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Erica Jong Headshot

Hurrah for Gay Marriage

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I've never understood the objection to gay marriage. We humans are pair-bonding creatures and we seem to feel safest when coupled. It's not true for everyone, of course, but most of us eventually want a partner to merge our books and lives with. Marriage provides certain extremely useful perks: a partner to be with you when you are ill, someone to share your poverty or wealth with, someone to share your celebrations and devastations, someone to raise children with. You'd think the right wing would be pleased that gay people share the same needs as other Americans.

In the past, gay people had to adopt their lovers to leave them their goodies. Or they had to go without a next-of-kin to depend on in hospital. All sorts of legal mumbo-jumbo was required because marriage was forbidden. And why? Because a bigoted old Bible seemed to imply that God made Adam and Eve -- not Adam and Steve -- as the anti-gay faction likes to say.

I've often found that gay people are better at marriage than straight people. They don't get all bent out of shape about sex for sex's sake. At least this is true for gay men. And they don't run to bust up a perfectly cozy union because one member of the couple -- or both -- has a fling. Some couples are faithful and some not. And they seem to practice this without the territoriality and hypocrisy of mixed-sex couples. Actually, they should be our role models in marriage. They take it far more seriously than straight people -- perhaps because it was forbidden for so long.

So hurrah for California and Massachusetts. Let's hope the anti-gay lunatic fringe eventually sees gay marriage as a blessing not a curse. It certainly promotes stability and family. And it's certainly good for kids.

But the truth is the anti-gays don't think rationally. They need their wedge issues to distract the populace from reality. Anti-gay rhetoric is a useful political smokescreen. It obscures the fact that the rich are getting richer and that nobody gives a hoot about the poor. Whenever people get exercised about sex -- suspect the truth: they want to pick your pocket.