The Gay Marriage Ultimatum: “Choose Me or Christ”

The Gay Marriage Ultimatum: “Choose Me or Christ” July 1, 2015

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Tambako The Jaguar
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Tambako The Jaguar

People still come to me for help, solace and advice.

It’s a natural adjunct to 18 years in public office in this community. People know me, and they’ve learned over the years to trust me. Not only that, they’ve formed the habit of turning to me when they want to talk about something they can’t discuss with the people around them because they know that I won’t, ever, talk about what they tell me.

I left office a year ago, but I didn’t stop being the mother confessor for a lot of South Oklahoma City folks. I don’t know if I ever will.

The Supreme Court sent a number of people my way since last Friday, all of them looking for solace in the face of personal attacks they had suffered because of the decision on gay marriage. They called me on the phone, approached me after mass, in checkout lines and while I was running errands. I also had internet encounters of the same type that went far beyond the boundaries of my community and my personal friends.

Here’s the summarized version of what they told me:

There was a lot of yelling and screaming in certain circles this weekend. It was directed at Christians in their personal, and, heretofore, safe personal relationships. It was also directed at priests who spoke about the decision from the pulpit. One friend, who gave me permission to discuss this, witnessed an ugly blow-up at a longstanding poker game she and her husband go to. The people there hold diverse opinions about matters of faith and morality, but they’ve been meeting for this friendly get-together on a regular basis for years.

This week, the atheists in the group refused to practice civility. They cursed the Lord, called Christians bigots and homophobes and were otherwise verbally insulting. According to my friend, this began with a celebration on the part of the atheists over Obergefell. She said she felt like, “OK, you won your deal, have your celebration.” She said the Christians at the table kept silent.

But when the celebration turned to repeatedly cursing the Lord and calling Christians ugly names, she said one of the Christian men told them to shut up. It devolved from there into two men squaring off to fight one another. At that point, my friend stood up and told them to stop it.

She said, “I’ve never forced my faith on you. I don’t come here with a Bible telling you what to do. But you are disrespecting me and my Jesus and I will not stand for it. You stop this now or my husband and I are leaving and we won’t be back.”

My friend is the most soft-spoken Hispanic woman you’d ever meet. I’ve never heard her raise her voice. Not once. Not ever.

She said the room fell silent and everyone sat back down. But she doesn’t think she and her husband will be back for more fun next week. They are through with the group.

I’ve heard stories of spouses calling one another names and people walking out of mass on their priests. I also had Public Catholic readers directly ask me what they should do in the face of this hate that is being directed at Christians.

I think that my friend gave a template for how to handle friends who are not family. We really need to stand our ground. If the people we call friends do not respect us enough to allow us the space and personal dignity to hold our own beliefs and act on them, then the friendship is on sick and sad grounds. I know from personal experience how painful this is. But there is nothing we can do but let them go.

That also goes for priests who have parishioners walk out on them when they teach what the Church teaches about marriage from the pulpit. Many of these walkers away will walk back later. But whether they do or not, priests must still teach the truth. They have a responsibility before God to protect their flocks from the error of grave sin. Silence in a situation where their parishioners are facing this kind of abuse is cowardice. It is a shepherd, running away to protect himself when his flock is in danger.

Family members are a bit more difficult. There are several gay people in my family and we’ve never had a problem. The reason is simple: We love one another. I may not support gay marriage, but when my gay family member has to go to the hospital or is in trouble with the law or just lonely and feeling bereft, they know that I’m there for them. I will sit in the hospital waiting room, go to the trial and hang out with them when no one else will.

They do the same for me.

What is politics, compared to that?

However, this sort of familial sanity does not prevail in all families. Children, in particular, are too willing to use their parents’ love for them, a love they do not doubt or they wouldn’t do this, as a form of blackmail. “If you love me, you’ll desert your faith and back gay marriage.”

Chose me, or chose Christ. That is the thing in the balance.

All I can say is that you must never stop loving people because they are jerks and bullies. But no one — no one — can be put between you and Jesus. Jesus has to be your first loyalty.

That doesn’t mean you lecture them or even try to get them to change. Even if you do this with the intention of saving their souls, it is still the wrong thing in this circumstance. They are too set on their downward path to listen. Their ears are stopped and their hearts are hardened.

All you can do is love them and continue to love them and reach out to them in love. That, and keep the faith with your faith in your own life.

Aside from the fact that Jesus Christ must be your Lord or He is nothing to you, what they are demanding is far beyond the right of any person to demand of another. It is a crude and vicious violation of your integrity as a human being, of your natural human rights as a person.

At bottom, it, as my friend said, “disrespects” you. I heard a discussion this weekend in which someone more knowledgeable in these matters than me said that these kinds of attacks on the integrity of another person’s soul are always an indicator of disrespect. They do not respect you and your right to believe as you believe.

Disrespect at this level is disrespect of you as a person. You have a responsibility to yourself, to God and to the person attacking you not to accede to this. Mutual respect is the beginning of genuine trust. It is the foundation on which all good human relationships are built.

If I cannot trust you to respect me as a person enough to allow me the dignity of making my own choices in matters as profoundly personal as faith and morality, then I can not trust you at all. There can be no friendship, no true relationship, without this basic level of respect and the trust that comes from it.

I don’t know if my friend should go back to her poker game or not. It’s possible that the people there heard her and that they will respect her in the future. But if they do not, she really does have to leave.

I know my friend well enough to know that she would take a lot of disrespect directed at her, personally. But she will not abide disrespect to Jesus Christ.

That has to be the bottom line for all of us. Even the most co-dependent among us must stand for Christ in these times.

Do it in love. If you love someone, give yourself the freedom to keep on loving them. Never send someone who is really close to you away. If they leave, that is their choice. But when and if they decide to come back, welcome them home with the same love you felt before they left, and then let the past go.

Love hurts in times like this. The people we love are the ones who can and will nail us to the cross. But if our first love is Jesus, He will help us through this. Stay the course, my friends. On the other side of this Gethsemane, you will find that your faith in Him is stronger, your walk with Him closer, your love of Him, deeper.

You may lose trust in the people around you, but your trust in Him is a rock on which you can build your life.

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62 responses to “The Gay Marriage Ultimatum: “Choose Me or Christ””

  1. Thank you for this post. I haven’t (yet) had any personal attacks on my integrity, but it’s very depressing seeing friends, (distant) family, and the parents of my children’s Catholic-school classmates — all people who claim to be “Catholic” — posting on Facebook their enthusiastic support for gay marriage. I changed my avatar to a cross, but other than that, have not made any loud announcements about where I stand. I hope that the cross is sufficient evidence of that. (I’m a lawyer too, in NY. Conservative lawyers here are pretty rare.)

  2. Actually, if you wend your way through the connecting statutes, you will find that this game is exempt because it is not conducted for the profit of its organizers, i.e., it is a private game between friends.

  3. Emotional blackmail is the weapon of choice for the homosexual community. I call it the dirty dancing defense. In that movie “Baby” announces “if you love me, you have to love everything about me”.

    The counter defense is simple. You simply respond. “No I don’t. I can love you dearly, and hate your sins”

    As an aside. Please always use the correct phrase “homosexual marriage” rather than the slang “gay marriage”. Language manipulation is a main tool of those attempting to manipulate and degrade the culture.

  4. Thank you for this. Lovewins# is the ultimate in irony and hypocrisy – the utter hatred for Christians and Catholics in particular – is breathtaking.

  5. Thank you. You said that with pain, love and ultimately, truth. It helped me a lot. Prayers for you and all of us as we continue on our journey.

  6. Rebecca,

    Thank you for this challenging, insightful, and, ultimately, hopeful post. I too have gay family members and I struggle with this issue — especially since activists on both sides of the issue can be so “unloving” (or un-Godly) toward each other. Thomas Aquinas said that “love” is willing the good of the other as other–something you address so well in this post. Yours is a voice of orthodox reason and the fundamental question you pose in the title–and then explore so well and so personally– is one that I need to hear and be prepared to answer.

    And how should we respond to those that disrespect our commitment to Jesus? Fr. Robert Barron says we should “turn the other cheek” and then explains what thate really means. It is not a passive response; it is standing your ground and demonstrating thatI won’t let you treat me–mirroring to the aggressive person their aggressive or disrespectful behavior. Here is the relevant video clip from Catholicism (posted by someone, not me) that demonstrates this with two powerful examples.

    As St. Francis said to those he me along the way, “May the Lord give you peace.”


    P.S. And best wishes for a meaningful Independence Day weekend for you and your U.S. readers.

  7. Fred, that sounds like a response on a video game. Are you sure you are in the right place.
    Blessings for the 4th of July on this column, the readers, Rebecca and you, too, Fred.

  8. Just my opinion, but if those folks who were backing gay marriage were really friends of your friend, then they would never made the comments they made. That is sad. Disagreement is one thing, being insulting and disrespectful is another, and uncalled for, IMO.

  9. For what its worth…this issue has brought out a lot of bad behavior and I sense that much of it has nothing to do with the issue of equal application of laws under the Constitution (which is actually all that the Obergefell decision addressed).

    Speaking as someone who has GLBTQI folks in my family, I am glad to know that they are now eligible to be covered under the laws of the nation like any other person in a committed long term partnership. Whether some folks want to acknowledge that as a sacramental marriage or not – I guess marriage, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

    I understand that this is very problematic for folks who hold a traditionalist understanding of scriptures and sacraments; I also understand that for these folks ecclesial bodies supporting the idea of same gender marriage must seem a “sell-out” of the true faith once delivered to the saints. I disagree, but you certainly have every right to your position, and it’s offensive, uncivil, and assuredly unChristian to be abused for holding differing opinions. For folks being abusive I apologize and I hope you’ll accept my apology.

  10. I am still unclear on the definition of the term “marriage” in this debate and suspect it is intentionally vague. The bundle of legal rights that couples enjoy are granted by the government pursuant to civil law. The rights and obligations of a religious union are God’s. It would appear clear that these are different unions. Are they both “marriages”? Making the distinction is no small issue as the conflation of the term “marriage” in Justice Kennedy’s opinion would imply a requirement that churches offer the sacrament of marriage to homosexual couples. This conflict was easily avoidable. It is hard to imagine that the failure to distinguish was not purposeful and intended to draw people of faith into a fight over the larger role religion should play in our political discourse with the goal of removing religion entirely from our politics and leaving the field to secular theology.

  11. No worries, Giselle. Those eccesial bodies are dying. The Episcopalians, who just opened their marriage rites to same sex couples, lost 25% membership over a recent 10 year span (2003 to 2013, I think), and about 30% average Sunday attendance. Even worse for them, they have run off the few parts of the Church that were growing.

    Fortunately, the Anglican ethos, a beautiful gift to the whole of Christendom, is preserved in the Catholic Anglican Ordinariates, Western Rite Orthodoxy, and the Anglican groups trying to pull together from the ashes of the Episcopal Church

  12. If this is suffering, indeed may it never end.

    I’m over ssm, but am still enjoying the rants of those filed with joy at its passing. Every post like yours brings truth into the light.

  13. I do not dispute that your friends are experiencing something new from their friends. Society is now undergoing a fundamental change. The ingroup used to be those that denied Gays equal participation. This group is now becoming the outgroup. It requires a completely different outlook on the way you live. There have always and will always be ingroups and outgroups and those with strong beliefs don’t always get to choose which one they belong to.

    What’s new in this case is that the structure of evangelical Christianity itself is now changing and those who strongly hold to traditional Christian cultural views on socio-sexual behavior that have come to be called the “culture of life” are now becoming a minority even in many of their own communities. I’m sure this is very distressing and disorienting.

  14. Fred, I don’t think you can get much more anti-American than giving out judgements based on sentimentalism and emotion and, well, just a love of self, rather than based on the constitution. It is all so pagan or should I say, barbarian?

  15. It’s not the rise of a false Christianity, but a reversion back to paganism.

    The son of God did not come to save sexless angels, but men and women.

    Opposites are reconciled , in the cross. Man-Woman, God-humanity, Christ-Church.

    Erasing these distinctions, is pantheism.

    A slow, but eventual rejection of the Apostles Creed.

  16. The interesting thing about the story, to me, is that the people who argued at the poker game were all straight. These types of things happen when religion mixes with politics. Separation of church and state is easier said than done

  17. Fella, this was a private get together on someone’s house. It has NOTHING to do with separation of church and state.

  18. Actually, I would love to, but no way is that gonna happen. In any event, you know they’d shout me down.

  19. Triumphalism on stilts. You don’t have the support you think you have, and strutting around the stage will empty the theater soon enough.

    But really, make up your mind. Either ssm marriage is a minor thing that affects next to nothing, or it’s the prism through which every relationship must be reinterpreted. Any foul behavior is excused if it is in the Right Side of the Cause. Really.

  20. Cincinnatus, it may be helpful if you liken this to the status of those American Catholics who are divorced and remarried without an annulment. Under the law of the land… they are married. Period. Similarly, we do not “imply a requirement that churches offer the sacrament of marriage to [these] couples.”

    In addition, where you say, “The bundle of legal rights that couples enjoy are granted by the government pursuant to civil law. The rights and obligations of a religious union are God’s” is 100% accurate and well stated.

    That is the way our marriage laws have always worked and this decision is 100% consistent with that construct.

  21. I am a devout Catholic. I am at the point of thinking every single person getting married today, inside or outside the Church, in the United States has grounds for an annulment. The level of confusion being sewed by secularists on what marriage is has to make it difficult for anyone to know what they are doing.

  22. Amen. Let’s not make this a war, but if we do, let’s let LOVE be our only weapon.

  23. I do not support legal homosexual marriage. But the USA has a 41% illegitimacy rate, a 50% divorce rate, and more young heterosexual couples cohabitate in their first union rather than marry.

    The disrespect for the institution of marriage has been deeply ingrained in USA culture for two generations. In the last 40 years civil marriage has been reduced to a set of temporary legal rights and benefits that exist while the couple remains married. It has not been similar to the institution of Holy Matrimony for decades. The 1.6% of people who identify as homosexual are just a very minor part of a much bigger issue.

  24. I hope you stand strong.. The Democrats had removed God from their convention platform last election and when the M.C. was told to ask for a vote to reinstate God into their platform, there were loud ‘nos’ from the attendees…when the M.C. was ordered to reinstate God anyway and informed those present, there were resounding ‘boos’ from the Democrats…it was chilling. If they reject God, who do they choose? Cardinal Dolan gave the blessing after that and he was almost calling down the fire of heaven…I was a life long Democrat but since they became a Godless party of death, I am now an independent…God bless those good people who have remained in the Dem. party…they will need His strength and wisdom to stay strong and lead the party back to the right place

  25. I would say, Michelle, that you’d benefit from a course of study in the Magisterium of the Church and that leaving aside the Bible’s inerrancy, would you agree that people are not inerrant? And if so, is it at all possible you may be in error?

  26. Let’s not get into a fight between Christians. I think that is destructive and unnecessary.

  27. Am a protestant friend who has experienced the aggressive hate from those who equate polite disagreement with “hate”.

    History. …long history does not support a long term society where the family xx xy parents and kids…are disregarded. Nor does the history of late Ancient Greece or late Ancient Rome. A somewhat representative government in late Ancient Rome got overtaken by some cruel dictatorial Caesars who also sexually slept with whoever they wanted.

    Am sure some quiet gay people also cringe as they see this anger against the current thought fashions play out.

    We will also test the 1970s decision of the American psychiatric society which took homosexuality off their mental illness list. If their decision was sound, rational behavior will prevail among most activists,

    However, as I look at some in my own extended family, I see some who embraced the gay lifestyle or who were taught in college to revere the movement …and who now are emotionally are vastly changed…for the worse. hate and irrational fears are now prominent.

  28. I stay away from Facebook due to the hostility. I cannot sit on the fence when lies are promulgated as truths. I must correct friends and colleagues fraternally as circumstances permit. Regarding the political status of lawyers, sadly, even if a colleague started out having values, they probably lost them due to being worn down by the day-to-day interactions with a public increasingly hostile to practicing Christians. The last thing a recalcitrant sinner wants is someone reminding them of their sin.

  29. I’m having trouble taking you seriously this morning. I told you that we don’t call people names on this blog, and you attack me by … calling me names.

    If you’re “done listening” to me, then don’t listen to me.

    But I keep the personal attacks and name-calling off this blog because I will not allow it to sink to the gutter level that I’ve seen elsewhere. Abide by that rule or not. Your choice. You are free to comment here, so long as you abide by the rules. But no amount of carrying on will force me to allow these kinds of personal attacks and name-calling.

    Now, play nice and stop this arm-waving and carrying on.

  30. Making the distinction is no small issue as the conflation of the term “marriage” in Justice Kennedy’s opinion would imply a requirement that churches offer the sacrament of marriage to homosexual couples.

    It’s an opinion of law, and a sacrament is a religious rite; the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine means that churches are not required to offer any sacrament to anyone they don’t want. The question of whether or not to offer the sacrament or not remains one for each church to decide on its own. Churches still may refuse to marry interracial couples without legal consequences. (It’s merely perceived as despicable by most Americans, and tends to result in such a church facing widespread public condemnation and losing membership and tithing revenue; however, that’s entirely incidental from legal consequence.)

    Contrariwise, if the Catholic Church decides they shouldn’t offer the sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples, they don’t get to dictate that the Episcopalians aren’t allowed to either.

    Nohow, Churches may not be entirely clear of consequences. The case of Bob Jones U v US suggests that religious school tax exemptions might eventually (though not immediately) be at hazard over discriminatory policies. Additionally, while the ministerial exception means that Churches cannot be required to hire such individuals to ministerial jobs, they may face litigation if they discriminate in hiring for non-ministerial positions or do not extend employment benefits equally for all state-recognized spouses.

    And ultimately, the blame for the lack of distinction between the sacramental and civil senses of the word “marriage” would appear to lie far earlier than Kennedy.

  31. There is so much evil taking place in the party. Look at their platform. They want everything that is anathema to our Creator: abortion on demand, homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, sex education as early as kindergarten, all forms of assisted reproduction technology, etal… Some of these, the Catholic Church asserts, are intrinsic evils. The smoke of Satan has not just entered the Democratic Party but has triumphed, and there is no return to morality in the foreseeable future. How long is it morally permissible to associate with evil?

  32. This is something each of us has to pray about and choose. There are people who cannot be around those who disagree with them. They either have to covert whole-hog to the group thinking, or they have to leave.

    I am not afflicted with this weakness. The Democratic Party needs conversion. If we are going to save this country, it MUST be converted.

    Do you seriously think that we are called to convert half the people and tell the rest of them to go to hell?

    I’ve prayed about this a lot, and I am certain that I am where God wants me to be in this.

  33. I respect what you have to say, Rebecca. I know you meet people, often, whom you have said rely on your judgment. Just please don’t assume that you cannot be successfully tempted by Satan. We, each of us, are neither omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent.

    Here is how I understand the process of God’s wisdom in such a situation. The devil is in the Democratic party and it may be that even though the institutional Church allows us prudential judgement on the non-essentials, Jesus, Himself, speaks to us about the decision we should make on whether to stay or go. If you stay, you must preach the Gospel and if it is not accepted, if the members are recalcitrant sinners, stuck in their sin of worshiping the creature instead of the Creator, then you will not change their hearts or their minds, for it is a demonic hold which can only be removed by God or His priests.

    If there are those who are sitting on the fence, lukewarm and waiting for someone else to correct the grave sinners, then even as though Jesus tells us these lukewarm Christians are worthy of Him spitting us out of His mouth, you may be able to move them. The key is that the Gospel must be preached, and as Jesus instructs His apostles and disciples in Matthew 10:14, if the members of the household (or city) will not listen you must leave and not look back. And right now, I believe God is exercising His judgment on these secular humanists (as Tom Quiner calls them) by confusing their minds. I cite Romans 1:18-32 as to what God has done.

  34. Except that the religions that refuse to minister same sex marriages will now be subject to claims of homophobia and bigotry where none exits. Unfortunately, that will not stop the left from using those claims in its continuing effort to remove religion from our political discourse. The attacks will be unending and very aggressive.

  35. If you are done listening to Rebecca Hamilton, that’s your loss. I don’t always agree with Rebecca, but it’s distended with respect. BTW, I’m a political independent.

  36. That’s right…EVERYBODY should keep their personal values out of politics, regardless of the source of those values.


  37. This is a rather one-sided perspective. I am gay and married, and since the ruling, I have been called “sodomite”, “sinner” and a slew of other things I can’t even publish here. I have been informed that I’m not actually married, that gay people can’t ever be a “family”, that I am incapable of love and commitment, that I harm children and that I have rejected God and am going to hell. Perhaps you’ve decided not to notice all the “Christians” shouting these hateful insults and invective at the marrying gay people since the ruling? And it started a millennia or so before the ruling.

  38. Annie, this is hyperbole. No one has called you these things in the last week. Not unless you’ve been hanging out at the Westboro Baptist Church.

  39. And what would they use to inform their thinking and actions? If people are not allowed to use “their personal values” to inform their actions, then I guess they would be forced to use the propagandists’ personal values. They would become automatons of the zeitgeist.

    Your comment itself is based on your own personal values, btw.

    This isn’t freethinking, my friend, it’s nonthinking. It is also a call to tyranny.

  40. No religion/faith has been forced to marry anyone, nor will they be forced to now.

  41. I was never big on posting things on Facebook, but I did like seeing what people were up to. With all of the rainbows and vehement posts talking about how “overdue” this decision was and how “love wins!” — in the face of the vicious verbal attacks on others who disagree, I haven’t really had the stomach for signing in for the past week or so. And I work in-house for an interior design firm in NY, so you can imagine that a lot of the designers are thrilled with this decision. Scary times.

  42. No, but they will be attacked and forced to pay a price for their failure to adopt the secular catechism. You see this already with Catholic Charities, hospitals, tax exempt status and adoption. In Britain couples that refuse to teach the “appropriate” message on the gay lifestyle are barred from adoption. The message is clear and the left will require its pound(s) of flesh for failure to conform.

  43. I believe that the hate is directed at Christians because although many are happy about the decision, at the same time deep down they know it is WRONG. It is called our conscience. What happens is that their fear and anger of judgment ( not from us but a GOD of JUSTICE ) then comes out of their mouths as hate and condemnation for anyone who disagrees with them. Some how, this makes them feel better but they still know it is intrinsically wrong . As Christians we should embrace this reality and acknowledge it with love. How to do that, is the question we should all be discussing

  44. You have every right to disagree but it is that acceptance of evil / sin that brings souls to hell. There either is a heaven and a HELL or there isn’t. That truth , is what we should be concerned about. When we accept and tolerate sin, it is NOT love. It is hate because it drags souls to hell. Do you want those you love to go to hell? Will most of us be able to actually love others enough to continue to tell the truth, even though it may cost us serious pain? I hate to think about what is coming!

  45. Michelle,
    I agree, and think that many christians of today don’t believe in a God of Justice. They simply don’t believe in hell. Sad because this is what is leading souls there!

  46. Exactly Giselle!

    Those christian’s who are accepting and approving of sinful behavior are actually not loving anyone. Through their apathy and lukewarmness they stand for nothing. This is not love, it is hate. They and their churches are leading souls to hell by the millions! We will be held responsible if we remain silent when we can speak up for the truth. How many of us will ?

  47. I’m Jewish, but very outspoken against homosexual practices, primarily from a scientific/natural law point of view (which I feel is a much stronger argument than the religious ones, but I digress). I have gotten hit with a LOT of heat (including homosexuals targeting my family, me, my husband’s job, etc) to try to shut me up, but it only makes me dig in deeper and speak out more.

    One thing I have noticed in all of this is that of all the religions that oppose homosexuality (Orthodox Judaism, Islam, conservative Christianity), it has been ONLY the Christians taking the lion’s share of the abuse over this. One thing I do know: the forces of evil only attack what they know is truth; they don’t waste their time on what they know is false. That fact ALONE says a lot for Christianity!

  48. Thank you for taking the heat. You lighten the load for the rest of us. Thank you for defending the religion which saved me and millions of others with the truth. Your words have brought tears to my eyes.

  49. “I am still unclear on the definition of the term “marriage” in this debate and suspect it is intentionally vague.”

    The term “marriage” is used loosely, but in this context, it is probably best understood in terms of parts of a whole.

    The true, but secular definition of marriage is shared by both the Church and any sane, reasonable government: “one man, one woman, not too closely related by blood, where the parties are inherently competent to create new life, and open to the possibility.”

    The Church, however, builds on this secular foundation, recognizing the sacramental aspects inherent in the formation of a true marriage.

    The sane, rational, secular definition of marriage was a “subset” of the fullness of sacramental marriage. With Obergefell, that relationship no longer holds. I suspect that we will need to develop new terminology for relationships that are not marriage, but that the law nonetheless labels as such.