In November, Washington voters will decide whether to keep marriage equality legal in our state. The issue has many people thinking about what marriage is.
I was intrigued by the question posed by same sex couples: how will it affect YOU if we are allowed to marry?
Some heteros who are against same sex marriage argue that it violates tradition. Many heterosexuals consider themselves experts on marriage, since they've been the only ones allowed to participate.
Interestingly, for the incredible length of time heteros have been getting married, we as a group still aren't very good at it: 50% of all marriages fail.
We speak about tradition but really tradition states a marriage is supposed to last until the death of one spouse. For many, this seems a bit too long.
Tradition also states spouses are supposed to keep the vows they make. For some, this isn't a tradition they always follow.
So honest are we about our 50/50 odds of divorcing that heteros have become used to the concept of prenuptual agreements. Not everyone gets them but many put them on the wedding to-do list right next to getting the flowers and hiring a band.
Tradition seems to be in the eye of the beholder.
I wonder, are some heteros afraid that same gender couples will be better at marriage than we are?
Maybe same sex couples will be slower to consider divorce. Look at how hard they're having to work just to be allowed to marry in the first place.
Maybe having to wait and hope and march and carry picket signs makes a group value the thing they're working for.
Hmm. Waiting, hoping, valuing, working. It sounds like same gender couples might just be able to teach the rest of us a few things about what marriage is.
Amie Ryan is a writer and longtime Kirkland resident.