And They Say We Can’t Be Monogamous

Today The Advocate ran the story of  Lewis Duckett and Billy Jones, who got married last June in Harlem’s Riverside Church, after forty-six years together.

Forty-six years.

As the country moves ever-so-slowly in the direction of marriage equality for LGBT persons, we are seeing more and more stories of couples heading down to City Hall to make their unions legal after decades together.  My own husband and I went to our City Hall in July 2011, just four days after the law went into effect in New York, and made our union of nine years legal (we just celebrated our eleventh anniversary in December).

Questions of legality aside, this is not my first marriage.  My first marriage lasted from 1984 to 1999.  It wasn’t exactly a bed of roses:  despite being only twenty-one I had a lot of baggage, mostly anger issues, and I discovered much later that he had Borderline Personality Disorder.  Untreated.

So we vacillated from Tennessee Williams to Mart Crowley to Edward Albee, but there must have been love there else we would not have hung in there as long as we did.

So now, I have a question for the Religious Right:  What were you saying about LGBT persons not being able to be monogamous?  For sixty years and more, that’s been one of the weapons you’ve bludgeoned us with, along with calling us sick, dirty, broken, diseased, and identifying us by the SEX syllable in the word “homoSEXual.”

Yet here we are, couples in the thousands, who have been together for years, some of us for decades, and we want the same respect that you give to every heterosexual couple.  The same recognition, the same rights, the same responsibilities; in short, we want you to honor our relationships:  you can think it’s wrong, you can think it’s “icky,” but that does not give you the right to treat us differently than the rest of the world.  The Constitution forbids it, yet you will blithely ignore that fact as long as you can.  

Well, I have news for you:  the day is coming when we will achieve our goal of full equality.  And no, we won’t force your churches to perform our weddings if they do not wish to, because as it happens, the Constitution forbids that too.

We are not going away.  So grow up, stop whining about persecution that does not exist, and live your lives and let us live ours.


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