Monday, April 01, 2013

NY Times: "Openness" (Not Fidelity) Is Recurring Feature of Homosexual Relationships

In the talk about legalizing homosexual marriages, we've heard an awful lot of talk about love and commitment and fidelity.

Well, don't believe everything you hear.

Joe Quirk, author of the best-selling book “It’s Not You, It’s Biology,” suggests that open marriage (the cheerful acceptance that each partner is free to enjoy sexual relations with others) is the key to fixing "the traditional American marriage."

And, by the way, the key fixers are homosexuals who, despite the current rhetoric they are using to redefine legal marriage, are particularly well experienced in open relationships. Says Quirk, "If innovation in marriage is going to occur, it will be spearheaded by homosexual marriages.”

Quirk is quoted in Scott James' New York Times story, "Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret." James writes:

...As the trial phase of the constitutional battle to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage concludes in federal court, gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony. Quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that, according to groundbreaking new research.

A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”…

None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.