Sex: The Defining Line?


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?”

  1. kevin Says:
    July 10th, 2006 at 3:12 pm e(are heterosexuals actually threatened? really?)

    yes. and you can’t stay with xstine & i in the fall lest you bring is into yer cult. (cult the right word?)

    i probably would’ve opted for the civil union given a choice seems more reasonable especially as god didn’t make an appearance in our vows and such

  2. Amy King Says:
    July 10th, 2006 at 3:54 pm eI always thought the same-sex marriage thing was a financial decision. Isn’t that why insurance companies are lobbying against both civil unions and marriage for same-sex couples?

    I’m also unsure of what Kevin wrote above, because it wasn’t exactly English, but I think I disagree.

  3. Dan Coffey Says:
    July 10th, 2006 at 4:43 pm eSpeaking of bad English, my wife and I were laying on the couch(es) yesterday, reading and getting over our hangs, and we had the MusicChoice cable tv “radio” on the 80s channel. They played a song by Bad English and John Waite was singing. I mused aloud, “Where the Hell is Tommy Shaw?” Then my wife reminded me that he was in fact the lead singer in that OTHER “supergroup” Damn Yankees.

    -Proud owner of #8 of 10 lim ed signed copies of Beat Roots by A Waldman/ill by G Schneeeeeeeeeman.

  4. Amy King Says:
    July 10th, 2006 at 6:45 pm eAmy King didn’t reply to Kevin above. Kevin replied as Amy King. His is a desperate call to join my cult, an opportunity which will be readied, Kevin. But be prepared: there are initiation rites. Of a most perverse variety. And after, you shall be Ms. Kevin and Christine King. Prepare the way. Tell everyone in Buffalo to hold on. Charge up the batteries.

    All will take place with a Leonard Cohen tenor.

    Isn’t Beat Roots new, Dan?

  5. Dan Coffey Says:
    July 11th, 2006 at 2:27 pm e“Isn’t Beat Roots new, Dan?”

    Yes, spanking brand. And yet older than the Upanishads if you feel me.

  6. kevin Says:
    July 12th, 2006 at 1:28 pm ethis civil union that you typed of, existing in france if i recall, is something i would’ve opted for given a choice as marriage, increasingly defined (or perhaps always was) in religious terms, doesn’t apply to the marriage ceremony we had as god wasn’t in our vows.

    that more clearerer? sorry, typing at work got me down.



  7. Amy King Says:
    July 12th, 2006 at 4:17 pm eI can’t tell who I am anymore.
  8. kevin Says:
    July 12th, 2006 at 5:50 pm eif yer not tellin, i won’t either
  9. Aimee, grrl w/ a sunburn Says:
    July 14th, 2006 at 8:21 pm ewho the hell is amy king!!!

Gay Lesbian Poetry Politics

AMY KING View All →

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.

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