MARRIAGE DIGEST: Lesbian couples make up large majority of Calif. 'gay marriages'

by Michael Foust, posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 (9 years ago)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP)--California's "gay marriages" appear to be following trends in other states, where lesbian couples are far more likely than homosexual men to legalize their relationships.

The Sacramento Bee reported that a sampling of marriage licenses in Sacramento County showed 60 percent were obtained by lesbian couples, 40 percent by male couples. Elsewhere, in Yolo County, lesbian couples made up 65 percent of all marriage licenses. Because the marriage certificates no longer list the couple's sex -- instead of "bride" and "groom" the forms say "Party A" and "Party B" -- the newspaper was forced to go by first names to determine the makeup of the couple. In about a dozen cases in Sacramento County (for instance, "Dusty and Robye"), that was impossible, the newspaper said.

In Massachusetts, which has recognized "gay marriage" since 2004, nearly two-thirds of all "weddings" have involved lesbians. Similarly, in New Jersey, 60 percent of all same-sex civil unions have involved women.

"Women want to be married more than men do," Gary Gates, a demographer at UCLA, told the newspaper in the June 20 story. "The idea of partnering is more attractive to women."

That no doubt is true, but conservative experts say it points to something just as significant: promiscuity among the male homosexual population.

A three-year study by University of Chicago researchers released in 2004 showed that 42.9 percent of homosexual men in Chicago's Shoreland area had more than 60 sexual partners, while an additional 18.4 percent had between 31 and 60 partners. All total, 61.3 percent of the area's homosexual men had more than 30 partners, and 87.8 percent had more than 15, the research found.

Such behavior has consequences: Nationwide in 2006, government data showed that 66 percent of new HIV infections were attributed to homosexual men, even though they make up only about 1-2 percent of the population.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that some male couples "married" in Massachusetts have turned the traditional idea of marriage on its head. One couple, Eric Erbelding and Michael Peck, both 44, have no problem with each other having sex with other men. One lives in Pittsburgh and the other in Boston and they see one another every other weekend, The Times said.

"Our rule is you can play around because, you know, you have to be practical," Erbelding said.

"I think men view sex very differently than women," he said. "Men are pigs, they know that each other are pigs, so they can operate accordingly. It doesn't mean anything."

But Erbelding told the newspaper that most of the homosexual couples he knows are "for the most part monogamous, but for maybe a casual three-way."

SUIT SEEKS TO STRIKE CALIF. AMEND. -- The American Civil Liberties Union joined three major homosexual activist organizations June 20 in asking the California Supreme Court to prevent a proposed constitutional marriage amendment from appearing on the ballot. The amendment, if approved, would reverse the court's decision that legalized "gay marriage."

The lawsuit argues that the amendment would "revise" the state constitution -- something that is prohibited from being done under state law by a voter initiative. ("Revision" essentially refers to a fundamental change to the document.) Revising the constitution requires approval by two-thirds of the legislature before an initiative appears on the ballot. Lambda Legal, Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights also are taking part in the suit.

"If enacted, [the amendment] would eviscerate the principle of equal citizenship for gay and lesbian people and strip the courts of their authority to enforce basic constitutional guarantees," Stephen Bomse, a lawyer in the suit, said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Legal experts are calling the suit a long-shot, the Los Angeles Times said. State courts typically don't halt initiatives after they have already qualified for the ballot.

Attorney Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is supporting the amendment, said Equality California and the other groups "are desperate to evade democracy."

"First, they used the courts to erase the votes of nearly 5 million Californians who voted to protect marriage," he said in a statement, alluding to a 2000 referendum the court invalidated. "Now, they are trying to silence the people's voice forever. This is just another attempt to force a radical political agenda upon the people of California. The opponents of marriage are willing to use any means necessary to impose their will."

Amendment supporters submitted 1.1 million signatures to qualify the amendment for the ballot. For information about the amendment, or to donate to the amendment campaign, visit (out-of-state donations are allowed).

Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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