Washington (AP) – Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses Wednesday in Washington. Supporters say couples planned to line up before the city’s marriage bureau opened at 8:30 a.m., and some officials were expecting 200 or more people.
Washington will be the sixth place in the nation where gay marriages can take place. Because of a mandatory waiting period, however, couples won’t actually be able to marry in the District of Columbia until March 9. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont currently issue licenses to same-sex couples.
The gay marriage law was introduced in the 13-member D.C. Council in October and had near-unanimous support from the beginning. The bill passed and D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed it in December, but because Washington is a federal district, the law had to undergo a congressional review period that expired Tuesday.
When Rio and Ray married in 2008, the Bay Area women omitted two words from their wedding vows: fidelity and monogamy. “I take it as a gift that someone will be that open and honest and sharing with me,” said Rio, using the word “open” to describe their marriage.
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.
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.” “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.”
The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer. 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.
March 3, 2010
GAY MARRIAGE DOUBLEHEADER
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