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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Gay Marriage Litmus Test for Friendship Is Offensive

DEAR AMY: I am a gay man living in California. My partner and I have raised a family and have been together for 26 years.

The California Supreme Court recently stated it is illegal not to allow gays to marry. We are thrilled.

Now that we are aging Baby Boomers, we need the protection and rights that married couples have. A proposition to change the California constitution to state that marriage "is between only a man and a woman" will appear on the November ballot, and it only needs a simple majority to pass.

The problem is that four of my best friends are women. It is important to me to know that I have their support of gay marriage. If they vote "no," it will be impossible for me to continue these friendships. I need help on how to handle this situation. -- California Gay Guy

DEAR CALIFORNIA: Perhaps you should ask people how they intend to vote on the question of gay marriage before you befriend them. It would save you the trouble of having to sever the relationship later.

I understand your need to have people in your corner, but your friends are already in your corner. That's what makes them your friends. Demanding that your friendship hinges on what people choose to do in the privacy of the voting booth is offensive.

Furthermore, you seem to assume that your women friends might not support gay marriage. Is this because they're straight or because women are somehow more likely to want to limit the bounds of marriage? This is a sexist assumption.

I'd suggest that you tread very lightly.

DEAR AMY: My husband and I are newly married and in the service.

He was married before and has two young sons.

Because we are deployed together in Iraq, he likes to send pictures of our experience here in Iraq to his ex-wife's e-mail so that the boys see him regularly. If I am in the photographs, he crops me out before he sends them to her, saying he does not want to upset her.


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