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The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family

The Commitment : Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family - Dan Savage I am getting married in a little over a month. I am fortunately able to do this, because I am a heterosexual. If I was not, my attempt to enter into a legally-binding, stable relationship with my significant other would apparently rock the very foundations of the institution, and possibly turn a bunch of small, innocent children into drag queens, like some kind of ray gun.Dan Savage, famous syndicated sexual advice columnist (and now über-famous homosexual) either is or is not married to his long-time partner Terry. It depends on who you ask. If you ask Dan and Terry, they are married, because they looked into each other's eyes and made a commitment, for better or for worse. If you ask most state governments, they are not, because gay marriage doesn't exist. The federal government agrees.It's all right there in the title: The Commitment is about Dan's struggle with what marriage means to him. Why should he want to be married when marriage won't have him? Marriage is an institution, a part of culture, and it is between a man and a woman. Kings and queens. Mommy and daddy. Princes and princesses. Simba and Nala. Even Dan and Terry's son agrees: he likes having two dads, but they shouldn't be married, because they are two men. Two men getting married is gay!Gays also shouldn't be married because marriage is a covenant before the Lord. Never mind if you are a Hindu or an atheist. I mean, apparently. Otherwise, why would so many Mormons and Southern Baptists care if two ladies from Jersey want to tie the knot? Surely they are mocking God, and that is just going to bring the hellfire and brimstone down upon us all.So, marriage. Marriage is sacred.Except marriage isn't sacred, or isn't just sacred. Marriage is, governmentally speaking, a legal arrangement. It is an agreement granting two people certain rights and protections: inheritance, medical visitation, power of attorney. Tax benefits. People don't just get married because God says they are supposed to if they want to do it; they also want to have legal standing, vis-à-vis their relationship with their spouse. Lots of people cohabitate these days instead of marrying, thinking they don't need " a piece of paper" from the state to legitimize their relationship. Which, ok, they don't. Until one of them is hospitalized, or dies, or writes a multi-million selling international blockbuster mystery series and then dies. Then, they are probably screwed.Just like all the gay couples are screwed, all the time.My deal is, if you think marriage is sacred, fine. If your religious beliefs tell you a marriage is between a man and a woman, fine. But marriage in the church and marriage as a legal relationship are different things. That's why you still need a document from the court to legitimize it. And I would ask you, whoever you are, to please keep your religious beliefs off to the side when it comes to dictating who can and can't visit a loved one in the hospital. I don't understand how gays marrying hurts regular marriage, which is cruising toward obsolescence just fine all on its own, with fewer people marrying later in life and extramarital affairs as popular as ever (a small joke: gay marriage exists; lots of gay men are married... to women). Of course, I also don't understand how saying the word "gay" in the classroom damages society either.This book is Dan Savage's struggle with wanting and not wanting to be married. Approaching a milestone anniversary, he and Terry are alternately planning a party and a wedding. They aren't quite sure which it is going to be until the last minute. The thing is, it's all theoretical anyway, because whatever they -- two consenting adults in a committed relationship -- ultimately decide, it doesn't matter. Because it won't be legal.I think that totally sucks.Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 9: Book that makes you sick.