I’m not exactly sure what the ethics around gay marriage are. All I know is that I’m caught smack dab in the middle of it. Before the whole gay marriage debate started raging here in the States, my ex and I flew up to Toronto in May of 2004 and were married. The catchword there is ex. We were together for just over four years and, like many relationships, it just stopped working. Our split was an amicable one. We had to deal with all of the regular issues of a divorce. Who got the house, the dog, the dishes, etc.? The problem is, we’re technically still married.
Canadian law allows for foreigners to be married after being in their country for 48 hours. To get a divorce however, at least one of you has to reside in Canada for 12 consecutive months. In their rush to pass equal rights legislation they apparently didn’t think that any of the gay marriages would fail.
We’ve been apart now for three years and while this issue doesn’t keep me up at night, it is certainly in the back of my mind. My friends and family tell me not to worry about it since it’s not recognized in the U.S. and certainly not in Utah, but I don’t think it’s that easy. We as a GLBT community have been galvanized more and more into activism for marriage or civil union rights. I support this movement wholeheartedly. But what does this mean for me then?
Should I just turn a blind eye to the marriage certificate I have tucked away in my desk? Should I make the effort to move to Canada after graduation and accept my penance? (Actually, Canada would be a great place to work and live I think) What happens if, we as a society reach the tipping point and some form of gay marriage is legalized? All of a sudden I’m legally married here. I actually still consider myself legally married regardless.
Does that mean that when I go on a date I’m cheating? If I were to get married to woman here or to a man in the future does that mean I’m a bigamist?
These are all very new questions that I am still sorting out within my own personal ethics and society is grappling with as a whole.
For now though, I’m just keeping my head down while I finish school and I’m quietly learning the Canadian national anthem.