First, a note on the bedroom pictured – it’s from Philip Johnson’s “Glass House.” Johnson was a brilliant architect (think “Lipstick Building”) and a closeted homosexual for much of his life.
Speaking of homosexuality, how is it possible this week we went back in time? Georgia and New York courts did, at least. We’re still opposed to gay marriages (are heterosexuals actually threatened? really?) while the rest of the world forges ahead and gets over it.
In fact, civil unions elsewhere have surpassed such blasé ideas as simply giving the LGBT community an opportunity to publicly validate long-term unions … now, just about anyone can attach themselves to another person – regardless of their sexual relations–even if they have none. Gasp.
If we truly relied on “marriages” defining themselves according to whether or not folks were sexually engaged, I have a feeling a number of heterosexual relationships wouldn’t qualify anymore, if you catch my catty drift. I’m just sayin’ … things fizzle. People take “breaks,” have extramarital affairs, become asexual, etc. — so when the sex fizzles, does that mean marriages automatically dissolve too?
Which brings me to my next point: civil unions elsewhere have much broader parameters, “Any two unmarried persons who want to live together can contract a PaCS, on condition they share common housing and are neither direct ascendants or descendants (mother, grandfather or child), nor too close relatives (brother, uncle or niece).” No clause in there stipulating sexual engagement on a per annum basis … two platonic lifelong friends may enter into a civil union as long as they live together (& presumably take care of one another).
The definition of “family” just opened up, friends. Thankfully. Many folks without lovers & who have not had the best parents just collectively breathed a sigh of relief … and may now even be feeling their living situations are valid and viable without the push to get married for life. Indeed, there are other options~
These unions also seem to have more appeal to heterosexuals now, “According to a French Parliament report issued two years after the law’s enactment, apparently about 60 percent of Civil Solidarity Pacts were concluded by heterosexual couples.”
What do the unions ultimately provide? Well, “…the PaCS gives same-sex couples legal, fiscal and social advantages they never had before.”
And the overall effect of all this openness? Oh, something we could all benefit from, “… Despite the homophobic outburst it provoked, the PaCS unquestionably made homosexuality something ordinary.” In other words, an opportunity to finally just get over it.
Personally, I firmly believe the ongoing debate here in America is a ruse to keep us distracted from more important, life threatening matters, matters which are really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to considering the long-term effects of our country’s actions.
Does America really care if gay couples declare “we’re together”? I’m thinking not so much … but I’m an optimist.
And finally, speaking of positive things, “Play It Again” over at Dan’s spot — what a nice little note! Thanks, Dan~
9 Responses to “Sex: The Defining Line?”
Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.