Category Archives: non-discrimination

What Difference Does Marriage Make?

What difference does “marriage” make to same-sex couples? Here’s the difference it makes for me.

I was probably 21 or so.  My parents were horrified at my attraction to men, and my defiant embrace of a gay identity. We were arguing after dinner, tensions coming to a head, tempers fueled by too much alcohol.

I forget what awful, angry thing my dad had said. He seemed to be convinced that I had decided to be attracted to men, that that I was doing this despite warnings that it wasn’t good for me, or the family, etc.

Something snapped inside me.

But instead of screaming at him, instead of attacking him, instead of denouncing him yet again for being a homophone, I burst into tears. “How do you think I feel? What do you think it’s like for me knowing I can’t get married, knowing I can’t have children, that I can’t have a family?”

That changed the conversation.  I wasn’t rebelling against their values.  I was, they finally saw, to some extent anyway, that I was trying to figure out how to get by in a world where I excluded from embracing them.

It was a turning point for all of us.  I was shocked–I hadn’t realized that was there for me.  Eventually, it led to me getting married to a woman, despite both of us knowing I was attracted to men, and having a family.  As wonderful as our marriage was in many ways, as great as our children are, as much as I love my family, aspects of it were a living hell for both my wife and I.  Sometimes our sex was great–no kidding.  Other times, too many times, I had to fantasize about a man, and she knew I was.  That sucked. It was horrible, and it lacked integrity, and eventually we realized it.

To keep it going I kept telling myself that I was actually straight and that my attraction to men was a symptom of something else.  (After being out, I became a non-religious ex-gay, you might say. I can expand on that another time.)

The point is that at the height of my angry gay young man telling off his parents phase, underneath it all I wanted to be married and have children and have a family.

It just never occurred to me that I could do that with another man.

Well, now it has.  And it’s occurred to a lot of people.  Our society is finally getting it.  We’re people. We love. So many of us are called to love and commit to a spouse.  So many of us are called to love and raise children.

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Filed under gay issues, non-discrimination, Uncategorized

Oops, I did it again . . .

Ate at Cracker Barrel that is, for the low-carb menu. And just to make sure that it’s really OK, I searched the Human Rights Campaign website. HRC’s March 2003 “Lawbriefs [pdf] says CB’s board unanimously approved the addition of sexual orientation to the company’s non-discrimination policy.

Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll apply for a job any time soon; my DePauw gig pays better, I’m sure. And what would be the fun of a job without tenure, where you can tell your boss off without getting fired? Even better, we have included “gender identity and gender expression” in our policy for years now (something I’m proud to have had a hand in). DePauw is one of the best employers for LGBT people in Indiana, or the entire country for that matter.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar, which had been bopping up above the “this is diabetes” number of 126 on occasion, has been pretty consistly under 100 since I gave up bread and potatoes and everything with sugar in it and started walking a lot (a resumption of strength training is next on the agenda). Some of my vegetarian friends are, well, horrified by the carnivorous aspects of my Atkins-based approach, but everyone is happy that I’m losing weight and the blood sugar is under control.

I’m reading Gary Taubes’s Good Calories, Bad Calories, which is beyond being just the buzz of the (new-to-me) low-carb blogosphere. It’s as if the golden tablets had been discovered, or a Youtube video of Jesus walkng out of the tomb materialized. “We are vindicated!” seems to be the general reaction. Taubes first became a low-carb hero with his 2002 New York Times Magazine piece What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?. More on all this in another post.

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Filed under cracker barrel, low carb, non-discrimination