It has taken a long time into the gay marriage debate to reveal the actual way gay marriage accepted as a legal right could change the general landscape on marriage as a whole. For most of the years in which it was actively debated, the premise put forth and accepted by most was simple, “It won’t change marriage, either in concept or law”.
The fundamental matter of what change might take place in our concept of marriage and the protection the laws now give it… and ultimately constituting a change in status for children and women in a marriage relationship (which is legally defined), had always been my main concern on this question.
Now that the debate is almost over and the idea of gay marriage as a right is generally accepted and being instituted in law, some inconvenient facts have risen to the visible surface. So, the question still remains how the legalization of gay marriage changes the definition of marriage and the legal complications of that change. Is anyone willing to address that yet?
That is always where I believe the point of the conversation should take place. Will definitions and permission for adultery change inside the state of marriage? Will polygamy become a part of the legal definition? What does this do to benefits for marriage partners and offspring?
Those are the questions that everyone seems to ignore, but can we afford to continue this omission?
Marriage Minus Monogamy VI the fifth part of a series on marriage and monogamy in this issue highlights some of the difference between the customary definition of a “committed relationship” between two people, and that recognized in the gay community.
Not that the gay community is one homogeneous unit. There are scientifically demonstrable differences in how the sexual relationship, including gays, is different for males and females (1). At least at the theoretical stage (the interpretation of data is not fully conclusive), but there has long been a difference noted, if not proven conclusively. Yet, the discussion has moved forward upon the ideas that all gays have the same ideas of what constitutes gay marriage. In all the definitions possible, marriage is more than a simple business contract, and implicit within it are certain constraints on behavior. Is this included in the way the laws are outlined? I am unsure of what the actual legislated demands for a married partner consists of, at this time, but presumed it still held the monogamous view of exclusivity of one partner.
In what way might this be changed, if at all under the addition of untraditional partners? this is th ematter that I haven’t seen addressed, but the one that I believe should most be addressed.