Supports Cohabitation of Unwed Lovers
By David Rothschild
As I was thinking about Bush's drive for a Constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage, I became intrigued with a
question that is never asked: what should two gay people do,
if they do not get married?
Conservatives always argue about what gays should not do:
they should not be able to marry, adopt, share benefits, visit
each other when they are sick, have power of attorney, inheritance
rights, joint custody, sex, or any of the multitude of things
that constitute a heterosexual marriage.
Yet, conservatives never give good advise about what they
should do: continue to live as unmarried lovers, attend religious
conventions and be healed, be imprisoned, or be publicly branded?
If conservatives are going to fight against marriage for gay
families, they need to offer alternatives.
Today, the majority of Americans agree with the Republican
stance (even though trends indicate that this issue will be
a loser in the long-run). To make this a winning issue in
2004, progressives must first demonstrate how mean-spirited
the Republicans are and, second, they need to force Bush to
adequately explain his position.
Moral hypocrites everywhere will make gay marriage a fight
to the end. They will denounce the death of tradition (as
they commit adultery). They will evoke religion (not to quibble,
but the Bible is not as definite on homosexuality as Reverend
Falwell would have everyone believe). They will exhort us
to think about the mental health of the children and the decline
of the nuclear family.
To convince the masses of how mean spirited and hypocritical
they are, progressives need to start with a few distinct families
that demonstrate specific "heart-wrenching" examples for the
public. The quickest path to tolerance is always through a
family member or close friend (except for Dick Cheney who,
defying reality, denies that he has an openly gay daughter).
If someone does not know anyone who is gay (or at least out),
then the best substitute is an example that resonates with
her, and her life.
Picture a family of two gay parents and two biological kids
(of one of the parents). The other biological parent(s) are
out of the children's' lives (either deadbeats or surrogates).
Now ask all of the tough questions: what happens if one parent
becomes debilitated? Is the biological child sent to the deadbeat
dad or foster care, away from his stable household? Would
the children be better off being raised by single parents?
Should the government advocate the inclusion of an abusive
father to make the household "normal"? In sum, if someone
does not want this happy and stable family to be legally bound
(as more than half of Americans profess), what do you want
them to do?
The easiest alternative to assume is impractical and immoral:
keep the status quo. If someone does not approve of gay marriages,
that means he believes homosexual marriage is so wrong that
it should not be legal, even when it does not affect him.
Logically, if he is against a legally binding family, an illegal
family must be worse! Civil marriage is the most stable and
domestic form of relationships, and the only "moral" means
of two lovers to live together. It is unnatural for anyone
to favor cohabitation of an unmarried couple if he is against
marriage for them. Is George W. Bush actually advocating unmarried
lovers cohabiting? That does not sound like family values
The only logical alternatives are curing them of their gayness
or banning them from living together. Using this logical discourse,
the true bigots can be separated from the scared or confused
or misled good people. While many millions of Americans would
publicly endorse government sponsored programs to "help" gay
people, millions more would see the folly of their prejudices
when faced with this option (this counseling program should
not be confused with Bush $1.5 billion program to provide
Christian guidance, instead of job training, for struggling
The next time someone tells you that they are against gay
marriage, ask them: what do you support? What should a gay
family do, if not get married?