I saw on the news the other day that on the first day of LGBT couples having the right to get legally married in New York, the New York City Clerks Office (NYCCO) reported that a record 659 marriage licenses were picked up. The NYCCO, and the news outlet, didn’t explain what “record” meant, so I’m not sure what metric they were using to describe such a number being a record. What I do know is that 659 seems kind of low. I would have thought that for the city with the most people in the United States, and thus, a huge LGBT population, more than 659 couples would want to get married? I mean, that’s only 1,318 people total.
It’s a strangely low number to me for two specific reasons. First, the overwhelming majority of the LGBT community and its allies are hanging their hat on the marriage topic as the civil rights issue of the day. It’s about justice and oppression and fairness and equality and legality. That is why I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that only 659 couples went to get their license – especially since the major argument for gay marriage proponents is that the norm in the LGBT community is long term committed monogamous relationships. This is not to say that long term committed monogamous relationships are not the norm, but I am suggesting that logically, I would think there would have been more than 659 couples wanting to get their license on such a historic day in such a historic city.
Secondly, with so much build up as with the topic of gay marriage, many would have the world believe this topic is like water boiling to the top about to explode and overflow! If that is the situation, then why so few? I mean if heterosexual people were not given the right to marry, fought fiercely for it, and finally won in the city with the greatest amount of people, my guess is the line to get a marriage license would be miles long. Now I know the proportionate number of hetero vs. LGBT people weighs heavily towards hetero, but I believe the percentages back up this point:
If there are 9 million people in NYC, and if the LGBT community makes up on average 5% of the population, that means there are about 450,000 LGBTs in NYC. That also means that 0.3% of the LGBT community in NYC were in enough of a committed monogamous relationship to physically go and get their marriage license on that day. 0.3% seems like an awfully low number to me.
I’m not making any judgement statements about gay marriage. I’m not trying to subliminally suggest anything. I am, however, reacting to a number I was shocked to see after all of the build up; because I believe that the baseline goal from within the LGBT community are committed monogamous relationships.
What are your thoughts?