Throwback Thursday Part II: Equality In Every Way

Here is Part II of my two-part Throwback Thursday series on marriage equality.

 

Original Publication Date: July 27, 2011

Last weekend marked the official beginning of same-sex marriage in New York. The state will now grant gay couples the legal rights of marriage, and with that comes the legal rights and validation afforded to straight married couples. Beyond this, gay couples will now have another significant opportunity: the equal right to make the following mistakes straight couples have been making for years.

1. Rushing into marriage

Heterosexual couples often marry prematurely. For some, there is the naivete' of being young and in love, while others find themselves drunk and in Vegas. Sometimes practical considerations drive the decision such as financial stability or the desire to have a spouse to have children. These same issues will likely impact many gay couples. Additionally, feeling they have been unfairly denied the right to marry may inspire some gay couples to marry when they might be better served by taking more time.

 

2. Not preparing for marriage

One of the best ways to guard against rushing into marriage is to pursue some form of marriage preparation. Although straight couples do not take advantage of this opportunity nearly enough, some are required to attend classes or counseling as a prerequisite to marrying in their church. Since many gay couples will not be able to get married in a church (or may not choose to) they can select from a variety of secular options including premarital counseling from a therapist or marriage education classes. 

 

3. Focussing too much on the wedding

The first wave of weddings for gay couples in New York seemed to focus on substance over style. Most took place in city clerk and town hall offices. This is a far cry from the double digit bridal attendant, champagne fountain, dove-releasing extravaganzas many straight couples choose. With the average wedding costing more than $27,000, the financial burden of a "fairytale" wedding is sending some couples (and/or their parents) into debt before they even marry. Hopefully the precious nature of a right so newly acquired will cause gay couples to exercise restraint and keep their focus on the marriage instead of the wedding.

 

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