Wow. Who would’ve predicted that Indiana of all places would be at the forefront of the gay marriage debate?

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  1. I believe it. There’s a huge gay community in Fort Wayne, and they have all the best night clubs. 😉

    I sorta wish there was a civil union type thing for straight folks, or that long-term commitments (sp??) were recognized and treated the same as marriage. You could argue that marriage is a religious ceremony, and that some of us want the commitment without the whole religion bit. But then you’d have all these groups come out and scream about the deterioration of family values and marriage and blah blah blah. Sigh.

  2. I didn’t think that marriage had anything to do with religion if you’re not married in a religious ceremony.
    If a justice of the peace conducts the ceremony, are there still religious overtones? I thought that was a civil union. (I don’t know, never having done much research).

    I think most straight couples who don’t get married aren’t avoiding the religious ceremony, but instead the formal commitment (which exists in a civil union).

  3. I have always liked how Arthur C. Clarke has it in Childhood’s End, where there’s no marriage as we know it, but rather a situation where couples (presumably of any combination of genders) sign “contracts” for a certain number of years. One of the funniest scenes in the novel (to me) is when one couple is discussing a renewal of theirs:
    ***
    [The male is speaking first]
    “What about going to Archives tomorrow and signing a contract for–let’s say–five years?”
    Jean looked at him steadfastly, and decided that, on the whole, she liked what she saw.
    “Make it ten,” she said.
    ***
    Romantic, ain’t it? 🙂

  4. Actually over here in Oz we do have the type of thing you’re talking about, Moire. In fact, I’m in one of them. “Defacto” relationships (i.e. where you’ve lived together for a year and you might as well be married, i.e. “common law”) are treated just the same as if you’d tied the knot. That’s how I got my residency visa here. As far as the Australian government are concerned, the Snook and I ARE married. We have all the same rights/responsibilities when it comes to property, taxes, kids, everything. I read some article recently that less and less Australians are getting married each year. I know a lot of people who are defacto instead (like Rodd’s sister and her partner). Gay couples can also be defacto, but they can’t get married. But at least they have more rights than they do elsewhere.

    Of course, we’re not “defacto” so much by choice as just… that’s how we are right now. I don’t know if we’d want to be anything different. I mean, there’s no legal reason to do it. Once you take that away, what’s left? We’re not religious, so scratch that. It is just to “shackle” the person to you and make it more difficult to break up? Is that necessarily a good thing? I also have difficulty with the idea of going through with a ceremony that my gay friends are forbidden from. It just seems silly, to spend all that money to announce something that everybody knows we already are.

    Of course, that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it. 🙂

  5. I think the shackling part is pretty important. After all, if everyone had the option to “renew” after 10 years, every old man would be with a 25 year old girl. I’m crotchety and cellulity now; I’ve got to catch someone before it gets even worse!

    I’m only being moderately sarcastic here. While marriage is certainly not for everyone, I do believe that for those who believe in their vows, there is something in the strong commitment of “we’re in this for good, so we have to keep trying no matter what” that builds something very special. Moving past those parts when one of both really wants to get out and building a shared lifetime of ups and downs. It has nothing to do with religion for me, either. And while I think that it is extremely important for marriage to be legally recognized for homosexuals, I’m not going to go so far as to boycott the institution.

    Also I’m a girl: one of these days I want to wear a pretty white dress, eat cake and drink champagne, and have a big party to celebrate me and my special somebody.

    It’s all theoretical at this point anyway.

    At least my company’s benefits program recognizes domestic partnerships, gay or straight.

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