Seemingly Straight Marriage | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly

Seemingly Straight Marriage 

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Many have voiced disapproval over my recent marriage to one of my best friends who doesn’t identify as such, but is, for all intents and purposes, a lesbian. We married for insurance benefits because we plan to have children and raise a family. Our marriage has been the subject of controversy among the small group of people who know about it.

I believe marriage should be an unalienable right, and as a gay man, I helped promote these rallies against Proposition 8 and those who supported it. I’ve fought for equality and human rights for many years, but with recent events, I’m being told that I’m undermining the gay-rights movement and disrespecting the LGBTQ community.

“I don’t think you represent the [gay] community appropriately,” said a friend of mine during a very lively and public debate, “[marriage] should be between people who love each other, not between a gay man and a lesbian.”

Marriage for the sake of love sounds old-fashioned, but on the contrary, it’s very modern. For centuries, people have married for one benefit or another. It’s a social benefit among royal families, or financial benefit in countries where fathers literally sell their daughters for marriage. It’s still not uncommon in some parts of the world for marriages to be arranged for certain benefits, and love doesn’t write well into their contracts.

My wife and I may not love each other in a conventional manner, but we do love and respect each other as friends, and it has always been my belief through equal-rights rallies that the morality of marriage shouldn’t be measured or validated by sexual attraction. We will have children, and we will love them irrevocably—doesn’t this satisfy the argument that one should marry for love?

Many have argued that we are setting back the gay-rights movement because we entered into a seemingly straight marriage. How is exploiting a traditionally straight institution for the benefit of a gay union disadvantageous to the gay-rights movement? Are we to protest traditional (opposite sex) marriage under the pretense that lawmakers give a rat’s ass if we get married or not?

Tristan Bills
Salt Lake City

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