University Of Washington Study On LGBT Aging: Marriage Improves Healthiness And Happiness

This doesn’t seem very surprising:

Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land for nearly two years — and in some states for even longer — but researchers can already detect positive health outcomes among couples who have tied the knot, a University of Washington study finds. For years, studies have linked marriage with happiness among heterosexual couples. But a study from the UW School of Social Work is among the first to explore the potential benefits of marriage among LGBT couples.

It is part of a national, groundbreaking longitudinal study with a representative sample of LGBT older adults, known as “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, Sexuality/Gender Study,” which focuses on how historical, environmental, psychological, behavioral, social and biological factors are associated with health, aging and quality of life.

UW researchers found that LGBT study participants who were married reported better physical and mental health, more social support and greater financial resources than those who were single.

There’s much more at the link.

  • bkmn

    This will be incentive for NOM/FRC/ADF/Libety Console/etc. to keep up the fight. Can’t let them gays be happy, ya know.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b820409407b7e32b4529005fab30705399a71a97e879bace3387b89f2e717e86.gif

    • SammySeattle

      Interesting how much of the content of NOM’s social media is targeting transpersons now, seems that the hate $$ have dried up for their anti-marriage crusade so they’ve moved on to more vulnerable victims. Once a hateful bully, always a hateful bully.

  • Gustav2

    Married respondents had spent an average of 23 years together, while those in a committed, unmarried relationship had spent an average of 16 years….” because divorce is a financial nightmare that takes years and years!

  • Baltimatt

    Compare this to a LifeSiteNews article.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-silent-suffering-of-gay-men-an-unspoken-epidemic

    – Over a year and-a-half after the Obergefell decision, the debate over gay “marriage” and homosexuality has largely fizzled out: partly because of the election, partly because the “T” in the LGBT acronym has been stealing all the headlines, and partly because Obergefell is now viewed by many as settled law. And that’s a shame, because so-called “progress” isn’t bringing about the rosy picture we were promised.

    In what may be the most candid piece in Huffington Post history, Michael Hobbes, who identifies as gay, writes about what he calls an “epidemic of loneliness.”

    I’m banned from posting there. No link to the HuffPost article.

    • james1200

      I get what he’s saying in that article: instead of being gay and miserable, he wants us miserable in a heterosexual marriage, like all god-fearing homos and heteros. Like him.

    • CB

      I love how these people always try to project their personal experiences onto the culture at large and make it sound significant and representative, when it’s merely a personal opinion. Being gay is only one variable in one’s happiness, or lack thereof. There will certainly be others that will affect one’s life view. In this case, it might be that he’s a total jerk. Just sayin’.

      • Steverino

        Certainly, that is Robert Oscar Lopez’ schtick: “what seems bad for me should be bad for thee.”

        • Lars Littlefield

          Yeah. And he’s especially icky. No one wants to rub elbows with him, let alone touch him.

      • TheManicMechanic

        So many of those Christianists are miserable in their marriages and family life, they do what they can to prevent anyone else from being happy in their lives. Those guns they like to collect will work just fine in taking out their own miserable lives.

    • Gustav2

      I was banned when I told them fellow Franklin County, OH resident Linda Harvey lived in a county with protections for T’s and she couldn’t do a thing about it.

      • Gustav2

        OT a bit:

        Author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance plans to split time between Washington, DC and his new home in Columbus, OH.

        Even he can’t stand to live in small town rural Ohio. Neither he nor Linda.

        • fuzzybits

          Heard he was moving to the rural enclave of German Village. Rolls eyes.

          • Gustav2

            Funny as shit, no? Glad I was part of rehabbing the neighborhood in the 1970’s

      • Zeldacat

        I was born in Franklin County, though I haven’t lived there since infancy. Well done.

        • Gustav2

          When the brouhaha first started a few neighbors were up in arms. Then I told them T’s had been able to use the restroom of their identity for years in our county without incident. That shut them up.

    • Baltimatt
      • Gustav2

        Who told them marriage would solve all their personal problems? It is like they are an ingénue in a 1930’s movie.

      • Ben in Oakland

        It’s an interesting article, as much of it as I read. But I don’t think it offers more than a lot of questions with no answers. One might indeed wonder why gay men have so many of the problems, but forget that all of these gains we have made have really been only in the last 15 years or so. We are still raised as a minority in a deeply homophobic society, still raised as men in a highly Macho-masculinized society.

        From my family biography that I finally wrote. It’s a bit out of context, but makes the point.

        And I have some sympathy with that, because as a child– in common with so many gay boys, who simply did not understand what indefinable difference marks us for exclusion by other boys, long before that difference becomes comprehensible, let alone known– that was me. And as clueless and/or disinterested as she was about her male children, she got that about me, and did what she could to ameliorate it. I still remember her, when I was about 11, reassuring me in the face of yet another social disaster as the unpopular, unathletic, and somewhat weird kid, that I was actually somebody. She didn’t do that sort of thing but rarely, but I remember it clearly. It made a difference to me. That instance gave me a healthy deposit in the bank of my self-confidence.

        And.

        To the extent that the Freudian Oedipal Complex is a real “thing”, I think it goes for more than double for the reverse. And it explains the otherwise mysterious “weak or absent father” and the “strong, dominant mother” dynamic without resorting to the argle-bargle of classic Freud. This is what I actually think is the case: a gay boy is born, one who is and will be primarily gay his whole life. Not a bisexual boy— who might have a mass of homosexual experiences, but still identify and be identified as heterosexual— but a gay one. (I met a lot of those faux-mo’s when I was single and dating. Often with wives or girlfriends at home, they were forever prowling gay dating websites, pretending that they were looking to realize their “true” natures. It was just necessary to find the “right” man. Weasels all). The boy doesn’t have those “sexual feelings” towards his mother, per classic Freud, but rather, towards his father. It doesn’t take too long for the father to recognize that this boy is quite different at the very least from the larger mass of “normal” boys, and in ways he cannot himself differentiate consciously. Or, possibly, he merely recognizes that the boy is fundamentally different from himself, or perhaps even all too similar, in ways he would prefer not to contemplate, let alone understand.

        So what happens? Dad withdraws. If he is a kind and loving man, he does it with kindness, grace and love at best, and at least avoids as much as possible causing harm to his children. If he is not a kind and loving man, or if his fears and ignorance come into play, he creates difference and distance, if not hostility. (I think this is what happened with both my brother, Dave, and with me. But I will return to Dave’s story later). The gay boy may never understand why his father withdraws from him, only that he does. And thus the weak, absent father is created, not as a cause in Freudian mythology, but as an effect in human reality.

        And where does “strong, dominant Mother” come into this? If dad has rejected or distanced himself from the child, mothers, being mothers, generally will not. So the actual definition of “strong, dominant mother” is “parent who didn’t distance herself or reject the gay child, but did what parents are supposed to do.” It funny, or at least ironic, that one of the sneering invectives frequently hurled at straight men who are dominated by their mothers is “mama’s boy”, a man who has allowed his masculinity to be compromised by a woman. What is sneeringly directed at gay men is that their masculinity has also been compromised by a woman. They are “too close” to their mothers, ruined by their mothers. And the proof? They are not heterosexual, not like REAL men, even the “mama’s boys”. And they treat their mothers with love and respect. It’s another example of the double standard often applied to gay people.

        • Gustav2

          Years later, talking to one of my brothers, I found out my father took it personally when his fey 8 year old son didn’t want to go hunting with him. I had rejected him first.

          • Ben in Oakland

            You eight year olds can be so vicious!!!!!!!!

          • Gustav2

            So you knew me then!

          • Ben in Oakland

            I knew I was right!!!!!

        • Bad Tom

          Beautiful essay.

          • Ben in Oakland

            Thanks. The whole thing is quite a bit longer. But I needed to write it.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Article is here: http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/gay-loneliness/

      You know, I can’t really argue too much with it, other than the medical stuff about which I have no idea (how do “measure” stress, anyways?). I have seen all of what is described in the article go on, many times.

    • Jerry Kott

      Consider being banned a a good thing and a honor. The herd thinned on their message boards and most topic are not meant to create dialogue but to yank chains. They lost a lot of posters when Gay voices changed their name. It is interesting to observe that the dialogue here is healthy and a good exchange. If a topic is posted here on JMG, it is not unusual to see 400 plus responses. On Huff Voices, it is usually about 50.
      As a Gay Senior, I would say the biggest obstacle to exchange is to see the world as “one size fits all”. Happiness starts with being Happy with who you are.

      • Bad Tom

        What drove me away from Huffingtonpost was the constant arbitrary censorship.

        Your responses could, and often were, deleted simply because a moderator didn’t like them.

        Or, you could trip over the hundreds of words in their banned list. For example, I could post no articles mentioning the names of Max Faget, chief NASA aerodynamics designer in the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo era, nor notorious crime boss Whitey Bulger because their actual names were considered offensive.

        • Jerry Kott

          I still post on the politics but not on the Gay Voices. I found that many of my post on that section never made publication for some reason. Since they had a marriage with Facebook, much of the best dialogue is gone.

    • vorpal

      I’m betting that this supposed “Michael Hobbes” had an overbearing mother, slept with over 1000 men to seek surrogate approval from his distant father, nearly drank and drugged himself to death, and then finally found Jesus and renounced his “reprobate lifestyle.”

      Y’know… because in their minds, that’s how the whole being gay thing works.

      Now he just jerks off to gay porn online and then cries.

    • SammySeattle

      The article is basically a twisted and flawed exercise in confirmation bias.

      P.S. Is anyone not banned from LifeSiteNews?

      • Bad Tom

        I suspect I’m not banned.
        Only because I’ve never posted there.

    • marshlc

      Read the Huffpost article. If you read to the end, it’s essentially saying that being in the closet, even if it’s, these days, only for a few years, takes its toll, emotionally and physically, on a person. Which I don’t think anyone could argue with.

      There is a long comment in the comments section of the Lifesite article, by someone who I am sure thinks of themselves as being very tolerant and open. Basically “We should not look at our LGBT brothers and sisters with condemnation, but rather ‘there but for the grace of God go I'”. They’d probably be really surprised and hurt to hear how fucking offensive that is.

      Most of the Christians I know are of this type – “gently show the gay sinner the error of his ways, and welcome him back into the flock when he repents” type. I suppose it’s better than “lake of fire” but not much.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    You mean we are just like everyone else ? Shocking.

    • vorpal

      Except we need to keep the devil horns hidden.
      I think that Christians think that we come home from our jobs at Child Obligating Conscription Kindergarten (COCK), sacrifice a goat, and then have sodomy for six hours in its blood while screaming out, “Oh, SATAN!” during the really good sex parts… while we make our pets watch.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/757b65424c023450ec096b1bc0314a54429188e0f60105c66afd2811f67a39ce.jpg

      • Gustav2

        No it doesn’t. We are is separate rooms watching different TV shows and eating our dinners!

        • BobSF_94117

          Plus, where’s the cat/dog?

          • Gustav2

            And the laptop or smartphone?

          • vorpal

            See those little Chinese takeout containers?

            (I KID! NO RACISMS!)

          • Rachelaredus

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          • Margaretrhutchins

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        • vorpal

          LOL well, we do, too… but this is how gay marriage looked like for us for the first couple years :-).

          Now it’s more like, “You watched (TV SHOW NAME) without me? Well, fuck you, then!”

          • Gustav2

            Actually, we DVR the shows we both like to watch, have cocktails before dinner watching those shows, then split up for the rest of the evening. Saturday and Sunday late afternoons are catch up on anything we didn’t have time for during the week.

            It took 30 years and a new home to work that out. LOL

        • David Milley

          Warren’s old-fashioned enough — and a good enough cook — that we have a sit-down dinner most nights. And, after, we fight over the remote.

      • trouble94114

        And never, under any circumstances, do the couples switch which end of the sofa they dine at.

  • Jon Doh

    All the more reason the Christers will want to take it away.

  • boobert

    Marriage does ease your mind a bit as you age. It’s a comfort to know that if something happens to one, the survivor has more rights from greedy family helping themselves to the estate.

    • AJ Drew

      Joint bank accounts (right of survivorship at least,) and a carefully worded Will also are advised. Sigh.

      • Jon Doh

        My husband’s family know I am much like Susan Sugarbaker with a gun. I don’t think there will be any problems if he goes first.

        • AJ Drew

          That made me laugh. Thank you.

          • barrixines

            I read about your dog on another thread. 🙁 I’m really sorry.

          • AJ Drew

            Thank you. I thought I’d just sleep the day away, but being here is better right now.

      • coram nobis

        Even so, “married” will still carry a right of intestate succession even if the will turns out to be somehow invalid. Still a good idea, though, to look at interlocking wills, powers-of-attorney and joint tenancies in property — for any married couple. Simply being prudent.

        • Steverino

          Agree.

        • AJ Drew

          Fair enough! Divorce lawyers and probate lawyers don’t care about the genders of the marrieds.

          • coram nobis

            Well, there’s that, and “married” puts the couple under well-trodden and -understood divorce and probate law. None of this palimony stuff.

      • Hue-Man

        And documents to avoid a Terry Schiavo situation, if you don’t want to be connected to a ventilator and force-fed for decades. Most of us would be horrified if that happened to us but don’t have the conversation with our nearest and dearest and often don’t take the extra step to have our wishes documented.

    • coram nobis

      There is that. There’s also, as Armistead Maupin put it once, “Someone to bring the NyQuil when you feel like shit.”

      • thatotherjean

        Being married contributes to the happiness of straight people–most of them, anyway (I doubt that it works all that well for fundamentalist Christians, though), so why should it be any different for LGBT folks?
        It’s good to know, as you get older, that there’s someone who cares about you, someone to talk to, someone to take up the slack when you just can’t, and someone to take care of you when you can’t take care of yourself–and to know that you would do the same for them. The sexes of the marriage partners doesn’t really matter for those things.

    • marshlc

      I’m a straight woman, and when my husband died, the fact that we were married made everything so much more simple. We knew he was dying, and thought we’d covered everything, but of course we didn’t – there was a whole bunch of legal stuff to do after he went. I carried around the will and copies of the death certificate everywhere, but in many cases, just being “Mrs Marsh” eased the way.

      Every grieving survivor needs that armour of marriage, to ease things in such a traumatic time. It pisses me off so much that those who have the protection themselves would cheerfully strip it from others.

  • Superman

    Well all that whoring certainly takes its toll. Hubby and I are doing fine while our single friends, not so much. You have all these 4’s who are unwilling to settle for anything less than a 9, and what does it get them? I tell them, “lower your standards in the looks department, pick a man with a good personality and a job and settle down to monogamy.”

    • Jon Doh

      Who are you callin a 4 beyotch? 😉

      • AJ Drew

        I’m a solid 6. Some might say 666.

        • Lars Littlefield

          I would say you’re more a 69.

          • AJ Drew

            ah, you’ve seen *that*?

          • Lars Littlefield

            😀

    • CB

      Point taken, though it’s not exclusively a gay thing. I know unmarried straight men and women who think anything less than a perfect 10 is settling. They set themselves up for their own unhappiness by holding onto unrealistic “standards” virtually no one can achieve. It’s a bigger issue in our culture (thanks, drumpf) than just allowing us gays to marry.

      • Lars Littlefield

        I’m lucky to have a younger man (in his 50s) as a good friend and general utilitarian companion. We like each other very much. But do I love him as deeply and strongly as I did my life partner who up and died on me twenty years ago? No. And he admits to feeling the same. I’m no replacement for his old lover of 15 years. Life is just fine without being married. Also, he’s got a resident visa that needs to be renewed every 10 years. He’s afraid if we did apply for a marriage license ICE would show up and try to deport him. But the sex is great. No complaint in that department. And that’s rare.

        • barrixines

          Sigh – so that was a waste of time me taking all those Animal Husbandry evening classes…

          • Lars Littlefield

            Yup. Just watch Dog Whisperer. That’s all you really need.

        • Derrick Johns

          incredibly honest Lars.

          “…general utilitarian companion”
          Are you saying he washes dishes?

          • Lars Littlefield

            He stacks and empties the dishwasher.

      • Bad Tom

        It’s a human flaw, not a gay person flaw.

    • barrixines

      Ah but then there comes the time when you awake in the middle of the night sit bolt upright covered in a sheen of sweat and realise – it was Hubby who was lowering his standards not you…

      • AJ Drew

        and then…. (oh, this wasn’t a literary porn post?)

      • Lars Littlefield

        ❤️❤️THIS!!! ❤️❤️

    • Boreal

      I know more than a few friends who set impossible standards and still can’t figure out why they are alone.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Thank you, Linda Richman. ;-

    • A 4? A 9? Hell, I’m barely a 7 on a good day. But then, out of the blue (ok, ok, it was just supposed to be a fleeting encounter), you meet someone, and they absolutely knock the wind out of your sails, and he thinks more highly of you than you do. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/79b7bf904bbbb14f4d2481daa668fc6712a12183a5198d6083086bf282700acd.jpg

    • Mark

      Now it seems to me, some fine things

      Have been laid upon your table

      But you only want the ones that you can’t get.

      So true. and so sad.
      I know.

      • CanuckDon

        Many years ago, I used to play that song over and over relating it to my first partner who just wasn’t going to settle down in a committed relationship (even though he warned me of that). Nowadays, I sometimes fear “Desperado” applies to me.

        • Mark

          I hear ya. The problem with this is you don’t know that you are the desperado…until it’s too late, And well, here i am.

    • The_Wretched

      I run into a lot of ‘dating’ people at kink events and most have little unique or special about them and they chase the people who sparkle with skills or resources or are half their age with great bodies etc. I keep telling them to cultivate friendships and choose partners based on personality fit…they tell me to sush since I’ve been married for more than 20 years and have no idea what dating is like.

    • McSwagg

      And yet, I keep meeting the 3s and 4s who all think they are 9s and 10s. They have all been losers in the personality and psychology department. It’s why I don’t even try to date anymore.

  • HZ81

    I must be the study’s outlier. So happy not to be married—but glad I can do it if I want it. You, too

    (Do. Not. Want.) 😉

    • CB

      That’s the point. The freedom to choose. I’m not married and don’t intend to be, but my personal opinion is separate from someone else’s civil rights, which appears to be what you’re saying as well.

      • Steverino

        And that’s the way it should be. With right-wingers it is just the opposite: they think their personal opinions should supersede other people’s civil rights. That is precisely what this “religious freedom” bullshit is all about… Apart from hatred.

  • Rex

    In the interest of pursuing a long, healthy and happy life, I will be entertaining marriage proposals. Please be warned, I come with baggage, including the ones under my eyes. All ages and races accepted, no Republicans.

  • BobSF_94117

    Marriage Improves Healthiness And Happiness

    And, apparently, mere cohabitation results in pedantry.

  • billbear1961
  • Boreal

    Together for 23 years, married less than two but yes happier to not have to worry about a lot of things that we would have needed legal help with prior to and also taxes, etc.

    • coram nobis

      Together 34 years, married since ’08, and this article sort of answers one puzzlement, why we seem to be healthier than our peers.

      Oh, and from the article Joe linked to:

      According to Goldsen, marriage, for many older LGBT people, can be something of a conundrum — even a non-starter. LGBT seniors came of age at a time when laws and social exclusion kept many in the closet. Today’s unmarried couples may have made their own legal arrangements and feel that they don’t need the extra step of marriage — or they don’t want to participate in a traditionally heterosexual institution.

      For us, when the opportunity finally came, we had a very short discussion, “We’ve had 25 years in, and it’s about time, don’t you think?” After that it was writing the liturgy and picking a ring. And this article sort of confirms everything.

      How the world can change, it can change like that,
      Due to one simple word: married.
      See a palace rise from a two-room flat,
      Due to one simple word: married.
      And the old despair, that was always there,
      Suddenly ceases to be,
      You’ll awake one day, look around and say,
      Somebody wonderful married me.
      — “Cabaret”, stage musical

      • Boreal

        The biggest change for me was having a medical procedure last year and having my husband there by my side when I woke up. When I had surgery 22 years ago, he had no right to be there other than as a visitor.

        • coram nobis

          Same here, when my spouse tripped on a cracked sidewalk and landed in ER (no permanent damage, BTW). I not only could follow him in say, simply, “I’m his spouse,” and could sign things, but could tell them a thing or two about his medical history. Was helpful.

          He also didn’t mind that I was sitting there close by while they were stitching him up.

          • gaymex1

            “I’m his spouse,” brought tears. Powerful and healing words that we were denied for so very long.

          • coram nobis

            It simplifies things.

            U.S. CUSTOMS OFFICER at airport: You’re traveling together?
            ME: We’re married.
            CUSTOMS OFFICER: Perfect. (stamp)(stamp) Next!

          • David Milley

            Yep — that brisk acceptance is hard to explain, but easy to recognize.

          • AmeriCanadian

            I’m still shocked that the questions end right then and there. It’s very affirming. Crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada with my spouse results in the same experience BTW.

          • coram nobis

            The passenger concourse was crowded, my answer simplified his dilemma and it moved things along for him. No big deal, and welcome back to the U.S. — exit door’s that way.

          • David Milley

            That’s a good thing being able to say “we’re married” does — it puts us directly into a category where what needs to be done for us is clearly defined. For people who are busy in their jobs, we’re no longer a special case.

        • gaymex1

          Knowing that someone who loves you will be by your side also reduces the anxiety of the procedure and no doubt leads to a better outcome.

        • David Milley

          This — it’s what we went through last year. It makes a world of difference!

        • Bad Tom

          When I had to be hospitalized with breathing problems, the ER docs asked if I would feel better if my husband was with me. I said YES. It helped a lot.

    • Gustav2

      But I still carry around the healthcare directives, etc, when the occasion may call for it…just in case.

      Married AND the paperwork in case they are assholes.

      • Bad Tom

        A belt and suspenders man. 🙂

    • vorpal

      Together for 13 years as of mid-January, and will have been married for 13 years at the end of May.

      Yeah, we knew right away, and didn’t wait. It was even a long-distance relationship and we only met in person five times before marrying. SSM was just creeping into Canada province-by-province and nothing was certain, and we were scared we might miss the chance.

      No regrets about it (except when I wake up and the kitchen is a disaster and I find out that he drank all my tequila, made enough food for 40 people, and ate none of it), and my parents had a very similar situation and have been married for about 45 years now, so they were quite supportive.

    • David Milley

      Together 40 years, married three. Along the way, got ourselves domestic partnered and civilly unioned. Once we decided to move in together, there was never really been any doubt that we’d stay together. He still comes up with new surprises every day.

      No doubt here, though, that the legal status has helped us tremendously — here in New Jersey, when we tell doctors and such that we’re married, they don’t even blink. When Warren fell ill with an ulcer last year, the hospital stepped right up and offered to let me stay with him overnight. All the staff was welcoming and gracious. He’s fine right now, and I’m still grateful for the acceptance that comes with married status. A very different situation than we faced when we first met.

  • Gigi

    Is it marriage that improves happiness and healthiness, or can being with someone you love and care about in an honest an open relationship be just as beneficial? My man and I have been together for more than 25 years, have never hidden our relationship from anyone (which was problematic at times), and are more in love now that we’ve ever been. He’s not only the love of my life, he’s my best friend. While SSM has been legal here, in Canada, for a long time, we never felt the need to get married. Last time I checked, we were both happy and healthy.

    • Steverino

      We have considered ourselves married for almost 42 years now… being legally married at the state level for almost 9 years and at the federal level since Windsor has simply made it official, and protected.

    • another_steve

      I made a similar point elsewhere in this thread, Gigi. It’s mutual love — not a legal contract — that makes life happier and healthier.

      Some feel the need to marry in order to benefit from the legal protections marriage confers, and that’s fine. That’s why I and my love of 43 years got married. But if you and your loved one don’t feel that need, all power to you.

      “Marriage” is a failed heterosexual institution that has assisted greatly over the ages in the oppression of women.

      My man and I bought into it only reluctantly.

      • Hue-Man

        But have lesbian and gay couples who choose NOT to marry filled out all the paperwork to avoid the devastating events portrayed in the documentary film Bridegroom? Wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, etc.

        With marriage equality, the underlying laws have not changed and neither have hate-filled family members nor inconsiderate medical institutions.

    • AJ Drew

      I think it’s the “love and care about” part that matters. Chosen family, friends, and sure, a spouse (or regular f-buddy) is a definite bonus, but… chosen friends and family always.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Sure you get the same benefits of being married but you are missing out on the government benefits if you don’t do the legal marriage. There are some things you can not do or get if you are not legally married. Just saying. Congrats for being together for so long!

    • Friday

      It likely depends, …if your relationship isn’t stable and secure it’s a stressor, …and that often comes down to the legal protections, especially if you both aren’t independently financially or otherwise secure, or there’s health issues or stepkids involved. Civil marriage often takes a lot of those worries off to large degrees. The ‘just a piece of paper’ can mean a whole damn lot when you don’t have one.

    • AJ Drew

      Yup. Surprising how two people in love can figure out all that under the belt stuff without anyone else’s input.

    • AJ Drew

      I introduce folks as “straight married,” if they are, but those couples often seem offended by it or at least taken aback a bit.

      • McSwagg

        Great!!! You are doing them a favor. They wouldn’t want anyone to mistakenly assume they were gay married, would they?
        /s

      • David Milley

        (evil chuckle)

  • barrixines

    Oh those dreadful miserable unhealthy singles..

    Most of my single friends are having a ball – or seven. I would imagine having the freedom to chose the path that’s right for you is what’s conducive to ones wellbeing. Not everyone is built to settle down – and as a general rule of thumb I’ve found the chaps with tattoos around their anuses quite often aren’t the marrying kind.

    • yes b’y

      sound advice, thanks

    • AJ Drew

      You keep making me laugh today, thank you. (Anus tattoos?… I didn’t think I led a sheltered life, but… butt? Heh.)

    • Friday

      It’s a statistical study, not a condemnation.

      • barrixines

        No I know – I was just mindful of the fact that its’s a holiday weekend and there’s perhaps plenty of readers out there not in relationships for whom this story won’t be greeted in the same way as the smug marrieds (and I fall into that category) who are sharing their (very nice) stories on this thread.

        • Friday

          I suppose there’s just some out there that want to keep gay men in the ‘party people’ lifestyle till they get too old or something, when I hear people acting like it takes something away if any LGBT people can be married, so I suppose I read in a tone of dismissiveness about it. Personally, OK with being single now, as long as I got my tribe: not really in even the dating market right now anyway, but we’ll see, I suppose. Not having those rights and protections can mean real setbacks in life.

  • Rex

    I think the key to a happy relationship is not needing someone in your life, it’s wanting someone in your life.

    • Wanting to hear and saying “I LOVE YOU” is a start but the actions (yes even the tiny ones) of LOVE are FAR more important and lasting

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      I think the key is when you get to the point where you’re more concerned with giving love than receiving it, and where you can put someone else’s needs above your own. But I know that’s not a very popular point of view nowadays, even among advice columnists and therapists.

      The wisest thing I ever heard in my life, I heard from a woman who had had a good deal of big setbacks in her life but still seemed like the most “undefeated” person I had ever met. She said, “Nobody ever became happy by trying to be happy. Happiness is not something you can go after and get. Happiness is a by-product of living right and just doing the next right thing, a day at a time.” That hit me right between the eyes when I first heard it, because it runs completely counter to everything you hear in schools, magazines, ads, TV, movies, everywhere in our society. And it transformed me, for the better.

      • billbear1961

        For “charity,” we can also read “love.”

        Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

        And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

        And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

        Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

        Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

        Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

        Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

        Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

        For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

        But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

        When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

        For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

        And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

      • AJ Drew

        To paraphrase some pop icon… If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to truly love someone else?

      • Ben in Oakland

        I d go even further. HAppiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have,

        • That_Looks_Delicious

          I love that.

          • Ben in Oakland

            You’re we.come.

          • Ben in Oakland

            You’re welcome. It’s one of the few things about happiness that I’ve learned is true.

    • greenmanTN

      That is one thing that drives me nuts. Religious Right people talk about how being gay is a choice, but people change their religion every day or drop it altogether. They send people door to door to try to convince you to adopt their particular sect or denomination. No child is born Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other religion, they have to trained in it.

      But being gay is a choice? No.

      • The_Wretched

        Practicing a religion – going to a church event, praying personally, etc is a choice. Holding supernatural beliefs isn’t really a choice. I couldn’t choose to believe in magic tomorrow and they can’t choose to stop believing in it – i agree they are trained into it but humans have certain features (biases) of our brain that tends to fall into irrational beliefs.

        Education in reality is remarkably good at reducing or removing supernatural belief (and religious behavior).

        • greenmanTN

          Years ago I saw an article about a study, which showed that if you give antidepressants to people with fundamentalist beliefs their obsessive thoughts and concern which in some cases bordered on mania, will decrease (though not go away).

        • McSwagg

          The brain develops synaptic connections and networks (wiring) through repetition and stimulus. So belief in the supernatural can become hardwired and resistant to change, especially if developed in childhood. The same is true for belief in material reality. The brain can be rewired, but it takes serious effort or it can happen as a result of serious brain trauma.

      • AJ Drew

        The mind is malleable, but the instinctive sexual impulse is not. I honestly can not remember when I was “not” gay, but I can remember when I realized that others thought that was not ok.

        • greenmanTN

          I still vividly remember the day I realized I was gay. I was 14 and was walking home after having sex with a neighbor boy (I started early I guess), and it suddenly hit me that this wasn’t just something I did, it was something I WAS. “I’m gay. Oh, OK.” Not a lot of drama to it.

          Later I did have a short lived plan for how turn myself straight.

          These were the steps I would take:

          1. Stop fantasizing about myself having sex with men.
          2. Instead think about other men having sex with each other.
          3. Fantasize about a man having sex with a woman.
          4. Fantasize about myself having sex with a woman.

          Voila! Straight! I never made it past step 2. 😁

          • AJ Drew

            LOLZ… that’s worthy of a gay version “Penthouse Story!” Looking back (sadly no willing neighbors,) I knew when I was a wee sprout pretending to tuck in Gordon from Sesame Street and suddenly realizing that my entire family was watching me. Oops. Years later, we were watching the news about a gay pride parade and one of my bio-sisters said, “That would be a good place to drop a bomb.” Ohhh… not ok, then? Grrrr.

          • greenmanTN

            You’d think I would have figured it out earlier. My GI Joes had some interesting interrogation techniques.

          • canoebum

            Wow. Serious issues with her.

          • John

            I had a similar plan back in the dark ages, but once my right hand started moving, it all went out the window, metaphorically speaking…LOL

      • Jon Doh
    • AJ Drew

      and to pile on about religion… at what age did you decide to be Jewish, Catholic, Muslim…

      • McSwagg

        That’s something generally determined at birth … by your parents choice.

        • AJ Drew

          eh, one plus I’ll grant my bio-parents is that they didn’t do that. They wanted me to choose when I was old enough to do so.

          • McSwagg

            I’d call that the ultimate religious blessing.

          • canoebum

            Same here. I grew up in a not-too-religious household. My parents sent us to Sunday school only to appease my father’s parents. My mother was an artist, my father an engineer. When I was 20 I became a Buddhist and have been ever since.

    • Recently Anonymous tried teaming up with religious bigots claiming no one is born gay. They completely ignored that genetic is far more complicated than just physical manifestation. Because when you consider epigenetic, if you make the argument no one is born gay, you have to also make the argument that no one is born straight either (because it’s entirely possible that a straight person may have genes that could give them homosexual attraction but was turned off by environmental factors). Bigots never consider science in their argument.

      • Friday

        That’s unlikely to have been “Anonymous.” Just someone implying they represent that collective.

  • another_steve

    Loving someone and having that person love you — not the act of marriage per se, but the mutual love — is what keeps one happier, healthier and more secure.

    My man and I got married three years ago solely for the legal benefits and protections that marriage confers. Other than that, we both say “fuck you” to the institution of marriage.

    As the Goddess Joni Mitchell said, “We don’t need no piece of paper from the city hall keeping us tied and true.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgsqNRSOSwM

    • Friday

      When lack of civil marriage creates stressors it can mess up relationships and families, too. Especially when something goes wrong, like an illness or a death *or* even a breakup. (Not all partnerships are really on an equal basis when it comes to power or money or self-sufficiency in the world, …especially if say you give up on certain kinds of ambitions *to* be where your partner is, you can spend ten years or more doing your part in other ways and find you really don’t have much say in things when you need to, or any thing that goes wrong in a relationship or the loss of a partner means you lose all you put in, …yeah that can directly affect relationships themselves. It’s not a good feeling to build a home and know even hostile cousins of your partner could sweep in and put you on the street and all.

  • david fairfield

    It’s too bad the administration doesn’t recognize studies.

    • billbear1961

      Unless, of course, one says something they want to hear.

      • Lars Littlefield

        Breaking News: Gay Marriage Stops Climate Change!

    • Bj Lincoln

      Because it’s science and facts. Those things are too hard to grasp by the uneducated or those who skated through school because they were rich.

  • Ninja0980

    For the hubby and I, knowing that we’ll be protected if and when the worst happens certainly gives us both a piece of mind.

  • Bj Lincoln

    The wife and I had a commitment ceremony 12 years ago. That was the day I gave her my heart and vowed to keep hers. We were legally married 7 years next month for the benefits and a kind of closure. Nothing will tear us apart but I will fight to the death to keep my legal marriage. If the haters for once would ‘feel’ what it’s like to have their marriages on the line, maybe they would back off.

  • wide_stance_hubby

    And isn’t THIS what the fundies really feared?

  • Ernest Endevor

    I married young – though we had no idea of that concept back then. We’re now in our 48th year together and though this is the unhappiest time of my life there’s no way I would turn my back on this grief because to do that would be to turn my back on all the time we’ve had together, and all that we’ve done together over the years. Having the ability to marry legally offers support now as I’m most likely facing bereavement, in the meantime it offers spousal benefits – this alone will prove to be a major financial benefit – and a certain amount of security. For those who adopt or have children it offers even more. And for kids now beginning to look around, knowing they could maybe grow up and marry the quarterback, it offers a door opening onto the larger world. For those who want it, marriage is a tangible good. Those of us who grew up in the days of shame and hiding still find ourselves breathless from the recent pace of change. After a good deal of persuading on my part we’re actually filing our first joint tax return this year. The tax preparer is unaware of how momentous this is for us. To her it’s just what married people do. There’s no way I can make her understand how moving it is to find ourselves being so ordinary.

    • Steve Teeter

      I’m sorry you’re going through this awful thing. I know just how you feel. I’ve been through it myself. It’s rough. But I’m so glad for you that you were able to get married, as I’m sure it’s a help and a comfort. We were not. Even after the Supreme Court made it legal, even here in Louisiana, his illness was always throwing up barriers, making it difficult. And I always thought it was something that could safely be postponed. But “the trouble is, you think you have time,” as someone said. I thought I did. I didn’t. Even our 40 years together was not enough time.

      Good luck.

      • Ernest Endevor

        Many thanks for your thoughtful reply. And my sincerest condolences for your loss. I find myself spending quite a lot of my time holding on to the past to temper what’s going on now with what was true about our marriage. And if I’m a caretaker now I’m grateful for what time we still have. I’m pretty much prepared it’s just tough to live with such a burden of sadness. I’m fortunate to have my work. I live in quite a rural place and have tried from time to time to locate some kind of support group for people who might share some at least of my experiences. But I can’t even find anything on line. I guess that’s another movement to come as more LGBT people age. Best wishes and thanks.

  • My husband and I got married in July of 2015 after being together 25 years. We chose to marry because of the legal benefits. I was surprised at all of the questions straight women asked when we announced we were going to get married. “Are you going to change you name?” Um….no…because we aren’t the property of our fathers being transferred to someone else. That response wasn’t taken particularly well. We stripped away pretty much all of the traditional stuff associated with a western marriage ceremony and went with vows and rings….and that was pretty much it. I have to say, we were both shocked at how powerful it was to stand in front of the people important to you and state your love and devotion. I didn’t think I needed to be married….just wanted the legal stuff…but now that I’ve done it I wish we could have done it sooner. It really did change how I feel about our relationship…quite surprising.

    • Friday

      Hee, well, my last fiancee felt the same way: I really didn’t care much if I were to take her name, only the combination with my first name would be, well, unwieldy for a whole lot of people to pronounce or spell. Also there’s a tendency for people to assume you’re sisters. Basically we decided to keep our own names and just be Dr. and Mrs. Herself for greeting cards and stuff like that. 🙂

  • Derrick Johns

    OK. I believe the study out of Washington. Now, can they please send me a Seattle Seahawk to marry. Preferable a free safety or tight end–nice and thick. Don’t send me no skinny azz wide receiver. Do not.

  • JCF
  • coram nobis

    And an on point music interlude — I insisted on this one at my wedding.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWM4s128_2Y

  • RidingTheLine

    It should not surprise anyone that equal marriage has benefits for older LGBTQ. Earlier this year, a similar study among teen LGBTQ found that having equal marriage as a possibility in their future significantly lowered the suicide rate among them.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/same-sex-marriage-fewer-youth-suicide/#.WKs8ogdt1LE.twitter

    Obviously, those LGBTQ activists who went for Equal Marriage as their next civil rights effort picked the right issue to push forward, perhaps more so than anyone could have known. But now, to complete the picture, the recent ruling that the Civil Rights Act applies to LGBTQ without new Federal law needs to go before the high court and win there.