One of the great difficulties we bloggers have is that often other obligations intervene, making it difficult to address all the topics we would like in the time we have. Given the Senate debate next Monday on the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA, the renamed Federal Marriage Amendment), I had hoped to do a series of posts this week on gay marriage, in the belief that we should use the occasion of this high-profile debate to promote a serious discussion of this very important issue.
But, given my obligations for my grad program as well as those as president of the LA chapter of my college alumni association, blogging has had to take a back seat. And then when I finally had a moment yesterday to write, I was drained from my previous work that I only had the energy to dash out a few “stream of consciousness” pieces instead of the essays that I would rather write.
It struck me last night that I was remarkably more personal in my lesbian post than I had intended. It also occurred to me that a serious discussion of gay marriage may require all of us to be more personal. After all, it will be the personal stories of individuals in monogamous same-sex unions that will do more to advance the cause of gay marriage than repeating the same old silly nostrums about “marriage equality.”
I’m hoping to devote some time later this afternoon to a few posts on gay marriage and monogamy, but may regrettably have to save some of my thoughts until after the Senate debate. Since I may not be able to blog as much as I would like, I highly recommend, you check out the columns of one of the sharpest (if not the sharpest) advocates of gay marriage — Dale Carpenter. (My position on the issue is only slightly different from that of Dale.)
Unlike most gay-marriage advocates, Dale takes the time to understand the conservative opposition and not reduce it to anti-gay animus. He also takes the time to craft intelligent arguments, free of cant. So check out his page at the Independent Gay Forum and peruse his columns. A good antidote to the pathetic posturing of HRC and other gay groups who would rather attack supporters of the MPA rather than put forward solid arguments. (Dale has also been bloggin this week at the Volokh Conspiracy.)
I have also had more time to ponder Andrew Sullivan’s post on hypocrisy which I addressed here yesterday. I think what really bothered me about the piece is that, particularly in the week before the Senate debate on the MPA, Andrew brought up that the difficulty of monogamy (for men) without making a concomitant commitment to monogamy (as an essential aspect of marriage).
Not familiar with Dan Savage’s thoughts, I did not know that he has said that if you cannot stay faithful, marriage is not for you. (Thanks to an adorable reader for informing me of that.) With that as context, I see Andrew’s thoughts a little differently than I first did. Yet, he should have made that clear (in his post).
Let me conclude by making a point I have been making almost since I started blogging (indeed long before that), if we going to talk about marriage, we need to make clear that we understand that monogamy is an essential aspect of the institution. If we’re serious about marriage, gay people need to develop other institutions and promote patterns of behavior which encourage monogamy, reminding us why it is not only good for us and our beloved, but also for our relationships, our friendships and society at large.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com