About Gary Alton Russell

While occasionally engaging in the frivolous, I prefer to spend my time engaging in pursuits that enrich my life and the lives of others.

X Offender

I think all the time
How I’m going to
Perpetrate love with you

Marriage isn’t about sex, marriage equality advocates tend to say; it’s about love.

Same-sex couples don’t have sex?

That seems to be the message.

It’s true that the benefits of legalized marriage include important protections such family medical leave and the right to make healthcare decisions for one’s incapacitated spouse. The 2013 Supreme Court marriage case that supposedly weakened the institution of marriage involved estate taxes.

Marriage isn’t just about those things, though.

It’s about love, of course.

This marriage proposal is romantic.

If marriage isn’t about sex, though, I wonder what other couples do on their wedding night.

The 2003 Supreme Court case on homosexual sodomy laws was brought by a man who was arrested in his bedroom for committing an act of sodomy with another man. Avoiding discussions of gay sex denies an opportunity to discuss the history of sexual oppression and repression.

Tony Perkins said that interracial marriage is not the same as same-sex marriage because interracial marriage bans were “man-made barriers” to “keep the races apart” while dismantling same-sex marriage bans is an “attack” on the “natural bridge that brings the sexes together.”

The Lawrence and Loving cases involved couples arrested in their bedroom, a fact that seems to be rarely brought up. Perhaps a failure to address the history of sexual oppression in the marriage debates and how it correlates with Loving creates a level of ignorance that permits Tony Perkins to say, “Religious liberty has been placed on a collision course with sexual license.”

It’s wrong to tell Perkins that marriage isn’t about sex. Of course it’s about sex, at least for many couples. And the interracial marriage bans weren’t simply “man-made barriers.”

An activist judge told the Lovings:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

Mixed marriage leads to mixed babies. It seems to me that that was about sex as well.

An attorney stated that the Lovings had a right “to wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night knowing that the sheriff will not be knocking on their door or shining a light in their face in the privacy of their bedroom for illicit cohabitation.”

That is not – as Tony Perkins characterized the comparison between same-sex and interracial marriages – a “specious” argument.

The year that Lawrence was decided, Rick Santorum said, “I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts.”

Santorum also compared sex between same-sex couples to “man on dog” sex.

Santorum wants to be president and yet much of the media has failed to confront him on his “man on dog” and other comments placing gay sex in a category with the most depraved sex acts.

When I first started having sex in 1986 – 17 years before the Lawrence opinion – I was committing what in some states was a criminal act. As of 2014 – 11 years after the Lawrence opinion – 12 states still haven’t repealed their sodomy laws. Gay people continue to be arrested for “crimes against nature.”

Respectability shouldn’t come at the price of inhibiting our sexuality – practicing sex in the bedroom and publicly pretending we’re just interested in joint bank accounts – or ignoring our history of criminalized homosexuality.