of Judge Walker. I’ve really appreciated the highly detailed reporting at Empty Wheel from Fire Dog Lake.

I could not help but be both bewildered and intrigued by the line of questioning regarding the percentage of straight relationships and gay relationships that are stable, the percentage of couples that want to be monogamous and how long these relationships last. Even more odd, the defense attorney wanted to compare relationships in domestic partnerships compared to marriage. So, the anti-gay marriage crowd wants proof that gay people want to be married, will stay married and will stay monogamous. That’s going to be tricky IF YOU DON’T LET THEM GET MARRIED.

Sorry. I had to get that point about the twisted logic out of my system.

Are we going to apply this same standard to heterosexual couples? Are we now going to legislate whether or not to grant marriage based on how long people stay married? Because if we are, a 50% divorce rate is a failing grade in any class I ever took.

Are we now going to legislate whether or not to grant marriage based on the number of people that want to get married? “Sorry gays, we need for 99% of you to want to get married, stay married and promise to be monogamous, or we won’t give you the right to marry.” Will we have this same quota system for straight couples?

Monogamy? The line of questioning contains a section about a study that shows that not all gay men want to be monogamous. First, the studies are very old. Second, the gay men mentioned having open relationships.  Hmm, so the gay men who answered this study, twenty years ago, were being honest with their partners? We straight people have a better method. It’s called cheating. In other words, adultery. You know, that act that right wing conservatives always seem to be caught in. Mark Sanford? Hiram Monserrate, State Senator of New York? Can someone please tell me the last time somebody went to jail for adultery? Are there even laws against it anymore? Oh yes. Biblical law, right there in the Big Ten Commandments. Yet, that one seems to be ignored by groups like National Organization for Marriage, a well known anti-gay marriage group.

Straight people decide if they want to get married. If you are above the age required in your state and meet the requirement for however biologically unrelated you need to be (i.e. not first cousins), you can get married. No one asks if you intend to be monogamous. No one asks how long you plan to stay married. No one asks why you want to get married. There’s no training, no test. It’s a whole lot easier than adopting a dog from a shelter. Just fill out the paperwork, wait a few days, get married. No church required.

None of  these standards have ever been applied to heterosexual marriage. A 50 percent divorce rate could be an excellent argument for getting rid of marriage all together. Yet, somehow, I think straight people would be up in arms if anyone suggested this.

If only one gay couple wants to marry, that is enough for me. If that couple wants an open relationship with others, that is their business and theirs alone. If one cheats, that is their business and theirs alone.

If their relationship doesn’t last, how is that the government’s business? Britney Spears was married for less than three days. If the government can process a marriage and a divorce in three days, why is it taking 40 years to give same sex couples the right to marry?

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

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