Jos76’s Blog

Thoughts and musings on life in a gay marriage.

Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Marriage or Civil Union

Posted by jos76 on June 14, 2008

We hear so much about the word “marriage” these days. We usually hear it along with terms like “traditional” or “institution.” With the whole debate about gay marriage, those who are not in favor call for a more socially conservative view of “traditional marriage.” There are those opposed to granting gay couples the title of “married,” but are okay with civil unions. Then there are those that oppose any form of union for gay couples. I did some research (actually the Log Cabin Republicans did most of it it for me) and found out what “traditional” marriage really is and has been in history.

Many socially conservative, extreme right-wing politicians and religious leaders latch on to this idea of a return to traditional “marriage” and make statements like, “It is an institution that has been the norm for years and should not be changed or challenged.” Given what marriage has been historically and traditionally, Dac and I are not really interested in the “marriage” label. Civil Unions are fine with us as long as we can keep what we earn, give each other what we have earned, and visit each other freely.

Here are some examples of “traditional” marriage that should (apparently) not be changed. Dac and I are fine not having to adhere to these norms that the social conservatives think are important to retain in our modern society.

  1. An adult man would be allowed to marry a 12 year-old girl.
  2. Someone could be forced into a marriage arranged by their parents.
  3. A person would not be allowed to marry someone of another race.
  4. Men could treat their wives as property to be disposed of at will.
  5. A husband would be allowed to have multiple wives.
  6. A person could not marry someone of a different religion.
  7. A person could not marry someone from a different economic class.
  8. It would be impossible to divorce, no matter how physically or emotionally abusive your spouse.

Jos76

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Posted in Faith, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Working from the Inside

Posted by jos76 on June 7, 2008

Now that Obama is the Democratic nominee for President in the November election, I have begun to compare McCain and Obama on “the issues.” I have not yet decided who to vote for. I never thought that I would be in a position to actually vote Republican. I guess that I have been a single issue voter in the past and voted for the the Democrat because he was also more pro-gay, regardless of his stance on other issues facing the country.

I’ve become quit interested in the Log Cabin Republicans recently and I am impressed with the work that they do. The Log Cabin Republicans are the nation’s only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans.

As I have looked into this group further, I discovered that they are working to change the Republican party ideology so that it remains fiscally conservative instead of socially conservative, which has nothing to do with the origins of the Republican Party. The name goes back to Lincoln’s presidency, thus the reference to the log cabin. The work that they do rivals that of GLAAD, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the HRC. The difference is that the LCR work from within the party, rather than from the outside. This is bold and brave work in my opinion.

Many might see this as self-hating or internalized homophobia, but I do not. This is a group that believes in the fundamentals of the Republican Party, such as individual responsibility, lower taxes, a strong national defense, limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. When you take the (new) socially conservative ideology out of the picture, this makes sense…at least to me. The LCR works from the inside, using the language of the party.

Log Cabin Commercial with Cheney

Log Cabin Commercial with Reagan

This does not mean that McCain will get my vote because he does not have a great record of supporting gay people (actually, he has a bad record). Civil Unions are the way to go in my opinion and McCain may have indicated that he is supportive, but it is unsure. I’m just thankful that the LCR is helping to make this a non-issue when voting. They are working to see to it that one day all Americans will be able to vote based on the quality of the candidate rather than on whether he/she (the voter) will lose or gain rights as a result of the election.

Jos76

Posted in Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Some of my best friends

Posted by jos76 on May 31, 2008

About seven years a go, there was a new sitcom called Some of My Best Friends.  The title comes from the familiar phrase that I heard so many times in college, “Some of my best friends are gay.”  My read when hearing this was, “You don’t scare me.  I know people like you.”  The TV show starred Jason Bateman and Danny Nucci.  Jason Bateman played a character named Warren who is a twenty-something writer living in New York.  He is a writer who has just ended a relationship with his boyfriend.  While looking for a roommate, he comes across a straight, Italian guy from Brooklyn and he decides to move in.  The comedy and mayhem ensue.

The character of Warren is a normal guy for the most part, even a bit conservative.  He has a friend (played by Alec Mapa) who is his more flamboyant side-kick.  I have seen all seven (yes, seven) episodes of this sitcom.  It only lasted a few weeks.  Compared to Will and Grace, it is much better written and funnier.  So, why did Will and Grace last several years while this show was cancelled after only seven episodes?  My guess is that it is because the characters of Will and Jack represent what people think gay men are like and they believe the over-the-top, flamboyant, promiscuous lives that these characters lead.

The character of Warren, in my opinion, much more closely represents regular gay men who are looking for, or are in, a relationship.  But, people may not be ready to accept the normalcy of a gay relationship and still choose to look at gay people as a source of comic relief.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Jack and Karen are funny (the show should have been named Jack and Karen instead of Will and Grace), but this representation of gay people does not help our cause.  Unfortunately, this is all that the viewing public is ready for.  Maybe in a few years we can get another show about a “regular” gay character that lasts more than seven episodes.

Scene with Jack from Will and Grace

 Scene from Some of My Best Friends

Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The game-time decision

Posted by jos76 on May 3, 2008

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Once we figured out where and when our wedding was going to take place, we had to get to work on the details.  We were very lucky to have many people help us with various aspects of the ceremony and the reception.  We decided to use two ballrooms at a Marriott hotel about twenty minutes from our house.

One of the easier projects was deciding whom to invite.  This was simple.  We did not have to worry about all those extended family members that we met once when we were seven years old.  We just invited all of our friends and family that have been supportive of our relationship.  Dac and I are very fortunate to have the support that we have, so the list grew pretty quickly.  We have both made it a priority to always work with and for people that respect us.  Now, we live in Massachusetts where it is practically illegal to disrespect our legal marriage, but we have just the same been very lucky in finding employment situations in which we do not have to hide each other.  Because of this, about half of the people that we invited were colleagues and our supervisors.

One day, just before the day when we had hoped to get all of the RSVPs back, Dac came home a little upset.  When I inquired what the problem was, he told me that one of his co-workers told him that he would not be able to attend.  This was a relatively new co-worker, but just the same one that Dac had come to know quite well and respected a great deal.  When he asked him why he couldn’t make it, he replied, “I don’t believe in gay marriage.”  This came as a total shock to Dac who did not see this coming.  If either of us had the slightest idea that someone was not supportive, he/she was not invited. 

Dac inquired further and found out that the guy was Catholic and his priest had told him that he should not attend the wedding because it was not in line with the Catholic conception of marriage.  It seemed a bit odd that this person had befriended Dac and had even asked about me several times, only to withdraw his support at the last minute, based on the advice of his priest.

Needless to say, the friendship between Dac and his co-worker was never the same.  However, there was no bad blood.  This entire situation was just a reminder to us that no matter how much support we have, we must keep a thick skin because you never know how things might turn out. 

Jos76

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We were moonstruck

Posted by jos76 on March 8, 2008

Meeting someone for the first time is sometimes difficult. Sometimes it’s easy. Back in November of 2000, after many emails and phone conversations that went on for hours (sometimes all night and had to end so we could go to work), Dac and I decided to meet for the first time. We had been talking for about two weeks and essentially knew everything there was to know about each other. We were not close by. Dac lived in Boston and I lived about one and a half hours away. Just the same, we talked a lot and agreed that we would meet up for the first time. The plan was for me to go into the city. I liked to do that, given that I lived on Cape Cod and it was November…the off-season.

We agreed to meet outside of a “T” (subway) station on Mass Ave (that’s local talk for Massachusetts Avenue). We had seen pictures of each other so we sort of know who we were looking for, but just to be safe we pulled out our gay genes (and jeans) and said, “I’ll be wearing a….” I drove into Boston, found a parking spot (I still don’t understand how!) and went to the Hynes Convention Center “T” station. Dac was there.

We had dinner at a small Greek restaurant nearby and then went back to Dac’s apartment to watch a movie. It was Moonstruck.

It was and is our favorite movie and we had quoted the entire movie to each other on the phone. When we got to the end of the movie, we both realized that we were experiencing something out-of-the-ordinary. “Will I ever find another guy who likes this movie so much, wants to be in a relationship, and is normal?” We had a brief conversation about whether or not we wanted to “be in a relationship with each other,” decided that we did, and have been together for over seven years since.

Dac will point out that I left out the part about the picture that I sent him. It was from my freshman year in college (I was 18) and we met when I was 24. I looked a little different (I had more hair in college). Honestly, it was the only picture I had.

Jos76

Posted in Fun, The Past | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Blue and Red Make Green

Posted by jos76 on February 27, 2008

I have had a good friend for about three years who is a Republican. We worked together for two years and she is really the only person from my old job with whom I have stayed in regular contact since I began my new job about six months ago. We get along really well and we both have very similar senses of humor. This has been great. I love having a friend that totally gets my sense of humor.

It’s an election year and Massachusetts held it’s primaries on Super Tuesday along many other states. Dac and I both voted Democrat. We actually believe in many of the Republican fundamentals (like limited government, low taxes, and individual responsibility), but our relationship and certainly our marriage is not supported or respected by the Republican party. We vote Democrat because on a social level, we want to eventually have access to the over 1,000 rights that are granted only to straight married couples. The Republicans would never go for this.

donkeyelephant.jpg

Back to my friend and former co-worker. We had dinner the other night and, as usual, we had a great time. We laughed, we joked, we talked about everything from financial advisers to job interviews. At the very end of the evening, as I was driving her home, I asked, “So who did you vote for?” She told me Romney. I’m never quite sure what to do with this sort of information. She is clearly supportive of me personally, but she votes for candidates that are completely opposed to allowing me and Dac access to the tax dollars that we pay to the government (in the form of marriage credits and Social Security). When I think about it, I guess that there are people who vote for Republicans for their own personal reasons, but may differ on social issues. I can only hope that she would in fact vote to legalize gay marriage if given the opportunity, even is she votes Republican in Presidential elections.

When I tell my gay friends and colleagues that I have Republican friends, they are shocked. I wonder if Republicans get the same reaction when they tell their fellow-Republicans that they have gay friends.

Jos76

Posted in Friends, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

The Best of Intentions

Posted by jos76 on February 16, 2008

We had just dropped a friend off and were heading for Dac’s parents’ house. It was the first time I was going to meet his parents. We pulled up to their driveway and before we got out, Dac said, “Don’t worry about it. It will be fine.” Though he was out to his parents, he had never introduced them to someone he was dating. I got out of the car and headed up the stairs to the front door. I don’t remember if Dac had a key or if we rang the doorbell, but somehow we ended up on the inside. I shook Dac’s father’s hand (from now on referred to as Rock, per his request). I kissed his mother on the cheek. The hard part was over, or so I thought.

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Rock had not changed out of his corporate garb, so he looked rather formal sitting there in the living room. Dac’s mom was sizing me up a little bit. After all, Dac is the baby of the family and she needed to protect him. As we sat there I waited for one of them to ask, “So what are you intentions with our boy?” But, that sort of question never came. Rather there was another question asking me to join them at their house on Christmas evening, where I would have the chance to meet the rest of the family! I graciously accepted. Dac and I had only known each other for a few weeks and it was getting serious fast, but everything worked out great. 

Dac first met my mother in the parking lot of a Bed Bath and Beyond of all places, where we had happened to meet up while out shopping. He later met the rest of my family when we went out to dinner one night (I think that it was Bugaboo Creek or the Outback.) Dac later met my brother and his wife and their kids when we went to their house for dinner one night

First meetings always give opportunities for good memories. I will never forget sitting in Rock’s living-room contemplating what my intentions were with their son, just in case they asked.

Jos76

Posted in Family, Fun | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Studies have (not) shown…

Posted by jos76 on February 13, 2008

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I have two siblings, a younger sister in her twenties and a brother in his mid-thirties. The three of us could not be leading lives that are more different, yet somehow we grew up in the same house with the same parents. My brother is married (to a woman of all things) and has five children. My sister is still finding her way in life and is pretty adept at dating. I usually get the update from my mother as to who we should ask her about. Then there’s me, the well-adjusted middle child, no longer dating, no children

Dac, my partner, has two brothers, both older, both married, both with two children. Well, as of the writing of this post one of the wives is pregnant, so they have about 1.3 children. Then there’s Dac, the youngest child of the three brothers, married, no children.

Given that we have somewhat different sibling situations and that I was in the middle and Dac was the youngest, I can’t help but laugh at claims that relationships with parents (male or female) in any way contribute to “making” a kid gay. I grew up with a male and a female sibling who both grew up to be straight. Dac’s brothers grew up to marry women and soon became parents.

Both sets of our parents are very supportive of our marriage and no one (especially our parents themselves) think that our upbringing had anything to do with our sexual orientation. How could it have? We would have to actually accept the possibility that our parents had specifically different relationships with each of their children, so different that it influenced their sexual orientations. For anyone who understands the demands and time commitment required to parent even one child, he/she would clearly understand how ridiculous it would be to even try to do it two or three different ways. Who would have time to make sure that their kid is gay?

Jos76

Posted in Family, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »