Office Diaries

An insider's guide to success in the workplace

Gay Marriage: Time to Tell it Like it Is

What if gay relationships are happier and healthier than straight ones?

It was a big week for New York. The vote is in. Gay marriage is legal and it was a long time coming. But what continues to amaze, and by extension, disturb me is the debate itself. It is one based on a definition that says, marriage is, "A union between a man and a woman." Yet, in our complete obsession with the word, "marriage," we fail to define "union." So fixated on gender are those making the argument against same-sex marriage that they completely miss the point. It's not about morality as the Republicans and Catholic Church would like to have us believe. Nor is it about what they deem to be "normal." It's about love - the one thing that is quintessentially more normal and moral than anything else on this earth. Why is that so hard for people to understand? At least Andrew Cuomo had the heart to see it and the courage to say it when he said, "Their love is worth the same as your love." Yes. If it's love we're talking about, this is true. But look around. Hetero marriages have not done such a great job at modeling the relationship between love and marriage.

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We already know that about half of all marriages end in divorce, and that doesn't count however many more couples are stuck, unhappy and dying to get out, but for whatever reason can't seem to free themselves. As far as basic statistics go, these are not impressive numbers. Consider though if we were to value relationship more broadly and assert legitimacy based on the quality of the "union" rather than the quantity of men in women in "marriages," a social and manmade construct that has shown its flaws, I might add.

This is not rocket science. Regardless of sexual preference, individuals who are in healthy, loving unions or relationships or marriages or whatever we want to call them, are more likely to be happy, giving people who make the world a better place. Shouldn't that be the ultimate goal? My God! What are we fighting about? It's so easy, it's stupid.

We need more love and less hate - an equation that is mind-numbingly obvious. Yet the anger, judgment, rancor and venom continue to infect us, to poison the air we breathe. I for one, in my own life, can't help but notice that my gay friends and colleagues are happy and enjoying their relationships and their lives. I can't honestly say the same for the straight ones but for the exception of two. The rest are outright miserable.  So given the choice, why would we not want to create positive examples of relationships and build a society where adults are in positions that enable them to emulate love and acceptance for others to follow?  This world is already so screwed up because of how many people display a puerile and obstinate inability to let others be who they are. The righteous and the religious, how do they talk about love and not see this? Or, are they simply choosing not to?

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Donna Flagg is the author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations and a New York City-based dancer.

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