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July 11, 2010

Marriage by merit

It's sharing little winks together,
Drinks together,
Kinks together,
That make marriage a joy.

Stephen Sondheim, Company

The folks who want to prevent gay couples from marrying often describe the institution in such glowing terms that it sounds like you have to qualify to get in. Actually, some straight couples do have to take marriage tests: those whom immigration authorities suspect of faking it to allow a non-citizen to remain in our more or less United States.  So since we already have an official U.S. government test for assessing the quality of marriage, perhaps we could resolve this whole silly debate by forcing everyone who wants to get married to take the test. What do you think: grades or pass/fail? Here are some of the questions:

• How many televisions do you have in your house/apartment?

• If you are standing at and facing your kitchen sink, where is the microwave oven?

• Is your microwave stationary or does it have a revolving plate?

• Are you paid weekly, every two weeks, twice a month or monthly? What about your spouse?

• How much money did you receive in your last paycheck/deposit? What about your spouse?

• Where did you and your spouse first meet? When was it?

• Who first spoke to whom?

• Why were you there? What about your spouse?

• Was your spouse with any other people there? Who?

• When did you move in together?

• If you are lying in bed, which side does your spouse sleep on?

• Do you have carpet in your bedroom? What color is it?

• How is your bedroom closet split up?

• Where do you keep your clean underwear? What about your spouse?

• What color is your toothbrush? What about your spouse’s?

• Do you have an answering machine at home? Whose voice is on the message?

• What is the name of your spouse’s manager at work?

• What day is trash picked up at your house?

[Source: NY Times}

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Comments

This post makes me think about the many countries that allow citizens to sponsor same-sex OR different-sex partners, married or not, for immigration. Those countries care about a real relationship existing, not whether the couple is married. The US is so hung up on marriage it is unlikely to ever move in that direction, but these questions do get at a real relationship.

I'm a woman in a relationship with a man. We've been living together for 14 years. He wouldn't be able to answer even half of those questions.

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