"As the trial phase of the constitutional battle to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage concludes in federal court, gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony. Quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that, according to groundbreaking new research.
A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.
New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.
That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”
The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.
None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage." [bolding mine]
This is very interesting because it puts the real issues on the table. Many people are willfully naive about same-sex "marriage" because they just want the issue to go away and they think that letting homosexuals "marry" will make it go away. But the issue is not simply letting homosexuals into the institution of marriage or not, the issue is what marriage actually is.
The sexual revolution has proceeded step by step. Divorce came first and cohabitation followed divorce. Premarital sex was then accepted as children imitated their divorced and cohabiting parents. Then, once the principle of serial monogamy was in place, we got no-fault divorce in the 1970's. Only then was it possible to talk about same-sex marriage. The whole idea of same-sex marriage is that permanence and fidelity have already been left behind, so same-sex marriage is really just an extension of that trajectory. It is not about homosexuals, especially men, becoming monogamous and faithful, but rather it is about marriage ceasing to be centered on monogamous, permanent fidelity.
And why is monogamous, permanent fidelity not necessary? It is because sex has been separated from procreation by artificial contraception and abortion. Once sex is reduced to pleasure, its connection to marriage becomes tenuous. And the next logical step is the severing of the strong connection between sex and marriage. After that, the next step is the severing of sex from personal relationship and the depersonalizing of all sexual activity. We are in the process of working on that now in Western society as serial monogamy gives way to the hook-up culture.
In this cultural context, same-sex "marriage" begins to look more and more like a symptom of deeper problems than the problem itself.