By Stephen Adubato
June 30, 2020
Upon coming out of the closet, the young Houston-born Michael Arcenaux was offered two options by his devout Catholic mother: either look for love and risk damnation, or live a lonely life of celibacy, falling back on the comfort of knowing he will be with Jesus in the afterlife. “I know you can’t help it, but maybe you should not act on it,” his mother suggested. “Well, I can’t date Jesus. What do you want me to do?” This realization led him to leave the Catholic Church and place his faith in Beyonce, his “Lord and gyrator,” to whom he attributes his courage to become an out and proud gay man.
This oft-repeated narrative of self-acceptance is fueled by a logic that posits romance as the solution to the problem of loneliness. It was this logic that inspired the Supreme Court justices who voted for the legal recognition of same sex marriages five years ago.
“Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other.”
Revisiting the Christian Witness on Hope and Happiness
It’s all too tempting for Christians to mourn June 26th as the day that the United States officially abandoned it’s Judeo-Christian heritage. For many, Obergefell vs. Hodges marks the victory of expressivist individualism, moral relativism, and sexual libertinism, lacquered as it may be with the “traditional” veneer of domestication. But I’d posit that this is a crisis not of “family” or moral values, but of competing narratives of happiness.
It is implied that marriage can “solve” the drama played out between the universal experience of loneliness and the corresponding desire for intimacy and happiness. Obergefell codifies the conviction that the greatest love of all is romantic in nature, and that the deepest form of intimacy comes from shared domestic life, from passionate sex to the everyday things like cleaning up after each other, bickering, and supporting each other through the bad times. No greater love hath man than to fall madly in love and grow old with someone who fills his loneliness.
None of this is anything groundbreaking to contemporary ears. Author Eve Tushnet commented on the day after Obergefell on how much this idolatrous trust in the salvific power of marital love is embedded in our popular culture. When reading Justice Kennedy’s words in the Obergefell statement, she couldn’t help but think of Lava, a Disney short which features a lonely volcano “surrounded by pairs of animals: two leaping dolphins, two flying seabirds, etc. Every day he sings about how much he longs for ‘someone to lava’...The years pass, he’s still alone, and he becomes grayer and colder, eventually sinking into the sea. But lo! a lady volcano has heard his song...Volcanette and volcano are united, in a cataclysm of underwater lava, and snuggle together as one island, forever and ever.”
Religious folks’ knee-jerk reaction of reiterating the argument for the “sanctity” of complementarity in marriage does little to challenge this narrative. Rather than falling back on their worn-out talking points, they ought to find a way to engage with the assertion that that sensation of loneliness will be “answered” by the presence of another human being. Let’s dare to ask, is marital love capable of fully satiating the need for intimacy and staving off the feeling of loneliness in the long run, and is it true that we can’t be happy without a committed romantic/sexual relationship?
The Rapture of Loneliness
At root here is a naive miscalculation of the metaphysical magnitude of human loneliness and the desire for intimacy. This is why the commitment between a male and female is conferred the status of sacrament: their complementary unity and capacity to generate new life mirrors the ultimate unity for which we are all destined...unity with a Lover who will never grow impatient with our idiosyncrasies or want to call it quits because He “just doesn’t feel the same way” about us anymore. And as much as one can begin to recognize the reality of God’s infinite agape through the sign of a sacramental marriage, conflating the sign with the signified minimizes the intensity of the heart’s thirst for love. As the closing scene in Call Me By Your Name demonstrates, the flame of human eros, when not conformed to God’s design, fizzles out, leaving us wanting for an inextinguishable fire.
This exaltation of eros has engendered an attitude of suspicion toward all forms of intimacy that don’t become outwardly romantic or sexual. Intensely intimate friends are secretly gay and a woman who dedicates her life to God is repressing her desire for sex and “real” love.
This conspiracy fuels the plotlines of blockbuster hits like The Da Vinci Code. Is it possible that Mary Magdalene’s love for Jesus was “merely” chaste devotion, and not covertly sexual? How could such a passionate woman “stuff away” her sexual longing like that? Or rather, how could her love for Jesus be fulfilled without genital consummation? This same mentality reads an implicitly homoerotic tension between other biblical figures like David and Jonathan and Ruth and Naomi. It’s somehow unimaginable that two people of the same sex could love each other so intensely without having sexual feelings for each other. Love’s climax is romantic, and intimacy can only be fully realized in the conjugal act.
And yet if we look more closely at these accounts, these supposedly “secretly sexual” relationships actually reached a level of passion and intimacy that surpasses that of marital, romantic, and sexual love. The Biblical author notes that David and Jonathan’s love for each other was not equal to that of marital love, but instead was even “more wonderful.”
We could say the same to “erotic” interpretations of Bernini’s statue of the Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila. Was Teresa a victim of medieval sexual “hysteria,” repressing her sexual longings to the point of having delusional visions? Her own account of her first ecstatic vision expresses that her experience of God’s love was indeed bodily and erotic, but this kind of eros exceeded the kind of pleasure and fulfillment that comes from human love and sex. The same could be said of queer readings of Teresa’s spiritual brother John of the Cross. Many a queer theorist see repressed homoerotic desire in the spousal imagery he uses in Dark Night of the Soul, in which he takes on the receptive role of the bride to Christ’s bridegroom.
Again, he demonstrates that the “true” climax of his desire is not sexual or physical (though it may indeed encompass his bodily and sexual desires). His ultimate yearning is for unity with Christ, the sole source of true happiness.
Christian Witness to Our Broken Hearts
So what does the future of Obergefell mean for Christians? Surely many bakeries will fear further infringements on religious liberty. But perhaps it would be more prudent to be preoccupied with how to be witnesses of what true love and happiness look like. That the greatest love of all is not possession of another—it’s the experience of allowing oneself to be fully possessed by Christ, the eternal, infinite, and unconditional Lover, and to allow this unity to penetrate and inform the rest of our earthly relationships. It’s times like these that we should find inspiration in figures who found fulfillment in ordering their erotic desire toward a “higher love.” Take Dorothy Day, who, contrary to the accusations of her being a “pious prude,” wrote of her high esteem for the gifts of marriage and sex. "I had known enough of love to know that a good healthy family life was as near to heaven as one could get in this life. There was another sample of heaven, of the enjoyment of God. The very sexual act itself was used again and again in Scripture as a figure of the beatific vision.”
But she knew that her ultimate fulfillment in life came not from these gifts, but from the Gift Giver. When her lover Forster Batterham refused Day’s request to get legally married, in accord with the Church’s teachings, she realized that she was at a “point where it was a simple question of whether I chose God or man.” This choice led her on a life long journey that brought her to accept that nothing and no one would ever fully eliminate this “long loneliness” that plagues human existence.
Instead, she discovered that the solution came not from using other people to eliminate it, but instead from belonging to a community whose basis is the sharing of that loneliness that only God can fill.
I’d imagine that Michael Arcenaux would have found himself in a different position if he met people like Day, or if he were introduced to literary figures like Lord Sebastian Flyte from Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Contrary to most gay love stories, Sebastian’s desire for love is not fulfilled by living happily ever after with Sir Charles Rider, but instead by living his last years caring for his ailing friend, and being cared for on his death bed by monks in a Tunisian hospital. The fictional Lord Sebastian is in company with plenty of historical figures like Oscar Wilde, Fr. John Gray, and Marc-Andre Rafflovich, who left behind gay sex in pursuit of a greater love and deeper forms of same sex intimacy.
And so rather than lamenting Obergefell’s anniversary this year, let’s witness to how conforming one’s sexual desires to God’s will is not a condemnation, but a stepping stone to a fantastic love affair. Instead of critiquing those toting banners proclaiming “love is love,” let’s incarnate a kind of love that points to a Presence that transcends the confines of time and space.
The Marriage Equality Act is a 2011 New York State law that made same-sex marriage legal. The bill was introduced in the New York State Assembly by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell and in the New York State Senate by Senator Thomas Duane. It was signed into law by Gov.
Hodges, legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5–4) on June 26, 2015, that state bans on same-sex marriage and on recognizing same-sex marriages duly performed in other jurisdictions are unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
These benefits include spousal Social Security eligibility, marital tax breaks, veterans benefits, and many others. But this wasn't always the case, even for same-sex couples who married legally prior to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.
On 9 December 2017, the right to marry in Australia was no longer determined by sex or gender. In 2017, Australians voted in favour of marriage equality via a postal survey. On 9 December 2017, the Marriage Act 1961 was updated to allow for marriage equality.
Respect means that you recognize that your partner is a whole person, and not just a way to get something that you want. It means that you know your partner has different experiences and opinions from you, and that's ok.
""Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the Constitution of any State, nor State or Federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups. ""
Hodges is a landmark case in which on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States held, in 5-4 decision, that state bans on same-sex marriage and on recognizing same sex marriages duly performed in other jurisdictions are unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth ...
Lawrence v. Texas (2003) is a landmark case, in which the Supreme Court of the United States, in 6-3 decision, invalidated sodomy law across the United States, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every State and United States territory.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including former enslaved people—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.” One of three amendments passed during the Reconstruction era to abolish slavery and ...
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday after the U.S Supreme Court handed down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.
It is considered a cultural universal, but the definition of marriage varies between cultures and religions, and over time. Typically, it is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned.
The first national co-convenors Luke Gahan and Geraldine Donoghue launched Australia's campaign for marriage equality in May 2005, 9 months after the Federal Liberal/National Party Coalition Government banned same-sex marriage. AME began newspaper and television advertisements in 2009 to call for same-sex marriage.
Marriage provides the benefit of a nationally and internationally recognised partnership simply by producing your marriage certificate. Proving a de facto partnership may involve providing information around living, childcare and financial arrangements.
Similarly, the UDHR proclaims that the right to marry is an inalienable human right. Article 16 of the UDHR provides that “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.
But, what does it mean to have an equal relationship? Equality in a relationship means that each person's interests and desires are respected and met to a reasonable degree as opposed to just one partner's needs dominating the relationship. Inequality in a relationship refers to an imbalance of power between partners.
Some behaviors of disrespect in relationships include nagging, criticism, stonewalling, lying, put downs, pressuring the other, disloyalty, and threats to end the relationship or marriage.
- She needs to be number one. ...
- She needs intimacy. ...
- She needs you to be vulnerable. ...
- She needs to be praised. ...
- Let her be part of your team. ...
- She needs you to protect and defend her. ...
- Make her feel like her opinion counts. ...
- Share your life with her.
As first described in Genesis and later affirmed by Jesus, marriage is a God-ordained, covenant relationship between a man and a woman. This lifelong, sexually exclusive relationship brings children into the world and thus sustains the stewardship of the earth.
The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.
Moreover, the Court emphasised that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals, its importance being illustrated supra.
The Supreme Court has adopted the doctrine of a constitutional “fundamental right to marry,” and has construed this doctrine to mean a fundamental right to state-recognized legal-marriage.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all same-sex couples are guaranteed the right to marry, which extended legal marriage recognition to same-sex couples throughout the United States. Major events such as this have the potential to directly affect the emotional well-being of LGBT people.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
C. Lee Buxton, doctor and professor at Yale Medical School, were arrested and found guilty as accessories to providing illegal contraception. They were fined $100 each. Griswold and Buxton appealed to the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut, claiming that the law violated the U.S. Constitution.
Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) A Texas law criminalizing consensual, sexual conduct between individuals of the same sex violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court held that the Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct violates the Due Process Clause.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or ...
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1896 ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional and rules that segregation is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause.
But many legal protections have not been provided for, including same-sex marriage. Official Territory of India shown in dark green and land in dispute, shown in light green. Transgender people have a constitutional right to change their legal gender and a third gender (non-binary) is recognised.
What the Equality Act says about marriage and civil partnership discrimination. The Equality Act says you must not be discriminated against in employment because you are married or in a civil partnership. In the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership.
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday after the U.S Supreme Court handed down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.
Direct marriage and civil partnership discrimination is when you're treated badly because you're married or in a civil partnership. For example: If the managers in your business are against civil partnerships and choose not to promote you because you're in such a partnership, that would be unlawful.
If you recently got married, you'll need to bring your employer up to speed so that the appropriate changes can be made in the HR/payroll system. This includes any adjustments to your name, address, benefits, taxes, emergency contacts, and direct deposit.
OP-ED: In appreciation of New Jersey's proud history of recognizing the reality of modern families, I want to offer three areas where examination may be warranted.
In 2000, Justice Virginia Long, writing for the Supreme Court decision in C. v. M.J.B ., 163 N.J. 200 (2000), found that, under certain circumstances, a person without biological connection to a minor can become a “psychological” parent to that minor with continuing parenting rights.. When a married same-sex female couple has a child by using artificial insemination of donor sperm under medical supervision, the non-biological parent is a parent on two bases under New Jersey law.. For example, in the last two years, parents in legally-recognized same-sex relationships were forced to petition the United States Supreme Court for confirmation of their parental rights.. , 577 U.S. ___ (2016), the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned the judgment of the Supreme Court of Alabama, which had ruled that one state did not have to recognize an adoption judgment from a sister state.. However, when this married couple applies for a confirmation of their parental rights, New Jersey courts categorize their application as a stepparent adoption.
I remember exactly where I was the day that the Supreme Court landmark ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges was decided on June 26th, 2015, marking the beginning of marriage equality in all 50 states. When the decision was announced, I was sitting in the front seat of my car in summertime heat, sweating and teary-eyed, […]
I knew at that time I wanted to propose to my then-girlfriend, and I also knew that should I do so, we’d be considered lawful spouses in every single state in the nation, not just our own home state of California, where marriage equality was legalized in 2013.. My wife and I were married in 2018, and while we had the ability to do that legally where we live since 2013, it meant something undeniable that it was legal in all states by the time we said our vows.. It’s not just the biggest day of your life because you’re marrying the person you love; it’s the fact that you have the ability to legally do that at all.. And based on insights from WeddingWire’s Celebrating 5 Years of Nationwide Marriage Equality report, which analyzed data from 2015 to 2019 to understand shifts and trends that have occurred in LGBTQIA+ weddings since the legalization of marriage equality nationally, we aren’t alone in choosing an experience that felt authentic and original.. It makes sense that as more details were incorporated into the big day, couples would still want that time to be alone with their wife or husband-to-be; it was one of my favorite parts of my wedding day and the only part where I cried, and that was largely due to the fact that my wife’s wedding dress had sleeves that I loved but hadn’t known about.. And this Pride month, with the critically important Black Lives Matter movement currently taking place alongside a month that’s supposed to be celebratory for the queer community, I want to acknowledge the win that was the 2015 Supreme Court marriage equality decision, as well as the long-awaited ruling on protections for gay and transgender people in the workplace handed down just decided this month as well.
The number of married same-sex couples has more than doubled since the Obergefell decision.. number of married same-sex couples in the U.S.. same-sex couples have married since Obergefell. An estimated 293,000 same-sex couples have married since Obergefell .. This study estimates the economic impact of same-sex couples’ weddings that have taken place in the five years since the Obergefell decision.. Williams Institute research suggests that same-sex couples dissolve their relationships at the rate of 1.1% per year, slightly lower than the dissolution rate for different-sex couples.In order to estimate how many couples have married each year since Obergefell , we applied the divorce rate (1.1% annually) to the number of couples who are married in a given year to estimate how many couples divorced that year.We then added the estimated number of divorces to the number of married couples reported for the year to determine the number of marriages that occurred in the year.. Based on these calculations, we estimate that 293,000 same-sex couples have married since the Obergefell decision.. Applying the average spent per wedding to our estimate of the number of same-sex couples who have married since June 2015 (293,000), we estimate that direct wedding spending by same-sex couples has generated an economic boost of $3.2 billion nationwide since Obergefell .. In 2008, a Williams Institute report based on The Health and Marriage Equality in Massachusetts Survey found that in Massachusetts, weddings of same-sex couples included an average of 16 out-of-state guests.We assume that the couples who celebrated their marriages between 2015 and 2020 also had an average of 16 out-of-state guests at their weddings.. Using these figures, we estimate that 4,688,000 out-of-state guests have attended weddings of same-sex couples since the Obergefell decision, generating a total economic boost of $543.8 million over that period.
'There was a crescendo of joyous delight' - Five years since the marriage equality referendum | Newstalk ›
Today marks five years since the historic marriage equality referendum in the Republic of Ireland...
Ireland became the first country in the world to back marriage equality by popular vote.. For many, the vote was a landmark moment in the fight for equality, and the images of euphoria and joy in Dublin Castle as the results were formally announced on May 23rd made newspaper front pages around the world.. They also reflected on how "there’s just as much work to do as today" in the fight for equality for all people.. The day after that vote, we still have work to do.". He explained: “As tempting as it might be to treat this as a political campaign - where you go on the panel and you really want to beat the daylights out of the other person - that’s not winning with this one.. Yes voters celebrate at the Central Count Centre in Dublin castle, Dublin, as the results of the referendum is announced which showed that Ireland as the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of gay marriage.. Main image: File photo.
“Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal,” President Barack Obama addressed the nation on the historical morning of June 26, 2015. “The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times, a never-ending quest to ensure those words […]
In these pages, the not-so-newlyweds discuss five years of proudly proving that love is love.. How has being married changed your relationship?. She would proudly call Alberto her son-in-law, without going into a long explanation on how we’re related.. How has being married changed your relationship?. With us and to our family and friends we’ve been living as a married couple since our wedding in 2004 at Davis Island Garden club in Tampa, Florida.. This was an anniversary trip of sorts because we also participated in the March on Washington in 1993 when we had zero protections!. How has being married changed your relationship?. Our first ceremony was at our Brandon home in 1993 with about 30 family and friends.. We also celebrate the day we met in 1992.. How has being married changed your relationship?. We’ve been together for 11 years, married for five years.. How has being married changed your relationship?. For our first wedding anniversary went spent a long weekend at a beautiful hotel right on the beach.
We must tally not only the advantages but also the costs of the LGBT rights movement's strategic turn to marriage equality.
We must tally not only the advantages but also the costs of the LGBT rights movement’s strategic turn to marriage equality.. Yet especially in the United States, part of the urgency driving same-sex couples to demand the right to marry stems from the neoliberal erosion of safety net provisions such as health care and Social Security for the unmarried, and by contrast, the benefits awarded to married couples.. What lies next for the LGBT movement in the United States?. Beyond antidiscrimination laws, there are three key areas to which the LGBT movement must now turn its attention.. The first is access to health care.. But the LGBT movement could ally with others in calling for expanding Social Security and other safety-net programs, which would benefit both gay and straight senior citizens.. The suffering of so many queer people around the world cries out for international solidarity: as Hillary Clinton rightly said, LGBT rights are human rights.. Photo courtesy of Austin Frerick.. Photo courtesy of David Kidd/Governing.. After World War I, their lands were divided up between Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey.. The situation is worse in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, where the Kurds are a minority people subjected to ethnically targeted violations of human rights.. Turkey : For much of its modern history, Turkey has pursued a policy of forced assimilation towards its minority peoples; this policy is particularly stringent in the case of the Kurds—until recently referred to as the “mountain Turks”—who make up 20 percent of the total population.. ✕ Sign on Alcatraz during occupation, 1969–60 (National Parks Service)
We spoke to four couples who got married or renewed their vows after same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States.
Not only is it the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriage, but it comes just as America has exploded once again with racial tension because of the continued mistreatment of Black people at the hands of police and society in general.. Love is still fighting Tim Love and Larry Ysunza-Love.. In 2014, when another couple in Kentucky won a court case to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, Tim and Larry asked the lawyers involved whether that meant they could obtain a marriage license, too.. But the lawyers asked Tim and Larry whether they wanted to be a part of a different case: one that could result in legal same-sex marriages in Kentucky and across the nation.. Tim and Larry both attended the oral arguments for their case at the U.S. Supreme Court, but they were in Louisville when the decision was made to legalize same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015.. When the two got engaged in May 2015, they planned to get married somehow, but the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, which occurred one month later “sure felt good,” said Missy.. | Photos by Kathryn Harrington.Greg Mosley and Maurice Zakhir planned their wedding in just four days.They started immediately after same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States.. It was four years after Lauren and Amanda first got married in New York in 2013 and almost two years after they renewed their vows in front of a minister dressed like Elvis at the Highlands Tap Room, the day same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States in 2015.. If Amanda and Lauren had never been legally allowed to get married, they would have had to worry about where the triplets would go if Lauren died since she is the birth parent.
One writer’s personal journey to marriage, love, and acceptance, and how he came to write about it all.
Our wedding day in 2008 in San FranciscoFour years later, Mark and I started the Gay Marriage Watch blog—the term “marriage equality” didn’t exist yet.. In a mad rush to beat the election, we found an officiant, a violinist, and a photographer, but we didn’t have a place.. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.. “It’s lucky if it rains on your wedding day,” Mark said with a grin.. After seventeen years together, it was the perfect day.. I still remember when Obama won, and when prop 8 passed less than an hour later.. That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love... ...today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect.”. and Jamie - The Four AuthorsI’ve been writing for a couple years now, and am a part of “A More Perfect Union”coming out today for Marriage Equality Day—four stories about love and marriage by openly gay, happily married men.