A Foundation for Same-Sex Marriage

By Amy Adams Squire Strongheart | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 1, 1994 | Go to article overview

A Foundation for Same-Sex Marriage


Amy Adams Squire Strongheart, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Imagine a Hallmark card with two women on the front. The verse inside reads: "To my partner for life, with all my love. Happy Valentine's Day." It's disconcerting to think about same-sex couples because eventually our minds wind up wondering what they do in bed. It's more disconcerting to contemplate same-sex marriages because we get a migraine trying to figure out who's the "wife" and who's the "husband."

One of the conveniences of opposite-sex marriages is that each partner knows what her or his jobs are. She does the laundry, and he takes out the garbage. Same-sex marriages aren't so clear-cut. We lesbians and gays have to figure out for ourselves how to divvy up the chores. My own marriage has been a breeze because I do the laundry and put out the trash.

Once we've slogged past the mundane matter of gender-based division of labor, we're left with the more entertaining concerns about marriage as it pertains to family, society, law, religion and politics. Every attendant issue, however, boils down to this: What is the purpose of marriage, and is it worth bothering with?

In attempting to answer this two-part query for myself, I began with an analysis of the only model for marriage presently available - the heterosexual model. This institution has traditionally been about two things: power relations and procreation. Lesbian and gay critics point to the oppressive history of marriage as a compelling reason for gays to shun it. To most cultures in most times, marriage has been a socially mandated method of controlling women, mainly by confining them to the parameters of their reproductive functions.

Columnist Victoria Brownworth notes that weddings herald misogynist acts worldwide. The brutalities incited by matrimony include battery, rape and bride-burning. Brownworth admonishes same-sex couples not to rush to embrace "this most repressive and repugnant of heterosexual rituals." While I find this estimation a bit harsh, I agree that an institution that has the subjugation of women by men as its original intent has no meaning for gays.

The adaptability of heterosexual marriage for gay people is also dubious since it currently seems to be losing popularity even among straights. Heterosexual marriages are dissolving faster than Alka-Seltzer. In addition, fewer and fewer straights, particularly women, are finding the prospect of marriage attractive or rewarding enough to embark on it.

Straight critics of same-sex unions argue that marriage was designed by God for the purpose of procreation and that, since lesbians and gays cannot reproduce, they should not marry. While I can only speculate on the Almighty's intent, I do respect marriage as a sound option for producing and caring for children. I soundly reject the bogus assumption that lesbian and gay pairings cannot foster children. We produce and rear children all the time through artificial insemination and adoption, as well as by co-parenting the children a spouse has had by a previous heterosexual relationship. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Foundation for Same-Sex Marriage
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.