Thursday, March 28, 2013

Marriage Just Makes Things Easier

“Marriage just makes things easier.” 

          My husband and I were visiting with an old friend, a physicist who was getting serious with a woman, when he made that statement. In this particular context about marriage, our friend was talking about health insurance and child custody. He was serious about the relationship – and a person can always argue that marriage is just a piece of paper – but in this society, practicality dictates that two people who are committed to each other are better off formalizing their union by marrying. My husband and I nodded at what our friend was saying – marriage, the legal contract between two people, does make everything easier. Health insurance, child custody, property laws, immigration - these are some of the very tangible benefits that come when two people sign a marriage contract.
          My husband is a foreign national. He came to the U.S. for graduate school and stayed afterwards, working first as a post-doc, then as an engineer for a large company. Although he has always had a visa, there are certain hassles that are inherent to holding a work visa in this country. Several years ago, one of our friends, who was on an H1B non-profit visa, lost the funding for his position. He was given several months in which he could find a job or else he had return to India. Luckily, he found another position and was able to remain. But if he hadn’t, once his visa expired he would have been required to leave the country immediately, leaving all traces of his life behind.
          For me, marriage means that even if my husband loses his job and cannot find another one immediately, he will not be forced to leave this country. Marriage also means that we can share health insurance, which, in light of a serious accident I had several years ago, is a precious thing indeed.  I can always say that my relationship isn’t defined by a piece of paper.  Emotionally, it isn’t. But practically speaking, marriage allows us a certain protection, one that is barred to many other couples simply because of their sexual orientation. 
          It would be selfish for me to argue that other couples, who are also committed to a future together, cannot enjoy the same privileges that I take for granted.


  1. Agreed! And if children of homosexual couples truly are what conservatives are concerned about- not letting their parents marry is not doing those kids any favors.

    1. It definitely makes a child's life a lot more insecure - and in my book, that is neither ethical nor humane.

      Thanks for commenting. :)

    2. Jennifer, I went on a long rant with a commenter on my blog yesterday. It boils down to, we don't live in 1960s suburbia. Everywhere you look there are kids raised by single parents, divorced parents, extended families as social services. Worldwide the are millions of orphans, and many children are sold into slavery by two parent, mixed gender parents.

      If the entire world was the way these "child advocates" seem to believe it really is, then no child would stay in foster care for most of their Pre-adult lives. If the real goal is wanting to take care of kids, there are plenty out there who oowould be thrilled with one good, loving parent, two would be a miracle. That is true for the children of heterosexual marriages, in unmarried parents, (with or without the father in the picture) and crosses all social and economic ranges. The reality is that we don't have to guess what children raised by gay parents *might be like,* because there are already plenty of them to talk to. On the whole, the findings show that kids aren't any more, or less, screwed up because their parent(s) happen to be heterosexual.

  2. Gay marriage seems to be an unending battle sometimes. As a gay person who has been in a committed relationship for several years, and has raised three amazing children, I find myself on an emotional roller coaster. I go from feeling incredibly supported by so many people (including yourselves) to feeling such heartache when I read or hear the comments of people who are not supportive.

    When there is a ballot measure or Supreme Court hearing it feels as though my life is put in the spotlight. My rights are in question and the quality of my life and the lives of my family are in the hands of church and state. Well, not totally in their hands. My life is amazing with or without their approval. But you know what I mean.

    I hope you don't mind if I post a link to my recent blog post.

    Thank you for being a voice of reason and support.

    1. Hi Jill,

      I was hoping you would speak up - this must all kinds of stressful for you right now. And yes, I know what you mean; after a while, the practicality of marriage trumps the ideals.

      I will check out the link as soon as I can.

      All the best

    2. I really enjoyed your blog post, and left a comment. Glad to have run into you!


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