Gay/Straight, Are Relationship Labels Changing?
The LGBT community is fighting incredibly hard for not only marriage equality but for equal rights in general. It is very obvious that until all citizens have the same rights, we are all not equal, but I still wonder if the way society labels relationships is changing.
While I have been fighting for the right to say that Darren is my “husband”, I’ve notice a paradigm shift in the concept of relationship labeling.
I have noticed that while many LGBT couples are trying to gain the rights that straight couples have, straight couples are changing their relationship statuses to something more like gay couples.
I have met a few straight couples now that do not want to get married. They call each other “their partner”. They are beginning to adopt the vocabulary that LGBT couples have been trying to change for decades.
My question is why? Why, when LGBT couples are finally on the verge of marriage equality, others are beginning to not find marriage that important?
When I was thinking about this a few thoughts did come across my mind. In my opinion, a marriage license does not guarantee a successful relationship. A marriage license does not mean two people will be faithful, only the two people in the relationship can guarantee this.
So if this is the case, why is marriage equality so important? If society is begging to change and not as much emphasis is being placed on marriage but rather living together without a legal commitment but rather an emotional commitment, why is there still a huge push towards marriage equality?
This is a question I am asked often. Many people ask me “why is a piece of paper that important”. It is true when people say that as long as you love someone, a piece of paper will not make a relationship last. So if that is true, why is the piece of paper so important?
There are many reasons that the piece of paper, the marriage license is important. If we look past all the legal rights it grants, such as tax benefits, death benefits, and focus on what it symbolizes it may become clearer. To the LGBT community, that “piece of paper” means that the government finally considers us the same as everyone else.
So it really amazes me that straight couples are wanting to limit themselves to the type of relationships that gays are trying to grow from. LGBT families and couples have been fighting for decades for that marriage license and now straight families and couples are beginning to say “naw, we don’t need it”.
It is true, no family or couple needs a marriage license to have a successful relationship. In my opinion, if you rely on a marriage license for a successful relationship, you will be highly disappointed because it wont work. They reason why the LGBT community needs this piece of paper is symbolic. A marriage license symbolizes equality. It means that same-sex families have all the same rights as any straight family does.
I’ll end saying this. Whether two people want to get married or not is no barometer to how successful their relationship is or how happy they truly are. I will say this though, please do not say that just because you and your partner don’t want to get married that I do not deserve that right. Equality, Freedom and the right to the Pursuit of Happiness means that we are all guaranteed the same rights as Americans and we all have the right to do what makes us happy, whether that’s getting married or not.