Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in White": The Realities of Marriage and LGBT People

Insightful article in the this morning on the realities of being married in the state of Massachusetts. Of course, many of the stories in the article sound like they could be married heterosexuals, e.g., the troubles of living commuter relationships, who is ready for living in the "bonds of marriage," and the issue of fidelity, and the kids (Happy Fathers' Day).

Of course, what was interesting in the essay, for me, was the discussion of monogamy versus an open relationship. Some of the couples talked about the "practicalities" of being in a commuter relationship, with permission to have, um, "relationships", a.k.a., sex, as part of the relationship, while others talks about being married and monogamous, but now and then throwing in a "third person." Out of 100+ weddings I've performed, and the countless hours of counseling prior to the wedding, I don't remember discussing "third parties" and the practicalities of having sex with someone in an open but committed relationship. Maybe I should have discussed these possibilities!?

The challenge: how do we understand and practice marriage as LGBTQ people? What, from heterosexual marriage models, do we want to use, and what new understandings and practices do we bring into marriage?

I write all this as one who was in a 21 year marriage with a woman, but also as a man who has not been in married but lives with another for now 13 years in a committed relationship. I think I would like to marry Dean, but we're in a state that would not recognize it at all.

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