Over coffee the other morning, a group of the Downtown Warren Business Association members were discussing gay marriages taking place in California. Of course it is no secret that I am gay but it’s never been a “big” topic of conversation among those I associate with in Community groups.
I have always been in awe that this mid-west Ohio town has generally been very accepting, even supportive, and being the first openly gay candidate for local office, it was never an issue, tho I am aware of a certain Councilman who has not tired of the now and then “gay joke”.
As the discussion of “gay marriage” went around the table, one of the members turned and asked my opinion on the matter. I thought for a moment and then shocked the group with my answer.
“I’m against them”.
I went on to explain that as one whose been in a long term relation, 19 years, Bob and I are more concerned about the “rights” for us as a couple then we are about the name you call our relationship. ‘Civil Union” and/or “Common Law” works for us.
When one thinks of “marriage” it invokes all sorts of “religious” trappings and the Church gets it’s “ok” to perform “marriages” through the “Civil Law”. Both of us are not upset when a “Church” says “no” to “Gay Marriages”, they have that right, but they should not dictate to the “Civil Law” what they can do or not.
We realize that we can never have the same “marriage” concept as our dear straight friends and we do not want to take away from that value or lessen that “sanctity” but we do feel that our “Union” is as important and as valid as their “Union”.
In many cases, Bob and I have more rights in each others lives as “corporate officers and partners” in business than we do as a couple, which we feel is totally wrong.
I applaud those activist who have supported the “marriage” issue but I really think more time should be spent on the obtaining of rights for gay couples and less about the name and/or ceremony.