This letter was printed in the June 30 issue of the Seattle Weekly, in response to an article in the previous week’s annual Gay Pride issue (with their edits):
In Nina Shapiro’s article, she glosses over the higher divorce rate amongst same-sex couples versus heterosexual couples in some studies from Europe, positing a couple answers (lack of kids, lack of obstacles to leaving relationships).
Let me put forward another reason: Marriage (and marriagelike options) may genuinely not be the right answer for some couples at some times. Same-sex civil marriage (and such) is new for us, and we don’t have the benefit of centuries of learning about how it should be done. As a result, a lot of same-sex couples may think it’s the right thing and later find out otherwise. Give it a couple decades, and the rates of divorce should fall close to heterosexual levels.
This is one of the strengths that today’s society is reluctant to embrace just yet: the idea that “one size fits all” doesn’t. Career dad, stay-at-home mom, 2.4 kids, and a golden retriever is a scenario that we can’t all force ourselves into, but a lot of people try. Civil unions, same-sex civil marriage, communal living, wife swapping, polygamy, open relationships, and just plain shacking up are all variations on a theme enabling us all to find the relationship model that works right for us, rather than trying (and failing) to wedge ourselves into the same one as everyone else.
Updated on February 25, 2011