DOMA Gives Gay Politicians 'Free Pass' On Ethics, Says Watchdog

Feb 13, 2013 | Posted by: Rick in Kansas | Full story: www.huffingtonpost.com

Most arguments against the Defense of Marriage Act focus on the multitude of rights and benefits denied to same-sex couples whose marriages are not recognized by the federal government.

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“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#22
Feb 19, 2013
 
RalphB wrote:
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Very good record. I know many couples who have been together longer than my husband and I. One couple who befriended me when I first came out was together over 60 years. I really miss them. They were even more inspiring than my own parents, who were together, sadly only 38 years when my father died. It took a lot of courage for my friends to have gotten together back in the 40's, and stick it out through all those years. But they never complained. They just lived happily together, ignoring the taunts and abuse.
I have been blessed to know many gay couples that have been together for many decades, too. In fact, way more than straight couples.

I really think that one of the root causes of straight marriages breaking up is the fact that our culture is so supportive straight couples just sailing down the "high school/college, job, marriage, kids, retirement" track that a whole lot of them end up in their '30s and '40s wondering what the hell they're all about. That's definitely what happened to my brother.

He was the high school football jock and bass guitarist that went into the military, married his high school girlfriend, left the military, got a job and then 17 years later thought, WTF???? Who the hell AM I?? Fortunately for him, his wife was thinking the same thing so they divorced and started to figure out who the hell they really were in their late '30s. Boy does THAT suck.

Us gay folks, not having that traditional track to follow and having the whole coming-out process to deal with, often go through that "who the hell am I?" process *before* we find the love of our life. Not always, of course, and God knows we've all known many gay relationships that were utter train wrecks, but it does seem to me that I know very few gay couples that have been together for years and years that separate. But virtually ALL the straight couples I know that are my age-ish (I'm 48) are either already divorced, divorcing, or wishing they were divorced. Some are already through their second marriage and onto their third. Go figure.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

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#23
Feb 19, 2013
 

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eJohn wrote:
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Well, I'm noticed over the years that the people that buy into the, "gotta git married!! gotta git married!! gotta git married!!" panic and get married to the first idiot that's stupid enough to propose when they're both still children are pretty much destined to divorce young, too.
My white trash next-door neighbor boys were ALL THREE married by the time they were 19 (because the kid was either on the way or already here), but then two were divorced by 20 and the third lasted all the way to 22 before his wife dumped him with the kid and disappeared.
The most successful marriages I know were couples that had already been together for quite a few years before getting married, making them 30-somethings when they finally did it. That makes a lot of sense. I didn't even meet my husband until I was 29 and he was 41. And we STILL waited 9 years before moving in together. We would have got married at that time had it been legal, but it wasn't yet. So we waited for 18-1/2 years to finally go to New York and get married.
I honestly think that it's the fear that gay couples will enjoy a lower divorce rate than straight couples do that drives a lot of the anti-marriage bigotry. Of course we will in the short-term because so many of us have already been together for decades, but long-term, I can't imagine it would be much different.
It's also generational. Divorce wasn't seen as an acceptable option by most in my parents generation. My parents got married at 19 due to pregnancy, though they probably were going to get married anyways. Most of my ancestors got married in their teens, but none of them got divorced; ever.

The other part is media driven unrealistic expectations. Everyone is looking for their "soul mate", and when their current partner falls short of that unrealistic ideal then they just move on to their next "soul mate". These people are guaranteed to be disappointed.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

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#24
Feb 19, 2013
 

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WeTheSheeple wrote:
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It's also generational. Divorce wasn't seen as an acceptable option by most in my parents generation. My parents got married at 19 due to pregnancy, though they probably were going to get married anyways. Most of my ancestors got married in their teens, but none of them got divorced; ever.
The other part is media driven unrealistic expectations. Everyone is looking for their "soul mate", and when their current partner falls short of that unrealistic ideal then they just move on to their next "soul mate". These people are guaranteed to be disappointed.
I think that there were two primary factors as to why previous generations did not divorce to the extent that more recent couples do. One is the fact that divorce was frowned upon, and the other, more importantly, was that women did not have the options available to them today. They would put up with a lot more "cheating" than women today will. Personally, I always did long for a life-time relationship. I went through the usual "move in, move out" thing a couple of times, but I saw no future, and decided not to move in again with a man until I was assured the commitment was there. And my husband, Frank, told me early on that he wouldn't have us move in together until we were sure the other was "the one". It worked.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

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#25
Feb 19, 2013
 
RalphB wrote:
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I think that there were two primary factors as to why previous generations did not divorce to the extent that more recent couples do. One is the fact that divorce was frowned upon, and the other, more importantly, was that women did not have the options available to them today. They would put up with a lot more "cheating" than women today will. Personally, I always did long for a life-time relationship. I went through the usual "move in, move out" thing a couple of times, but I saw no future, and decided not to move in again with a man until I was assured the commitment was there. And my husband, Frank, told me early on that he wouldn't have us move in together until we were sure the other was "the one". It worked.
True. Societal pressure and lack of employment opportunties & legal rights for women certainly kept many marriages together.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#26
Feb 19, 2013
 
WeTheSheeple wrote:
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It's also generational. Divorce wasn't seen as an acceptable option by most in my parents generation. My parents got married at 19 due to pregnancy, though they probably were going to get married anyways. Most of my ancestors got married in their teens, but none of them got divorced; ever.
The other part is media driven unrealistic expectations. Everyone is looking for their "soul mate", and when their current partner falls short of that unrealistic ideal then they just move on to their next "soul mate". These people are guaranteed to be disappointed.
Very true. As well as encouraging early marriage and immediate childbearing, society also offered a great deal of support for those very young families. Every young mother had 20 or 30 friends doing exactly the same thing and since they all saw each other all the time, it was a lot easier to be a 15-year-old bride with a child on the way.

The demands that society puts on people today make that scenario far less supported and far less workable.

I had a friend that was married at 15 years old in 1920 to her husband, who was 18. She had all three of her children before she turned 18, one right after the next. On her 21st birthday, she had two kids in school and one starting the next fall. Had WWII not delayed her childrens' marriages (they all got married in 1946, like millions of other people), she would have likely been a grandmother by the time she was in her early to mid-'30s. Instead, she was over 40 by the time her first grandchild came along.

That type of thing still happens today, but nowhere near as often as it did in the early 20th Century and before. And I think it's a helluva lot harder to be so young be having children today than it was then, too, but it's because society has changed so much.

My friend, Granny (Edna), was married to her husband for 69 years before he died in 1989. She lived another seven years and died at 91 in 1996. She was awesome and I'm a better person because of her.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#27
Feb 19, 2013
 
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
I think that there were two primary factors as to why previous generations did not divorce to the extent that more recent couples do. One is the fact that divorce was frowned upon, and the other, more importantly, was that women did not have the options available to them today. They would put up with a lot more "cheating" than women today will. Personally, I always did long for a life-time relationship. I went through the usual "move in, move out" thing a couple of times, but I saw no future, and decided not to move in again with a man until I was assured the commitment was there. And my husband, Frank, told me early on that he wouldn't have us move in together until we were sure the other was "the one". It worked.
My husband and I did that, too--wait a LONG time to be sure. In fact, after 9 years, the reason we finally bought a house together was more because of job issues than it was relationship stuff. We had already decided we wanted to combine households, but with our jobs in different cities, 65 miles apart, it made more sense to commute to each other on the weekend than it did for us to both to have horrible commutes to work every day, just so we could live together. And we liked having places in both cities--that was convenient (expensive, but convenient).

But when both the places we were working closed within a month of each other and we both ended up with jobs much closer to each other, we figured is was Kismet and ran with it. It wasn't a mistake.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

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#28
Feb 19, 2013
 
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
Very true. As well as encouraging early marriage and immediate childbearing, society also offered a great deal of support for those very young families. Every young mother had 20 or 30 friends doing exactly the same thing and since they all saw each other all the time, it was a lot easier to be a 15-year-old bride with a child on the way.
The demands that society puts on people today make that scenario far less supported and far less workable.
I had a friend that was married at 15 years old in 1920 to her husband, who was 18. She had all three of her children before she turned 18, one right after the next. On her 21st birthday, she had two kids in school and one starting the next fall. Had WWII not delayed her childrens' marriages (they all got married in 1946, like millions of other people), she would have likely been a grandmother by the time she was in her early to mid-'30s. Instead, she was over 40 by the time her first grandchild came along.
That type of thing still happens today, but nowhere near as often as it did in the early 20th Century and before. And I think it's a helluva lot harder to be so young be having children today than it was then, too, but it's because society has changed so much.
My friend, Granny (Edna), was married to her husband for 69 years before he died in 1989. She lived another seven years and died at 91 in 1996. She was awesome and I'm a better person because of her.
My great-grandmother was a grandmother at age 30 and she was still having kids of her own (16 total), resulting in uncles younger than their nephews. That was also quite common in the 1800's & early 1900's.

Our family reunions were always interesting! Thanks to our longevity and propensity to reproduce at an early age, at one time there were 6 generations present- the oldest was 105, the youngest was an infant.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#29
Feb 19, 2013
 
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>My great-grandmother was a grandmother at age 30 and she was still having kids of her own (16 total), resulting in uncles younger than their nephews. That was also quite common in the 1800's & early 1900's.

Our family reunions were always interesting! Thanks to our longevity and propensity to reproduce at an early age, at one time there were 6 generations present- the oldest was 105, the youngest was an infant.
Wow. I come from a very small family. My brother and I (both without children) are the last of my father's side and most of my mother's, despite being "Catholic", haven't reproduced, either.

My husband, on the other hand, has over 40 first cousins (it's hard to keep track), and thirty-some aunts and uncles. We've been together almost 20 years and I've still only met a fraction of his family.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

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#30
Feb 19, 2013
 
eJohn wrote:
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Wow. I come from a very small family. My brother and I (both without children) are the last of my father's side and most of my mother's, despite being "Catholic", haven't reproduced, either.
My husband, on the other hand, has over 40 first cousins (it's hard to keep track), and thirty-some aunts and uncles. We've been together almost 20 years and I've still only met a fraction of his family.
I sometimes wish my family was much smaller, especially when it comes to birthdays and graduations and weddings and every other damn thing I have to buy presents for!

All four of my grandparents had more than 10 siblings and the family just expanded from there. We had over 300 people at the last family reunion!

Before computers my ancestry files took up half the basement.

No one seemed to get the irony of the gay one being in charge of the family history!

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#31
Feb 19, 2013
 
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>I sometimes wish my family was much smaller, especially when it comes to birthdays and graduations and weddings and every other damn thing I have to buy presents for!

All four of my grandparents had more than 10 siblings and the family just expanded from there. We had over 300 people at the last family reunion!

Before computers my ancestry files took up half the basement.

No one seemed to get the irony of the gay one being in charge of the family history!
Yikes! I'm such an introvert that just the thought of you family reunions makes me shudder (you, too, maybe??)

My husband and his brother love pointing out to their cousins that the longest lasting marriage in their generation is a gay couple (his brother at 45 years and counting). And at nearly 20 years, my husband and I have outlasted most of the cousins' marriage(s), too. Some that are younger than me are on their third marriages already.

Living well is truly the best revenge.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

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#32
Feb 19, 2013
 

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eJohn wrote:
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Yikes! I'm such an introvert that just the thought of you family reunions makes me shudder (you, too, maybe??)
My husband and his brother love pointing out to their cousins that the longest lasting marriage in their generation is a gay couple (his brother at 45 years and counting). And at nearly 20 years, my husband and I have outlasted most of the cousins' marriage(s), too. Some that are younger than me are on their third marriages already.
Living well is truly the best revenge.
Actually it was at one of the family reunions when I was in high school that I realized I wasn't the only gay one in the family. I think that's when I first got interested in researching my ancestry. Turns out some of those "bachelor farmers" were bachelors for a reason!

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

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#33
Feb 20, 2013
 
WeTheSheeple wrote:
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Before computers my ancestry files took up half the basement.
No one seemed to get the irony of the gay one being in charge of the family history!
You too, huh. I started in 1980 doing my genealogy. This year I am organizing it all, and donating it to the St. Louis Genealogical Society. No one in my family wants the records. At least not at the moment. I'm sure as soon as I get rid of them, someone will say, "why didn't you tell me? I'd like to have them." Nowadays I only do research for others, and I try to limit it so that it doesn't take up all my time.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

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#34
Feb 20, 2013
 
RalphB wrote:
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You too, huh. I started in 1980 doing my genealogy. This year I am organizing it all, and donating it to the St. Louis Genealogical Society. No one in my family wants the records. At least not at the moment. I'm sure as soon as I get rid of them, someone will say, "why didn't you tell me? I'd like to have them." Nowadays I only do research for others, and I try to limit it so that it doesn't take up all my time.
I had just the opposite experience. After spending decades researching the family tree and haranguing relatives and traveling the country for every bit of info & pictures & documents-(it was like pulling teeth at times)- now that it's about "finished" everybody suddenly wants a copy.

Besides all the basic documents-(immigration documents, marriage, birth, death, military service, schooling, etc)- I have gravestone photos of every ancestor who was ever buried in this country going back to the early 1700's. I've got platt maps showing where they lived & what land they owned; census documents listing their professions & possessions & even how many cows they had; photos of the ships which brought them to America. Etc, etc, etc. I even have a plank of barn wood with the family name & date carved on it from the first homestead property in Minnesota.

I can't even calculate how much time & money I've spent over the years (easily in the tens of thousands); and now everyone wants a copy......

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

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#35
Feb 20, 2013
 
WeTheSheeple wrote:
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I had just the opposite experience. After spending decades researching the family tree and haranguing relatives and traveling the country for every bit of info & pictures & documents-(it was like pulling teeth at times)- now that it's about "finished" everybody suddenly wants a copy.
Besides all the basic documents-(immigration documents, marriage, birth, death, military service, schooling, etc)- I have gravestone photos of every ancestor who was ever buried in this country going back to the early 1700's. I've got platt maps showing where they lived & what land they owned; census documents listing their professions & possessions & even how many cows they had; photos of the ships which brought them to America. Etc, etc, etc. I even have a plank of barn wood with the family name & date carved on it from the first homestead property in Minnesota.
I can't even calculate how much time & money I've spent over the years (easily in the tens of thousands); and now everyone wants a copy......
Oh, my relatives wanted a copy of the books I wrote, but no one wants to keep the archives. 3 of them are arguing over photos though. I have 20 albums with over 7,000 pictures I have collected. I'm thinking of putting them on discs, but I don't seem to find the time.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#36
Feb 20, 2013
 
WeTheSheeple wrote:
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Actually it was at one of the family reunions when I was in high school that I realized I wasn't the only gay one in the family. I think that's when I first got interested in researching my ancestry. Turns out some of those "bachelor farmers" were bachelors for a reason!
When I came out to my paternal grandmother and she was totally unimpressed (I was expecting drama). I asked her why she was so okay with it. She said, "Hasn't anyone ever told you about your great uncle Eli? That's how I met your grandfather."

It turns out that my grandfather's younger brother was her supervisor at the office she worked in. He was gay and often invited to management parties that he needed a date for. My grandmother liked him and totally knew the score, but liked going to all those fancy parties, so she "dated" him so she could keep going to the parties. At some point, she ended up meeting his older brother and he became my grandfather.

And I'm pretty sure I have a gay cousin on my mother's side, but I hardly know him and we're not at all in contact anymore so I don't know for sure.

So that's probably two in a very small family. Good odds, I think.

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