SMALL.Challenge12Tying the Knot: Re-Inventing Marriage

How about throwing all the conventional wisdoms of heterosexual marriage over board and starting anew to define gay relationships? Is it possible? You bet. The historical moment offers us the chance to become dreamers and visionaries.

Excerpts from Lesbian Marriage: A Love and Sex Forever Kit…

For some of us, legal marriage means that we are finally getting something men and women have had all along, to which we have a right. But there is also something else we’re getting, if we want to take up the challenge…

The facts of marriage have changed repeatedly over time, and so, too, have the marriage-myths. Time for us to change them again and in our own terms. In an aristocratic marriage in the Middle Ages, there was never a question of romance, compatibility, or love; money and property met at the altar. The stereotypical model of the fifties, Mom and Dad and two kids, has diversified into blended, mixed-race, multi-generational, same-sex, and gender-queer families who sometime resemble tribes and often consist of one adult and one child. High time then to imagine marriage in our own pioneering spirit. 

In spite of a great deal of talk about family values, traditional marriage is not exactly a successful institution. Half the people who get involved in it for the first time get back out again. The second time they try, sixty percent of them leave it behind. 

We are obviously not intending to make gay marriage a replica of conventional marriage with these serious dangers and this high incidence of abuse. So, what do we want? It’s probably a good idea to have the discussion before we, and as we, and after we, rush down to stand in line all night at City Hall. There’s no reason this conversation has to diminish our sense of celebration and joy…

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