Paladino’s Gay Problem

First published at on October 15, 2010 Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s recent remarks [] about homosexuality have been widely decried—even by his fellow East Coast Republicans—as offensive. They are certainly that. But upon reading the text and watching the YouTube video [], I had an additional reaction. Here’s what Paladino said,… Continue reading Paladino’s Gay Problem

The Invention of Marriage

First published at on September 24, 2010 Once upon a time, in a land far away, a Council of Elders convened to ponder the challenges of human relationships. Noticing that male-female relationships frequently involve sex, and that sex often makes babies, this “Relationship Council” decided that an institution was needed to regulate adults’ behavior… Continue reading The Invention of Marriage

Gay Marriage, Straight Marriage and La Difference

First published at on September 17, 2010 Some weeks ago I wrote a piece [] responding to a Ross Douthat column which draws on the celibate lesbian author Eve Tushnet. Tushnet had written, “If you have a unisex model of marriage, which is what gay marriage requires, you are no longer able to talk… Continue reading Gay Marriage, Straight Marriage and La Difference

Should Gays be Against Marriage?

First published at on September 10, 2010 In my marriage debates, I am often asked what I think about critics on the left who argue that marriage is a fundamentally flawed institution which gays and lesbians would be better off avoiding. Answer: I think they’re ultimately wrong. There are several such critics, though the… Continue reading Should Gays be Against Marriage?

Ken Mehlman’s New Beginning?

First published at on August 27, 2010 In some circles, Ken Mehlman’s coming out as gay this week was about as shocking as Rosie O’Donnell’s coming out in 2002, or Ricky Martin’s coming out earlier this year. Others were quite surprised. Still others asked, “Who’s Ken Mehlman?” Answer: Ken Mehlman is, according to the… Continue reading Ken Mehlman’s New Beginning?

Taking on the New Argument Against Gay Marriage

First published at on August 20, 2010 Ross Douthat’s recent New York Times op-ed [] against marriage equality is notable for many things, not least its frank rejection of some standard bad arguments against same-sex marriage. Douthat denies that marriage “has always been defined as the union of one man and one woman” and… Continue reading Taking on the New Argument Against Gay Marriage

Did the State Create Marriage?

First published at on July 16, 2010 Last week a U.S. District Court judge in Boston ruled portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, prompting the usual cries of “judicial activism” from conservatives. Among the responses was a statement from Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Kentucky, chair of the U.S.… Continue reading Did the State Create Marriage?

How Lingle Was Right

First published at on July 9, 2010 In vetoing Hawaii’s civil unions bill, Gov. Linda Lingle noted that the bill was “essentially marriage by another name.” She has a point. Of course I don’t agree with her decision, and I don’t buy her excuse that the issue was too important to be decided by… Continue reading How Lingle Was Right

Why Weddings?

First published at on July 2, 2010 I’m at a wedding for a same-sex couple, in the chapel anteroom before the service, and the grooms are sweating profusely. It’s not because they’re nervous. It’s because they’re wearing black wool tuxedos, it’s a humid 90-degree day, and like most old churches, this one isn’t air-conditioned.… Continue reading Why Weddings?

Happily Ever After

First published at on June 25, 2010 Three years ago I wrote a column “Young Love, Older Love” about a couple I called “Bob” and “Jim.” At the time I wrote []: “My partner Mark and I introduced ‘Bob’ and ‘Jim’ at a dinner party at our place. Bob, 31, is recently out of… Continue reading Happily Ever After