Of Course Gay Marriage Can Last!

Time for another straight person’s take on gay marriage, or as we like to call it in Paganism: marriage.

AJ Alfieri-Crispin CC License

While at Pagan Spirit Gathering last week, Arthur Hinds stood up and announced same-sex marriage had passed in New York State during Morning Meeting. A few hundred religious people of varying sexual orientations erupted in cheers. They didn’t politely clap. They didn’t think “Well, that’s nice for them.” None sat on their hands or look mildly perturbed. Without any more prompting thasn a simple news announcement they burst into uproarious celebration. It’s one of those moments that makes me intensely proud to be Pagan.

There were couples there, both straight and gay, celebrating their 25 anniversaries. Many more couples, straight or gay, had been together for a decade or two. I was extremely proud to attend the wedding of a friend of mine to his partner. Sobu and Phoenix were beaming and I’ve never seen a couple so in love at a wedding. After they exchanged rings and dog tags, Sparky T. Rabbit gave a blessing, and in it he mentioned he had married his partner in 1984. It was one of the nicest handfastings I’ve ever seen, and coming back from all that love, I find it absurd when people wonder if gay marriages can last.

Marriage is nothing more or less than a contract between two people to share their lives, their bodies and their hearts. The sharing of assets, raising children, social obligations and other considerations are secondary and not essential. Cara Schulz and I had a conversation over cocktails about this very thing, as we hid under her fancy leopard-print curtained tent from the drizzle and breeze. She posited that the government had no business in the private partnership contracts of it’s citizens, and that marriage ceremonies were the province of religion, not the state. You file your legal documents, then go have your religious celebration with family.

I’ve rolled this around in my mind since she said it. When I was married years ago we were afraid our minister might be called away due to his mother’s ill health. We decided to file our paperwork that morning just in case. Fully expecting to pay the $30 filing fee, sign the document and be on our way to wedding preparations, we instead endured a religious ceremony at the insistence of the Probate Judge. I was taken aback by the religious language used, particularly since we would be exchanging custom vows that evening before family and friends. Yet, when a little over a year later we were divorced, all I had to do was to file papers and assure the judge that our contract was irrevocably broken.

If the government is relegated to simply filing the private partnership contracts people draw up, then the arguments regarding gay marriage, as well as the arguments against polyamory, are null and void. Citizens are given the freedom to choose who has power-of-attorney should they become ill or disabled, who has the right to visit them in the hospital, who they share financial liability with and with whom they raise children. As American citizens we should have that liberty.

Religious ceremonies, and their accompanying restrictions, have no place in our government. It’s absurd to think that they do. It’s just as absurd to think gay marriages won’t last. I tend to suspect the people who question same-sex marriage don’t actually know anyone who is gay. Just as Sparky and his husband have stuck it out and are still in love, I fully expect to be celebrating Sobu and Phoenix’s anniversary for many PSG’s to come.

Asking if gay marriage can last is absurd, because it’s already standing the test of time alongside straight marriages.

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Laura M. LaVoie

    I am straight and my partner and I have been together for 16 years. We specifically opted out of the institution os marriage. We had a handfasting 14 years ago with our families and friends an never looked back. We have specifically opted out of the government regulated idea of marriage because we firmly believe the government has no place in our relationship. I do believed however that if some people have the right then everyone does.

  • Laura M. LaVoie

    I am straight and my partner and I have been together for 16 years. We specifically opted out of the institution os marriage. We had a handfasting 14 years ago with our families and friends an never looked back. We have specifically opted out of the government regulated idea of marriage because we firmly believe the government has no place in our relationship. I do believed however that if some people have the right then everyone does.

  • Wes Isley

    I feel sorry for those who think a piece of paper filed somewhere is somehow “magic” and guarantees anything. And I’ve actually had a straight friend of mine pretty much tell me this as he marveled that my partner and I have been together so long. It was actually a compliment, saying, “But you could leave anytime for any reason, and yet you’re still together!” Yes–because we love each other, not because a license (or a pastor’s blessing) holds us together. If that isn’t marriage, I don’t know what is. Sadly, so many people are wrapped up in obligation, fantasy, family and religious expectations that, ironically, they have NO idea what a lasting marriage really looks like. 

    • AJACs

      As someone in an 18 yr relationship (gay), church married for 16 of those, civilly married in San Francisco 3(?) years ago, these acts do make a difference. The church ceremony, standing in front of 200 people, promising to keep each other through good and bad times, makes a difference. Even though I initially poo-pooed the whole emotional side of civil marriage (I was all about the legal side of it) I continued to be amazed when I refer to “my husband” and actually realize that it is right and legally true. It hits me EVERY TIME.

      (on a side note: that’s my photo in this article!)

  • Wes Isley

    I feel sorry for those who think a piece of paper filed somewhere is somehow “magic” and guarantees anything. And I’ve actually had a straight friend of mine pretty much tell me this as he marveled that my partner and I have been together so long. It was actually a compliment, saying, “But you could leave anytime for any reason, and yet you’re still together!” Yes–because we love each other, not because a license (or a pastor’s blessing) holds us together. If that isn’t marriage, I don’t know what is. Sadly, so many people are wrapped up in obligation, fantasy, family and religious expectations that, ironically, they have NO idea what a lasting marriage really looks like. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VVHGFY6INZQ5SX4HLNUF4NSIE Stanley J

    Str8 people are divorcing at a 50% rate. As best as I can tell, gays who are married are separating at a % to 7 % rate.

    Tell me who is destroying the institution of marriage?

    As for the protectors of str8 marriage, take Maggie Gallagher, founder of the Hate group (per the splc)  NOM.

    She has not one, but  two illegitimate children.

    Need I say more?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VVHGFY6INZQ5SX4HLNUF4NSIE Stanley J

    Str8 people are divorcing at a 50% rate. As best as I can tell, gays who are married are separating at a % to 7 % rate.

    Tell me who is destroying the institution of marriage?

    As for the protectors of str8 marriage, take Maggie Gallagher, founder of the Hate group (per the splc)  NOM.

    She has not one, but  two illegitimate children.

    Need I say more?


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