I'm writing in celebration of the California decision to allow gays to marry. I'm thrilled -- I've always thought that the idea that gay marriage could hurt or affect straight people in any way was ridiculous. But a year ago, I found out I was wrong.
I'm a straight woman in her late 20s dating "the one," by which I mean the man who I'd be happy to wind up married to. We've been dating about two years, very happily, but one year into the relationship he informed me -- he didn't ask -- that he was going to be the sperm donor for a lesbian couple that wanted to start a family. I had an immediate, visceral, physical reaction to the idea of another woman bearing his child. That's an experience I hope to have with him!
What shocked me was the range of reactions among my friends. My gay friends insisted that it was "none of my business"! They also accused me of being selfish and called me a homophobe! My straight friends agreed that doing this without my consent was outrageous!
Ultimately, he didn't do it, but this conflict very nearly ended our relationship. So I think straights and gays have to talk about this question: If gays have a right to marriage and family, do they also have a right to start those families with my boyfriend -- no matter what I feel about it? Wouldn't it, at the very least, be only polite to ask the girlfriend or wife for her consent?
Questions About Gay Marriage
So you're thrilled that gay people won the right to marry in California, even though you realized a year before gay marriage was legalized that you had been wrong to support marriage equality because it would lead gay people to believe we have a right to your boyfriend's spunk -- the position that lesbian couple and all your gay friends arrived at before gay marriage was legalized in California.
What the fuck are you talking about, lady?
I've read the Supreme Court of California's decision legalizing gay marriage twice, and I can assure you there's not one word in it about your boyfriend's spunk. The gay-marriage decision and your boyfriend's aborted decision to serve as sperm donor have nothing whatsoever to do with each other, and your efforts to link them only make you look like a nutcase.
And that's a shame, QAGM, because you're actually in the right.
You had every right to object to your boyfriend fathering a child by these women. Was your boyfriend planning to be involved in the life of this child? If so, time he spent with this child would have taken time away from whatever children you might have together. And what sort of relationship did he imagine this child would have had with your children? Could he have wound up on the hook for child support, which would've impacted you financially? And what if this lesbian couple had died in a car wreck after this child had been born? Would the child then come to live with you?
Your boyfriend should have been able to see how donating sperm to a lesbian couple would impact you, and that you had a right to be involved in making this decision. The fact that he didn't involve you, and still doesn't think he needed to, should make you think twice about marrying him.
And finally, a question: When you say you had an "immediate, visceral, physical reaction," does that mean you threw a punch? If you did, a word -- or an acronym -- to your boyfriend, if he's reading this: DTMFA.
A few months before I graduated, a friend revealed that she had been lusting after me for as long as she'd known me, and wanted to hook up. The trouble was that she's in a long-term relationship. She didn't see this as a problem -- she was willing to cheat -- but I didn't want to be a part of that, and turned her down. She then played some silly games and convinced me to kiss her when I was drunk, and later flat-out propositioned me (again while I was drunk), and I refused again. Then we graduated and moved hundreds of miles away from each other, which I expected would be the end of it.
Now, though, a month later, she wrote to tell me that she's "not over" me. Was I right to turn her down, or should I, as she argued, let her make her own mistakes? Should I let her boyfriend (and likely fiancé) know about any of this?
Not An Adultery Helper
Can we please -- all of us -- resist the urge to define adultery down? To commit adultery, a person has to be married, not just dating or going steady or even engaged. This girl, if you fuck her, may be a lying, cheating sack of shit, and you may be a cad, but she won't be an adulteress. She can't be one until after she's married.
Now clearly you want to sleep with this woman -- why write to me otherwise? -- and you're probably hoping I'll say that you were wrong to turn her down. But were you? Well, that depends on why she's pursuing you. Perhaps she wants to cheat before she marries, because she wants to live a little first. Perhaps she wants to make sure before marriage that the sex she's getting from the boyfriend is as good or better than sex she'd get elsewhere. Or perhaps she's a skanky, skanky whore. Perhaps you should ask her.
One final thought: If sleeping with you convinces this woman that she could never truly be satisfied with her boyfriend and she ends that relationship before she marries him, you will not only have gotten into the pants of a woman you find attractive, but done your bit to bring down divorce rates.
In your most recent column, you wrote, "The Scouts are famously antigay and anti-atheist." While I believe this is true for the Scouting organization, I have to take issue with the idea that Scouts themselves are antigay and anti-atheist.
I was a Boy Scout. In fact, I am an Eagle Scout. But this is not exclusive of the fact that I am also gay (and am pretty much unreligious). But I was not "out" until last fall, my first year of college, after I was finished with the Scouts (and high school and living at home). Sadly, I'm pretty sure that the title of Eagle Scout would be taken away if the BSA organization knew that I was gay. So if you publish this, please don't use my name or identifying info.
Anonymous Eagle Scout
Thanks for writing, AES, and I apologize for not being clearer in that response: It is the Boy Scouts of America that is antigay and anti-atheist. There are a lot of individual Scouts and Scout leaders out there -- I'm hearing from them -- who reject and denounce the BSA's antigay, anti-atheist positions. It's too bad the BSA isn't hearing from them, too.