Head east down Santa Monica, and as you drive through West Hollywood, you will see the gayest billboard ever. Standing proud above Palm Car Wash is a gigantic photo of two men kissing and the words, “First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage.” It’s part of the ad campaign for OneGoodLove, the only dating website for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender singles seeking marriage or long-term relationships, which launches at a rather opportune time.
Since the landmark defeats of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8, the LGBT community has taken to their new marriage rights like no ones’ business. A recent survey of LGBT individuals indicates that 76 percent of all gay and lesbian singles now see marriage in their future, with 58 percent identifying marriage as their ultimate dating goal. In fact, the LGBT community has surged ahead their straight counterparts, with only 61 percent of straight singles harboring any sort of intent of getting married.
Furthermore, the marriage equality rulings have affected more than just the LGBT community. While 41 percent of gay and lesbian respondents report that their families already see same-sex relationships as a positive thing, more than a third stated that the recent cultural shifts and gains in marriage equality would help their parents see their personal same-sex relationships in a more positive light.
Thus, with marriage on the mind, OneGoodLove’s billboard not only fits in perfectly with the relationship goals emerging in the LGBT community, but also presents the gayest version of love—not “gay” in the pejorative sense, but gay as in the traditional sense—gay as in happy, gay as in joyful, and gay as in fully accepting. It suggests that in this new era of marriage equality, love is the defining factor in marriage, and with it, any couple is free to say, “I do.”