Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hollywood and Gays: They've already been busy redefining marriage...

For popular culture at least.

Hollywood has pretty much been in the business of redefining marriage for over a century.  I doubt it is an exaggeration that the film industry popularized divorce and remarriage way back when - be it through films such as The Women, or through the bad example of movie stars marrying and divorcing repeatedly, as well celebrating the concept of open marriage.  Today, stars treat marriage like birthday parties, while more than a few just refuse to be wed all together.

But how have gay people redefined marriage?  There hasn't been that many who have married nation-wide, and many more just haven't had the opportunity to marry - yet.  If they do marry - civilly - it is the same - legally - as heterosexual couples marrying, right?

Ah yes.  But the simmilarities stops there.  As the character Matthew in Downton Abbey told his fiancee, "We can never be properly married' - referring to his paralysis and inability to even engage in the 'marital embrace'.  Same sex couples can't do that either.  Yes, they can simmulate something, and they can have children through surrogates or artificial insemination, just as childless opposite sex couples do, but the intercourse remains - cover your ears - unnatural. 

We may argue that point endlessly of course, but there remains another redefinition that few are willing to talk about.  The concept of same sex marriage  - though intended to appear very Father Knows Best, in the long term may not turn out to be what was advertised.  Gay males have a reputation of being promiscuous - not monogamous.  Traditional marriage as we know it, is ordered and expected to be monogamous.  That is a game changer in the redefinition of marriage.  Something same sex culture, specifically same sex marriage, would likely reinforce in a culture where traditional marriage is already weakened.

Perhaps I'm exaggerating?  Protesting a bit too much?  Maybe.  Although, Dan Savage, America’s leading sex-advice columnist, just might agree with me.  Read his thoughts from a NYTimes article:
Although best known for his It Gets Better project, an archive of hopeful videos aimed at troubled gay youth, Savage has for 20 years been saying monogamy is harder than we admit and articulating a sexual ethic that he thinks honors the reality, rather than the romantic ideal, of marriage. In Savage Love, his weekly column, he inveighs against the American obsession with strict fidelity. In its place he proposes a sensibility that we might call American Gay Male, after that community’s tolerance for pornography, fetishes and a variety of partnered arrangements, from strict monogamy to wide openness.       
Savage believes monogamy is right for many couples. But he believes that our discourse about it, and about sexuality more generally, is dishonest. Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, others need to be whipped, others need lovers of both sexes. We can’t help our urges, and we should not lie to our partners about them. In some marriages, talking honestly about our needs will forestall or obviate affairs; in other marriages, the conversation may lead to an affair, but with permission. In both cases, honesty is the best policy.

“I acknowledge the advantages of monogamy,” Savage told me, “when it comes to sexual safety, infections, emotional safety, paternity assurances. But people in monogamous relationships have to be willing to meet me a quarter of the way and acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.”

The view that we need a little less fidelity in marriages is dangerous for a gay-marriage advocate to hold. It feeds into the stereotype of gay men as compulsively promiscuous, and it gives ammunition to all the forces, religious and otherwise, who say that gay families will never be real families and that we had better stop them before they ruin what is left of marriage. But Savage says a more flexible attitude within marriage may be just what the straight community needs. Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners. - NYT
To be continued.

Art:  Chris and Don - David Hockney


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Terry, you might be discussing this in the "to be continued" portion, but I just read the other day at Creative Minority Report that lesbian same-sex "married" couples have a higher divorce rate than opposite sex married couples. And gay same sex couples as well.

    Needless to say, the researchers who came up with the findings were a bit surprised. Guess the results didn't fit the narrative...

  3. Reality Check9:35 AM

    Consent is more important than monogamy.

  4. Reality Check9:49 AM

    Of course religious attitudes that are intolerant of other sexual orientations lead to bullying, read the new Rolling Stone article on LGBT suicides among teens due to bullying:

    It's no coincidence that this school district is a hotbed of Evangelical Christianity. Kids don't naturally hate their LGBT peers, but bigotry is taught to them by their religion.
    We NEED equality to stop this.

  5. Right. The Rolling Stone is such a bastion of morality and virtue. If that's your source of how we ought to live, then I don't know what to tell you.

    Consent is more important than monogamy.

    What you mean to say is that self-pleasure is more important than morality.

    And you know what? Satan says the exact same thing.

  6. Reality Check10:17 AM

    Read the article, Larry. Do you agree with this bullying? That school district is not safe for LGBT teens--and a lot of it has to do with the hateful things they're taught from their religion.

    Or do you not care about LGBT teen suicides and bullying, so long as your version of "morality" is taught and promoted, and LGBT teens are made to feel like freaks and perverts?

  7. Reality Check - I suggest you check your thinking.

  8. Larry - thanks for that - I don't know a great deal about lesbians - except for those in the entertainment industry - and the few I know of there have all been 'married' multiple times. Those that have come and gone in my neighborhood seem to have been as well. In former times, lesbians had the reputation of being more monogamous but today's liberated gay women appear to be conforming more to their gay male counterparts.

  9. RC - I read most of it. As a Catholic, I believe homosexual behavior to be disordered and deviant, yet people with SSA are to be treated with respect and compassion due to their inherent dignity of being human. Telling a gay person that their SSA is disordered is no less bullying than telling a woman with breast cancer she has a cellular disorder. Telling a gay person that gay sex is deviant is no different than telling a man that masturbating to porn is deviant. Of course, HOW it's conveyed is important. Bullying is wrong regardless of whom is being bullied and why.

    BUT - that does not mean glorifying teen gay sex, as this article did in relating one incident between a mom and her 14 year old gay son, is good and right. "Safe sex" between gay teenagers is a lie - it protects no one. It encourages harmful behavior. It separates one from God. The condom doesn't make sinful gay sex less sinful. It doesn't necessarily make it less likely to contract disease. It only makes it less messy.

    And those who engage in deviant sinful acts such as gay sex struggle with the guilt such acts naturally bring about. The bullying exacerbates those guilt feelings, true. But the guilt arises initially from man's natural inclination to avoid unnatural acts. Because there are such things as objective rights and wrongs.

    And repeated deviant sinful acts - regardless of what they are - eventually deaden one's conscience to the sinfulness of such acts.

    And I don't agree with the extreme viewpoints of the evangelical community highlighted in the piece. They don't reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church, so I reject them.

    The article is as unbalanced as can be expected from Rolling Stone, which is a pro "gay marriage", pro-gay lifestyle magazine. I don't even read it for their music reviews, so thankfully I'm not exposed to their biased opinions on morality and virtue.

    Gay sex is perverted. SSA is a perversion of the natural order. As is consensual sex outside of marriage. But the individual needs to be loved in order to come to the truth, not encouraged to wallow in a bad situation that keeps us from God.

    Satan wants each and every one of us dead and separated from God, and he doesn't care by what means he achieves that end.

    Terry - sorry this reply is so long.

  10. Larry - thanks for the rply - you said it well and I am indebted to you for it.

  11. Larry, I have to thank you for your excellent response. I'm grateful to God your sons have you.


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