Comments: Sharing a Border with Vermont Probably Had Something to Do With This

You seem to be quite dismissive and critical of divorce. I can sure understand that from the point of view of the newly married but I wonder if you ever think it is a viable option?

Do you believe that marriage vows are to the death or is it possible to come to a point in your life where (assuming that your financial obligations aren't negated) that it is really better for two people to go their seperate ways?

Is there a point where one weighs what one has or lacks in a relationship and decides that living a compromise just isn't fair to either of you?

Is this something that newly married people are even able to think about or do you have to live a half a century to be at a point to consider how to go on with the rest of your life and what love and passions are still possible?

Posted by ellison at February 9, 2005 08:58 AM

I'm not anti-divorce at all. I might never choose it for myself, but know that there are all sorts of circumstances that lead people to end a marriage, whether after 50 years or 50 weeks. If someone wants a divorce, fine. It's not an easy decision, I'm sure. I'm not judging guys like the mayor for having been divorced. I'm judging them for having been divorced AND rallying to bravely defend marriage from homosexuals.

In the context of people who are leading the fight against gay marriage, I think the histories of the generals are fair game.

Consider the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It was proposed because at that time Hawaii was considering sanctioning gay marriage. This made a lot of elected officials nervous. If a gay couple, married in Hawaii, moved to Georgia, would the state have to recognize that marriage? (Why anyone would move from Hawaii to Georgia is beyond me, but that's neither here nor there for our purposes.)

So, to make sure no other state would be forced to recognize gay marriages that took place elsewhere, Congress proposed DOMA, which thrice-married Bob Barr authored. If gays were allowed to marry, Barr reasoned, guys like him might wind up licking whipped cream off of the chests of two women while married to a third. (Actually, Barr did exactly that at a fundraising event.)

Just a few more who supported DOMA:

Newt Gingrich - served his wife with divorce papers while she was dying of cancer. Literally. In the hospital. Married three times.
Bob Dole - divorced
John Warner - divorced (from Liz Taylor no less!)
Phil Gramm - divorced
Dick Armey - divorced
Al D'Amato - divorced
John McCain - divorced

The act was signed by President Clinton. He's never been divorced, but neither is he a posterboy for the sanctity of marriage.

So, I'm not against divorce. I'm against hypocrisy.

Posted by Doug at February 9, 2005 03:09 PM

Abosolutely agree with you on the hypocrisy thing. I've never understood why additional married couples was somehow bad for the institute of marriage. Glad you clarified the divorce thing. I agree that marriage should not be either undertaken or dismantled lightly but neither should staying married despite the health or ill health of the marriage be a measure of someone's ethics.

Posted by Ellison at February 9, 2005 04:29 PM