Divorce, Same-Sex Style
I am divorced and so I believe strongly that I have given up any right I may have had in the past to make any judgments about the desire of people, any people, to try to make a marriage work. Having failed at it, who am I to say that any couple can't give it a shot? That's probably why I have never understood why so many divorced people seem to be against same-sex marriage even though they already have proven, through their divorces, that the "sanctity" of marriage isn't all it is cracked up to be. More power to anyone, or any couple, that can manage marriage better than the 50 percent or so of us who cannot.
Which brings me at last to the newest trend in the same-sex couples game-- same-sex divorce. It should come as no surprise to anyone that same-sex couples are just as prone to separating, and getting "divorced" as heterosexual couples. In Rhode Island Wednesday, a trial judge refused to decide whether a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts (where it is legal, remember) could actually get divorced in Rhode Island (where currently it is not). The Supreme Court of Rhode Island now has that particular hot potato and quite frankly I have no idea how that court will rule.
Meanwhile, high-profile same-sex couples, including the named plaintiffs in Massachusetts' landmark case, are splitting up just like other couples do. In San Francisco, the "namesake" same-sex couple in that state's fight also split up last month and a similarly-situated couple in Vermont also appears to have done the same. Did the stress of being "pioneers" in this new field of the law contribute to the break-ups? Who knows. But I do know it's hard enough to make a relationship successful when the full glare of the media spotlight is not upon a couple.
So now, even while the courts have not quite universally made up their minds about how legal same-sex marriage is around the country, the issue of same-sex divorce has been thrust upon judges. I suppose that was inevitable. Human interaction always has been ahead of the legal curve-- the law eternally has to catch up to how we behave. Opponents of same-sex marriage point to these break-ups as proof that there can be no "sanctity" in a same-sex union. As a divorced man, I see the opposite. To me, these high-profile break-ups help prove that same-sex couples are just as capable of dreaming and failing as are so many of the rest of us.
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