I keep reading fervent defense-of-marriage arguments. (Several by divorced heterosexuals.) I’m not unsympathetic. I’ve been married, once and only, for 28 years to the same woman. I pursued her for 14 years (sic) before she agreed (reluctantly) to marry me. I’m so lucky she did. Her companionship (yes, in the most basic meaning of the word, “with bread”) has made/makes all the difference, not least of all in the two extraordinary children who grace our existence. Like all the most wonderful/painful/enjoyable parts of life, marriage is a mystery. Why, despite all the obstacles/difficulties, do some relationships last and others don’t? Why do some “perfect” couples turn out to be utterly imperfect and some “utterly incompatible” couples end up perfect for each other? Go figure. Experience has taught me humility (which is why I hate experience). As with every important lesson in my life, I’ve resisted learning it. I’ve tried to ride the high horse of a superior (heterosexual) understanding of love/marriage, but the damn bronco keeps throwing me. As the closet doors have been (and, thank God, keep being) thrown open, I’ve seen over and again how homosexual couples can match (and often surpass) the best aspects of heterosexual parents. Yeah, let’s “defend“ marriage. Let’s support/encourage the commitment of two people to stay together for a lifetime, to survive the strains of constant contact, to endure and understand one another, to overcome the miseries/inanities/ inadequacies of the everyday and experience the purpose/contentment/fulfillment that can only be found in sharing a lifelong commitment. As ignorant/ arrogant/self-satisfied/self-righteous as I remain, I know this much: love endures all crosses, forgives all trespasses, seeks no victory. And the love that matters–the love that teaches children, redeems our lives from insignificance, survives everything, even death–has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with us.