Friday, May 17, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia: The Signifiant Difference Between Gay Marriage and Straight

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and myself, along with many other writers, are blogging about, basically fear, tolerance, and acceptance. I have chosen marriage equality as my topic, because, as a gay man who was legally able to wed (something I never thought I'd be able to do) at the end of last year, the topic is near and dear to my heart. And my husband's! 

Be sure to check out all the other blogs today and prepare yourself for some fascinating reading! See the complete list below.

WE HAVE A WINNER FOR BASHED! My Boston terrier, Lily, randomly chose Erica Pike as the winner of the free copy of my hate crime love story. Congrats, Erica! I will e-mail you your copy.

BONUS! Leave a comment on the post below, and you will be entered to win a FREE copy of my novel, BASHED,
which is a love/ghost story revolving around a horrendous hate crime and how a survivor, through the power of love, begins to heal. Winners will be announced to May 27. Leave an e-mail so I can contact you if you won and get you your book!

Okay. Enough intro stuff. Here's my post:

The Significant Difference between Gay Marriage and Straight Marriage
 By Rick R. Reed

In December, when my partner and I became husband and husband (one of the first in Washington State to do so—hooray for Washington!), people asked us if we felt different. At first, it seemed like a question from out in left field. After all, Bruce and I had been together and pledged to one another for a decade already when we said our vows.

But it did feel different. It’s hard to explain, but once we had the rings on our fingers and our friends had witnessed our simple yet heartfelt ceremony, a sea change did occur in our relationship. We both felt more committed, like more of a family. I can’t explain it, but I bet a lot of married people out there will understand the simple difference.

It was a very nice change—and one that took me a little bit by surprise. But this got me to thinking about another difference. What’s the difference between gay marriage and straight marriage? Aside from the obvious gender thing, what separates gay marriage from straight?

I wasn’t sure. I could tell you how it was the same:

  • It was two people in love, pledging their lives to one another. 
  • It was a commitment entered into joyfully and with the intention of staying together for the rest of our lives. 
  • It was predicated on the idea that we would share everything—meaning, to paraphrase the classic vows—the good times, the bad ones, the sick ones, the healthy ones, the rich and the poor ones. 
  • It made both of us know that we had a family in the other, someone with whom we would share celebrations and hard times, vacations, holidays, and life events. 
  • It represented a commingling of our two heretofore separate families, both of which welcomed us, as they always had, with open arms and treating us both as though we were blood. 
  • It meant that our house was a home. 
  • It meant that certain things might not be celebrated, but they would be tolerated—impatience, grumpiness, how we look first thing in the morning, to name but a few. 
  • It let us imagine an old age where we would not be alone. 
  • It let us picture a future into which we might jump, hand-in-hand, with fewer questions and worries.
  • It meant that my treasures were his and his were mine. 
  • It meant that we could rely on each other. 
  • It meant that we loved each other, above all others. 

So what was the difference? I wondered. And then it hit me: here is the difference between gay marriage and straight (scroll down):





 (Keep scrolling)










(You can stop scrolling now. Get the picture?)

I saw a meme on Facebook once, those clever sayings presented as a picture and it said: Gay marriage, or, as I like to call, it—marriage.

And that’s key.


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49 comments:

  1. I totally agree with this. Marriage is marriage, no matter who the parties are. I just don't know why some people can't understand that.

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  2. Marriage is marriage, just as love is love, what ever parts the participants have or don't have. And no one else's marriage has any impact on mine!

    Jan
    jennysmum2000 at yahoo dot co dot uk

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  3. Awesome post Rick! You are totally right, there is no difference.

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  4. Marriage is a step lots of couples take when they feel that they are IT for each other.50 years or so ago interracial marriage was banned, which made the young interracial couples revolt. Now it's our moment. We want to be able to marry.I want to feel the moment when my future partner asks me on one knee to be married. Then we will go marry any where we want, not in a State that Allows same sex civil unions!
    We want that right.

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  5. Love the post on the blog hop and there you have it Marriage is marriage between two indivduals nothing more notheing less. Just two individuals loving one another well I guess there could be more then two in the marriage but gender should NEVER be involved just love, respect and understanding.

    Cinders

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    Replies
    1. Forgot email so sorry
      Crozzy67@nctv.com

      Cinders

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  6. Great Post! Congrats on your marriage . . . wishing you and yours years of happiness . . . . deedonovan at verizon.net

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  7. I really enjoyed your post, Rick. This is something I've been thinking a lot about, too. Though I am one half of a 30-year straight marriage, I have found myself very personally invested in the push for equality in marriage. I suspect it's because I find marriage to be all those things you describe above, which is wonderful. It does make a difference, as you say. Of course not everyone wants to marry, and that's fine, too. The important thing is that we all have the choice.

    Congratulations on finally being able to marry your man! I trust you'll be as happy as I've been with mine. ♥

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  8. Awesome post, Rick. I've always admired you and you just keep digging further into my heart.

    xo
    K-lee

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  9. Great post, Rick. I was going to be tacky and say sex. But I won't. LOL. You're right, marriage is marriage. I never indulged, but no one would have stood in my way if I had wanted to.

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  10. Well said! I'm certainly no expert on marriage (I'm on my third, yikes!). But I absolutely agree. Gender has nothing to do with it.

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  11. Thank you for taking part in the hop!

    In order to combat hatred, we must spread love. Educate others, bring awareness, because every person who has their mind opened is one person closer to a world where homophobia and transphobia doesn’t exist.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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  12. Couldn't agree more.
    The feeling I had was that gay marriage is actually more important than marriage between straight people, because of the legal implications. If you're a straight couple they're much more likely to let you in a hospital room with your loved one, even if you're not married. I feel that nowadays for a gay couple that piece of paper is much more important than for straight couples. I wish it wasn't true, but because of less open-minded people, it is.

    Zahra AT zahraowens DOT com

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    1. You are so right, Zahra. And it needs to be national. While I'm happy I am finally legally wed to my man, we can travel to the neighboring states of Oregon or Idaho, and our marriage wouldn't be recognized. That's not fair.

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  13. When my (opposite sex) husband of almost 25 years and I get together with friends who have long term same sex partners, we see exactly the same things we see in our own marriage, good and bad. The devotion and commitment, the everyday squabbles over everyday things. However, they can't get married here in California... yet.

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  14. I think the only real difference between gay marriage and straight marriage is that straight people (or bisexual people like me who have a partner of the opposite gender) take the ease of getting married for granted. All my husband (then fiance) and I had to do was go down to the county building, fill out a short form, pay $25 and presto, we were set to go. It makes no sense that it isn't that easy for everyone; it makes no sense that all people aren't treated equally under the law because no matter what some people seem to believe, marriage is a legal contract. (I didn't go to a priest to get my previous marriage disolved, I went to a judge after paying a lawyer.)

    Okay, off my soapbox!

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  15. Well said, as usual Rick. And again, congratulations to you and Bruce. I think the recognition that comes from the legal contract of marriage is important, the gender of the two people involved is not. I really hope the Supreme Court shared that sentiment when they render their decisions next month. I honestly can't think of one valid difference in why same-sex and opposite-sex coupled decide to marry (or decide not to marry). I can only say it is my dream that on August 16, 2014, as I celebrate twenty years with the man I love, that it can also be the date that we celebrate our legal marriage to one another.

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    1. I am hoping and praying that dream comes true for you and your beloved soon, Ken.

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  16. My 9 year old son and I were listening to a debate on gay marriage with me trying to explain what was being discussed. His idea was "Mummy, they should just make gayness a religion then no one can interfere with them and tell them what to do!"

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  17. I love this post Rick. I have a huge smile on my face. I've been married for 29 wonderful years and this was a lovely reminder of what is important. Thank you :)

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  18. great post rick. one of my friends and i were talking about the issue of gays and marriage and we both figure the heterosexual community certainly has done a bang up job of running the meaning of marriage (ie: cheating, divorcing, multiple marriages et la) that there can only be room to make say the meaning of marriage better if ya let the LGBT community have the same right its not like the institution can be screwed up any further lol

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

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  19. This is a wonderful post, Rick. Congratulations to you and your husband! I hope that we are not too far away from the day when ALL marriages will be treated equally in all 50 states.

    layla at ravenschildren dot com

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  20. Great post! Marriage equality is at glacier speed now, but soon it will be an avalanche! Once one southern state banned Jim Crow, others followed, at varying speeds. I think Marriage Equality will move faster. Hurray!
    Urbanista
    brendurbanist @gmail .com

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  21. Hey Rick - My partner and I had the opportunity to get legally married in New York last year, and went through many of the same emotions and realizations. Even though we had a commitment ceremony 11 years prior (which was very special to us), that legal commitment and acknowledgement that this is truly a fit for life made our "second" wedding even more meaningful. Thanks for sharing your story!
    ajpeters@andrewjpeterswrites.com

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  22. Beautifully said!

    For me, the perceived difference is really based on the illogical logic of opinionated individuals who cannot seem to get out of their supposed comfort zones and their horse blinders.

    mmbookloverhere(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Great post. Love is love and marriage is marriage.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  24. Such pure and simple words. It boggles my mind that some people can't grasp the idea or they fight it even though it's none of their business. I think it should be a national decision instead of waiting for each state. If your marriage is not protected everywhere you go it's not right.

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  25. Congrats on your marriage Rick, I'm sure you and your partner will have many more wonderful years ahead of you. I look forward to the day I can attend my brother's wedding to his partner of over 10 years but I think it's still a few years away before Australia joins the other enlightened countries that have embraced same sex marriage. Having been married for 32 years myself, I can only say the marriage between same sex couples is no different than for hetero couples in that it boils down to the depth of love and commitment between the partners, its got zero to do with gender.
    Kelsey@netspace.net.au





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  26. That was an awesome post. Congratulations on getting married.

    Beth
    JPadawan11@gmail.com

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  27. Wow, what a terrific post!
    Here's to the day that we no longer have a need for a Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia!
    ~Cody

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  28. Marriage should be between two people who love each other and should not be defined by the gender of the couple. Thanks for the opportunity to win your book.

    Karl
    slats5663(at)shaw(dot)ca

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  29. Wonderful post.

    Yvonne
    shadowlord28(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. Wonderfully, beautifully said.
    Gay Marriage is simply Marriage. That's all. <3


    Judi
    arella3173_loveless@yahoo(dot)com

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  31. ohh a post in my line of thought - they shouldn't make extra laws for same sex couples they should just change the existing laws and put "people" in there instead of genders - now that would be equality.

    And it wouldn't give them the opportunity to start arguing over every little law that connects to it - here (Germany) we have something like a same sex marriage - of course it's not called that it's a "registered partnership" and of course that doesn't make you equal, because now they are bickering about changing the taxation - aye you are married in front of the law, but not in front of taxes ... urghhh well yeah the loopholes for conservatives.
    Ah well I never got the "special" rights I always though equal rights should be the thing to work on.
    Ohh and I almost forgot - Congratulations!

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  32. wow, Rick. Your wedding sounds just like I pictured it for a couple of my characters! :)
    Best to you and your spouse - may you live happily ever after!
    Barb
    creativebarbwire at gmail dot com

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  33. Hi Rick,

    I don't know how you and your husband could look any happier than you did in your wedding pictures. Thanks for participating in the hop.

    arlene.thompson@gmail.com

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  34. Nice post Rick, followed your wedding updates when it happened! As you say, nothing different, marriage is marriage

    littlesuze at hotmail dot com

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  35. Congrats and I hope you have many years of happiness and only moments of grumpiness. Sadly I don't see equality happening where I live, Oklahoma is very backward and if you don't drive a pickup with a full rifle rack you raise eyebrows.

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  36. Great post, Rick, and so very, very true! Congratulations again! Thanks for participating in HAHAT!
    ~Cody

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  37. Thank you for sharing your story. It is stories like that that make me wonder why people can fight so hard against love. Thank you for participating in the hop.

    sophiebonaste@gmail.com

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  38. A truly beautiful post, and none the truer. Marriage is marriage and it shouldn't matter what gender you are. Thank you for taking part in the hop.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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  39. This absolutely made me smile, Rick. Congratulations to you and your husband on your marriage and all the best in the years together ahead of you. Even when people can be spouses "in all but name," the name part is wonderful for all the reasons you listed.

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

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  40. I wish they would stop calling it GAY marriage! That irks me to no end. There should be no distinction. Thanks, Rick! Great post. I won't pass up an opportunity to receive a free book from you. Anything you write is well worth reading.

    lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

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  41. Thank you for the post, Rick ^.^ I'm so glad for you and Bruce. It was so sweet how he proposed (through text message, haha).

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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  42. Great post, and congratulations!!!

    peggy1984(at)live(dot)com

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  43. Great post I think anyone that wants to get married should be able to. I get so sick and tired of people using the Bible when they are against gay marriage. I've seen so many people post on Facebook doing that I would unfriend them but some of them are family. I know you have to love them not what they believe. Thank you for taking part in the hop!
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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  44. So very true. Love is love, and marriage is marriage. No need to try and quantify or explain it. Thanks for participating Rick.

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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