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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Are gay rights, including gay marriage, evolving?
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09/16/2008 10:40:30 PM · #1
A day or two ago, I wandered over to the Rant Forums to check the one Thread that I keep an eye on.
Itís called Honestly, whatís the big deal about gay marriage?

Much to my astonishment, I found it locked. It seems that after four-plus years of dialog, mostly civilized, some silliness got started and a SC member found it necessary to lock the Thread. After all, the Forum rules need to be observed.

While I understand that thread cannot be reopened, I also understand that a new one may be opened on the same subject.

Shall we? Is the silliness over?

Iíll review from the very beginning,(February 4, 2004) a post by Geocide (who hasnít posted for almost a year and who may have moved on)

Alright, maybe I'm young and too inexperienced in today's word, but I really don't get why so many people care if homosexuals get married. It doesn't affect anyone else, furthermore, what harm is it?

This sounds like a giant step backwards in civilization to me. If stopping gay marriages passes, then it wouldn't be implausible to me that interracial marriages would be next. Many people disagree with this relationship bond and if discrimination on the line of sexual orientation is accepted, what difference is the discrimination on the line of race?

One could argue that race is not a choice whereas being gay is, but i implore that person to answer the question: why would someone choose a lifestyle that results in being shunned, and terrorized?

Furthermore, To amend the backbone of the law with the goal of singling out and discrimination against a group of Americans should spark alarm in the most conservative individual. If we ammend the constitution, i believe that we should amend to into stopping all public officials from receiving ANY funds from ANY source other than the government once they enter office, or at the very least only allowing people that protect the liberty of ALL it's citizens to serve in major public office.

In my opinion, American's should live and let live. But then again, maybe i'm too young.

What do you guys think?.


Now, Iíd like to talk about the two gallant ladies who lived in a committed relationship here in San Francisco for fifty years. They were diligent in the furthering of gay rights. They were legally married on the first day that such marriages were possible in CaliforniaÖjust weeks before one died.

Iíd like to hear about ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Mousieís big day In October.

Iíd like this dialog to continue so that more understanding can be reached. So that we can move forward.

Okay, thatís all Iíve got to say. Iíll link to the old thread, so the archive of discussion doesnít get buried Here it is.
09/16/2008 11:08:37 PM · #2
It was a venerable thread that was done a disservice in my opinion. Aren't offensive posts, whichever side they're on, meant to be hidden, instead of conversations cut short? A lighter touch is sometimes a more equitable one.

Anyway, I sadly don't think that there's much hope of understanding or moving forward. This goes for both sides. The one sees a violation of a basic right, the other sees the exclusivity of their institution challenged. My opinion is that in our society an individual's (or couple's) right to equal treatment trumps any "definition" the government cares to ascribe to something like marriage. It's very difficult to understand why some can't understand this. It's more difficult to understand the unfeeling callousness that would allow some people to go further and say, "It's not marriage, it'll never be marriage, you're just not married," irrespective of the histories of people they've never met. It's the ultimate rush to judgment.
09/17/2008 10:26:02 AM · #3
Originally posted by Louis:

Anyway, I sadly don't think that there's much hope of understanding or moving forward. This goes for both sides...


Nope.
Nope.
Nope.

Yours truly USED to be a homophobe. While in the military, I supervised a man who took offense to my jokes about how he 'must be gay', since he had no social life. He lost all respect for me that day and, even with many heartfelt apologies, it took a long time to rebuild trust & respect.

I'm grateful that he finally forgave me, and that I'd finally outgrown many horrible prejudices. I'm also truly ashamed to have ever treated anyone that way.

Despite the obvious rants here, we KNOW that there are people who read these threads & have a change of heart....

I am one of those people. Please don't stop sharing.
09/17/2008 10:36:43 AM · #4
Hmmm... I sure hope things are changing towards a more inclusive and accepting society. Sometimes, I have to admit that narrow-minded, exclusionary prejudice and fear seem to be so firmly entrenched in some people.
09/17/2008 10:39:39 AM · #5
Originally posted by rossbilly:

Nope.

There are individual stories of the release of prejudice which are encouraging, and the situation of tolerance is much better than even twenty years ago. Speaking specifically about gay marriage, it's difficult to see the "anti" side moving forward when it is couched in the language of exclusivity, and a deep-seated prejudice more often than not rooted in one's religion.

09/17/2008 10:50:30 AM · #6
Originally posted by rossbilly:

He lost all respect for me that day and, even with many heartfelt apologies, it took a long time to rebuild trust & respect.

You just gained my respect. :-)
09/17/2008 11:54:21 AM · #7
I'd say that gay rights are indeed evolving.

Unfortunately, that doesn't automatically make it easier to be an openly gay man. I thank my lucky stars that I both grew up and currently live in reasonable, successful, and tolerant communities, first in rural Vermont, and now in the Silicon Valley. I am gifted by location. By making a single correct choice a decade and a half ago, I set myself up for where I am today: exactly one month away from a legal, state-recognized marriage to the man I've loved for those same 15 years. Yet, had I made almost any other choice about where to work and live as an adult, this would not be the case. I can't even count the places in this great country of ours where I would feel threatened simply walking out the front door.

Why?

When I talk openly about my life, discussing the very same trials and tribulations that tie us all together as humans, it's apparently too much for some to handle. Twice the gay marriage thread had gone quiet, and I revisited it because I felt like bringing a little levity to the topic "what's the big deal". Marriages are a big deal for anyone having them. I'm having one. It's a bit overwhelming, particularly as I've been forced to plan it in such short order to ensure I can get married before the November elections, when a mere majority has the option taking this right away from me. It's a scary thought! Homosexuals do this sort of logistic planning every day. I can't even pick a date for my wedding without worrying what a bunch of people that have absolutely nothing to do with me will do when they're compelled to stick their noses into my business.

The first time I came back to comment, it sparked off a storm. Upbeat at first, the forum quickly devolved. People fought. Made assumptions. Insulted and belittled each other. Belittled entire classes of people. It's hard to keep a level head when mere mention of your life causes such a reaction. Nonetheless, I felt like clearer heads prevailed on both sides (for the most part) and there was some meaningful communication before the thread went to sleep again.

So I came back. I was feeling the pinch, with a DJ, rings, vows, tuxedos, and such still needing to be nailed down for the big day. So much work in so little time! So much stress! I figured married people could empathise, and again, it sure feels like a BIG DEAL.

What happens? I get called a fornicator and an unnatural freak. Implicitly, yes, but does that matter? Roped in yet again. Then the thread gets locked.

That's what it's like to be gay. Open your mouth in love, and people try to shut it with hate.

I'm just glad I was somehow raised with the will to exist on my own terms and stand up for myself. I'm not going to hide to make someone else comfortable. Maybe it's obstinance, maybe it's pride (as much as I HATE the idea of 'gay' pride), maybe it's taking after my often impossible father, maybe it's even vanity... but I won't be cowed.

Why? What drives me to keep coming back to these discussions?

I would like to think that I'm helping change the world for the better. That by laying my life bare for others to see, by being thoughtful, and by showing that I have the same wants, needs, fears, and problems as anybody else... I hope to paint a sympathetic portrait, and that people will compare this to the behavior of those who would say I am an abomination. To personalize it. To prevent people from pretending that this is all theorhetical. To be the example. To be the gay guy that counters all the pathetic stereotypes that people throw around.

So yes, gay rights are evolving. But when the mere mention of my life gets a thread shut down, that only proves how much further we need to go.
09/17/2008 12:02:34 PM · #8
Peter, I do want to wish you good luck, joy and a lifetime of happiness in your marriage. I plan on staying out of this thread since it appears that after all the hate spewing forth, it was my mere mention of sex that had the other thread locked.
09/17/2008 12:06:05 PM · #9
Best. Post. Ever.
09/17/2008 12:06:58 PM · #10
Originally posted by Mousie:

I'd say that gay rights are indeed evolving.

Unfortunately, that doesn't automatically make it easier to be an openly gay man. I thank my lucky stars that I both grew up and currently live in reasonable, successful, and tolerant communities, first in rural Vermont, and now in the Silicon Valley. I am gifted by location. By making a single correct choice a decade and a half ago, I set myself up for where I am today: exactly one month away from a legal, state-recognized marriage to the man I've loved for those same 15 years. Yet, had I made almost any other choice about where to work and live as an adult, this would not be the case. I can't even count the places in this great country of ours where I would feel threatened simply walking out the front door.

Why?

When I talk openly about my life, discussing the very same trials and tribulations that tie us all together as humans, it's apparently too much for some to handle. Twice the gay marriage thread had gone quiet, and I revisited it because I felt like bringing a little levity to the topic "what's the big deal". Marriages are a big deal for anyone having them. I'm having one. It's a bit overwhelming, particularly as I've been forced to plan it in such short order to ensure I can get married before the November elections, when a mere majority has the option taking this right away from me. It's a scary thought! Homosexuals do this sort of logistic planning every day. I can't even pick a date for my wedding without worrying what a bunch of people that have absolutely nothing to do with me will do when they're compelled to stick their noses into my business.

The first time I came back to comment, it sparked off a storm. Upbeat at first, the forum quickly devolved. People fought. Made assumptions. Insulted and belittled each other. Belittled entire classes of people. It's hard to keep a level head when mere mention of your life causes such a reaction. Nonetheless, I felt like clearer heads prevailed on both sides (for the most part) and there was some meaningful communication before the thread went to sleep again.

So I came back. I was feeling the pinch, with a DJ, rings, vows, tuxedos, and such still needing to be nailed down for the big day. So much work in so little time! So much stress! I figured married people could empathise, and again, it sure feels like a BIG DEAL.

What happens? I get called a fornicator and an unnatural freak. Implicitly, yes, but does that matter? Roped in yet again. Then the thread gets locked.

That's what it's like to be gay. Open your mouth in love, and people try to shut it with hate.

I'm just glad I was somehow raised with the will to exist on my own terms and stand up for myself. I'm not going to hide to make someone else comfortable. Maybe it's obstinance, maybe it's pride (as much as I HATE the idea of 'gay' pride), maybe it's taking after my often impossible father, maybe it's even vanity... but I won't be cowed.

Why? What drives me to keep coming back to these discussions?

I would like to think that I'm helping change the world for the better. That by laying my life bare for others to see, by being thoughtful, and by showing that I have the same wants, needs, fears, and problems as anybody else... I hope to paint a sympathetic portrait, and that people will compare this to the behavior of those who would say I am an abomination. To personalize it. To prevent people from pretending that this is all theorhetical. To be the example. To be the gay guy that counters all the pathetic stereotypes that people throw around.

So yes, gay rights are evolving. But when the mere mention of my life gets a thread shut down, that only proves how much further we need to go.


Congratulations on your wedding!
09/17/2008 12:27:34 PM · #11
The heroes of the civil rights movement in the 60s were those who fought hatred by simply living their lives with dignity and not bowing before that hatred. Thanks, Peter, for being that kind of hero. I hope the world will be better because of your struggles, but, perhaps more importantly, I hope that you have a happy marriage!
09/17/2008 12:34:19 PM · #12
What an excellent post, Peter. (And thanks to Alice for starting the new thread.) I do hope you'll keep us up to date on the stresses and delights of your planning, and of course the wedding! Oh, and enter a challenge once in awhile. :-)
09/17/2008 12:38:13 PM · #13
Originally posted by Kelli:

Peter, I do want to wish you good luck, joy and a lifetime of happiness in your marriage. I plan on staying out of this thread since it appears that after all the hate spewing forth, it was my mere mention of sex that had the other thread locked.


One of the unfortunate realitites of discussing homosexuality is that a discussion of sex is practically unavoidable. Sexual interest is, after all, the determining factor in what makes a person a homosexual. Depressingly, conservatives seem to get hung up on the sex aspect, endlessly grossing themselves out by imagining all the things we might be doing, while conveniently glossing over the fact that many of their straight friends are doing exactly the same things behind closed doors. This was undoubtedly your point, and I feel you were absolutely correct in making it.

If only people could understand the implications of this idea! Perhaps the specifics of the sex acts are different for homosexuals (and I'd posit that most aren't) but that's just about it when it comes to the differences. The love, the bonding, the living together, the fights, the celebrations, the family troubles... the rest of our lives are pretty much the same as anyone else's. I'm of course ignoring the additional burden of living under constant prejudice, but that's hardly the sole purview of gays, now is it?

There's one other difference actually... when my partner was thinner I could share his clothes with him. :)

I would like to think that it was not your discussion of blowjobs that got the thread shut down, but that it was the ongoing personal attacks. It is 100% fair to counter someone's "it's not natural" argument with irrefutable evidence to the contrary, and if we can't discuss the very things that make someone gay... how can we discuss homosexuality at all?

Message edited by author 2008-09-17 13:03:29.
09/17/2008 02:54:39 PM · #14
Originally posted by Mousie:

I'd say that gay rights are indeed evolving.

Unfortunately, that doesn't automatically make it easier to be an openly gay man. I thank my lucky stars that I both grew up and currently live in reasonable, successful, and tolerant communities, first in rural Vermont, and now in the Silicon Valley. I am gifted by location. By making a single correct choice a decade and a half ago, I set myself up for where I am today: exactly one month away from a legal, state-recognized marriage to the man I've loved for those same 15 years. Yet, had I made almost any other choice about where to work and live as an adult, this would not be the case. I can't even count the places in this great country of ours where I would feel threatened simply walking out the front door.

Why?

When I talk openly about my life, discussing the very same trials and tribulations that tie us all together as humans, it's apparently too much for some to handle. Twice the gay marriage thread had gone quiet, and I revisited it because I felt like bringing a little levity to the topic "what's the big deal". Marriages are a big deal for anyone having them. I'm having one. It's a bit overwhelming, particularly as I've been forced to plan it in such short order to ensure I can get married before the November elections, when a mere majority has the option taking this right away from me. It's a scary thought! Homosexuals do this sort of logistic planning every day. I can't even pick a date for my wedding without worrying what a bunch of people that have absolutely nothing to do with me will do when they're compelled to stick their noses into my business.

The first time I came back to comment, it sparked off a storm. Upbeat at first, the forum quickly devolved. People fought. Made assumptions. Insulted and belittled each other. Belittled entire classes of people. It's hard to keep a level head when mere mention of your life causes such a reaction. Nonetheless, I felt like clearer heads prevailed on both sides (for the most part) and there was some meaningful communication before the thread went to sleep again.

So I came back. I was feeling the pinch, with a DJ, rings, vows, tuxedos, and such still needing to be nailed down for the big day. So much work in so little time! So much stress! I figured married people could empathise, and again, it sure feels like a BIG DEAL.

What happens? I get called a fornicator and an unnatural freak. Implicitly, yes, but does that matter? Roped in yet again. Then the thread gets locked.

That's what it's like to be gay. Open your mouth in love, and people try to shut it with hate.

I'm just glad I was somehow raised with the will to exist on my own terms and stand up for myself. I'm not going to hide to make someone else comfortable. Maybe it's obstinance, maybe it's pride (as much as I HATE the idea of 'gay' pride), maybe it's taking after my often impossible father, maybe it's even vanity... but I won't be cowed.

Why? What drives me to keep coming back to these discussions?

I would like to think that I'm helping change the world for the better. That by laying my life bare for others to see, by being thoughtful, and by showing that I have the same wants, needs, fears, and problems as anybody else... I hope to paint a sympathetic portrait, and that people will compare this to the behavior of those who would say I am an abomination. To personalize it. To prevent people from pretending that this is all theorhetical. To be the example. To be the gay guy that counters all the pathetic stereotypes that people throw around.

So yes, gay rights are evolving. But when the mere mention of my life gets a thread shut down, that only proves how much further we need to go.


Brilliant post, thanks for sharing. And best of luck for your wedding! :)
09/18/2008 10:49:44 AM · #15
I have many,many,many,many....... gay friends and clients and have been to many a gay union/marriage and have found that as long as love is present and the two are committed to each other in every way what is all the fuss? I know it's that easy to ask the question and that the answer will most likely take an eternity to get but I see my friends and clients in a loving relationship the same as I do for myself and my wife. The world needs a wake up call and to love someone what ever your preference is a wonderful thing and everyone should be free to experience love without judgement of others. Again this is easy to say and will most likely not happen in any of our lifetimes but we can hope can't we?

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/75000-79999/75034/120/574778.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/75000-79999/75034/120/574778.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Even in our small mostly rural town eyes are being opened, so there is hope :)

MAX!
10/11/2008 02:28:17 PM · #16
Shockingly, California's Proposition 8, the measure that would constitutionally define marriage as ONLY between a man an a woman, is currently polling as if will pass in November. Supporters of the proposition, many from out of state, have been flooding the California airwaves with misleading and false ads claming that this proposition is about teaching homosexuality in schools, revoking tax-exempt status for churches, and silencing free speech. It is not. It is solely about the definition of marriage, and is an open attept to take away a right and status my partner and I currently share, out of pure bigotry.

That's right, we're already married. We had the papers signed at city hall well in advance of our actual ceremony, just to be safe. That's the kind of scared little dance gays like us need to do all the time. We had the papers signed because we wanted there to be no question about the legality of our relationship on our wedding day.

It's depressing. We can't just have a normal wedding to protect our families and our relationship... We have to make exceptions to protect ourselves from the invasive, prejudiced will of others. Everything from how we plan a wedding to simply holding hands in public has to be first considered in terms of how it will make the anti-gay people around us respond. We literally live in a climate of fear. Just knowing that 50% of the population is willing and empowered to constitutionally mandate my relationship as permanelty second-class and invalid in the eyes of the law... it's completely terrifying. What's next?

Please don't let this proposition pass. My partner and I depend on it not passing! It threatens the legal, state sanctioned relationship that we currently have. Please donate! If you're a California resident, vote no on 8! Help protect our marriage!

For more info, see No On Proposition 8.

They can't take away our commitment... so please don't let them take away our rights!
10/11/2008 03:45:13 PM · #17
Let's hope not. People who have chosen the gay lifestyle already have completely equal rights. No changes are needed.
10/11/2008 03:58:28 PM · #18
Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Let's hope not. People who have chosen the gay lifestyle already have completely equal rights. No changes are needed.


In a hetersexual marriage of 30 years who is the man's next of kin?
In a homosexual relationship of 30 years (where there would have been a marriage had it been allowed) who is the man's next of kin?
10/11/2008 04:06:31 PM · #19
Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Let's hope not. People who have chosen the gay lifestyle already have completely equal rights. No changes are needed.


In a hetersexual marriage of 30 years who is the man's next of kin?
In a homosexual relationship of 30 years (where there would have been a marriage had it been allowed) who is the man's next of kin?


A. His wife.
B. Not a marriage, so his next of kin is his child, siblings, parents whatever is his next of kin.
10/11/2008 04:11:12 PM · #20
Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Let's hope not. People who have chosen the gay lifestyle already have completely equal rights. No changes are needed.


In a hetersexual marriage of 30 years who is the man's next of kin?
In a homosexual relationship of 30 years (where there would have been a marriage had it been allowed) who is the man's next of kin?


A. His wife.
B. Not a marriage, so his next of kin is his child, siblings, parents whatever is his next of kin.


So that debunks your "completely equal rights" myth.
10/11/2008 04:14:46 PM · #21
Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Let's hope not. People who have chosen the gay lifestyle already have completely equal rights. No changes are needed.


In a hetersexual marriage of 30 years who is the man's next of kin?
In a homosexual relationship of 30 years (where there would have been a marriage had it been allowed) who is the man's next of kin?


A. His wife.
B. Not a marriage, so his next of kin is his child, siblings, parents whatever is his next of kin.


So that debunks your "completely equal rights" myth.


Not in the slightest.

In case B, the man still has the RIGHT to marry. He chose not to marry and instead chose to be in an alternative relationship. He self-selected to not marry, no one infringed upon his rights. Marriage is DEFINED as one man + one woman. You cannot redefine it. Since the person you used in your example is one man, we see that he fits into that formula just fine. But to have marriage he would need to find "one woman". Otherwise he chooses not to marry.

Simple and reasonable.
10/11/2008 04:27:18 PM · #22
Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:


In case B, the man still has the RIGHT to marry. He chose not to marry and instead chose to be in an alternative relationship. He self-selected to not marry, no one infringed upon his rights. Marriage is DEFINED as one man + one woman. You cannot redefine it. Since the person you used in your example is one man, we see that he fits into that formula just fine. But to have marriage he would need to find "one woman". Otherwise he chooses not to marry.

Simple and reasonable.


As was shown in the other thread, it HAS been redefined many times throughout history, and may be redefined again, so this argument doesn't hold water.
10/11/2008 04:31:29 PM · #23
Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:


In case B, the man still has the RIGHT to marry. He chose not to marry and instead chose to be in an alternative relationship. He self-selected to not marry, no one infringed upon his rights. Marriage is DEFINED as one man + one woman. You cannot redefine it. Since the person you used in your example is one man, we see that he fits into that formula just fine. But to have marriage he would need to find "one woman". Otherwise he chooses not to marry.

Simple and reasonable.


As was shown in the other thread, it HAS been redefined many times throughout history, and may be redefined again, so this argument doesn't hold water.


Not sure what you're talking about. But God ordained marriage as one man and one woman. That is the definition for America and there is no need to change it to give SPECIAL rights to a self-selected and unverifiable group.
10/11/2008 04:41:55 PM · #24
Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:

Originally posted by BeeCee:

Originally posted by HawkeyeLonewolf:


In case B, the man still has the RIGHT to marry. He chose not to marry and instead chose to be in an alternative relationship. He self-selected to not marry, no one infringed upon his rights. Marriage is DEFINED as one man + one woman. You cannot redefine it. Since the person you used in your example is one man, we see that he fits into that formula just fine. But to have marriage he would need to find "one woman". Otherwise he chooses not to marry.

Simple and reasonable.


As was shown in the other thread, it HAS been redefined many times throughout history, and may be redefined again, so this argument doesn't hold water.


Not sure what you're talking about. But God ordained marriage as one man and one woman. That is the definition for America and there is no need to change it to give SPECIAL rights to a self-selected and unverifiable group.


Mythology has no place in government.
10/11/2008 05:52:52 PM · #25
In the United States, there are two kinds of marriage: civil and religious. To be recognized by God, you must have a religious ceremony, performed by a person deemed able to sanctify marriage within that church. To be recognized by the state (civil) you must have a civil ceremony (the signing of the contract). The two are not related except that the United States allows some people deemed able by a church to 'stand in' for the state in a civil ceremony. So, you can get married in a church without having it sanctioned by the state and you can get married in a courthouse and not have it recognized by a church.

In a religious marriage, there is a contract between two people and God. Some religions state that the two people must be of opposite sex; some religions allow two people of the same sex to marry. As this is not a contract recognized by the state, the state doesn't have any say over it.

In a civil marriage, there is a contract between two people and the state. Right now, most states insist that the contract can only be binding between a man and a woman and the state; same sex marriages are not allowed. As this is not a contract recognized by a church, the church does not have any say over it. (The catholic church does not recognize my marriage as I did not get married within the catholic church. To be recognized, my husband would have to get his first marriage annulled and then we would have to remarry. Yes, in the eyes of the church, we live in sin.)

Years ago, for expediency, the US government allowed certain people of the church to stand in stead of the state and perform marriage rites that were binding by the state. This is where the mistake was made. this is why people have a problem with the idea of a marriage between people of the same sex. Essentially, with regard to the state, marriage is a contract entered into by two people (and approved by the state). To say that the state can control who can enter into a marriage contract based on their sex is discrimination. If the civil marriage contract was returned to state control, this problem would no doubt end, as there would be no religious overtones to the contract.

It wasn't too long ago that mixed race marriages were illegal in many states. In 1924, Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act to make sure people of different races didn't intermarry. It wasn't until 1967 that the Supreme Court finally struck this down. 42 years ago, a black person couldn't marry a white person. How ridiculous is that? The same will happen with gay marriage. It just might take a while longer.
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