Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Author Offers a `Virtually Normal' Look at Same-Sex Marriage

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Author Offers a `Virtually Normal' Look at Same-Sex Marriage

Article excerpt

Strongheart: Tell me a little bit about how "Same-Sex Marriage" came together.

Sullivan: Well, I had a great research assistant, and we sifted through a lot of the literature on the subject. Much of it was buried in old monographs - anthropology journals, for instance. I also had to familiarize myself with the constitutional issues.

Strongheart: You tend to wax somewhat conservative on social issues. How has your work been received by the gay community, which tends, on the whole, to lean to the left? Sullivan: The gay community is not as far left as you might think. Of course the most visible are often the most radical, but I've signed books for couples who live very quiet lives, who have been together for 20 or 30 years. This book explores a number of issues important to them, including religion. Strongheart: What is your religious background, if you have one? Sullivan: Roman Catholic. Strongheart: Have you experienced any ostracism from your church, or have you have had any difficulty reconciling your work with the teachings of the Catholic Church? Sullivan: Yes and yes. We (gays) are excluded within our own faith traditions for something we cannot change. Marriage cuts to the chase. Strongheart: What do you mean by that? Sullivan: It is a fundamental institution and the main source of our exclusion. When I'm asked if I'm married or single, I say "neither." I have no legal right to marry, but if I were in a relationship, I wouldn't be single either. Strongheart: You are not partnered, then? Sullivan: "Partnered" - that's an interesting term. No I'm not. I suppose that those of us embroiled in this issue are so busy with it, we've forgotten to develop relationships. Strongheart: What are your thoughts on domestic partnerships, as either a step toward legalized marriage for same-sex couples or a substitute for it? Sullivan: I'm opposed to domestic partnerships as a replacement for marriage. It's second-class. We would never have proposed such a thing at the time when interracial marriages were outlawed. I'm certainly not against the benefits of domestic partnerships, but I don't think we can be bought off, either. If you look at the constitutional history of the right to marry, the Supreme Court puts it right up there with the right to vote. Strongheart: What is your response to the argument by William Bennett and others included in your book that marriage by definition can only be between a woman and a man? Sullivan: Well, if that's the way you want to define marriage, then the point is moot. But I would have to go a second step and ask, "Why is this the way you define it?" There isn't a single factor contained in our current understanding of marriage that gays and lesbians can't fulfill, including having children. Strongheart: Would you care to predict an outcome to the marriage case in Hawaii? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.