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NYT Looks At Gay Couples Choosing to Say 'I Don't'

The New York Times takes an in-depth look in today's Sunday Style section at same-sex couples who are in loving, committed, long-term relationships who, despite being afforded the right to marry, thanks to the destruction of DOMA section 3 and the increase in the number of states allowing same-sex marriage, choose not to:

CoupleFor some, marriage is an outdated institution, one that forces same-sex couples into the mainstream. For others, marriage imposes financial burdens and legal entanglements. Still others see marriage not as a fairy tale but as a potentially painful chapter that ends in divorce. And then there are those for whom marriage goes against their beliefs, religious or otherwise.

“It’s a very, very archaic model,” said Sean Fader, 34, an artist in New York who is single and asked to be identified as queer. “It’s this oppressive Christian model that says ‘Pick a person that’s going to be everything to you, they have to be perfect, then get a house, and have kids, and then you’ll be happy and whole.' ”

IdontIndeed, despite the rush to the altar we've seen after the Supreme Court rulings on Prop. 8 and DOMA and more recently after the New Jersey state supreme court ruled that same-sex marriages must be allowed to begin in the Garden State despite Governor Christie's opposition, same-sex couples are less likely to seek out marriage, according to a new Pew Research Poll released in June that found "60 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults are married or said they wanted to marry, compared with 76 percent of the general public."

The Times also notes that not all LGBT activists have been so keen to focus on pushing for marriage equality when HIV/AIDS education and prevention along with securing the safety of LGBT youth are issues that, in the eyes of some, have been under-served and even ignored by the community at large.

The reluctance to marry also seems to span across generations:

“For people in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, there was a feeling that L.GB.T. people can do better than marriage, that relationships can be more egalitarian” when built around untraditional families, said Mary Bernstein, a professor at the University of Connecticut and an author of “The Marrying Kind?” which examines the marriage debate in the gay rights movement.

Milennials on the other hand may consider themselves "a very disillusioned generation," as Eric Routen, 24, a student at New York Medical College, put it, less willing to take a chance on marriage because, “No one expects marriage to last."

Check out the full piece from The Times HERE.

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Comments

  1. It's a personal choice. My man and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in March, 2014. We have no desire to get married. We love that we live in Canada, in an area where same-sex marriage has been legal for ten years, but we're just not the marrying kind. It breaks my heart to see the battle for marriage equality in the United States, but it's also heartwarming to see how rapidly things are changing there. Love from Canada!

    Posted by: Gigi | Oct 28, 2013 8:16:18 AM


  2. Anon: I didn't mean a simple will as in "Everything goes to John." I fully understand the tax, social security, housing, and myriad other implications, and wasn't trying to belittle them.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 28, 2013 8:25:27 AM


  3. Having been married to a man for over nine years and later divorced, I could be jaded and as anti-marriage as those spouting high-minded queer theoretics, but I'm not. While I would concede that humans are not biologically pre-disposed to neither sexual exclusivity, nor emotional longevity, yearning to be know another person deeply on all levels as that person knows us is a virtually universal human trait. That same-sex couples celebrate such relationships under the label of "marriage" unites us with mixed-sex couples in a common experience of navigating life within a formal union, whether blessed by a faith community, a state, or neither. That same-sex couples are afforded equal treatment is only just.

    Posted by: bigolpoofter | Oct 28, 2013 8:27:49 AM


  4. People should be required to have 'civil' unions..then have the traditional marriage if you want.. It needs to be done for protection in all financial, health, etc issues that might arise..
    The problem with our society is that we are throw-away, we are quick to move on from what we embraced at one time but now bores us, this is across the board..gays and str8's..and the fact that most marriages are centered around a religious ceremony makes a lot of people want to abstain..
    My partner and I don't see any need to do it except for financial reasons..we have validated our relationship by being together for almost 2 decades..we don't want nor feel the need for the traditional
    marriage..and if you want it fine..if you want kids..fine..its just not for us.

    Posted by: rocko | Oct 28, 2013 9:20:00 AM


  5. Hey at least we have a CHOICE as to whether we want to get married or not. I live in Massachusetts, and I made the choice a long time ago already. For me, marriage was the natural step in my relationship. It is also a matter of survival for two gay male Latinos who are neither rich nor privileged. I love being married.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 28, 2013 9:42:56 AM



  6. They aren't marrying for the same reason so many heterosexual couples don't marry. I would encourage couples who jointly own property or raise children to be married. Other than that, it's up to you.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Oct 28, 2013 9:47:33 AM


  7. Ha, so wait, the anachronistic, bourgeois and complicated state of marriage confounds you to the point of making a complicated, bourgeois and terrible anti-marriage campaign? THAT COULD ONLY BE SUPPORTED BY ANTI-GAY BIGOTS...

    You guys are just hitting every branch on your way down, aren't you?

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 28, 2013 10:31:34 AM


  8. Yeah yeah...all any couple that has been together forever needs to do is sit down with an accountant for 10 minutes and they will run - not walk - to the marriage bureau. The financial incentives are huge. Why doesn't this ever get said?

    Posted by: John | Oct 28, 2013 11:05:37 AM


  9. REVCHICOUCC It's not an "unfortunate" description of marriage to described it as "an oppressive christian model" because that is exactly what it is in Western society. Heterosexual marriage has always been about property (women and children) and forging tribal or dynastic alliances. Until say the 19th century or even the early 20th century, marriage has been less about "love and commitment" and more about convenience and enforced procreation. Not everybody thinks marriage is the ultimate goal in a relationship. I still have the queer ideal that there should be other options to relationships besides "traditional marriage" whether it is gay or straight.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 28, 2013 12:43:55 PM


  10. Marriage existed before Christianity and in non-Christian cultures from Japan to China to India to Europe to the New World. While there's plenty to debate about it, disregarding it because it's "Christian" is nonsensical.

    Posted by: jimstoic | Oct 28, 2013 1:41:09 PM


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