Gay marriage is transforming gay relationships and attitudes towards homosexuality. But what’s the reality for those who are tying the knot – and what do they say to critics of marriage equality? One year on since the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage in the US, Alex Hopkins at Gays.com talks to some married men.

 

Love,  commitment and 'nesting'

Tim, 51, Springfield, Missouri, USA.  We got married because to show our love and commitment to one another – but also to give us legal protection, particularly the ability to co-adopt children.

Gay marriage is not the same as straight marriage in the same way that my attraction to men doesn't make me female or take on a feminine persona or role as a gay man. Marriage gave us a sense of security that we didn't have before and a sense of recognition that we didn’t feel after our non-legal ceremony years before.

My husband and I are now separated, but we live together to co-parent our four children. We’re attempting to do something we've heard referred to as 'nesting'. We’re looking into buying a second, smaller house in our neighbourhood, where I would live several days a week, and he would live on the other days.

This way we can keep our children in the same house as they were raised in and live with them  - but not always with each other.

gay marriage
Getting married


Dropping 'husband' into the conversation 

Mark, 41, Surrey, UK.  My man and I got married in the summer of 2015. We only had one reason for doing so - love. But it also offered us the basic legal benefits anyone should be privy to.
 
One of the harsh things we experienced not long after getting engaged was how our next-of-kin rights in medical situations were in no way assured. Nor were our pension and inheritance rights. My partner had an accident, and some subsequent lines of medical enquiry and blatant homophobia made it very apparent how our relationship status was not as valid as others.

I find that gay critics of gay marriage to be slightly missing the point of equality. We can march for employment and age of consent rights, but we cannot fight for the equality of our love…?

As for suggestions we’re copying some straight cliché – that just packs of blinkered bitterness, a fear of evolving and a strange equating of my marriage to be some sauna-closing, anti-Grindr statement. If some critics want to boil marriage down to a lazy, tired perceived oppression of women, then they might want to explain how that applies to two grown men.

My marriage is both patriarchal and matriarchal. Maybe we should have a new word – fagtriarchal.

Dropping the “H-bomb” (“husband”) into the conversation is still new to us. It packs an amusing punch when you use the word, often getting quicker responses as – for all the right reasons – most people don’t want to look like they have a problem with it.  

As a great many LGBT relationships increasingly prove to the wider world, all sorts of relationships, all kinds of headcounts in those relationships and all sorts of levels of commitment are ours to play with as we want. Gay folk wanting to get wed are redefining nothing more than their love for each other. Gay marriage can only strengthen gay sex, gay culture, gay love, gay identity and gay privilege.
 

Marriage is just one kind of relationship

Frederick, 35, from Bolivia, now living in London.  We got a civil partnership in November 2010, and we’re planning to get married on our 10th anniversary. 

When we first met, my plan was to stay in London another six months and my partner were planning to go back to Czechoslovakia at the end of that year.

After a period of living together, we realised we were meant to stay together, and we decided that marriage was the right thing to do.  After renewing my visa once, the only solution for us to be together was to get a civil-partnership.

We’ve never seen marriage as a patriarchal structure. It’s a legal instrument to protect our rights as a couple and as individuals. For us, marriage is the confirmation of love between two people regardless of sex or gender. Our relationship develops and changes every day. Even after eight years together we still manage to surprise each other.

Marriage is just one kind of relationship. We all are human beings with the same rights and obligations. What we need to do is fight discrimination, teach mutual respect and break the moulds that are based on biological sex or gender.

 

Have you got married? What does marriage mean to you?  Share in the comments below.
 

 

 

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