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Why Is It So Hard to Say, “This Is My Wife”?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Gay RightsMy wife and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary, but we’ve been together for nearly a decade. By now, I should be comfortable saying I’m married to a woman. Instead, when people ask if we’re sisters or friends, my wife and I glance anxiously at each other, urging, No, you say it. Everyone has an opinion about being gay, and we often have to come out to people without knowing how we’ll be received. A sort of fatigue sets in.

Although not every day, inquiries into our personal lives happen often. Women notice my diamond ring and compliment my husband’s taste. The doctor asks if my husband is tall, like me. I meet friends and their coworkers for drinks and the innocuous chatter follows: What do you do? Where do you live? I love your necklace! It would be weird to withhold the fact that I’m a writer, that I live in Manhattan, or that I’m wearing my wife’s necklace.

Many times, the highpitched “Oh!” response is blithe — this is New York City, after all. But I brace myself for occasional awkwardness: a glance at my wife (does she look like a lesbian?), then back to me. A silent moment, a raised eyebrow. A hotel clerk asking, “You’re sure you want the king bed and not two queens?” We’re sure.

By Laura Leigh Ashby – Full Story at Cosmopolitan

Boyfriends, Husbands, And The ‘Partners’ In Between

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Tyler CurryAs a part of the Will & Grace generation, it has been my pleasure to witness the evolution of gay couples in the context of public opinion. From the oversexed stereotypes on Queer as Folk to the Disney-like caricatures on The New Normal, our televisions have been speckled with a variety of examples of what a gay relationship looks like. No matter how cliche our TV stand-ins may be, they have relaxed much of the tension between the homo population and our hetero peers. But there is one term that should have been left in a rerun of the past that continues to get airplay today. In lieu of boyfriend, fiance, or husband, gay and straight people alike continue to use the word, partner, to reference a homosexual bond.

So why should “partner” be placed in a time capsule? It’s simple.

“Partner” is a vague term that gay people began using decades ago to reference their significant other without making their heterosexual company uncomfortable (or, at least, less uncomfortable). It was a way for homosexuals to speak freely without using the general terms that defined straight relationships, partly because boyfriend sounded silly and husband seemed to offend, nor could it be accurate in most cases. Who knows whether the term originated from the mouth of a straight or a gay because, regardless, it stuck like a son-of-a-bitch.

Even after we’ve systemically scrapped the idea of a civil union and instead demand full marriage equality, we still continue to use this ambiguous term to refer to our one and only. That may be because there is a significant group of men and women who are safely past the point of a normal engagement but still seek a more reputable title for their relationship. Most gay men feel like “partner” gives their union more validity and maturity than the term “boyfriend” ever could. And most would agree. Calling a man that you have been with for 10 or 15 years your boyfriend does sound a little juvenile.

Authored By Tyler Curry – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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The Language of Marriage Equality

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Gay Wedding - HandsThis past summer I got married for the second time. Rather than try to come up with a new way of saying the same thing I’ve already said, I hope you will forgive me if I simply quote myself:

So the Better Half and I got married this past weekend. Again. To each other. Without any interruption in our relationship in the intervening years.

The first time was almost exactly eight years before the second time. (Many guests at our recent celebration joked that they will pencil in another one eight years from now.) It looked pretty much how one would expect a wedding to look. We wore tuxes. (I now regret the choice to go with tails.) We had it in a church (the same one both times, actually) and exchanged vows in front of a big crowd of loved ones and well-wishers. We had rings made (the same ones we wore this time). We had a reception and cake. Etc.

Indeed, I have considered myself married since then. We meant the vows we spoke then and have since lived the best life together that we could build. If not for the newly-granted legal protections, we would have seen no need for a second event at all.

Authored By Russell Saunders – See the Full Story at Ordinary Times

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Missouri, USA: Hospitalized Man’s Brother, Partner Talk About Incident

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Missouri Gay CoupleBoth the partner of a Kansas City Missouri man and his brother spoke out yesterday about the incident in which the partner was thrown out of the hospital and taken to jail, even though he had power of attorney for his partners care. The Advocate reports:

Nevertheless, Mansell did confirm to Kansas City’s KHSB that he tried to override Gorley’s power of attorney and make medical decisions for his brother. “I know the conversation got a little heated, and the nurse had come in the first time and said ‘you two need to leave the room,’ so we kind of quieted down for a minute,” Lee told KSHB. “Roger wanted me to leave the room, and I told him ‘well, no, you need to leave the room’ and the nurses came in the second time and said ‘you both need to leave the room.'”

When Gorley refused to leave his husband’s bedside, a nurse called hospital security, who forcibly wrested Gorley away from his husband’s bed. “Hospital security came, and it started to hit me on my wrist,” Gorley told KHSB. “[They] hit me … because I was holding on, and they kept hitting and kept hitting and kept hitting.” Gorley said security officers tackled him to the ground, knocking his hearing aids from his ears and making him bleed. Shortly thereafter, Kansas City police officers arrived on the scene and arrested Gorley.

Hit the link above for the full video report. It’s despicable that the hospital treated Roger Gorley this way, and ignored his medical power of attorney. If I were Gorley, I’d sue.

AP Does About-Face on Terms for Married Gas and Lesbians

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

AP Associated Press LogoJust days after a new AP style guide recommended calling legally married gay and lesbian spouses “partners” instead of “husband” and “wife”, the AP has relented, Gay Star News reports:

The AP’s stylebook now states that ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ is ‘acceptable in any recognized legal marriage’ regardless of sexual orientation. They add that ‘spouse’ or ‘partner’ may be used if requested. That’s different from the policy on an internal memo that was leaked last week. The memo stated that ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ was not an automatic for gay couples: ‘Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.’

Chalk one up for the good guys.

USA AP Wants reporters to Call Gay/Lesbian Spouses “Partners”, Not Husband or Wife

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

AP Associated Press LogoThe Associated Press,one of the largest news aggregators in the world, recently issued a new set of guidelines on journalistic style and standards, in which they said that reporters should not generally use the words “husband” and “wife” when referring to gay and lesbian spouses, Pink News reports. The only exception:

The updated AP memo clarifies that “husband” or “wife” can be used, but only if the married couple involved regularly used those terms, or if the terms are used in quotes attributed to the couple. The style guide’s suggestion that same-sex spouses should only be described as “husband” or “wife” under those two circumstances, drew criticism from LGBT groups, journalists, and from within the AP, as it was seen as creating a double standard. David Cray, a New York based journalist, said he would rebel against the rules: “The AP style guidance will have no effect on how I write about legally married same-sex couples.

As we’ve learned painfully throughout our history, words matter.

USA: NOM’s Gallagher Says Whether She Is Married or Not is Irrelevant

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Maggie GallagherYesterday Republican presidential candidate and NOM investigator Fred Karger sent out an email speculating that ‘marriage defender’ Maggie Gallagher may not actually be married because she never wears a wedding ring in public or appears with her husband Roman Srivastav.

Gallagher spoke to Buzzfeed about Karger’s accusations:

Gallagher laughed when asked about Karger’s speculation, and said “I think I would know better than Fred.”

Gallagher, who was a single mother for years after college, says she married her husband Raman Srivastav in Arizona in 1993: “We are still married and living together. He’s a very private person.”

Full Story from Towleroad

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UK: More Zaniness as MP Says Marriage Equality Will Mean Re-Writing Shakespeare

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Rewriting Shakespeare?A twice-divorced Kent MP has questioned whether allowing gay couples to marry will result in Shakespeare being rewritten to redact gender-specific words like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’.

Sir Roger Gale, who has been North Thanet’s MP for nearly thirty years, writes in an opinion piece today that the “almost Stalinist” move to ensure forms accurately reflect spouse’s genders in the future would “rewrite history and tradition”.

Writing in the Thanet Extra, which can be read online, he says: “If we are to re-construct official and business documentation and to replace “Husband and Wife” with “spouses” and “partners” where will this stop? Will Shakespeare and Milton and The Holy Bible be re-written also? Will only “correctly” expurgated literature be allowed to be used in the classroom?”

Full Story from Pink News

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