Although social conservatives in the 2010 election campaign depict gay marriage as a threat to married life as we know it, Iowa’s 18-month experience with the newly legalized institution has revealed striking similarities to traditional marriage and no discernible harm to it, according to an IowaWatch study.
Thousands of same sex couples married during that period, and despite the controversy that has swirled around them, their marriages have endured.
The Iowa Watch study found that similarities range from the way men and women often view marriage to the more mundane tasks of married life, such as doing yard work. Like people in traditional marriages, same-sex couples also talk about raising children and shielding them from the verbal slings of peers, the stability and unit-strength of a family and the value of loving relationships among parents and children, as well as legal necessities and financial security.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage was unanimous, but the opposition has persisted because it is fueled by fears that that the family, the bedrock of American society, is at stake.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to marry,” Maggie Gallagher, chairman for the National Organization for Marriage, said in an e-mail. “They shouldn’t be allowed to redefine marriage to mean whatever relationship (they) choose.”
In sharp contrast, married gays often depict a lifestyle and relationship that seems suburban stable, only now they have a marriage license like other couples.“Not much has changed,” said Ledon Sweeney of Iowa City, who married his partner of 12 years. “We live pretty boring lives. We go to work; we mow our lawn, we pay our mortgage, and we go on vacation if we can save enough money.”
(Read the full report at Press Citizen)