Never mind the Atlantic’s headline for it (“The Gay Guide to Wedded Bliss”)—this article is far deeper, more interesting, more insightful, more educational than the mere list of wedding-planning tips the headline implies.
These critics of gay marriage … fear that the spread of gay marriage could help finally sever the increasingly tenuous link between children and marriage, confirming that it’s okay for dads, or moms, to be deleted from family life as hedonic fulfillment dictates.
In mounting their defense, advocates of same-sex marriage have argued that gays and lesbians who wish to marry are committed to family well-being; that concern for children’s welfare is a chief reason many do want to marry; that gay people are being discriminated against, as a class, in being denied rights readily available to any heterosexual. And to the charge that same-sex marriage will change marriage, they tend to argue that it will not—that married gays and lesbians will blend seamlessly with the millions of married straight Americans.
The article contrasts modern heterosexual marriages with the past few decades’ same-sex marriages.
Along the way, it explores the roles, stereotypical and otherwise, that heterosexual husbands and wives fall into; how much those stereotypes still hold up to reality; the history-in-brief of so-called “traditional” marriage (spoiler: ain’t no such thing); and the ways in which same-sex marriages challenge those roles.
… what if the critics are correct, just not in the way they suppose? What if same-sex marriage does change marriage, but primarily for the better?
It’s not all change. Some of those roles are rooted in societally-assumed gender roles, which presents interesting questions when a household has two men or two women.
Not all “gay marriage” is alike; gay male couples tend to differ from lesbian couples. On the other hand, same-sex couples tend in general to be more egalitarian than a lot of straight couples—but in different ways.
History shows that marriage evolves over time. We have every reason to believe that same-sex marriage will contribute to its continued evolution.
No matter who you are or how you feel about same-sex marriages and marriage equality, everybody has something to learn from this article—about others, and about themselves.