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Gay Marriage, Traditional Marriage, and Musical Theater

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Jota on January  7, 2009:

I believe that "Societies" create rules to make life "easier". For instance if we all use our Zip Codes, mail arrives faster; if we all have a S.S Number, processes are simpler, etc. I think that to follow this rules makes me free to dedicate my energy to important issues; for others following the rules enslaves them. My husband and I got married 14 years ago tomorrow, we are from different parts of the world, have different religions and are as different as a man and a woman can be. Getting married by a justice of peace didn't change anything about us, we just followed a "rule" that made life easier for all legal aspects of our life. He cooks, I don't. I'm a "handyman" he's not, it's been the same before and after getting married. Documents don't change you, they give you the freedom to act within the law. For instance: if any medical decisions need to be made, the law recognizes your rights, etc. All it actually really does (getting married), is to speed all bureaucratic processes related to your life together. The commitment you make to each other, the love and respect you want to have as a couple, is not written on a piece of paper, it's stamped in your hearts. Go for it, make yours and your children life easier, take advantage of the benefits you'll get from this. Just go get a license and hop on a boat with the children and get married. This is really what gay people are fighting for, I think.

Brian J. Taylor on August 11, 2009:

I am interested in one piece of this article that points out where women have assumed both the mama and the papa role, the men are left "tottering" having lack of clarity of their role. Why is it that the men are left tottering and not the women? Though it may rub the progressive person the wrong way, do we have to admit that perhaps the women do have a "natural" instinct for child-bearing and nurture that is absent or at least not as strong in men? And if so, what is the implications of that for any kind of marriage -- gay, straight, equal, traditional? I am one of those males who is confused about my role and who, after 25 years of attempting to live in a "feminist marriage," has found that it has not made me happy. I respect the author's view that the mama-papa roles got in the way of his relationship with his significant other. But if we are going to support everyone having all available choices, including my gay friends who have waited a long time for the opportunity to marry, is it legitimate to also support those who might find that traditional marriage is actually the best option for them as well? Or are all attempts to identify gender roles oppressive and in need of being eradicated? If people don't have the traditional roles as givens, or at least as an option, how do they discern the role that works for them? Brian

Jan Wolter on August  8, 2010:

I've just spent a few hours reading (most of) Judge Walker's ruling that declared proposition 8 unconstitutional. I'm struck by the pathetic weakness of the case put forward the the proponents of proposition eight. Millions of people still believe that gay marriage should not be allowed, but apparently nobody can be found among them who can put forth a vaguely convincing argument for that position.

In particular, they were completely unable to explain how allowing gay marriage could in any way impact straight marriages, and pretty much conceded that there would be no impact. And that's just crazy. How can anyone pretend to believe that a change as big as legalizing gay marriage won't have a broad and substantial impact on many aspects of our society, including straight marriage? The argument that people should be having would be over whether that impact would be a positive or negative one, but somehow instead they seem to be concluding that there wouldn't be any impact. It's baffling to me.

Why are the opponents of gay marriage so hopelessly bad at making a case for their belief?

Jan Wolter on August 10, 2010:

I think that legalizing gay marriage essentially codifies into law a liberal viewpoint of marriage. To people who already have a liberal viewpoint of marriage, it naturally seems to make no difference at all. Almost everyone these days has a more liberal idea of marriage then Tevye did, but for those people who still value the idea of traditional gender roles within marriage, this is quite a radical step that may very well make a difference to their marriages and the marriages of their children.

The frequently made comparison to the legalization of interracial marriage is actually not a very good comparison. That change made a huge difference to our nation's thinking about the roles of black and white people in our society, but it did NOTHING to change the gender roles within marriage. So though legalizing interracial marriage made a huge difference to race relations, it had virtually no impact on traditional marriage.

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