Main | Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What IS a husband?

Yesterday's post about the new gay nomenclature reminded me of something I've been wondering about for several months. When gay marriage finally becomes widespread, how quickly (if at all) will we act to correct each other when we identify someone's significant other?

"There goes David and his husband."

"Oh, they aren't married, just living together."

Will we do that? Will we give those who choose not to marry a verbal downgrade to "just living together", to "just boyfriends"? Gay people have traditionally operated fast and loose with the rules of defining and naming our relationships.

Will there be a sense of relief then, as we convert to straight society's heirarchy of relationships, and start identifying couples as: dating, living together, or married? I think that the implied legitimacy of a legal marriage will tempt many of our people to begin resorting relationships into those separate categories, and I don't know how I feel about that.

I am friends with several couples who have been together for than ten years. I have no idea what their opinions on marriage may be, but I do know that they will always be husbands, in my mind, regardless of what legal status they may assume.

Canada will be the first place we see this play out. I'm hoping that I'm wrong, but I have a strong feeling that a sense of triumphalism will lead our people to start the renaming, almost immediately.


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