Life / News & Politics / Sex & relationships

This week, February 11-17, is National Freedom to Marry Week! And Mombian is hosting a “Freedom to Marry Blog Carnival” on February 14 — linking to posts from all over the blogosphere on why the freedom to marry is so important. If you blog about that this week, or have blogged about it in the past, send her a note with the link (by Tuesday): !

Setting aside the fact that marriage is a civil institution, that it protects children and partners, particularly in the event that something bad happens to one half of the married couple, and the thousands of legal and tax benefits that are available only through the institution of marriage, I want to talk about 2 things. One often comes up in this discussion; the other is a bit lighter.

Every time gay marriage comes up in the media, you hear about what a threat it is to traditional marriage.

OK, what?

How is my marriage a threat to anyone else’s marriage?

That just doesn’t make any sense! I don’t have ANYTHING to do with anyone else’s marriage. And I want to participate in the institution, because I respect and value it. That’s supportive of the institution, not damaging to it.

What is the real threat to the institution of marriage? How about pop stars who get married in Vegas on a whim, and when they sober up at the end of the weekend, get the marriage annulled? Or anyone who gets married and divorced, married and divorced, married and divorced, married and divorced…. I know a handful of people who have been married 5 times or more! Now that demeans the institution of marriage.

And on a lighter note, my post on my fantasy about winning the lottery is up at SoVo.


Yes, not being able to be legally married interferes with my ability to have a good “what would I do if I won the lottery?” fantasy.

If we were legally married, we wouldn’t have to deal with gift tax issues. Now if I only won a few thousand dollars, that would be no big deal, but for a good lottery winning fantasy, you need to be upwards of $10 million.

See the SoVo post for how I try to reconcile that so I can enjoy my lesbian family lottery winning fantasies.

  1. So, The Mistah was just telling me about this movement to ensure all married hetero couples breed within three years of marriage.

    Since making and raising children is really the fundamental reasoning for marriage, right?

    On a more serious note, I think it’s interesting for us–as a hetero couple–to take the time this Valentine’s Day to remember why we did get married, and why marriage is something we should ALL enjoy, should we choose to.

  2. if marriage was available to all without discrimination, then would it be ok that “thousands of legal and tax benefits … are available only through the institution of marriage”? personally, i don’t think so. why should the state be involved in people’s spiritual and romantic lives?

    you know that i feel strongly that if those benefits are made available to married people, they should be available without regard to the gender of the couple. but the optimal result in my mind would be to keep the government out of the business of encouraging marriage, period. civil partnerships for all, legally sanctioned marriages for none.

    i WISH gay marriage were a threat to the institution of marriage, because it deserves to be questioned. but on the contrary, i think the movement for gay marriage only reinforces the institution of marriage by seeking to expand, rather than overhaul, an outdated and unfair legal doctrine.

  3. Yeah! What she said!

  4. Ok, I couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment at the SOVO post… so I’ll leave it here.

    Since Kristin and I regularly drive to Idaho to buy lottery tickets (no lottery in Utah) and we entertain ourselves on the drive with our lottery fantasies, your post was incredibly interesting to me.

    We’ve thought about ways to get around the gift tax for our families. Don’t know if those things are legally valid, or not, but whatever. The thing is, I NEVER THOUGHT about the gift tax hitting us as a couple since we buy the ticket out of our joint checking account. Stupid me!

    So, what I want to know is (so I can resume my lottery fantasies) did you put your agreement of 50% interest in writing? Or were you joking?

  5. Heh, well, it wasn’t in writing. But it is something that comes up about every other visit with my parents, and the part with my parents and sister has been familial conversation on a regular basis for at least 15 or 20 years. We also irregularly give each other a dime, for the next ticket.

    Now it is in writing, for teh whole Internets to contemplate. But I don’t think that’s what you meant.

    We don’t have a big written contract about the lottery, although we did do that when I loaned Jill some of her share of the downpayment on our old condo (0%, forgiven over however many years of gift tax limits it took). (The house that was mine before we met sold for a lot of money.)

    But that involved the actual transfer of a big chunk of cash, although still one that legally married couples can share without.

  6. WRT the institution of marriage and the state.

    I think having some sort of legal recognition and protection of families, provided by the state, is generally a good thing. I think providing social security survivor benefits, and making people responsible for their children, are both good things that can be pushed so far that they hit the crazy blogosphereic circle. I’m totally open to overhauling how the state does recognizes families, and who is eligible.

  7. I can’t post an image because of copyright issues, but here’s one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons ever.

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