A People of Distinction

Filling in for Joe, who has had a couple of very busy weeks and is feeling under the weather.

A couple of commenters on the post below expressed fears about the availability of state-recognized marriage for gay men and lesbians.

My take:

The goal here is to remove distinctions that the law makes between the rights of straight folks and the rights of gay folks. The goal is not to get rid of our distinctiveness as a people. Not only would such a goal be misdirected, achieving it would be impossible.

At the same time, it seems likely that same-sex marriage will change our culture.

Among our straight peers, marriage is something that is pursued. The institution confers a status, certainly a prestige, among people who take part in it. To be married is an achievement. To be a single, after a certain age, is to have failed. (Study the Sex and the City movie that opens this week to see how this works.)

I suppose that, over time, attitudes about marriage in our own community will be the same. Till now, there has been little stigma at all attached to being a single gay man at any age. (Lesbians might experience something different here.) In the future …

I’m pretty sure that this line of thought is where a lot of anxieties come from. (I share them as well.)

Consider the comments on this post to be an open thread. Chat on this topic or anything else that you wish.

UPDATE: Lynette responds.