Gay Couples Find Marriage Is a Mixed Bag
Nearly two-thirds of the weddings have been lesbian marriages, including one between two women named Melissa McCarthy. And while nearly half of straight people marrying are under 30, more same-sex married couples of both sexes are older — nearly a third are in their 40s.
“It’s been a mixed bag,” said Jacob Venter, a 44-year-old child psychiatrist
BOSTON — Four years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay couples to marry, there have been blissful unions, painful divorces and everything in between. Some same-sex couples say being married has made a big difference, and some say it has made no difference at all. There are devoted couples who have decided marriage is not for them, couples whose lawyers or accountants advised them against marrying, snip
There are devoted couples who have decided marriage is not for them, couples whose lawyers or accountants advised them against marrying, and couples in which one partner wants to marry but the other does not.
But as same-sex marriage begins in California, Massachusetts’s experience may offer hints of what is to come. For example, after an initial euphoric rush to the altar, the number of gay weddings here fell sharply and has declined each year since. Of the more than 10,500 same-sex couples married here since May 17, 2004, 6,121 wed in the first six months. There were 2,060 weddings in 2005; 1,442 in 2006; and 867 in the first eight months of 2007, the most recent data show.
Gay men and lesbians say the early wave of weddings reflected “pent-up demand” from longstanding couples. The subsequent numbers indicate that “marriage isn’t for everybody,” said Mary L. Bonauto, a lawyer who argued the case that led to same-sex marriage being legalized here. And, Ms. Bonauto said, “there’s only so many gay people in Massachusetts.”
The Census Bureau recorded 23,655 same-sex households in Massachusetts in 2006.
Lawyers say same-sex couples are more likely to draw up prenuptial agreements than straight couples are.
For some, the marriage learning curve is steep.
“It’s been a mixed bag,” said Jacob Venter, a 44-year-old child psychiatrist who married Billy Boney, a 36-year-old hairdresser, a month after it became legal to do so. They have disagreements over money, the in-laws and whether to adopt children or have their own.
“Nothing turns out the way you imagine,” Mr. Venter said. “There are no role models for gay marriage.”
Unlike California, Massachusetts has a residency requirement for marriage. Some couples have moved here to marry, including Lisa Forest and Ann Marie Willer, who came from Texas.
“Without having that legal recognition, we felt very vulnerable,” Ms. Forest said. “We wanted the psychological security of knowing that we’re protected if one of us were to become sick, that we would be able to transfer our assets, at least on the state level, without incurring taxes, that we’ll be able to stay together if we’re old and not able to care for ourselves.”
For many, the biggest advantages are less quantifiable.
“There are no role models for gay marriage,” said Jacob Venter of Boston, right, with his husband of four years, Billy Boney.
Massachusetts DID NOT allow gay couples to marry! Black robed criminals decided that same sex individuals could be called "married". Using the same logic and power the same court could decide the moon is made of green cheese!
Marriage is tough. It's even tougher when you're screwed up in the head.
Oh well, mincing and prancing can be difficult