Identifying the most important gay relationship issues

16 Dec

For the most part the most important issues in a gay relationship are the same ones faced by any heterosexual couple. Of course there are a few unique situations gay relationships face that heterosexual ones do not, but the same can be said going the other way as well. Generally speaking though, a gay relationship has a few notably striking relationship differences that are worth examining. It is worth noting however that every relationship regardless of whether it be gay or straight is unique because the individuals composing them are unique, so these differences should not be seen as blanket statements but rather common generalizations.

The first issue is whether the the couple is out of the closet. It is not an uncommon thing at all, even today, for one or even both members to still be in the closet and keep their relationship very quiet. This is rarely a byproduct of any sort of shame or embarrassment, but rather an issue which is created by the social climate they live in. The fact is that in the U.S. for example, 60% of the nation still has legalized institutional discrimination against gays. What this means is gays can be denied any one or all of these following rights in 30 states; housing, equal employment protections, certain types of medical care, insurance, hate crimes protections, as well as a half dozen or more “lesser” denials. With that practice allowable, it is easy to see why a couple may face this dilemma.

The next issue regards whether or not they may want to marry. In any type of relationship this can be a heck of an issue. In a gay relationship however the issues surrounding how a relationship evolves are particularly tricky. As of May 2009, a gay couple is very limited as to where they can marry legally. Unlike a straight couple that can choose to marry in their backyard, the church, a courthouse or anyplace they feel like it. A gay couple often has to make travel arrangements to someplace that will sanction the union. Once that is done they have to then decide if that is enough, just because they are married does not in any way mean it is necessarily going to be legally recognized when they get home. That raises the issue as to whether they may need/want to pick up their lives and move to where it will be recognized and start all over from scratch.

They have to deal with the spiritual issues that surround a gay relationship. The fact is that when a gay person is single (unmarried) they will often still be welcome in the houses of worship of many different faith systems. There is the odd double standard many religions hold that it is okay to be gay so long as you abstain from gay sex. A married gay couple is however assumed to engage in gay sex, with good reason, and are therefore then labeled to be sinners or unclean. In order to be in good standing, they must then confess or make an atonement for that “sinful” relation which nearly all refuse to do. As such they find themselves on the outside looking in quite often if they are a couple that wishes the structure of an organized faith system, they find they need to explore converting their faith to one which will accept them. Either way, those are usually less that appealing situations gay couple may face.

There is always the issue of children. We all realize that two men and two women cannot reproduce the same way a man and woman can. That however does not mean they do not have the desire to have children nor does it mean they cannot be excellent parents. The problem then is that they have to often fight an uphill battle against prejudice and stereotypes in order to create that family unit they desire. In many places it is illegal for a gay couple to adopt a child or serve as foster parents. It than raises the issue of the riskier options of overseas adoptions they have to hope will withstand the crossing borders, surrogate parents, or artificial insemination procedures.

Finally they face the social issues. A heterosexual couples marriage may not always be in favor with their friends or family, but they won’t draw stares and face harassment when they do something as innocent as hold hands in public or exchange a simple parting kiss and embrace. A gay couple on the other hand will. A gay couple will have to face the reality that even when they apply for certain things like travel packages as a couple they will often be denied this very basic thing. They have to deal with the reality that a pair of people can meet and marry in 1 hour in a place like Las Vegas and have full marital rights and respect from the populace in general, but they on the other hand may be investigated by an insurance company to make sure they are a “real” couple when trying to add one another to a health insurance policy. A gay couple has to realize that no matter what, there will be people that in all honesty will hate them for being together. Let they sink in, they will be hated by some people for being in love.

Roll just these few issues into one big ball and you can see a gay couple faces some unique relationship issues. The biggest issue really is this combination of factors and whether or not they feel they can withstand them all crashing down upon them at one time in conjunction with the normal problems relationships pose like family relations, money dilemmas, and all those fun little things. For the couple that is truly in love, the issues never outweigh the benefits.

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