As same sex marriage becomes the norm from sea to glittering sea (much to the chagrin of angry folks with their mouths stuffed full of deep fried poultry parts), gay couples are discovering all sorts of the hidden benefits of being legally allowed to get married. Like paying out the ass for a venue because proprietors of reception halls triple the price whenever anyone says the W word. Or like the relentless pestering from family and in-laws over when — or if — they're going to have children.
The New York Times, in another piece that makes the New York City intelligentsia's vision of America sound like a living realization of one of Rick Santorum's nightmares, discusses the relatively new phenomenon of newly married same-sex couples' relatives bugging them about when they're going to have some babies. Not only are relatives asking, but other gay couples have begun pressuring each other. From the Times,
But for Jeff Krehely, 35, who has been married for six years, there is no escaping the question in his social circles. His friends ask. His colleagues ask. His parents are so eager that they have taken to sending birthday cards to his two cats (they call them the "grandkitties").
On the Fourth of July, when Mr. Krehely and his husband sipped iced coffee with several other gay couples, he knew it was only a matter of time before the subject came up. Three of the five couples said they were seriously considering adopting.
"Everyone's asking: What's your timetable? What's your plan?" said Mr. Krehely, a policy analyst, who is still weighing whether to take the plunge.
While some gay couples are being pressured to adopt, in many parts of the US, there's a stigma against same-sex couples adopting. In Utah and Mississippi, it's illegal for same sex couples to adopt children. And in several other states, where gay marriage isn't legal, prospective parents need to jump through several legal hoops in order to have a child of their own.
Even so, the tide is turning. Public opinion has shifted dramatically since the turn of the century, when only 38% of Americans thought that adoption should be legal for same sex couples. A survey conducted last month and released last week found that for the first time, the majority of Americans (52%) think that gay couples should be eligible to adopt kids.
It's great to see loving same sex couples who are finally free to build the families they never thought were possible — and join the Straights in being perpetually harangued over babies. Misery loves company.