Anne Noonan, Ph.D. and Michelle Porche, Ed.D.
Letter to the Editor published in the Boston Globe
August 27, 2005
The Editorial, “Everyday people” (Aug.23) described the “utterly ordinary” lives of same-sex couples whose weddings have been announced in the Globe and New York Times. Our work as members of a research team studying the impact of legalized marriage on the lives of same-sexcouples can inform policymakers and the public on this issue.
Results recently reported at the American Psychological Association convention show our study participants' lives are in many ways ordinary. Many have pledged lifelong commitments to one another. Some are raising children and are doing so in loving, nurturing homes. Many actively participate in faith communities. While not everyone wished to embrace the institution of marriage, there was widespread sentiment that marriage is a fundamental civil right. This is ordinary stuff without a doubt.
But our findings also make clear that these ''everyday people" are living under extraordinary circumstances. They are painfully aware that their marriages are legal in only one state in the country. While they may receive some of the benefits of civil marriage, these are not equal to those of their ordinary heterosexual counterparts. And they worry that Massachusetts may take a giant leap backwards by legislating marriage discrimination.
Nothing could be less ordinary.