Queer marriage for the straight couple?

Many hetero people postpone weddings
Associated Press
Aug 8, 2013

No, it wasn't just an excuse to avoid getting hitched: Some heterosexual couples who postponed their weddings until gay couples had the right to marry are now making plans to say "I do."

And we're not talking celebrities like Brangelina, Lena Dunham and Kristen Bell, all of whom vowed not to marry until gay marriage was legal. None of them have rushed to announce wedding dates. Instead, it's ordinary folks who wasted no time following through on their pledges. Here are a few of their stories.

'I'M NOT GETTING MARRIED UNTIL EVERYONE CAN'

Staci Dennett, 25, is white. Her fiance, Nadir Karim, 25, is black. "Forty-six years ago, we couldn't have gotten married in the South, just because of our skin color," said Dennett, who compares the ban on interracial marriage to laws against gay marriage. "It blows my mind!"

Dennett says she agreed with Angelina Jolie's stand, and told Karim the same thing: "I'm not going to get married until everyone can."

She also kept thinking about a gay cousin who's in a relationship and just had twins. "Any time I thought about inviting them to my wedding, and asking them to be part of something where they have no ability to have any of these rights, it just didn't sit well with me," Dennett said.

Then in June, the U.S. Supreme Court wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law, and Dennett and Karim, who've been together five years, started planning their big day. They live in Philadelphia, where they run an online travel business called BeyondTheDiploma.com, but the celebration will be in Dennett's hometown, Winfield, Kan., on Nov. 12 (11-12-13) which happens to be her birthday.

The 35 invited guests include Dennett's gay cousin and her partner.

'A MORAL OBJECTION'

Debbie Ma, 32, is a social psychology professor at California State University-Northridge who studies stereotyping and prejudice. She didn't set a wedding date with her partner of 10 years, Peter Tassinario, 41, a consultant, until after the court ruling.

"I had moral objections to being part of something that makes part of our population feel like they're not full citizens," explained Ma, who lives in the San Fernando Valley. "For me, it feels very inconsistent to study things like discrimination and prejudice and then participate in a system that is actively discriminatory. There is a lot of research out there on institutional racism and how bigger structures like government structures or policies or cultural ideology seeps down into individual lives."

How did her fiance feel about putting off marriage? "He's a man! He was fine not to have a wedding," Ma said with a laugh, adding in a serious tone that he was "very supportive" about her reasons, but is happy they finally set a date for November.

Ma had told her students about her concerns, and was pleased when one of them said the first thing he thought about after the court ruling was, "I wonder if Debbie is going to get married."

Ma and Tassinario expect their officiant to "say a couple of things about our views on equality and stay away from traditional wedding vows." But the ceremony should also express why any couple marries, gay or straight: "Two people who come together because they love each other — and that's it."

'I HAD SEEN THEIR FIGHT'

Dan McCrory and Terri Haley have been together for 11 years. McCrory, who lives in California's San Fernando Valley, is a board member of the Stonewall Democratic Club, a progressive political group with a focus on issues of importance to the gay community.

"Because of my longtime involvement in the club, a lot of these people are my friends," said McCrory, 58, a writer who works for an insurance company. "I didn't feel right getting married if my friends couldn't. I had seen their fight, had seen how much this issue meant to them."

He says Haley, 50, who works for a phone company, "teased me about it," jokingly wondering if it was an excuse to avoid commitment. "But I think she knew it was because I wanted to do the right thing."

Haley was thrilled when an old friend and her partner were the first couple to tie the knot in West Hollywood after the court ruling. A few days later, McCrory proposed.

There's just one more hurdle before they marry. McCrory is running for state Assembly in a Sept. 17 primary, "so we're waiting for the election to be over."

'HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE'

As a feminist, lawyer Nora Carroll, 31, says she has philosophical objections to "the institution of marriage and what it means for women." She's also "more anti-marriage" than her partner of five years, Colin Asher, 32, though he grew up with a nonconformist mom who never married his dad.

But gradually the Brooklyn, N.Y., couple realized they were missing out on some of the legal benefits of being married. When Asher, a writer who now teaches community college, was unemployed, he couldn't get health insurance through Carroll's employer, which offers domestic partner benefits for gay couples, but not straight ones. Still, they decided to postpone marriage until gay marriage was legal.

After the court ruling, Carroll said the idea of marriage seemed "more palatable. ... It was very exciting to be planning a wedding and not have to think about it taking advantage of my heterosexual privilege."

Their ceremony at City Hall will be followed by a party, where their adorable 18-month-old son Dante will likely get as much attention as the bride and groom.

FOR CELEBS, TIME TO PUT UP?

The court ruling prompted actress Kristen Bell to tweet to her fiance Dax Shepard: "@daxshepard1 will you marry me? Xo #marriageequality #loveislove." Bell's spokeswoman Sarah Fuller said they have not set a date.

Lena Dunham, star and creator of HBO's "Girls," whose boyfriend is fun. band member Jack Antonoff, also tweeted after the court decision: "No one be shocked if I get married and pregnant with a daughter today in a slightly premature fit of joy #americathebeautiful." Dunham's representative did not respond to a query on a wedding date.

No word on nuptials from Angelina Jolie, either, despite her fiance Brad Pitt telling The Hollywood Reporter last year they were in a hurry: "We made this declaration some time ago that we weren't going to do it till everyone can. But I don't think we'll be able to hold out."

So far, apparently, they have held out, prompting The Daily Beast to say, "If Angelina's been playing us all along, it's time to come clean." Or, as journalist Joel Stein tweeted, "Angelina Jolie is hard at work coming up with new excuses not to marry Brad Pitt."

 

Comments

Pterocarya frax...

Time for thinkagain's intolerance in 3...2...1...

44846GWP

Lol! How true! He shops at Bigots are us!

milf of 3

To me I dnt care who u marry but for real its man an wife.its the only thing left that is sacred between man an wife. Live with who u want but marriage is another thing

Good 2 B Me

That is one of the most ignorant statements that a human can make. Sad to see this thinking is still around.

mikeylikesit

that was thinking?

Nemesis

Perhaps you see it as wrong, but ignorant? Exactly of what facts do you think she is ignorant?

Good 2 B Me

I love when people like you try to pick a fight.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

While there are no doubt people who want to make statements about marriage overall by linking it with this cause, many young people show no desire to run off and get married. This is a jaded generation who have seen how broadly meaningless the act is with rampant divorce rates, political p*ssing matches, and a disinclination toward religion for its own devices. Or you get into a marriage with the though "Meh, I can just get divorced if I don't like it." In other words, beyond the fact it is something to do, the act (not the relationship, a huge difference) is seen as hollow, meaningless, and the powers/responsibilities it opens you to are mostly never explained. When do you ever sign a contract without knowing the terms up front?

How many of you went to a wedding and KNEW it would end up the way it did? How many of you silently questioned if these kids even know what marriage is, or are they doing this only because of others' expectations or a shotgun held to the groom's back? How many of you opened an invitation and your first thought was, "I wonder if they will have an open bar at the reception?" Why? Why are any of these even a bit true to many of us?

Normally I am rather optimistic, but here I am dour. All I see are ghosts picking at the bones of its own corpse for any scraps it can find. Arguing over detached points which have little to nothing to do with the act as a personal expression of responsibility mutually agreed upon by two people. I see the same white dresses with the same flowers on the same tables and the same rented tuxes standing in the same order while the same people check the same watches during the same ceremonial music to see if the same ceremony is done so they can go to the same reception with the same food, same music, and same dances. Why? "Because that's how it is?" When did this happen that something so beautiful and unique has become so standardized and shoehorned?

A wedding, in my opinion, should be deeply personal and express each participant's desires, views, and interests. But I see the same thing over and over like it is a droning induction into married life. It is a rigamarole which you shouldn't ever have to say presuming these are your friends and families! Seriously! Why can't weddings inspire wonder and curiosity? Why can't each one be an adventure that is unique and meaningful? It's because so many OTHER people are telling YOU how you should be married!!!

Availability of marriage is worthless unless the meaning and understanding to it is there. Even if you go through church getting-married-classes, it is at least some attempt at explaining WHY and providing context FOR the act. If you aren't religious? Fine, understand your roles as a power of attorney, executor of a will, and co-signer of loans. Do the necessary, seemingly-boring, non-sexy stuff to ensure that both your lives are in order.

Also, do yourselves a favor and buy life insurance. It's not as fun as the honeymoon but it will be a great start to the rest of that contract's term.

Huron_1969

HZ... you have many valid points to which I can't disagree, but, I have a different take on the whole state of what has happened to the sanctity of marriage. IMO, over the last 40 years or so, we have witnessed a downward spiral in the values of family. Helping kids do homework, fidelity, time management, sending grand parents to a retirement home and rarely visit them, etc etc etc. I believe the chaos today that surrounds the institution of marriage is the byproduct of diminished family values. The gay marriage issue would be less confusing if we as a society had better priorities regarding family values. Until we regain that, all areas of society will continue to fail.

ladydye_5

I agree with you. I have been married for 20 years. I think my husband and I are the last of a dying breed. Sitting at the dinner table with our kids (and some of their friends) we find that it is something many are not accustomed to. Many of the friends do not have 2 parents in the home, or at least not mom and dad, it is a step parent. Too many are busy with SPORTS, work, SPORTS, SPORTS, homework and whatever else. My husband is due to retire from the military in a couple of months. Someone asked me what he was going to do, that I better find something for him to do or I would get tired of him. I replied that I spent so much time APART from him during our first 20 years (being deployed) that I was ready to settle down and enjoy the next 20 years, I wasn't tired of him yet. I agree people these days are too ready to just throw in the towel and quit. Divorce is much easier than trying to make your marriage work. It is hard sometimes, you need to work at it. But then again, no one WORKS at anything. This is a "throw away" society. I could care less WHO you marry, just think about it and marry someone YOU love and WANT to be with!

pptrsha

never ever condemn anyone else way of life. military doesn't count as every single day looking at each other over the breakfast table. I was born at ft lee grew up at ft bragg during Vietnam war went overseas and then back stateside so I know of which I speak. god bless you and I pray you are right but I have seen MANY military marriages break up when that soldier was home to stay. my parents got married in 1959 and are still married it wasn't easy but NO MARRIAGE IS.

ladydye_5

My thought was no one TRIES anymore. Many get married with the thought of "I can just get divorced if I want". It is easier to divorce and move on to the next. Dinner is in the car, or on the couch. Mom is with Suzy at practice, Dad is with Timmy at the game. There is no FAMILY time. No one tries. And it is NOT easy.

starryeyes83

ladydye_5

That's because many people are often more concerned with the actual wedding and party and all the trimmings and material trappings and outdoing the others. Rather than focusing on the "marriage" part of it. Those who actually get married that is. With people living together and having kids or just getting pregnant by this or that one. Marriage seems to be on the path to being obsolete.

I'm another one for one man /one woman marriage.

The same sex couples can call it something else.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I for sure see what you and Lady have said and I generally yearn for those, too. The sticky situation comes in how are those values selected, implemented, then maintained? Everyone's situations are different. While I didn't outright say it in my (let's call it for what it is) venting, a semblance of what you mean is found in personal responsibility. Teaching that isn't too difficult, except in the two places where it is the most likely to be received - schools and assistance programs.

I'm not pointing a finger at them and saying "J'ACCUSE!" like it is some conspiracy. It is that neither system is actually set up to actively teach this on a consistent basis. Learning calculus is great, but holy crap...can you balance a check book? Change a tire? I understand people need help in life especially when born into, fallen into, or gotten into hard times. But to set up a parallel education program that will give them assistance there, too, isn't tough.

Thanks for your response and chance to have a dialog about this!

Darwin's choice

This is quite fitting....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I...

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Sorry to keep you waiting.

From a Christian perspective, we live in a fallen world and many people are dying and going to hell every day. Christians who proclaim the truth that homosexuality is a sin are homosexuals' best friends, whether those in the homosexual community feel that way or not.

People that are activists for the homosexual lifestyle hate God and their fellow mankind.

God’s revelation on love as it applies to human sexuality is unambiguous.

It is bizarre to see the Leftist’s preach about “tolerance” and “rights”, but treat crushing and dismembering innocent, unborn human beings like a trip to the dentist.

Contango

Re: "People that are activists for the homosexual lifestyle hate God and their fellow mankind."

According to the Gospels, the only commandments Jesus gave were:

http://www.biblegateway.com/pass...

1. He said that they were "greater."

2. He didn't define "neighbor."

nonconformist

True Christians never attempt to define another persons relationship with God.

Huron_1969

Amen!

pptrsha

thank you I so agree

Good 2 B Me

Who says that Christianity has anything to do with Loving another Human Being?

ladydye_5

Christians believe that they are the only ones entitled to anything. They have the only rights to love, health, children, money, old age, happiness, family, prosperity, anything. The rest of us just take up space and make their lives miserable.

pptrsha

be nice

ladydye_5

I was being nice....I usually have a lot "better" things to say about religion.

grumpy

Yes it is much more fashionable to be intolerant about religion, than it is about gays. I am as tolerant of gays as I am of those who are religious. I tend to look at individuals rather than groups. I respect those who are religious who are tolerant of gays, as much as I am of gays who are tolerant of religious folks. I find many intolerant folks are those who aren't religious, and aren't gay. Notice I said MANY not all, as I said I tend to judge individuals instead of groups. It is sad when people brag about how intolerant they are about groups... and not individuals.

Contango

Re: "Queer"

Isn't that a derogatory term that the SR is using?

starryeyes83

Queer used to mean funny money ,too.

grumpy

It also means odd, different or strange. But then again gay also means happy. But that was before the latest common meanings took over.

starryeyes83

Yep, I remember all that as well, grumpy, I still can't figure how gay came to be what it means now.

I do know there have been more articles the last 4 months about it than the last 4 years. The headlines are getting way beyond old, especially in MY subscription hard copy.

arnmcrmn

Im glad to see they interviewed people from a generalized cross section of America....California, Philly, California, NY........(insert sarcasm).

For me its man and women in a marriage.

G_Richardson

"A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." E. Hoffer.