While social conservatives depict same-sex marriage as a threat to married life as we know it, Iowa’s 18-month experience with the newly legalized institution has revealed striking similarities to traditional marriage and no discernible harm to it....Whoa, scary stuff. Meanwhile, i'm sure we'll hear how famine and locusts have hit the grain fields of Iowa, straight people are divorcing and the birthrate has declined precipitously.
... married gays often depict a lifestyle and relationship that seems suburban stable, only now they have a marriage license like other couples....
By the time gay couples wed, their relationships are usually well established. In a 2004 study, Kimberly Richman, a University of San Francisco associate sociology professor, found the average same-sex couple married in San Francisco had been together 11 years...
[M]any same-sex couples who had long relationships said marriage has created a powerful change.
“You feel validated as a couple, that you are no longer swept out of the public eye,” Katie Imborek of Iowa City, said, speaking about her marriage to Paula Boback. “That was such a wonderful feeling.”
Richman interviewed 100 same-sex couples who married in Massachusetts and San Francisco, and studied a survey of 1,469 same-sex-couples who married in San Francisco.
Seventy-two percent of couples said they felt more committed to their partners after marriage, and around 70 percent felt more accepted by their community. Acceptance from others legitimated their relationship in their eyes, more so than even the legal rights, she said.
“I heard a lot of stories about people who have been together for 18 years, and their parents didn’t see them as a couple until they were married,” Richman said.