I know all about marriage. I have one. I've been married to my husband Nigel for eight and a half years.
Of course, when I say I know all about marriage, really the only marriage I know about is my own. I've never been married to anyone else, so as far as I'm concerned, marriage is a bit like being stuck in an oddball British comedy. Mostly, though it's like going into business with a drinking buddy. A lot more work and not near as much fun. But if you're lucky, you still like each other.
Here's something I've noticed about marriage. My reasonably good marriage has absolutely no effect on anyone else's marriage. The couple next door to us got divorced, our example did them no good. The couple across the street are still married but I'm sure we have nothing to do with that.
About the only person our marriage does affect is our daughter, and hopefully in a positive way.
So if two men in San Francisco or two women in Boston get a marriage license, it's not going to make a bit of difference in my marriage or anyone else's. Basically, the flap about gay marriage comes down to another case of self-appointed moral people wanting to boss other people around.
In March of 1996, I was working a full time job in Mason, Ohio, commuting from our home in Aurora, Indiana, a good hour and fifteen minute drive one way. My six month old daughter made the trip with me four days a week, spending eight hours in daycare. I wasn't about to quit though. That job was my security. If Nigel left, I would need it to provide for myself and my daughter.
Then Nigel suggested we get married. He didn't think my working was good for the baby. I'd be covered under his insurance and I'd be assured that I'd be taken care of no matter what. It was a no brainer. We were married a month later.
I'm sure there are plenty of gay couples in our situation, women or men with small children who want to stay home and care for them, but must go through all kinds of legal rigamarole to get the same rights I got with a marriage license and a short ceremony. I have rights to his property, I'm the first person called if he's in an accident, I'm covered under his insurance, and I can refer to him as "my husband" instead of "my boyfriend" which sounds so ridiculous when you're past 40.
I don't expect gay marriage to become the law of the land. But if it does, marriage as an institution won't change, one way or the other. Nigel anad I will still be married, although the couple across the street may not be. It's a contract between individuals, and nobody else's business.