On the AP today:
Of all the constituency groups that advocate allowing gay couples to wed, none is perhaps more counterintuitive than the heterosexual spouses of gay men and lesbians.
Yet as the issue plays out in the nation’s courtrooms and statehouses, some of the wives and husbands who learned that their partner was attracted to other women or men are making their voices known in the often-polarized debate.
“We are the unacknowledged victims of the victims of homophobia,” said Amity Pierce Buxton, the founder of the Straight Spouse Network, a New Jersey-based support and advocacy group with 52 U.S. chapters. “When gays and lesbians feel they have to get married to be accepted and to have kids, that hurts not only gays and lesbians, but straight spouses and kids.”
After her husband moved out, “I asked him, ‘When did you know'”‘ He said, ‘When I was a teenager.’ I said, ‘Why did you marry me?’ And he said, ‘Because I didn’t want to be (gay),'” she said.
I can so relate, as can many lesbian and gay people. I, for one, never married anyone because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I desperately wanted to be straight, did all the “ex gay” routines, and yet couldn’t eradicate who I was created to be. But I know so many (including my girlfriend) who followed the only path to family open to them. And the soul-devouring pain this causes all involved is horrifying.
I am very happy and grateful to see this perspective, from the spouses and former spouses of frustrated and closeted gays, articulated so well here.