I think my husband and I should divorce.

He’s against the idea.*

As a heterosexual couple we have been given the right to marry and divorce at will. As a heterosexual couple we have been given rights and privileges that have come along with our marriages that are not given to my LGBT friends.

I find this unacceptable. And feel dirty being married.

Why should I be allowed to do something an entire population can not do? Why should we have all these rights- like being able to take care of the other’s estate and make medical decisions?

But even more than that, why do I get to call my union “marriage” and my gay friends do not? I did not get married in a church, so clearly it’s not a religious term. It’s a legal term. My marriage was not sanctified by God or riddled with a promise that I would procreate or be a “wife” to my “husband.”

As a legal contract, marriage should be available to all, not just to me.

What makes me so special? Why should I get to do something others can not? And how do I explain that to my children? That I am somehow better than others? That I am straight, so I should be given more privilege than others?

No. I can’t. It’s unacceptable. And until everyone can marry, I can honestly say I would rather not be married. It feels like I’m taking advantage while others suffer.

And before you give me all that crap about how civil unions can be separate but equal, save your breath. They are not.

So instead of asking how you can support your LGBT friends and family, ask yourself why you are so special. Why you are so much better than they and why you think you deserve something they don’t?

*my husband supports the gay marriage effort, and his reasons for not wanting a divorce are because I’m a free spirit and he’s afraid I won’t come back 😉


  1. Marriage should be illegal for everyone.

  2. Really like this, I haven’t heard anyone voice this angle yet. I probably won’t get divorced because I was so lucky to get my wife to marry me in the first place, don’t know that I want to put that at risk! 🙂

  3. I’m boycotting marriage until everyone can get one. Seriously.

  4. Greg that sounds familiar.

    Sue…I’m with you. As a married person now it just feels wrong. A union between two people who love eachother should never feel wrong. And *they* have made it dirty. I feel like I’m part of an elite country club that won’t let *certain* people in. I don’t want to be a part of that country club. You know?

  5. Bravo. I’d love to get married if it was indeed possible for queer folk like me, but I should probably embark on a relationship first. Seems only right.

  6. This is exactly why, when we married several years ago, we sought out a minister who also performed marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. (I didn’t realize that meant she would show up in rainbow tights.)

  7. I suggested this a few years ago, but my husband was oddly against the idea as well. What is with men?

  8. Okay, so it was CONVENIENT for me that my husband assaulted me right around all of this. Because NOW I can just take the political statement benefit of divorce for what it is.

  9. Well Gwen that is one way of making lemonaid I guess 😉

  10. Truthfully, as an ordained minister, I think that ministers and churches should be taken out of the marriage business entirely. Because we act as state agents with respect to that contract, we have become too involved in the legal aspects of a joint tenancy contract. If you remove us of our ability to contract marriages and make it solely the province of state sponsored individuals with no ecclesiastic connections, I have a feeling that marriage for the LGBT community would be easier for everyone to accept. If the couple wants their union blessed by the church of their choice, that blessing is solely up to the church, the minister, and the congregation. For the record, I would do any blessings which came my way as I steadfastly believe everyone has the right to unite with a partner of their choosing.

  11. I’m doing the same thing for entirely different reasons. I think you’re just rationalizing. 🙂

  12. Suebob,
    SOME of us know how good we have it! 🙂

  13. Yes, EXACTLY what Tony said. We’ve got the two bits of a couple joining their lives together – the legal parts, and the spiritual parts – all mooshed up together in a very very unhelpful way.

  14. I am Canadian and here same-sex couples are allowed to marry. And we call it marriage. Which is good, because it means I don’t have to divorce my husband. 😉

    I hope and believe that this will one day be true all across America, as well.

  15. Tony,
    I sort of see it the other way…perhaps the STATE should get out of the marriage business. The state should issue civil union licenses and churches can marry whomever they want. This takes the moral dimension out of the state side and leaves it with churches and other organizations.

  16. I honestly don’t care which entity gets out of it…so long as it ends up the same across the board. The more I dwell on the subject, the more disturbed I am at where we’re at as a country.

  17. Yes, the mesh of Tony and Greg… I really think there should be a legal state for which unions can be made – heterosexual or homosexual. This would involve the assets, the hospital visits, and other legal rights that are currently only applicable to heterosexual couples.

    And then there is a spiritual state with its own term that can be recorded in one’s faith community of choice. Thus, one type of church / synagogue / mosque will not allow homosexual marriage, but another will — we have great LGBT faith communities in our area where the pastors would be happy to bestow a blessing upon homosexual or heterosexual couples.

    After all, we have “coming of age” rituals that are faith-based (bar/bat mitzvah, first communion / confirmation, quinceanera, some types of debutante situations that require a certain faith) and then we have those legal things too: like the driver’s license, the ability to drink, and so forth. Seems like we could have a legal union of assets, plus a spiritual meshing of commitment done separately – each with its own rationale and meaning.

  18. Karianna,
    You captured my thoughts exactly, and much more eloquently than I did.

  19. But teh gheyz can’t make babz0rz!

  20. Ah Matt. I know many infertitle couples. Many who are childfree by choice. Many elderly couples that get married….I could go on 😉

  21. el tylero says:

    If all it takes for you to want to terminate your marriage is a controversial issue like gay marriage (which, as far as I could tell, doesn’t even have anything to do with you and your husband as a couple), then should you really have married your husband in the first place??? Just because you are able to observe serious hypocrisy in today’s society, are you willing to actually get a divorce? Is the legitimacy of your marriage truly void because an injustice is occurring in the realm of your LGBT friends (not you, not your husband, not you as a couple, but a third party)? I understand that is an injustice gays and lesbians to be legally unable to wed, but isn’t it a little rash to terminate your marriage in the name of advocacy for a minority that you yourself are not even a part of?

  22. el eylero,

    what do you consider rash? and why would you think it was? why should I take advantage where others can not? what makes me so much better than they are? what makes me have the right?

    I can sign all the petitions I want, but my marriage is still legal and theirs isn’t. There is something very, very wrong with that.

  23. Andrea Letamendi says:

    My position is that many heterosexual couples, married or not, do not believe this issue is relevant to them. This discourse is not limited to the LBGT community–I am often reminded that there was a time that I would not be able to marry your brother. Yes–IN THE U.S. interracial/interethnic marriage was a CRIMINAL ACT in many states. It was not until the federal government intervened that state-specific anti-miscegenation laws were considered unconstitutional. I realize my analogy is overused but it confuses me deeply that many heterosexual couples do not realize how significant your message is in this post–denying this right from LBGT couples is NO DIFFERENT than anti-miscegenation laws that everyone is embarrassed and ashamed to recall. Yes, there are other reasons NOT to marry your brother (many,many) but I realize that my right to do so is a POLITICAL product that evolved from society modifying the construction of what marriage is. I sometimes wish i could pass on my “marriage card” to another loving [LBGT] couple who would otherwise not have it. I’m actually almost sure your brother wouldn’t mind.

  24. Andrea gets it. Which is why she’s already my sister-in-law…even if not in legal terms.

    …and you’d be surprised what these boys do mind when we actually get around to doing something…

  25. My girlfriend and I got engaged two years ago, before gay marriage was ever legal in California. We didn’t really care that it wasn’t legal – the wedding we wanted to have was more for us to stand up in front of our family and friends and say, hey, we kind of dig each other, and we plan to hang out for the rest of our lives, and we’re really hoping you will support us and help us out when times get tough, and celebrate with us when times are awesome. Our family, once they got over their own weirdness with the idea, was gung ho and 100 percent supportive and EXCITED.

    When gay marriage became legal in CA last May, my girlfriend and I had a mortgage and my heroin-addicted sister living with us, so it didn’t seem like the right time to throw an expensive party. Never in a million years did we think this great state that we both LOVE would overturn the supreme court’s ruling. (I might add that my girlfriend is an LA County social worker, serving the county of Los Angeles and thereby the state of California…) Suddenly, when the rights were stripped from us, when the option was no longer on the table, we were PISSED. And now, while the wedding itself still is about standing up in front of the family and friends and all that stuff, we REFUSE to spend one penny on any sort of marriage-like ceremony in California until it is legal again. We’ll do the domestic partnership, and we’ll celebrate amongst ourselves, but I refuse to let the economy of California benefit from my money while I am still considered second class.

    I appreciate your passion for the subject, but us gays are okay with you being allowed to celebrate your love and commitment to one another. Personally, I think you honor us more by celebrating your marriage and sticking it out through all of the tough times… because God knows there are plenty of people making a mockery of marriage, and they are NOT the gay ones. While we are okay with you being allowed to get married while we are not, we are also SUPER excited when you post blogs like this, sharing our frustration and disgust. It makes me happy to know that I don’t feel the way I feel about this subject just because I’m gay, but rather because I’m a decent human being and feel like we should all be treated equally. What a novel idea!

  26. Expressing the injustice in these terms really gets to the root of it. When my kids were young and had to split a treat in half I would use that old technique of having one cut it in half and the other getting to choose which piece he wanted. Each would work incredibly hard to be exact so as not to get stuck with a small piece. If you turn the tables and suggest taking away marriage and everyone having civil agreements, people realize that different is unequal. Where have we learned that before?

  27. Cool post.
    My man and I just got engaged, after being together nearly 8 years. We have been saying that we felt “life-partner-y” for awhile, and were calling ourselves “happily unmarried”.
    I definitely want to wait till all marriage is legal in California again before we have the ceremony, though!

  28. Katie I am ashamed of our state as well. Very ashamed. And I feel dirty being more privledged than you. It’s not fair. And more hetero’s need to speak out…because you are exactly right, it is not about who is what…gay or straight…it’s about human decency.

  29. I agree totally!

  30. Deb that really is exactly the way we should look at it…just a shame we have look at it through a child’s eyes to ‘get it’

  31. Greg, I understand your reasoning, but my argument for getting religion out of it is this: When you boil marriage down to its base element, it is solely a contract between two parties of legal standing which is guaranteed and given special status by the state. The church, shul, masjid, temple cannot give them that status; it is solely through legislation these guarantees are give and hence, it falls on religion to bow out of the legal process. If we take it the other direction, my fear is that you will have states coming back and telling all of we have no rights or distinctions for things such as following a partner’s wishes, rights of inheritance, etc.

    Granted, I agree that everyone should be allow to marry whom they choose, I just want to ensure everyone gets the same contracted status. I think that leaving it to the clerics will only make a bigger mess.

  32. I’ve had this same discussion with my husband.

  33. Truth be told I don’t care about the whole marriage part, in fact the ceremony was a pain in my ass and cost too much, I would’ve rather gone on a long vacation. And though marriage does not guarantee fidelity, I really went through it all to lock down the penis attached and call it mine…and then get half of everything should it stray. Truth be told it is kinda weird when you think about the face that he and I have only had the right to marry for 40some years. (We’re an interracial couple) and some people still think it’s wrong…so maybe another part of getting married is to give the middle finger to all those who say we shouldn’t as I taint the pure race with my brown babies. But, it’s actually a favor, cause they tan waaay better. lol!! Great post!

  34. This is an Awesome Read! I love your SIL’s comments as well! My husband does NOT agree with my views on the rights all all people. He is just too far to the right … I need to hook him in with a boomerang sometimes.

  35. I eloped to San Francisco and glad I did (not a big a fan of the fluffy dresses, drunken guests and family bickering) I loved it so much I moved there.

    I find it so strange to live in the most liberal city in America and gays cannot marry. I do know lots of gays who have no interest in marriage, just plain old equal rights.

  36. el eyelero

    I think getting married while other people can’t would be like sitting in the front of a segregated bus in the South. While it doesn’t affect MY sexual-orientation group, it affects the broader group that I count myself a member of – humanity.

  37. Amen Suebob

  38. Well the vote was taken correct? More than once correct? Why not educate the people who want this? Apparently no one in the state wants it but the minority (that is why the vote always falls short). Move to a new state. That is the beauty of this country. Fed laws and state laws. Gives you a chance to live where the laws work for you.

  39. el tylero says:

    First of all, I hate to sound condescending, but you did not directly answer A SINGLE ONE of my questions. Rather, you just replied to my post by asking even more questions. So let me answer YOUR questions now…

    What do you consider rash: Personally, I would think that terminating a marriage in the pursuit of spreading a human rights advocacy message is rash. By rash, I am basically alluding to the term irrational.

    Why do you think it is rash: Let me just get this out in the open, I SUPPORT SAME SEX MARRIAGE, I THINK GAYS AND LESBIANS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY!!!1!!! However, if you truly are divorcing solely on the grounds of LGBT advocacy, it seems that would be a decision you would later come to regret. Yet, based on personal experience, there are typically a complex of reasons for getting a divorce. I am skeptical as to whether LGBT advocacy was the primary reason for divorce.

    I would like to combine your last three questions…: Instead of babbling on and on in pertinence of a literal answer, let me just throw some examples out there…

    1.6 million Americans are confined to wheelchairs (UCSF)… so what gives you the right to walk?

    Every year, 15 million children die of hunger around the world (thinkquest.org)… What gives you the right to eat?

    People living in countries with Totalitarian regimes like North Korea, Eritrea, Burma, Turkmenistan, and Iran have a severe lack of freedoms of speech and personal freedoms (New Statesman). Millions suffer the cruel and inhumane oppression of dictators who go to extreme means to silence “enemies”…

    So what gives you the right to express yourself on some online blog???

    Do you think that perhaps gay marriage is a priority that needs to be addressed before global human rights like freedom of speech and adequate nutrition?

  40. I agree, and living in CA I was so surprised when Prop 8 didn’t go the right way. I mean the left way. You know what I mean.

  41. Really appreciate your supportive attitude on gay marriage. Seems like the tide is finally turning a bit, but there’s such a long way to go. After 18 years, my partner and I were finally legally married in Massachusetts, but we still get none of the federal benefits, which is much more important in a practical sense.

    Count me with Katie, though, as one who feels that you need not give up your marriage rights in order to encourage others to grant us ours! I think the concrete things straight people do on our behalf like talking about the subject and making it seem less weird and scary to more conservative friends and relatives (and donating $ and voting, etc,) are much more helpful than a “divorce protest” would be. And if sympathetic straight folks would donate a small fraction of the money it would cost to get divorced to help in the gay marriage fight? Now THAT would be awesome.

    Thanks again so much for this post! I think it’s conversations like these that are helping so much in the fight for equal rights.

  42. MI Girl, as Crabby McSlacker pointed out, there are federal issues here that far outweigh state issues. I believe this is a civil rights issue, and therefor would not want to just ‘move to another state’, as you suggest. Would you suggest I just ‘move to another state’ where interracial marriage was allowed?

  43. Since el tylero doesn’t think I’m answering questions…here you go….

    The LGBT issue, I believe, is a valid enough issue that we all should be considering our own rights. Do I think my marriage is that fragile that I would just ‘get a divorce’ over this…as you sugget? That’s silly. The divorce would by activism. And have no relationship affect other than the loss of rights to my family.

    Yes, I do believe I am willing to get a divorce. Yes, I believe it’s that big of an issue. I can not sit by and just watch.

    I believe the legitimacy of my marriage is absolutely void. If we can’t treat everyone with the same respect, how do I measure the respect given to me…it’s tainted.

    I do not find it rash. Rash would imply I did not give it thought. I have given this much thought, over many months. And I have discussed it with my husband. ‘Rash’ would be acting without thinking and I am clearly thinking.

    As for acting on behalf of a ‘minority I am not even a part of’ – uh, wow. As Sue said…if you are comfy sitting in the front of the bus, enjoy. But I’ll be in the back fighting for everyone to sit whereever they like.

  44. Also, your questions about the disabled, and those in hunger are…how do I put this..insulting. We did not chose to give 15 million people disabilities. This is not a “rights” issue. We are not discussing “global” issues here, but the rights of the United States of America.

    Do I find freedom of speech important globally, of course. Do I find hunger and poverty a problem that needs to be addressed globablly? Of course.

    But let’s stick with the subject at hand- treating everyone in the United States of America equally and giving everyone equal rights.

  45. Um, thanks for giving me a heart attack! GEEZ. For real. Don’t scare me again like that Destiny.

  46. el tylero says:

    I think you misunderstood the point I was attempting to convey with the examples of hunger, disabilities, etc. Please let me clarify my point:

    First of all, I applaud your willingness to take action in advocating an oppressed group in our country. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to take on such a noble cause. However, If you are going to say that my analogies are “insulting” and are not topical, then don’t you think that connotating racism in the American south around the fifties is a little bit of a stretch of topicality in itself? I’m pretty sure that there is a fine line between sitting in the back of a bus and terminating an (intentionally) big commitment like marriage. My point with the other analogies was that there have always been people who haven’t had access to basic human liberties (In USA and around the world), but giving up your freedoms won’t give oppressed peoples their freedoms. In other words, you and your husband getting a divorce won’t enable LGBT minorities to get married. Sure, it would be one thing if divorces-for-gay-rights movements were prevalent across the country and many couples followed suit, but do you anticipate that a lot of other married couples will follow your example?

    That, by all means, doesn’t mean that you should not advocate LGBT rights. But let’s face it: You attend a rally to support LGBT rights. You buy a T-shirt or a bumper sticker to support LGBT rights. You attend a Gay Pride parade to support LGBT rights. You write a letter to your congress-person to support LGBT rights. You don’t cease a serious commitment like marriage to prove a point and generate some sort of social-political commentary.

    I TRULY BELIEVE that you would be doing this (divorce) with the BEST of intentions, and I now see that you have more than sufficiently pondered your decision. I just feel compelled to disagree with your course of action. If you want to know my opinion (obviously, it doesn’t matter to you at this point. But…), I think everyone has the right to get married. Just because certain legislative acts have been passed to deter gays and lesbians from getting married, doesn’t mean that they don’t have the RIGHT to do so. There is a crucial difference between laws and rights. However, it seems like getting a divorce is an inefficient, self-righteous, and misguided attempt at instigating reform. Abolishing your marriage won’t give gays and lesbians the ability to marry.

  47. *standing ovation*

  48. I was reading CNN this morning and found this article. It made me think of your stance and post on gay marriage. http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/06/28/gayby/index.html

  49. Being married doesn’t mean you’re required to procreate?


    Want a couple kids?

    Honestly, I see your point. I can see how divorce seems like a great way to protest. (not sarcasm)

    Oh, and hunger and poverty are a US issue…just want to put that out there. Our hungry and poor aren’t as cool and hip to think about as the global hungry and poor – since many in the US assume US hungry/poor are lazy and the hungry/poor in other countries are oppressed – which is utter crap…but that is a total digression.

    The marriage issue is a civil rights issue and needs to be fixed. I agree.

    Someday, I might make sense again. But today is not that day.

  50. LOL Erin we just got @-stream spammed on Twitter together, which reminded me to come subscribe to your blog, which I thought I had already… but anyway. There’s one good thing that came out of @ stream spam!

    I agree, well said. My husband & I actually have other hetero friends that refuse to “let the state interfere with their relationship” and refuse privileges afforded only to heteros. We were married in 1997, and if the consciousness about this issue was around at the time for us, I’m not sure what we would’ve done. I like what commenter Katie said above that the best thing we can do for this fight is not fight ourselves but instead work toward a healthy marriage (which I’m sure you will do also).

    A couple is the family unit, and our society is based on family units. Why wouldn’t we encourage that unit in all places and in all ways we can? It is the very first building block of our government and our lives. Of course we would. What is truly going on here, I think, is a financial battle. The way taxes and healthcare are arranged in this country means that the government and industry would take a big hit if same-sex couples were afforded the same benefits as mixed-sex couples. I really believe that is the real issue. It isn’t morality; “they” would like you to think so – it turns out that Americans are pretty tolerant on that level, according to all the studies. It’s financial, I’m sure of it.

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