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Why Gay Marriage Is Good for Straight People

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Diana Landen: If America would just allow gay people to get married, it would be better for all of us. Let me explain.

Cake topper

"Each one of us, whether we ever marry or not, benefits from the ways a healthy marriage culture protects children and the common good." -- National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pamphlet

I don't know whether to scream or cry. Our society desperately needs more strong, healthy marriages that last a lifetime. The members of NOM could be fighting to create them. Instead, NOM just wants to keep gay people from marrying each other.

Have they thought this one through? Who, exactly, are the gay men and lesbians supposed to marry? Some of my best friends are gay men, but I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one.

My friend Debra dated a gay man in college. He told her she kissed wrong. Debra was beautiful, but Tim managed to make her feel unattractive. Debra was lucky, though: It was the 1980s, and Tim eventually came out, moved to Amsterdam and married a man.

Not everyone is so lucky. My friend Alec married a lesbian. She would push him away when he tried to hug her.

A generation earlier, Alec might have spent his life in a doomed marriage. Instead, Alec's wife was able to accept herself and come out to him before they had any children. Alec went on to find happiness with a straight wife who enjoyed his lust.

Marriages between gay and straight people are not healthy marriages. They are based on a lie. Gay-straight marriages lack the passionate love that marriage thrives on, and they have no way to create it. The truth leaves the straight partner feeling betrayed, hurt, embarrassed and angry. The straight person's sense of self can be shattered -- especially their feelings about their sexuality.

Meanwhile, the gay spouse struggles with feelings of guilt and self-hatred. Frequently, they are unable to be faithful. So we have former pastor Ted Haggard accused of visiting a prostitute and paying hush money over an affair with a church member. We have former Congressman Eric Massa accused of sexually harassing his male employees. Former Senator Larry Craig had apparently been ready to have sex with a stranger in a bathroom.

Not surprisingly, gay-straight marriages rarely last. The Straight Spouse Network estimates that only 17 percent of mixed-orientation marriages will still be together three years after the gay or lesbian spouse comes out. That's an 83 percent divorce rate -- twice as high as the already-high national rate of 40 percent.

And what about the children in all of this? Before he was caught hiring a male prostitute to carry his luggage, minister and anti-gay activist George Rekers testified against adoption by gay parents in several court cases. Children, he argued, need parents who present positive role models of relationships between men and women.

Apparently Rekers thinks it is better for kids to have a father who visits prostitutes than two fathers who love each other.

Or maybe Rekers thinks divorce is good for children. Ironically, the former president of NOM, Maggie Gallagher, has written about the benefits of marriage for children. She argues that children with married parents are richer, healthier, better behaved, more educated, more successful and more likely to have lasting marriages themselves.

The truth is simple: Gay-straight marriages lead to adultery and divorce. They are dishonest, unhappy, unhealthy and bad for children. Gay marriages are the solution, not the problem.

It's long past time to accept and celebrate gay people and support them marrying each other. And maybe if people stopped fighting gay marriage, we could get to work figuring out how to strengthen American marriage.


78 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristin May 17, 2010, 11:18 AM

Hell yeah. Thanks for posting this!

Kris May 17, 2010, 12:42 PM

As a gay man with two children from my previous relationship in which I was married to my wife for 12(faithful) years, I can’t agree with your post more.

Fortunately for my children, my ex-wife and I are still friends and we have a huge amount of respect for each other. Both my ex-wife and I are now in new refreshing relationships filled with love and caring which tremendously benefits our children. My partner and I are going on 5 years in a committed relationship and my ex and her new husband are celebrating 3 years of marriage this June. I wish everyone who becomes engaged in a mixed-orientation relationship could be as lucky as we have been with this outcome.

When gay men and women aren’t scared to be true to themselves and can live their lives as GOD intended (which is to be happy with a same-sex mate) the world will be a better place. Until then the Eric Massa’s and Larry Craig’s of the world will remain an all-too-prevalent reality.

lyz May 17, 2010, 2:53 PM

I’ve seen so many straight marriages that are shams and horribly abusive situations. If a couple is in love and dedicated to supporting one another as long as they both shall live, then we should let them get married. The more good solid marriages we have, the better it is for marriage in general. Other wise, marriage will quickly lose its relevancy.

Apple May 17, 2010, 2:58 PM

Let me start off by saying I am not against gay marriage. Personally, I could care less about it. This article though is a bit offensive. Think about it. If a person who knows they are gay(sorry I don’t get that one) marries a straight person, the gay person should be strung up for using someone like that.
(If you realize later that you’re gay well not much can be said about that). Secondly, don’t put them on some pedastal. They’re human. That’s it and in being human you make good and bad choices, you change throughout your lifetime. Just because you choose the same sex doesn’t relieve you from that. Marriage is marriage, and it’s hard work, and it takes both people to make it work. Just because of a sexual preference doesn’t make it less than what it is.

babydoll May 17, 2010, 11:13 PM

I do not judge anyone for any reason. /and I am not judging now.. but in my opinion this is a little extreme..It is an abomination before the Lord,… I don’t judge.. but he, Jesus said man shall not lay with man and woman shall not lay with woman. Follow your heart…

shadow_man May 18, 2010, 12:10 AM

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
***.gaychristian101.com/

SistersTalkRadio May 18, 2010, 12:12 PM

Thank you for this great post!

Confessions of a New Lesbian Mom May 18, 2010, 1:01 PM

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

My partner and I had been together for 7 years before we considered having children. After 2 years of trying we now have a beautiful son. We wanted him to grow up in a commited loving home. Having our son strenghtened “our marriage.” I wish that other “straight” people could see how happy, health and normal our family is!

outoutout May 18, 2010, 5:27 PM

A couple of philosophical disagreements:

“Marriages between gay and straight people are not healthy marriages. They are based on a lie.”

That depends. Lying involves intent. If the gay spouse went into the marriage knowing full well that he/she could not be a true partner, then yes, it’s based on a lie. But it’s not always that simple. Many people come to realise their true sexuality many years into the marriage. They honestly intended to be a true partner, they probably even loved their spouse, and to say that the entire marriage was based on a lie is not accurate.

By the way, I say this as a queer woman who had several relationships with men before coming out. Looking back, I guess I knew it wasn’t right for me, but it would be completely false to pretend that these relationships “didn’t count”, either. I genuinely cared for these people, as I’m sure many gay men and women who find themselves in opposite-sex marriages genuinely care for their spouses.

Also:

“The truth is simple: Gay-straight marriages lead to adultery and divorce. They are dishonest, unhappy, unhealthy and bad for children.”

Again, this is not necessarily true. I’ve had the privilege to know a couple of gay-identified folks who go on to form loving, monogamous relationships with the opposite sex. Their partners are well aware of their past and don’t have any problem with it. Unfortunately, our binary lets-put-everyone-into-neat-little-boxes society simply cannot comprehend such a phenomenon, forcing these people right back into the closet. It’s really sad. Please look up Russell T. Davies’s series “Bob and Rose”, it’s about a very surprising mixed orientation relationship **and it’s based on a real couple**.

All of that aside, I agree that marriage equality is good for everyone.

brad87002 July 22, 2010, 6:06 PM

Going off what “babydoll” claimed- If you were to actually read the Bible, you would see that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality whatsoever. The passage you referenced is in the Old Testament, before Jesus’ time. That scripture is also referring to adultery, not homosexuality itself. Further more, this article is arguing for gay marriage, and as long as marriage certificates are being sanctioned by the US government, religion has no place in the argument. Something about a separation of church and state.

peverted world December 4, 2010, 2:37 PM

i know this a old post baby you are dead wrong the bible states that being gay is not a sin but having agy sex is an abomination to god so please dont excuse yourself from trying to twist the bible you should have kept on reading but satan is is doing his joblook at all this sick crap going on men on men anal an mouth sex sex just peverse satan loves it.

peverted world December 4, 2010, 2:39 PM

i know this a old post baby you are dead wrong the bible states that being gay is not a sin but having agy sex is an abomination to god so please dont excuse yourself from trying to twist the bible you should have kept on reading but satan is is doing his joblook at all this sick crap going on men on men anal an mouth sex sex just peverse satan loves it.

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