News | Straight Spouse Network

'Straight Spouse Network' Has Helped More Than 25,000 Heterosexual Women with Gay Husbands: VIDEO

ABC News profiles Amity Buxton, an 82-year-old woman who started the Straight Spouse Network after discovering that her husband knew he was gay since before they married in the late 1950's.

BuxtonWhen he came finally came out, Buxton (was) devastated.

"I had to figure out what is homosexuality and how would it affected my life and what did it mean for my kids to be children of a gay man," she said. "Once I accepted it, I could rebuild my moral compass."

Part of rebuilding was vowing that no other spouse would share the same pain. In 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis, she accepted an invitation to speak at a gay father's group in San Francisco to men who had no idea what their wives had experiences.

"We gave a talk to a panel of 50 men and tears were rolling down their faces," she said. "We were not their wives, so they listened."

Buxton wrote a book and became an advocate for gay rights, joining PFLAG and starting a support group in 1991. By 2001, the Straight Spouse Network became an independent organization and today has 54 support groups in 11 countries.

Says Buxton: "If gays and lesbians were allowed to marry someone of the same sex in the first place, out of love and truth, and commitment, then there would be fewer divorces such as we went through, stronger marriages, more lasting families, and more stable communities.


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  1. I have an amazing older friend who married a straight man and she hid in the closet for many years. Her son remains one of my best friends and in his teens she came out to both her husband and son. The family decided to remain together until the son graduated from high school. He went on to college and they divorced. Today she lives with the women she has always really loved and her ex-husband has remarried. She has confessed to me her biggest regret was the marriage. She entered into it only because she feared that friends, family and society would see her as less of a person.

    Same-sex marriage should be a right. I love my husband and thankful for each day that we (legally) wake up together.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 12, 2011 11:00:28 AM

  2. I would think churches who are so vehemently opposed to gay marriages would want to get on board with this as a way to "stamp out" same-sex marriage. Where are the ultra-conservative God Warriors offering up their daughters to marry gay men?

    I mean, I keep hearing "Gay people have the same right to marry a member of the opposite sex as everyone else does", so wouldn't this be seen as the perfect solution in the eyes of God?

    What religious person wouldn't want their daughter married to someone who had no sexual interest in her? Win-win-win!

    Posted by: milobloom | Dec 12, 2011 11:14:37 AM

  3. Thanks goodness I got some good counseling at a certain Orange County Ca. Church way back in the early 80s. ( the one on Chapman Avenue that is going through finacial woes right now). Otherwise I may have put some poor woman through what surely must be a horrible experience. Actually the female pastor of the colledge group at the time had dated a man who turned out to be gay had recomended a good book that helped me move on with my life and start my first long term relationship with another man. Today I am legally married (one of the California 18,000) to a wonderful man I met in an open and affirming Long Beach Church in 1994.
    Much better gay people marry each other than create horrible stress and termoil for their heterosexual spouses and children.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Dec 12, 2011 11:43:11 AM

  4. This is awesome, thank you.

    Posted by: Christian | Dec 12, 2011 1:12:35 PM

  5. And to think that Michelle Bachman's solution for gay people is that they can "always" marry someone of the opposite sex! The ignorance, the disconnect, the folly of it is embodied by her own experience of the husband she got: Marcus. Buxton's inspirational, if once painful, transformation is the only right option forward. Bless her.

    Posted by: uffda | Dec 12, 2011 2:12:02 PM

  6. michele can't give up that position marcus would leave her in a minute.

    Posted by: walter | Dec 12, 2011 2:48:30 PM

  7. This has always been my biggest problem with the "ex-gay" movement or, like someone else said, politicians like Bachmann who say "gays CAN marry, they just have to marry people of the opposite sex."

    Would any of those people want someone they love to marry someone who says they "used to be gay"? I seriously doubt it, which means they don't even believe in "ex-gays" themselves; it's just a politically convenient lie. And who would WANT to marry someone for who it took the threat of eternal Hellfire and damnation to *make* them walk down the aisle with you? Who wants their partner's wedding vow to be, "I do, since I can't have what I really want"?

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 12, 2011 5:05:09 PM


    I know a great many men and women who married a gay person and "didn't know it", and there is one comment that a great many of those straight spouses have all paraphrase, they didn't think that their spouse was gay, they thought their spouse was "perfect"

    funny, eh?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 12, 2011 5:14:28 PM

  9. thank you, Ms. Buxton, for your clarity and your advocacy.

    Posted by: andnowwhat | Dec 12, 2011 11:09:47 PM

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