Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

Love and Marriage: Gay Couples Speak Out

 by Stephanie Glaros


Tags: Arts, Gay Marriage, Zina Saunders, Illustration, Stephanie Glaros,

Gay-Couples

Inspired by her disappointment last year in the New York Senate’s vote against a bill that would allow gay marriage, Utne Reader cover artist Zina Saunders “decided to interview and paint long-standing gay couples, both men and women, and ask them about their stories and their relationships and what marriage means to them.”

Angie (with her partner Bridget, above right) says “Being out has been so much easier for me since we’ve had [our son] Harper, because I feel like we had to make so many choices and decisions through the process of deciding to have a child: every procedure, every time we had to sign a piece of paper, we had to re-choose in that moment, do we really want to have a child? It was a recommitment for me. It’s a recommitment to the relationship. Having to do that so many times, if somebody wants to question our love for each other, then it’s … poor you, you should be ashamed. We didn’t meet in a bar and the next morning wake up and I was pregnant, you know what I mean? It was a real conscious choice and we clearly have thought about this and our relationship very hard and had to do a lot of work in order to get to this point.”

Saunders’ ongoing series of portraits are powerful tributes to true love and commitment.

Images courtesy of Zina Saunders

rodeen
8/27/2010 11:42:36 AM

"Couples who take on the responsibilities and commitments of marriage deserve the cultural respect, social support, and legal protections of marriage" So the real underlying issue to me is the cultural respect aspect because in my hypothetical I am conceding all other rights. Those rights mentioned I should say I think are a little frivoulous. I have never been denied access to friends in the emergency room or ICU for that matter. A DNR is cheap and easy to get. Wills are also very cheap and easy, infact I think you can make a simple will online now. But I am conceding those rights I am just saying if that is the problem what is all the fuss.


rodeen
8/27/2010 11:35:16 AM

Thank you I will check it out. Stand by however I am sure to have more questions.


jennifer kneeland_1
8/27/2010 11:25:22 AM

Here is a website that you can learn a little more about this... http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/marriage-101#faq4


rodeen
8/27/2010 11:16:40 AM

So if the state were to issue for example "life partner union certificates" and with this came all the rights of marriage this would be acceptable to the gay community? I honestly think that the language is a big part of the problem. It may seem silly to some but that plays a huge role in all of this.


jennifer kneeland_1
8/27/2010 11:10:32 AM

Yes. Denied.


rodeen
8/27/2010 8:10:50 AM

are all of these rights denied in common law unions?


jennifer kneeland_1
8/26/2010 5:42:33 PM

There are approximately 1,000 different rights being denied to committed gay/lesbian couples. You can google this if you would like to know what they are. So... it is not necessarily related to "status". Trust me... gay/lesbian people have no desire to be like straight people. We would just like the same opportunities often overlooked by straight people... hope that helps!


rodeen
8/25/2010 1:41:23 PM

I know I am probably going to get blasted on here so I would first like to say that I really dont care all that much if the govt. legalizes gay marriage. My question (and I am being sincere) is why do homosexuals want to be married? Is it mostly a matter of principal and society recognizing there commitment to each other? Are there rights being denied under common law unions that would be better if married? Is it to spite a group of people who largerly disapprove of the lifestyle? I really dont know. I know about the opponents side, I would just like to know more from the proponents. I would love to have a respectful exchange if any one can help.