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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We're "Married," Even If Not Technically

Numbers released by the US Census in recent years show that gay couples are claiming to be married, even if they're legally not. I'm not going to bore you with all the statistics, but since 2005, more and more couples have been using the word "marriage" to describe their relationship.

It's around 30% of all same-sex relationships right now that boast such a title, but the numbers show a growing pattern. It all started in 2005, when around 300,000+ couples out of 700,000+ known same-sex couples used the word "marriage," and in that year only 11,000 marriage licenses were issued. In years to follow, marriage become legal in multiple states, so actual gay marriages boomed. Still, many more couples claim to be married that, legally, are not.

The idea, to me, has its ups and downs. It shows that gay couples don't care what everyone else thinks; they're going to get married anyways and love it. But it also shows that gay couples don't care what everyone else thinks, which isn't necessarily good. We want everyone to want us to get married, and if we give off the impression that we'll settle for just calling ourselves "married," then conservative bigots are going to sneer at us, saying, "Well, those gays can just pretend to be married. That's good enough for them."

I'm not saying every same-sex couple who calls themselves "married" when they're legally not is settling for just using the term, but it certainly could give off that impression. We need to keep fighting for our rights, not just pretending that we're "married."

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