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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Why Does That Woman Live with You?"

Andrew Sullivan, responding to a reader's description of growing up - more or less happily, it seems - with gay parents, but not having a word to explain their relationship to her friends:
Portrait of Family at Party
Let me add something that I experienced as well. My in-laws have always been supportive and loving and tolerant. They accepted me at Christmas and other occasions and were glad their son had found a partner. But it was not until we told them that we were "engaged" that something suddenly clicked. They finally had a way to understand us and our love because they had the linguistic architecture to make sense of it. I was going to be their son-in-law! With those words. I became family - not Aaron's friend, or roommate or boyfriend or lover or what-have-you. But his husband. And thereby their family as well.

There was and is something about these words - engaged, married, husband - even though they may contain a mountain of different experiences, that made us a family. I think conservatives should favor the unification and mutual love and support of families. And that means they must by definition favor the mutual love and support of the gay people in them.

This is not about creating something new. It is about making a home for people who have been here all the time for centuries. It is about making the human family whole.

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