Skip to content

Re-Post of June’s Posting: Gay Marriage


mcol_rainbowWith the loss of Prop 8 in California, the banning of Gay Marriages, as well in several other States, I wanted to re-post my June 21st, 2008 comment. It is also worth noting that in the next few days we will have a Guest Post concerning Prop 8 and voters, but until then, here are my thoughts from this Summer.

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”.

We pay taxes that support Schools, repair roads, sanitation/sewers, all the items that “marriages” do but we don’t reap any benefits.

I served four years in the military during Viet Nam defending everyones rights. Question: “Whose defending mine?”

In many cases, Bob and I have more rights in each others lives as “corporate officers and partners” in the business we had 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.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/07/2008 9:59 pm

    Tristan, thank you for your excellent outlook on the subject of marriage between two people of the same sex. I especially liked your comments regarding the religious implications, that marriage is an institution devised by “God”.
    I am 88 years old and very much a heterosexual: six children and married 53 years to a husband who died back in 1993. I’ve recently met a woman, just turned 80 or 81 with whom I know I am going to be friends for as long as we both live. She is gay. She and her companion/lover lived together until her mate died of kidney failure a few short years ago. We’ve discussed our friendship and what to expect from each other. As she said in an email today, “we’re pals”.

  2. 11/08/2008 5:23 pm

    I’m with you, Tristan. What we call the institution is unimportant. Although I am not totally unsympathetic to the activists’ viewpoint that if you call a union sanctioned by civil law among same-sex couples anything other than “marriage,” it diminishes its significance in the societal view, I think we need to be pragmatic. I am much less interested in how significant society deems my relationship than I am in being able to receive my partner’s Social Security or pension benefits should the unthinkable happen, and the peace that would come with knowing that he could continue to live in relative comfort by receiving mine if I should predecease him.

    Our opponents say that these things can be handled contractually and some of them, in fact, can. However, you can’t force a pension plan or the Social Security Administration to provide benefits to the surviving partner in a same-sex relationship, because you have no legal standing to do so. That is just one of a number of important problems that cannot be handled contractually.

    We should worry less in the short term about what the legal sanctioning of our relationships is called and more about ensuring that we receive the benefits that our heterosexual friends take for granted.

    As has been the case with civil rights struggles throughout our history as a country, we move forward in baby steps. To issue an “all or nothing” demand, will typically result in nothing.

  3. 01/08/2010 1:13 pm

    Unfortunately, as one who has been in “common law” marriages, the institution needs to be uniform. It’s too bad that the legal aspect isn’t separate from the “sacrament” of marriage. Unfortunately, those who wish to enforce their morality upon others have deemed it such that the institution be legal before they give it their acceptance.

    Somehow, this seems to fly in face of the concept of equal protection under the law.

  4. Escottshomi permalink
    10/15/2010 3:34 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: