Are Committed Same-Sex Couples the Same as Committed Opposite-Sex Couples?

I had a recent conversation with a friend during which I was asked if committed same-sex couples are the same as committed opposite-sex couples. Aside from opposite-sex couples being comprised of a male and a female, I’d have to say that the answer is a resounding yes.

I explained that gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships do pretty much the same things that their opposite-sex neighbors do every day. They go to work, mow the lawn, pay bills and jointly own real estate.

Lesbian and gay couples have car loans and student loans. They have high school diplomas and college degrees.

Gay and lesbian couples cook dinner or enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant. They take vacations together. They go to plays and movies. They read novels and listen to music on their iPods.

Essentially, committed same-sex couples live lives that are very similar — if not the same as — committed opposite-sex couples.

There is one enormous difference, however.

Opposite-sex couples are allowed to marry in every state and in every foreign country. Opposite-sex couples can adopt children without restriction. Opposite-sex couples can collect their spouse’s social security benefits.

Same-sex couples can only marry in a handful of states. In most states, gay couples cannot adopt a child. Same-sex couples can’t collect their spouse’s social security benefits (even if they are legally married).

Basically, opposite-sex couples enjoy hundreds of rights that are denied to same-sex couples. DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) has allowed this discrimination to be written into federal law.

So, my friends, I’ll ask (and answer) the question again: “Are committed same-sex couples the same as committed opposite-sex couples?”

Yes. Except in the eyes of the law and the minds of the ignorant.



Disclaimer:  The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice.   I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.

copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski


4 comments on “Are Committed Same-Sex Couples the Same as Committed Opposite-Sex Couples?

  1. Tony says:

    This was an insightful post. My partner and I have been together for almost 23 years. Our shared life looks much the same as the other couples who live on our block. We live in Pennsylvania, where gay marriage is not yet legal. Many of our neighbors believe that we should have the same rights they do. I hope it comes to pass one day. And you are so right when you say that gay couples are the same as straight couples except in the eyes of the law and the minds of the ignorant. I think it’s the ignorance that fuels the discriminatory laws.

    • ireneolszewski says:

      Recent polls have shown that more and more people continue to support and accept gay marriage. I’m glad to hear that your neighbors are supportive as well. I’ll say this again and again … change occurs one person at a time.

  2. tsonoda148 says:

    Thank you for this post. I’m just finding it now because I am new to all things “blogging”. My partner and I are 57 and 51 respectively, and have been together for 13 years. We have not married in a “legal” state, but had a commitment ceremony, with rings and certificates, which we honor. We are much like straight couples, in that we have bills, jobs (well she does….I have been laid off and looking for work), friends and family. We honor our vows and lead a monogamous lifestyle. My partner had a massive stroke last year, and we were very surprised to have a lot of cooperation from the hospital staff and specialists, to include me on every diagnosis and decision. I feel that is progress for sure, but we need so much more. Thanks again for your post.

    • ireneolszewski says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad you have had positive experiences with hospital staff. As you know, that isn’t always the case. I hope you will become a regular ready.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s