David Badash: Dan Savage’s Open Marriage Will Set Back The Entire Marriage-Equality Movement

Savage Love‘s Dan Savage and David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement are currently in a bitchy blog battle. It’s not quite as foul-mouthed as the blog battle between Ruben Diaz and Joe.My.God’s Joe Jervis, but it is worth reading, especially since it features an out sex columnist and an out civil-rights activist clashing over promiscuity and marriage equality.

Savage has long advocated open relationships for couples who find monogamy rife with “boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.” In fact, he recently said as much in a recent New York Times interview. But when he noticed anti-gay activist Chuck Colson using Savage’s words to suggest that homos want to make the institute of marriage ultra-slutty, Badash called Savage’s words “misplaced rambling” and added that “those same-sex marriage activists who enter into marriage might want to think about the fact that they are the ones who will be looked at as setting the standard.”

So, basically Badash thinks that as a married gay-rights figure, Savage should be monogamous—or at least silent about his non-monogamy. Right…

Before we get to Savage’s response, Badash may take some small consolation in the fact that Savage and his partner Terry Miller had a Canadian wedding not legally recognize by the state of Washington. So don’t worry about Savage’s opinion on marriage, Badash—he’s not even really married at all. Aren’t semantics awesome?

Sorry, we just had to…

But seriously, Savage responded to Badash’s criticism thusly:

David, you’re not doing the struggle for marriage equality any favors when you embrace the hypocritical arguments of those who oppose marriage equality, i.e. that non-monogamous couples don’t deserve the right to wed (but only non-monogamous gay couples; straight couples can do whatever the fuck they want), the choices made by married gays should come in for higher scrutiny than those made by married straights, etc.

To which Badash responded:

I take umbrage with the timing of your comments—even one of your readers made the same observation, and with feeding into the religious right’s pernicious meme that gays are sex fiends. AFA’s Bryan Fischer recently stated, “fidelity in same- sex relationships is virtually unheard of,” and so, as you can imagine, your comments feed right into that bunk…

That’s what we don’t need, Dan. You know so well, from the success of your It Gets Better Project, that words matter and that we’re fighting a war for hearts and minds. Giving fodder to the enemy only hurts our community—and all those kids you are working so hard to help. Did you ever stop to consider that a great many people read The New York Times, and having your words as ammunition could be used by those who oppose us?

And no, as you write, we’re not going to change Maggie Gallagher’s mind. But the millions of other Americans who are on the fence about us only need to hear that someone billed as one of the most central figures in the LGBT fight for equality thinks that fidelity and monogamy are going to be tossed out by same- sex couples, and there goes another state, say, Minnesota, adding a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

Badash is basically saying that any gay person who has become a national media figure has an obligation to either shut up about their feelings on monogamous marriage or pretend that all gays want nice, sanitized monogamous marriages where we never do anything to offend or challenge anyone.

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  • Interesting

    They both are making good points, but I would put a different spin on it.

    Dan is right that marriage equality is not per se about monogamy. However, the other dude is right that monogamy or fewer sex partners is important, but I would disagree with him why that’s the case.

    I come down on the monogamy side for health reasons. The fewer partners you have the less likely it is for the spread of diseases, which is a problem in our community. Now, this does not mean I think marriage should be one thing. But they are, in fact, stumbling onto a bigger question- How do we promote stable relationships and healthy choices in the gay community?

    If that can be done in an open relationship and that’s proven to be the case rather than just pushed as an ideological view. Fine.

    However, if it is the case that what I suspect is true- that time spent with a few people that one gets to know really well is better for gay people, then that’s what society should promote, but not enforce on others.

  • Pedro

    Dan Savage the wannabe gay Al Sharpton. It gets better! You too can grow up to marry a guy and still fuck other guys, but it’s ok, because your “husband” gets to fuck other guys too. When is this aging whore going to go away? Old people are so very sad…

  • Paul

    I’m behind Dan on this one. Any relationship that I’ve been in has been monogamous, but couples should have the ability to openly negotiate the level of monogamy they want in their relationship. Any victories won on the basis of parading out the well-groomed coached heteronormative gay couples and hiding away non-heteronormative partnerships like Dan’s are no victories at all.

  • Pedro

    @Paul: Your comment makes no sense…So if we achieve marriage rights in all 50 states, as well as federal recognition, without trudging out putrid whores like Savage, it’s not a real victory? Please learn to process logical thought and then come back. I just know that kid is gonna be fucked in the head, with his aging dad going all over the place boasting about fucking around…

  • Interesting

    @Paul: @Paul: You lost me after you describe wanting to be monogamous as being “heteronormative” There is nothing hetero or gay about being either in an open relationship or a monogamous one. You are abusing that word in a way that it is not meant. It meant to apply to situations in which people assume that everyone is straight. Not in a situation in which everyone assumes everyone is in a monogamous relationship. If you want to justify your thinking, you try to come up with an argument that does not require you to put down those who make a different choice than you. And yeah, I have had to deal with gay friends who say the same sort of shit at you do, and I have had to put their arguments out to pasture as just as bad as what htey are claiming to be against.

  • Zeus

    I never understood the open-relationship aspect of many gay relationships. It does come off as slutty.

  • Paul

    Trolling is not debate. I think both perspectives have merit – but freedom to marry means freedom to negotiate the details of that marriage. The argument in the OP is that he should somehow keep it quiet that he is in a non-monogamous, apparently successful marriage. Unless you believe that the state (or the gay community and it’s holier-than-thou morality police) belong in Dan Savage’s bedroom telling him and his partner what (who) they can or cannot do, then yes, a victory that includes embracing what is clearly an untrue and (for some) unworkable or undesirable condition on marriage would mean it would be a hollow victory (at best).

    Cogent responses and debate are welcome – trolling and flaming is juvenile.

  • Paul

    @Interesting: I’m happy to stand corrected on my use of the term. I do think that the conservative person mentioned in the OP who claimed Savage’s relationship as an example of the problems with gay marriage does set up a heterosexual = monogamous, homosexual = non-monogamous argument. This isn’t of course what I was trying to say – my view is that both homosexual and heterosexual couples should be able to negotiate their own boundaries within a marriage without interference. Savage would say that this is freedom that heterosexual couples already have, if only because of the relative lack of scrutiny on any one heterosexual marriage.

  • Interesting

    @Paul: As I said in my first response, I can see for individual reasons why choice is important, but I can also see why society would be invested in seeking the most stable arrangements possible so that there is a decreased chance of disease (which monogamy would increase just based on the science of diseases are spread alone- multiple partners increases chances of contacting one that has a disease)a nd other factors. So, I don’t really have a clear “ought” to be done here because I see the whole subject as complicated.

  • JAW

    As with anything in life… “it is best to always put your best foot forward”

    When selling a house or car… You do your best to clean it up and make it look it’s best.
    You may paint it, you may put a big piece of furniture over a hole in the carpet etc. when someone comes looking at it, you point out all the positives and try and stay clear of the parts that might not help sell the house.

    Dan gets up, and suggests that open marriages would/could possibly be the norm in the gay/lesbian community. I disagree with him. I think that they will be the exception and not the norm, just as they are in the Het community

    As someone else said… there are many people on the fence over gay/lesbian marriage, we need to get them on our side of the fence, We need to put our best foot forward, we need not air our dirty laundry out for all to see. We need to point out all of or good points and try and stay clear of the parts that may turn the buyers off.

  • Interesting

    @Paul: @Paul: @Paul: disease by the way is only one example of why stability would be favored by a society. There are other such as permanence of arragnements between couples, etc, and whether one can achieve that. some can in open relationships, and others can’t. I am not convinced that they would have broken up anyway, as some say. I simply don’t have enough of a sense of what may have happened outside of them being in an open situation. I can see why a society would want to keep the relationship or relationships in general together. this is not to say that mono people don’t break up. Its just a question of what society believes will promote the odds of them staying together better.

  • Zee

    Don’t care really. I prefer monogamy but if others can handle and want open relationships that’s up to them.

  • lemon-lime

    @Zeus: It sounds slutty because it is, by definition, slutty.

    I agree with @Interesting on this. Chose monogamy because it’s it’s the only way to reduce the diseases rampant in our community. My partner’s friend caught HIV because he went out and screwed around unprotected on the side and then came home and gave it to his boyfriend. He was completely symptomless and only found out because of a routine test. Many STIs are largely symptomless in some subset of the population. Herpes is spread by skin contact, so a condom isn’t as effective. Not to mention the hordes of folks out there into the barebacking/breeding scene which just screams “I want to collect STIs like merit badges”. Choosing monogamy is a survival / health choice, not some sort of holier-than-thou moralist decision.

    That being said, if Dan isn’t satisfied with partner with his sex and they want to bring in a third, that is their risk to take. It shouldn’t effect their legal ability to get a marriage.

    And I do get tired of the stereotype that “gay men are all sluts”. Men are sluts. It’s not like gay men have some sort of patent on it. There are just two of them per couple now instead of one.

  • Paul

    @Interesting: Your arguments are excellent and clear reasons why an individual might prefer monogamy. Unless you are advocating enforcing monogamy on people, the choice to remain monogamous or not falls to the individuals to choose. The issue at hand in the OP is whether Dan should be keeping quiet about his views on monogamy in the interests of the cause. All I’m saying is that I don’t think he should, because there are many relationships, heterosexual and homosexual that involve some form of ‘customization’ of the boundaries of marriage. Can look at porn? Can visit strip clubs? Can get a lapdance? Can have threesomes including your partner? Onwards and onwards.

  • lemon-lime

    @Paul: Do you think it’s easier to sell monogamous marriage as the norm or non-monogamous marriage as the norm to politicians and their constituents. I think the former. That’s the point Badash is trying to make.

    This isn’t some sort of moral thought game. We’re trying to sell an idea to someone who, for all known history has rejected it. Threading a needle, at the very least.

  • ChrisC

    Although I don’t believe that this will set the LGBT rights movement in America back, there is no question that it gave our enemies some brand new ammunition, why somebody with even a shred of intelligence would do this, is beyond me.

  • Abirdwillingtobeitself

    Promoting monogamy is important but tricky. We want to make it clear that we promote monogamy because it makes for a better relationship, not because we want to suck up to straight people. Which is how a lot of straight people would see it, naturally.

  • JAW

    @ChrisC: That is easy to explain… dan is “Gay for Pay”… he makes his living having his name out there. he gets paid when he is on TV… and this should get him a bunch of gigs.

  • Rainfish

    Don’t let other people define you. Like Dan and his spouse, Bill and I were also married in Canada. Freedom sometimes means letting others make choices perhaps you would not. I’m ok with that.

    My spouse and I were married on September 13, 2004 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We have been together for more than thirty years. When we arrived back home in Kansas, the sky did not fall; dairy cows did not stop producing milk, and gravity was still intact — although common sense and common decency seemed to have left our segment of the planet under the seemingly endless Kansas prairie sky. Yes, we got the expected “Welcome Back Home to the Good ol’ USA!” reception alright to which we’ve sadly grown accustomed as Gay and Lesbian Americans.

    For months, the vile malevolent specter of our very own local home-grown Kansas State Anti-Equality “Heterosexuals Only” so-called Marriage Amendment hung over our heads like the shadowy silhouette of a cowardly mugger ready to strike in ambush from a dark alley. Finally, in early April 2005, a Kansas lynch-mob, drunk with power and prejudice, at last had their little necktie party and strung up our Bill of Rights in the public square of totalitarianism. Apparently, American neo-fascists aren’t satisfied with just being the insufferable bully on the international block, they must also have their pound of flesh at home too.

    ~ continued below at:

  • Abirdwillingtobeitself

    @JAW: People don’t do things like that in real life unless they’re named Crazy Eyes Bachmann. Dan is upfront about his views on open relationships (and a lot of other topics) because he’s honest, and he just can’t be bothered to worry about how his words might be distorted by conservative figureheads or publications.

  • Pedro

    @Rainfish: Don’t be disgusting, not being allowed to marry is not now nor ever will be analogous to being lynched! Your comment is just hyperbolic and crass!

  • Ganondorf


    Are you serious? You’re very naive. Dan’s an entertainer, not a gay rights activist or “pioneer”. He’s about expanding his brand, and gaining publicity and money. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just silly to swaddle oneself in “the movement” (LOL!) and utopian idealism when the motive is selling a brand. He can be fun to read and listen to. Don’t get me wrong. Savage shouldn’t be savaged. It’s just taking it seriously that is diminishing.

    Now dan says gays should be having less sex and straights more sex. I’m sure that can be ad hoc be made consistent with this “challenge” to the system (another way of getting attention and publicity), but c’mon. Only idiots believe that this is anything more than a distraction. This badash character gives savage way more credit than he’s due by thinking that he’s going to have any impact whatsoever on marriage equality (he won’t, children).

  • Interesting

    @Abirdwillingtobeitself:Agree completely. It is not for the majority to once again try to tell us what to do. That is not what any of this should be about.

  • Interesting

    @Ganondorf: You make some good points too.

  • Wineheart


    Sorry to say, but your friend was in a monogamous relationship that failed, not an open one. If the guy that cheated had been honest about not wanting or not being able to be monogamous, he and his partner could have discussed rules and limits like protection or moved on to someone more compatible for both. That is what Dan advocates. Honesty.

    And it is a health choice, I agree. But it is one you should be able to make and you can do many things to reduce your risk. Frequent testing for yourself and regular partners, condoms, and the old fashioned look-before-you-lick will keep your risk low. There’s no such thing as safe sex, just safer sex. But, you know, monogamy isn’t something that everyone can choose.

    Many people will attest that outside experiences improve the sex with their partner. This is really crass, but try to understand my meaning: my favorite soda is Dr. Pepper but sometimes I like root beer or Coke for variety. The other flavors also help keep Dr. Pepper from becoming bland because it’s always the same and I no longer appreciate its unique flavor.

    But some people are unsatisfied with sex with their partner. But maybe they want to stay together anyway because of kids, love, companionship, status, finances, whatever. If it saves a marriage when people go outside of it for sex, why not?

    Moving on:
    I don’t like the word slut. It’s more appropriate to describe someone constantly seeking sex with disregard to any kind of impact on themselves or others. I don’t think promiscuous works either, as that implies a large number of sex partners. And both words are very sex-negative and historically and currently used primarily against women (and gay men) by men as a means of controlling “others'” sexuality.

    My guess is most open relationships are “monogamish,” which is how Dan Savage describes his own. It’s more of an in-theory than in-practice non-monogamy with infrequent outside sexual encounters.

    Dan says he thinks gays should have less sex than they do, anyway. You shouldn’t assume that because he advocates for open relationships for those that want or need them he is advocating those people have frequent sex with countless partners.

  • Abirdwillingtobeitself

    @Ganondorf: Dan has been encouraging pride for a long time, and taking pride seriously isn’t diminishing. But I guess that’s what a self-loathing gay man would think. I just can’t take you seriously when the cynical things you say read like something out of a textbook. That’s closeted utopianism.

  • Pedro's Brain

    @Pedro: who stupidly wrote:

    “…not being allowed to marry is not now nor ever will be analogous to being lynched!”


    Rainfish is speaking metaphorically, dolt. Get an education. Quit trolling for someone to flame. Take care of your personal issues someplace else and don’t bother the grownups.

  • lemon-lime

    @Wineheart: It was an open relationship, Wineheart. That’s exactly the point I was trying to make. It wasn’t cheating, it was just sex on the side. No discussion of rules and limits can reduce the risk of human behavior or reduce the mistakes. To suggest otherwise is to deny the medical realities our community faces. It was easier to lie about forgetting to rubber up than disclose it and now they both have paid the price.

  • Ganondorf

    “Dan says he thinks gays should have less sex than they do, anyway. You shouldn’t assume that because he advocates for open relationships for those that want or need them he is advocating those people have frequent sex with countless partners.”

    There ya go. Whatever makes the faith work. Like the pseudo science against monogamy. Monogamous, nonmonogamous, drip drip drip. Who gives a fuck, pardon the pun. Whatever works or doesn’t. However politically, this issue should not be connected to the same sex marriage fight (and a lot of sloppy thinking is doing just that). That’s suicide, but not literally (teehee). So, what does that imply about dan’s incentives?

  • Ganondorf


    Don’t be stupid. I was addressing your denial of the claim that Dan’s “gay for pay”. Of course he is. I don’t brook stupid, and we’re done.

  • killjoy99

    I’m no Savage fan, but then again neither am I a fan of the way the Marriage Equality movement has handled itself. This is not a popular/electorate issue, so why are we pouring money/political resources into state-by-state battles? Loving vs. Virginia didn’t succeed because the general public “turned the corner” and was suddenly “ready” for interracial marriage or because the Loving’s were the “best possible” example of one. It succeeded because of a well prepared and strategic SUPREME COURT complaint. It seems that alot of people here are confusing the issue.

  • Interesting

    @lemon-lime: Yeah, the whole legalistic approach that often follows examples such as the one you give is interesting to me. People don’t want to admit that their choice- whatever that choice is- may have bad consequences like the one you describe.

    However, one can argue that there was no way around the situation you describe- even in a monogamous relationship. One person it sounds like was a liar. Afterall, he deliberately put his partners life in danger. I think that’s actually worse than lying. That’s pretty evil.

  • Wineheart

    I thought I was done, but no!

    Anyone who thinks this gives ammunition to our enemies has already forgotten they’ve co-opted much more innocent things like pride parades and history lessons and the same arguments have been made for them. It’s all very tired. We’re looking for acceptance as we are. You don’t earn your rights, they are innate. That’s the point. Admitting that some gay relationships are open and will stay that way even in marriage is honest, people respond to that.

    You won’t find anyone that says the don’t support same-sex marriage solely because gay men might have sex outside their marriage. You won’t. If you did, they are lying, there is something else there. And if that was the only reason, they’d support lesbian marriage more than hetero marriage. People sitting on the fence are there because they are reevaluating their views toward same-sex marriage. These are people actively thinking through their values. It’s condescending to say a person earnestly examining the issue would be swayed by an obvious red herring. Give people some credit.

  • Abirdwillingtobeitself

    @Ganondorf: I made positive claims about Dan, and I made them on my own terms. You clearly aren’t a cynic since you approach being edgy from the point of view of a young hipster. Wake up, Dan is an adult, and he speaks to an adult audience.

  • Wineheart


    Sorry, it was your use of “on the side” that made me think it was cheating. The failure here wasn’t the boundaries of their relationship, it was the their failure to use protection. The guy that went outside the relationship should have used a condom during, and both guys in the relationship should be using condoms with each other. That’s a responsible open relationship. If they didn’t want to use condoms with each other, the relationship should have been closed.

    That’s a terrible situation, I hope all 3 guys are healthy.

  • Wineheart

    I really am disorganized right now and want to add one more thing.

    Dan has been saying that some relationships work better opened up to some extent or another. Not gay relationships, all of them. He’s saying that all people, including straight people, already married or not, should be honest about what they want instead of lying.

    This is an entirely separate argument from marriage equality. It got tied to it simply because Dan is gay. If this had been a straight man making this argument the blowback would look considerably different–less “See! Gays want to destroy marriage” and probably more “This specific man making the argument is misogynist.”

  • iDavid

    I think Dan has and will continue to make an impact. He need go no further than the divorce stats to make his case that marriage needs a brutal overhaul. He isn’t advocating open or closed rel, he’s advocating honesty if you listen long enough to actually hear what he is “advocating”.
    The guy is right on and to infer he is an entertaining showboat is utter nonsense there (gramps). Dan’s “brand” is honesty, pile it on.
    As long as he waves the honesty flag I could care less what anyone else says. Bash it with “slutty” or sugar it with prude, at the end of the day if you aren’t honest, everyone pays.
    I’d like to see such a dude counseling politicians in government. But that would take a cosmic 4×4, which if we aren’t careful, will be coming very soon.

  • kuya

    By the same token, we should lock our queens and effeminate gays back in the closet away from prying eyes so we’ll look good to the straight community. I’m all for marriage equality and gays joining the military but not at the cost of sexual diversity.

  • cj

    Unfortunately, Savage pushes open relationships as the “better” option… that going the monogamy route is just setting yourselves up for failure. That’s what I get from him. And, I wish he’d stop making such assumptions that failing in monogamy is to be expected, etc. I find his words both insulting and assuming. He should speak for himself and not “speak down” to those of us who are committed to monogamy – and who value it. I can’t stand hearing his words on this subject. Enough already.

  • Wineheart

    @kuya: Exactly

    @cj: He says people that can’t do monogamy should be honest about it. He acknowledges it’s for only some people. I don’t think he’s ever said open is better than closed for everyone, definitely not in the NYT article that spawned this conversation.

  • idavid


    Where in the world do you get he looks down on monogamy and advocates open rel? He supports what works for any given relationship and has never looked down his nose at peoples choices as long as they are not lying. Please make your case as I have followed this guy for years and it would appear you are not based in fact and assuming much.

  • Anna

    Please don’t compare your “monogamish” relationships to the marriage of the Lovings. I’m actually for gay marriage, but it will never be equal to heterosexual marriage because of the duality that heterosexual marriages involve, the masculine vs. the feminine, the ying vs the yang, avarice vs restraint. Dan Savage is a sexist pig, who constantly insults women. If that slut thinks that the vast majority of heterosexual women are ever going to get with the “monogamish” program, he’d better think again. It’s the job of women to keep civilization from going to hell in a hand basket, because unlike (most) men, we bear (those labor pains are indelible)and raise the children! Why did Dan and his sex partner adopt a little boy to bring into this sick situation? I marched for marriage rights in MA and still believe in gay marriage rights, but I no longer am deluded in thinking that gay marriage will ever be equal to heterosexual marriage. I just hope that heterosexual women aren’t advocating their own cultural demise…Still I will congratulate gay NYers on their victory. It just saddens me that this is the turn gay marriage is taking, yes men are wont to stray, so the logic goes they should just be allowed to…How very sad, there was a time that struggling toward the better angels of our natures was considered something of a virtue, but in this post-modern world, I suppose virtue is considered old fashioned foolishness…

  • Interesting

    @Anna: You both insult straight couples and gay ones.

  • idavid


    Here is an excerpt fro the NY Times article linked above:

    “Savage believes monogamy is right for many couples. But he believes that our discourse about it, and about sexuality more generally, is dishonest. Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, others need to be whipped, others need lovers of both sexes. We can’t help our urges, and we should not lie to our partners about them. In some marriages, talking honestly about our needs will forestall or obviate affairs; in other marriages, the conversation may lead to an affair, but with permission. In both cases, honesty is the best policy.”

    Where does that say he promotes open rel over monogamy? Gay men enjoy monogamy just like the next guy and he knows it.


    Thanks for your hit but it really isn’t about getting on a “bandwagon” for “monogamish” relationships. This guy is trying to make a point that honesty is the best policy. Where you take it from there is personal business, if one even gets that far before utter relationship failure.

    It is all too easy for people to read their own projections into a public figure. I would certainly hope that reason would trump fantasy in this case. His advocacy is to reduce pain in relationships, hence a counselor. Enlightening us is part of the process and I hail him for that. How can that be so offensive other than, the truth hurts? Sometimes it does. It’s called growing pains. That too shall pass.

    I think if anything, he may be just ahead of his time.

  • Chris

    As a young gay, I am always depressed when I hear that marriages need to be “open” if gays are going to get into it. Dan’s beliefs feed into those sentiments. I’m not saying that he needs to shut up or lie about his views, I am just stating the way things are. It may be a conversation worth having, but unfortunately people are going to hear it within this larger context.

    Dan’s statement tat hets are allowed to not be monogamous while gays are not is disingenuous. He gives off the famous examples of infidelity, without mentioning that those people were roundly criticized for their infidelity and were often divorced.

    If you don’t want to be “tied down” to one partner, maybe you shouldn’t get married?

  • idavid

    PS Anna,

    You comment that men want to “stray” is just as applicable to women, women just aren’t as suspect and don’t get caught as often so good try, but women fuck around on marriages all the time.

    With regards to marriage equality, marriage is about love. That is just as strong in gay as in straight rel, so on that count, you are not making a fact base case. All rel are give and take, masc/fem, dom/passive etc, no one has the market on that fact alone. Having been in both relationships with men and women, there is no difference in the bottom line.

  • TanyaHyde


    Quote: “I never understood the open-relationship aspect of many gay relationships. It does come off as slutty.”

    Of course it comes across as slutty if gays have partner-sanctioned sex outside of their relationship. It’s gay people, so its slutty even to us. We’re somewhat conditioned, because we all too often listen to that gay = slut mantra. Hear it enough and it becomes true.

    I don’t think men, in particular, do monogamy well. We all could name beaucoup straight married men who have been caught with their pants down, and far more who have not been caught yet. Straight men, being men, are just as sexually charged as we are. Lucky for us, we’re into guys so most of the time it is full fuck ahead. Straight guys contend with women, whose sexuality is different and generally not as “on” as much as we are. Heterosexual guys are just as “slutty” as we are, but probably also more sexually frustrated IMHO.

    Seems to me you can be in love with someone and still want to nail someone else. It happens and it doesn’t mean you love your love any less. Monogamy is simply not for everyone.

    What scares me with all the gay marriage talk is that gay people are going to become less like gay people and morph into straight people wannabes, shuffling right along with the – mostly – boring straight culture. It seems like a sizeable segment of ours is seeking some sort of admission into the big tent, and they don’t want the rest of us sluts, gay pride flamers and loving life on the edge types to fuck it up.

    What I have always loved about gay people is our revelry of life on the fringe. Rejected by the dominate culture, it seemed to me, we are able to live unfettered by all that straight expectation and requirement. I loved all that gay excess being flung into the face of disapproving straight people.

    I’m all for people – no matter what orientation – to equally be able to share their lives in matrimony, but I’m not so willing to tone it down so I can be assimilated into, and approved by, the dominant culture.

  • ErvS

    Yes Dan says that monogamy is alright for some but he bashes it so vehemently. I am usually the first person to say that Savage is the one who says that monogamy is an option but is obvious he doesn’t believe it and he can’t even conceive it for gay men.

  • lemon-lime

    @idavid: “Infidelity is so common in truly long-term relationships—I’m talking decades here—that people should just assume that their partners are guilt-free narcissists with entitlement issues who are running low on empathy and start the negotiations there.”

    Sounds like the base assumption he is making is that “monogamy is possible” is a lie. Ergo everyone should just give up and at least start with the idea of open relationships and work from there.

  • Anna

    @idavid: “women just aren’t as suspect and don’t get caught as often”…Are you truly suggesting that women fool around at the same rate as their male counterparts but are just so much more intelligent, so much more cunning that we simply don’t get caught? Why aren’t we hearing scandals of female senators and congresswomen paying off male prostitutes for sex…because women just don’t get caught…Okay, I suppose I should just take your word for it. Or I could counter that women don’t get caught as often because we are in fact more faithful, and more often the victim of broken fidelity than the perpetrators of it. And we are not about to give up on fidelity and join the ranks of the “well people cheat, so let’s just create rules around the cheating” crowd. And what about the children? Where do they fit into this equation? And what of the third parties involved? Or even the fourth or fifth parties. Are we truly going to throw away the concept of “you and only you” and replace it with “the person I file taxes and pay bills with”?

  • Stenar

    I’m with Badash on this one.

  • Adam

    Savage has been talking about this forever. He was talking about it back in ’04, when gays could only get married in Massachusetts. And he’s right, Badash says he’s right. It’s not the right timing? If we listened to people about timing Perry vs. Schwarzenegger would have never happened. Conservatives will use his words against us? They already do. Just him being a sex columnist is enough for them, lest we forget he has a son. He’s talking about important things. Monogamy is hard, and it doesn’t work for everyone. And if we can accept that, then when cheating happens, we can evaluate it on its own terms, rather than having it being the marital a-bomb.

  • Aodhan

    Queerty’s commentary, and presumably Savage’s logic that the commentary is drawing on, are both flawed from the onset.

    It’s complete nonsense to try and claim that Savage is effectively trying to revolutionise the framework of relationships by opening up marriage so that it isn’t sexually monogamous. There is NOTHING queer about marriage – full stop. The reality is that marriage is a heterosexual institution – it wasn’t always, but now it has become so inseparable from the later Christian model that we can’t try and reclaim it and reform it into a contemporary format.

    Almost nothing infuriates me more than when the LGBT community run around trying to claim that ‘marriage equality’ is the most pressing issue for us. Our culture is still so overwhelmingly homophobic, yet we seem to want to prioritise same sex marriage.

    We gain nothing from trying to ape heterosexuals – we aren’t them, our history isn’t like their’s, and to be frank I think that we should be proud about rejecting, as inherently flawed, the entire institution of marriage. Marriage is an age-old system of oppression, it enslaved women to their husbands, and it cannot be reborn as some cushy lifestyle system.

  • lemon-lime

    @Aodhan: I’ve never had to deal with homophobia in my adult life. I’m out of the closet at work and everyone is fine with it. But I can’t adopt a kid and have both my partner and my name on it. Marriage has a huge number of legal benefits which, while the greater institution may be a heterosexual institution, are pretty damn worth playing a little bit salesman to help our society understand what we’re going for. You may not see the value of allowing gays to get married but that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.

    I think, rather, we gain nothing by marginalizing ourselves from greater society. We can be unique while still being a part of the whole. Making this into a “us” vs. “them” doesn’t solve the problem of marriage equality and it most assuredly wont help us improve the homophobia.

  • Ashton cruz

    I have been happily partnered for the last 15 years ( 7 of those legally married thanks to the amazing state of MA) to my wonderful soulmate and guess what, Dan is right, eve had an one relationship from the start. Bye bye jealousies, bye bye insecurities, bye bye lies. Hello life. True, it may not work for everybody, but it works for us, and it works for us extremely well. Heck, my last partner before this one was a 24/7 monogamy freak and jealous bastard who use yo smell my crotch as soon as I walked in the door, just to make sure I wasn’t cheating on him, and then I come home early one day and catch him in bed with my own fucking cousin. Yeah right, monogamy my ass. Like I mentioned earlier, open relationships may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but to me, being able to concentrate in really loving my hubby without having to worry about lying to him every time my dick accidentally slips into someone else’s mouth or ass ( w a condom of course) is what has made us two true partners for life. And if that makes us sluts, then at least we are honest, to each other and the world. As for Pedro, shut the fuck up douche. Talk to me after you learn to properly wipe your shitty ass, just because you happen to have the thesaurus app on your smart phone does not give you the right to preach and chastise. Mocoso.

  • DavyJones

    @killjoy99: Going to derail for a minute here: ‘Marriage Equality’ is about much much more than the face value of marriage. It’s not just about two people tying the knot; it’s also about wide-spread tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people by the “general population”. While it’s true that millions of dollars have been pumped into various ballot initiatives regarding Marriage equality; every one of those dollars is also going towards fighting the malice, and hatred that many LGBT people face.

    While some folks are happy being segregated, and don’t want to be ‘accepted’ at all; the truth is if you want teenagers to stop getting the shit beat out of them for being queer, you have to make people understand being queer isn’t synonymous with being a spawn of Satan. The gay rights movement right now is fighting for Marriage Equality in the same way the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s fought for equal rights on busses; which is to say: this issue is a catalyst for all the other issues that surround it. Even if you never plan/want to get married, don’t let that draw all your focus, because that’s not all the fight is about…

    Anyway, back to Dan: He should be able to say whatever he feels; the religious right might use it in a sound byte, but lets be honest, they have more ammunition than they can possibly use in this fight already. I doubt anyone is going to hear this and suddenly change their opinion either way…

  • gherkin

    Savage is a ticking time bomb. He has appointed himself to be the great gay spokesman, and has already done great damage. Just a few days ago, he was on Bill Maher spouting off how he wants all Republicans dead. Before that, he was making wild claims that gay men are intrinsically different and wired to be promiscuous. He is now using his despicable “open” marriage (where he and his partner force their children to deal with their different nightly tricks) to act as the perfect propaganda vehicle for NOM and other rightwing hate groups. He needs to be reined in ASAP. He does NOT speak for me!

  • Cam

    Look, whether or not I agree with SAvage or not, the fact is that I am sick and tired of these quivering little wimps in the gay rights movement telling us things like

    Don’t use the word gay, it will upset people and we won’t get our rights, so we will call our organization the HUMAN Rights Campaign, and don’t upset our “Friends” in Congress by making them vote for gay issues etc….

    The fact is, whatever Savage advocates, if you bother to read his columns, he was most likely advocating it for a straight couple since the majority of his advice is to hetrosexuals. Should the fact that THAT is where the advice was directed by used to outlaw STRAIGHT marriage? Yeah, didn’t think so.

  • gregger

    Both Badash and Savage are talking for the sake of talking. Pissing matches like this one are a no win scenario. Both of them need to step back and realize that both have valid points and both are being pissy queens that are giving aid and comfort to the enemy by their infighting.

  • Oh Dear (John From England)


    Anna, I really would so flippantly paint all gay men with the same brush because of just one guy. That isn’t very smart, perceptive or analytical.

    These men who are in power talking about gay relationships like Dan are near their 50’s and have lived a very different life.

    You go talk to a young gay kid who has just taken his boyfriend to the Prom if that is what he thinks. Even look at this thread at the young kid above who said how dishreatening it is to hear something like this.

    And remember where the source comes from. This is Queerty. Nothing about this site is about being nice, kind or loyal to anyone or thing. They have been responsible for cruelly outing many gay figures. Nothing about them plays fair.

    So look at the source before you make any assumptions.

    Personally,I completely disagree with you re the female/male role in marriage or relationships. Being equal to someone regardless of their sex is much healthier. Along straight friends in couples are miserable. Not because they want to have sex but because many don’t want kids yet and want to think about their career. Many men I know would rather stay at home and look after the kids but so many of my female friends think it’s their duty. Guess what? They do it badly!

    You live in a vacuum in the US and it’s not your fault if you aren’t the kind of person who doesn’t read anything that isnt in front of you but I would look to Sweden and Germany that requires that the father takes the same amount of paternity leave as women at different times to bond with their child. I think in Sweden it’s the law but then it’s a socialist country-with the highest rate of living and equality-so this would never happen here.

    We aren’t as fundamentalist as you in the UK but we also have the same issues though we have gays in the military, they can marry, we also have our version of EDNA etc and getting closer to gays being able to give blood.

    I personally think been slutty is overrated. Most men are crap in bed. Been there got bored and realized sex with the person I love is so much more interesting/good/better that I prefer monogamy but it’s a choice. You must find the right person though because it’s not good if one person wants it but the other doesn’t.

    I wouldnt be surprised if Terry just went along with what Dan wants. He wears the trousers in that relationship!!

  • robert in NYC

    Go ahead, Dan Savage, help NOM to overturn marriage equality in Iowa and New Hampshire, its current goal. Go ahead, help Michele Bachmann’s campaign. Go ahead, help the roman cult prove that same-sex marriage will herald polygamy. Go ahead, help spread DOMA in more states. It doesn’t matter what one’s personal views are but really, does he think this is going to help equality for LGBT people? I’ve lost all respect for him.

  • Sheesh!

    I completely agree with Dan. What? Only straight people get to have open marriages? Fuck you koolaid drinkin apologists. It’s basically saying that we can only have marriage–maybe–if we look like something nonthreatening and none-too-weird. If we remain some sort of TV version of what gay couples are–or can be. He’s saying this is a personal choice for each couple to make; as it is for heterosexual couples to make as well. He’s not forcing it on people. I’m amazed at all you who shake your fists for marriage equality while using your other to keep others down. You’re just as bad as the Michelle Bachmanns of the world.

  • Art

    The win goes to Dan! Because of our Constitution, weare free to make our own decisions.

    Governments exist for OUR purpose, we don’t exist for government. Case closed!

  • jason

    The issue is really quite simple. If you’re getting married, you ought to try to be faithful to the person you’re marrying. If you’re not prepared to be faithful to them, you really shouldn’t be getting married. It’s a no brainer.

    In other words, you should strive to be faithful. If you get married with the pre-conceived idea that you have the right to fool around when things get boring, you don’t really have a relationship. It’s more a sinking ship.

  • jason

    On Dan Savage, I certainly don’t want him representing gay men. Who the fuck appointed him? If he wishes to be a media whore, he should represent himself under the Dan Savage banner, not the gay rights banner.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that Dan doesn’t say some great things about gay rights. But that in itself is not sufficient to have him classified as a gay spokesman.

  • Pickles55

    Same-sex couples deserve the right to be married by virtue of being citizens. End of.

    Two consenting adults making the decision to legally sanction their relationship is a right that straight people get by virtue of being citizens having nothing to do with morality, ability to be monogamous, lifestyle, etc.

    The same should be true for same-sex couples.

    We can not let homophobes and the Christian right change or control the terms of the debate.

    A married couple makes vows to each other, not the state, not “society”. It is that couple’s choice what those vows are and how their marriage is managed.

    But the RIGHT to be married is due to consenting adults of legal age.

    We are tax-paying citizens within our states and deserve to not be discriminated against because of our sexual orientation. We deserve equal protection under the law.

    That is the principle upon which we should be fighting for same-sex marriage rights.

    Anything else is just a distraction .

  • idavid


    I think you, like a lot of people do, think in black and white on this. You seem to think by suggesting honesty in marriage, that the current version of marriage has to entirely go away for another version. Well it wouldn’t be a bad idea to substitute an honest marriage for a dishonest one. But throw away the monogamy norm for an open norm, not happening and it’s not being advocated. Only honesty is being advocated and doing what comes out of it. And that more than not may be to stay monogamous even with wandering eyes. Just talking about it can strenthen monogamy between two people. Honesty is an awesome solidifier.

    I don’t think women are more intelligent or cunning than men regarding sexual infidelity, they just aren’t as suspect because well heck, you did eat the apple and have been paying for it ever since, you surely wouldn’t fool around on Adam after that! And then there is the whole your my property thing, financial safety etc, men bring home the bacon. There are many reasons men just wouldn’t pick up on a wife cheating. In a typical marriage, you guys do have all that time at home all day. Time to get bored enough to ……. well y’know. And I’m not saying all women cheat or that they cheat as much as men, but they cheat, a lot.

    But maybe you could enlighten us. Have you ever had sex outside a monogamous relationship on the sly? Do you know women that cheat on their primary partners?

    Now I admit, this is a big can of worms to think about this thing called honesty in marriage, cuz it means all the poker faces have to yield. But if they don’t, well so many of those poker faces have shitty hands, it really doesn’t make much difference cuz the marriage sucks anyway. Kids lots of partners? Not sure. I suspect however, honesty is what kids prefer.

    I believe we do have to start getting more honest on so many levels, govt religion, sex, you name it. It’s time to wake up to the fact that dishonest behavior is going to do us in. Ya don’t even have to look at stats to know it’s true. Just look around, that’s stats are right in front of us.

  • Jonathan

    @cj: Well said.

  • Elloreigh

    This is actually an easy one:

    Badash is wrong for trying to tell Savage what he should or shouldn’t say.

    Savage is welcome to his opinion about monogamy, but as one half of a successfully monogamous couple, I don’t necessarily agree on all his points.

    Here’s the thing: Savage has a tendency to open his mouth without fully engaging his brain. Last week he shot off his mouth on Maher’s show, expressing a wish for all Republicans to be dead. Now, I’m not a defender of Republicans, but I’m certainly above wishing for their deaths, much less being such a complete idiot as to say it on TV.

    So can sympathize with Badash wishing that Savage would think more carefully about what he’s saying and the ramifications thereof. I still think he was wrong, but I get it. The more Savage opens his mouth, the less interested I am in what comes out of it.

  • AedanRoberts

    Badash is an idiot. And judging by these comments there are a lot of ignorant gays and gay allies out there. It’s really sad when we are falling right into a fight entirely defined by the opposition.

    Look people- you want to get marriage equality? Good. Fight for marriage equality. Emphasize how it is every adult’s basic right to be able to choose their partner regardless of sex (as long as both parties are consenting adults). Two men or two women have just as much right to the benefits of civil marriages as a man and a woman. That’s it. It is simple. It is clean. It is the ONLY thing you need to scream from the top of your lungs because it is true.

    The very second you let them start arguing about the specifics of those marriages- what people can or can’t do/should or shouldn’t do within the confines of that specific marriage and you are muddying the waters, convoluting the arguments, and allowing your enemies that level of hypocrisy. A heterosexual couple isn’t forced to pretend to do anything or adhere to any rules outside the ones that they make for themselves. They get to make those rules themselves and those rules are strictly between themselves. It’s none of anyone else’s business. And what works for them obviously won’t apply to everyone- which is WHY those rules are up to that couple. And it should be no fucking different with gay couples.

    I’m reading a lot of people’s arguments that amount to “I disagree with Dan Savage’s stance because *I* personally don’t want non-monagomy or monogamish relationships. And since my logic for doing so makes soooooooo much sense to ME then his stance is detrimental to everything because I wouldn’t want that for myself for health/emotional/financial reasons.” And to those people who are arguing this I offer this rebuttal: what is it about the arguements you are putting forth that are ANY different than NOM idiots saying “since homosexual marriage doesn’t agree with MY sensibilities it obviously shouldn’t exist”?

    Look- there are many, MANY reasons to pursue monogamous relationships. And to advocate the benefits of those relationships. But just because those benefits appeal to YOU and YOU aspire to that does not mean you have the right to force anyone else to choose that in any sense. And the second you start playing into that crappy-ass logic is the second they WILL win. Because YOU LET THEM REDEFINE THE BATTLE. It has just become about WHAT a marriage is allowed to be instead of whether it’s allowed to exist in the first place.

    YOU let them win. Not Dan Savage. Who, for the record for those who haven’t read his work more than once or twice, actually AGREES WITH YOU ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF MONOGAMY. He’s just realistic in his view that many, many people both male and female simply don’t have the capacity to remain monogamous throughout a modern lifespan. He doesn’t argue that EVERY relationship, gay or straight, should be open. He advocates people being honest about themselves and their spouses to better tackle the issues of monogamy or non-monogamy so that people can negotiate and come to a common ground that allows for a stronger, more successful bond.

  • Jewed Law

    Heh-heh. Rock ’em, sock ’em homos.

  • AedanRoberts

    @No. 69 · Elloreigh

    Savage IMMEDATELY took to his blog and apologized for that comment. And not a “I’m sorry people can’t take a joke” kind of apology- and outright admonition that what he said was horrible, wrong, and hurtful. He apologized to his parents, to republicans, and to everyone out there.

    If you and Badash are looking for an infallible voice to represent the gay community and advocate for us you will be waiting a long time. I simply don’t understand this logic. EVERYONE-no matter how careful they try to be- will screw up at times. And the more often you are put in the spotlight the more opportunities you have to do so. What is important is being able to recognize the mistakes you made, listen to your critics, and confront those people or admit your mistakes and learn from them.

    So far I have seen Dan Savage do just that. He’s not perfect but he admits his mistakes, refines his arguments when people go after them, and apologizes when he goes completely into the woods.

    Honestly- you want more? Jump on the religious bandwagon. Because the only person you could possibly follow at that point is a fictional one with omnipotent power.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Aodhan: “… we gain nothing…” = WRONG WRONG WRONG!

    Yes it only counts to 10% of the national population and the rulings that DOMA is unconstitutional are not yet resolved, when marriage equality is the standard, there is much gained: survivorship rights to your spouse’s social security and pension plans, no inheritance taxes on inheriting your spouse’s share of the joint estate, acceptance of spousal health insurance benefits, family plan discounts, family legal planning for care of dependents and children, opportunity to enjoy plans/benefits offered to married couples, joint tax filings….

    Over half of all marriages end in divorce; 90% of divorces involve out-of relationship sexual infidelity. And in the heart of the wingnut religious Bible Belt, the divorce rate EXCEEDS the national average and well as EXCEEDS the national average of sexual infidelity. Instead of taking Dan Savage to task over advocating honesty about the sex lives of couples (gay and straight), take the hypocrites such as serial adulterer Newt Gingrich and Dittohead Limbaugh to task. THEY ARE THE LIARS AND PRETENDERS.

  • AedanRoberts

    @cj honestly that may be the impression you get from DS-but that sounds like a view through your ownvspecific lens. People are often really good at seeing what they want to see.

    I have NEVER heard Savage write/say that non-monogamy is “the better option” for EVERYONE. he says that this is often the case but emphasizes that this is something ENTIRELY DEPENDANT ON THE INDIVIDUAL. You are putting this in a light of a universal context but that is simply not the argument he’s trying to make. Just because he observes through divorce statistics, through studies of the amount of people who tend to cheat over the course of a relationship, over simple studies of human biology, that monogamy is a lot harder to come by or find people who can be so easily does NOT mean he thinks this is the case for everyone or that those people who seek true monogamy shouldn’t be allowed to or shouldn’t be doing so in the first place. He’s just saying that this is something that you need to be up for and to recognize whether you yourself have the capacity for it. If you do? More power to you!!!! If you don’t? Then it’s important to recognize it and work with this knowledge.

    PS: sorry for the run on.

  • Akula

    I’m sorry but some article written by Dan Savage, Andrew Sullivan, or this Badash guy is not going to give us or loose us the right to marry. The people that read them and those like them either support us or hate us period. What IS going to help us gain the right to marry is being out and being seen as normal every day boring people. That means being open about who you are at work and in public. When the average American sees that we are just yahoo’s like they are all the right wing hate propaganda goes out the window. When a potential pro gay voter knows a gay person or couple and reads the bullshit put out by nom or any other shitbag group and they can say “The two gay guys down the street aren’t like that, these guys are full of shit” then we win. As for what Dan wrote helping the nut jobs? Please all they need to do is go to Folsom, Southern Decadance, IML, or dore Alley and they can take lots of pictures to rant and rave about, so enough with the Chicken Little the sky is falling shit.

  • idavid


    Well said and spot on.

  • Stacey

    As a straight ally I can tell you that many straight people I know think that gays only want marriage for the legal benefits, not because they really want to make a commitment to one person. It is a misconception that I am working very hard to overcome with them, so folks like Savage making it clear that yes, some gays really don’t want to make that commitment just gives ammunition to the folks who think gays aren’t taking marriage seriously. It’s wrong thinking, but it is a huge obstacle to getting many straights on our side. So gays who believe in monogamous marriage need to be very, very vocal. I’m with Badash on this one.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @jason: Well at least you didn’t blame all women that men cheat in their sex lives.

    So, just when and where did you find that Savage advocated anything close to not being faithful to one’s spouse? Savage advocates honesty, and, in his case and the cases of many others, that honesty includes open relationships. My faithfulness and honesty to my spouse, as Savage writes of his relationship with his husband, includes abiding by the structure of our relationship that so happens to include that each of us, from time-to-time, have engaged in relations with others.

    That faithfulness and honesty has worked for over 25 years for us; and during those very same years: Oldest brother: married/affair/divorce/remarried with 2 kids/new affairs/divorce; next oldest: married with 3 kids, ups and downs, still married; younger brother: married/2 kids/affair by wife/divorce/remarried/his affair/divorce; brother-in-law: married/2 kids/wife has affair/and their home life is UGLY.

    Oh, and in 44 states, 31 of which have constitutional bans against same-sex marriage, well every single divorce there, well each and every one was the divorce of straight people, and 90% of the divorces were based on infidelity.

    Dishonesty is the greatest threat to the institution of marriage; Savage advocates honesty.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @David Ehrenstein: Hi David; of course, you are right.

    Oscar Wilde: “Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same thing!”

  • StudioTodd

    All of the comments left by people denouncing Dan Savage should be disregarded completely.

    Why? Because they don’t know what they are talking about. They are twisting–or completely lying about–what Dan has said in order to feel morally superior.

    Dan Savage doesn’t “advocate” for open relationships. He doesn’t “advocate” for monogamy either. He recommends being upfront and honest so that you don’t end up in divorce court.

    If you want to be monogamous, go for it. No one–least of all Dan Savage–is saying there’s anything wrong with that. But if you know that monogamy isn’t important to you (or not possible for you), don’t lie about it.

    I don’t see what’s controversial about that.

    As far as Dan being a spokesperson for the gay community, I don’t recall him ever referring to himself by that title. He speaks out passionately for what he believes. That’s his right as an American. And the fact that he’s able to earn a living by doing that is brilliant, in my opinion.

    I have to say, however, that I would have no problem with someone as sensible and honest as Dan Savage speaking on my behalf. I have little use for those who prefer that people pretend to be something that they are not in order to gain acceptance.

  • AedanRoberts

    @Stacey: but he ISN’T saying that, Stacey. He simply isn’t. That is a mis-representation of his message.

    Go back and read what I wrote previously in this thread- Savage argues that this is something that ALL couples need to make. In his columns he is bombarded with just as many, if not more straight couples with issues concerning monogamy. What he is truly advocating is honesty when it come to what each individual can handle in a relationship. What they are looking for and what they have the capacity to do. Both gay and straight.

    You are simply lying if you are saying Dan Savage is saying gays don’t also want monogamy. He’s just saying not ALL gays. Like not ALL straights. Get your facts right please.

    And regardless what fucking problem is it if gays “only want marriage for the legal protections and benefits”? Who the fuck cares? Who are YOU or your horrible friends to say that we need more than that to deserve the right to marry? STRAIGHT people don’t need to profess an absolute desire for monogamy in order to get married. It’s NOT part of the laws concerning civil marriages. Straight people can choose to honor that part or not. AND IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHETHER THEY DO OR NOT. Seriously- how is this even an argument?

    Of COURSE the rights and legal protections are why we fucking want the right to marry. Whether we also want the monogamy aspect is up to the individual gay couples in question- JUST FUCKING LIKE STRAIGHT COUPLES. Why don’t you point THAT out to your obnoxious friends the next time they try to use that disgusting logic?

  • robert in NYC

    All I can say is, if some want polygamy or having more than one partner, knock yourselves out, but…DON’T MARRY, and what would be the point if it’s not about getting legal rights and protections? I don’t know of one western society where marriage has been changed to include multiple sex partners. You certainly don’t need marriage to do that, nor should you require it. Demanding legal multiple partners is going to herald the end of same-sex marriage in this country and alienate the large number of democrats supporting it. It is NOT realistic to believe, in fact delusional, that any politician is going to support polygamy or multiple sex partners in marriage, that is the reality.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @AedanRoberts: Whoa, man, whoa!

    While I fully agree with your understanding of Savage and what Savage advocates, and that taht message is equally appropriate for straight and gay couples, Stacey says she is our friend (she is, after all, posting on a gay web site) and verbally beating up friends is not nice.

    Stacey, that does not mean Aedan is wrong, just his tone. Do your own googling and see for yourself: half of all marriages end in divorce — over 90% of those divorces, it is estimated, are due to unfaithfulness. Straight people lie, cheat, and steal about their faithfulness in their relationship no differently than gays/lesbians. Further, being gay certainly does not foreclose parenthood; we, like straight folks who are unable to conceive/carry for themselves, find alternate opportunities, and, tada, there are children.

    And yes of course we want the legal and financial securities that attach to marriage. I want my husband, just as I am sure you would want your husband, to receive any and all survivor and death benefits without losing half to inheritance taxes, to receive the surviving spouse social security benefits that we have paid into the system, etc. And we want to be able to put money aside for our children and grandchildren and their educations, something, I can’t imagine you and your husband would want for your children and grandchildren.

    In my and my husband’s immediate families, there are a combined 11 adults, and my husband and I are the only ones who have not been a party to or part of the total of 7 divorces. Ours has been the only ongoing relationship, now approaching 26 years of living together.

  • Jeffree

    @AedanRoberts (81): That was exactly what needed to be said. Thank you.

    @iDavid: Same goes for you on dealing with Anna’s flame.
    Dan Savage represents his own views, and anyone who thinks he represents all lesbians or gay men probably assumes Fred Phelps speaks for all christians….

  • StudioTodd

    @robert in NYC: Are you insane or just illiterate? Where do you find Dan Savage (or anyone else here) advocating–or even suggesting–multiple marriage partners?

    You pulled that right out of your ass…

  • idavid


    I like Stacey and welcome her comments, and I’d like to hear from her again.

    I think you owe her an apology as she is on our side and you made her out to look like an enemy with profanity aimed at her. Not cool. You really over stepped your boundaries there man.

  • Dallas David

    Life as it is,
    Life as we wish it could be.

    Reality vs. Fantasy.

    Which is easier to sell?

  • AedanRoberts

    @iDavid: Then we can agree to disagree.

    Stacey is an adult. If harsh words cause her to wilt and faint and run away then she’s not a very strong individual. Especially harsh language from a stranger on the Internet. I have more faith in her than that- even if I hardly know her.

    What she said was tantamount to saying “I WANT to keep supporting you and help you guys- but you make it just so hard to do so with your lack of monogamy and sexual promiscuity. Maybe if you guys forced yourselves to adhere to a higher standard than even straight people do to themselves I could convince my bigoted friends to bequeath upon you their support for your ability to marry.”

    It was a politely worded, mealy-mouthed way of saying “I simply can’t help you if you aren’t willing to do stuff that WE don’t have to do ourselves.” And that double-standard is disgusting and extremely offensive.

    The lines that set me off? “many straight people I know think gay people only want marriage for the legal benefits . . . ” this set the tone for her whole argument. And it was an insulting point to make. One that she should have easily been able to rebuke. How? Like this: “so WHAT if that’s all they want it for? How is that any different than a large portion of straight people? Monogamy isn’t part of the legally binding statute for CIVIL MARRIAGES-which is all gay people really want. Every citizen in our country deserves to enjoy those legal benefits- and what they choose to do in terms of how they define their marriage sexually IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.”

    I do not owe her an apology for flying off the handle over that. Her statement was equally offensive and had the added issue of beings hypocritical to boot.

    So no apology from me. And you will not be apologizing on my behalf.

    @Stacey- I hope you can see past the foul language and see the points I was making- and to take how angry my response was as a sign of how offensive that whole argument- and your inability to think of the obvious ways to rebuke it- was.

  • idavid


    Duly noted. I observed her comments as strictly informational and I didn’t emotionalize them. I do see how we all can filter things differently, but the attack or judgmental mode ,,,,, I didn’t feel that in her writing, at all. I see her as a concerned helpful ally speaking her truth. In all honesty, I rarely get to hear straight people’s insights into all this and I value it greatly. I just shudder at us possibly blowing straight allies out of the water.

  • Drake

    Dan Savage makes lots more money by saying controversial things. He does not simply have an opinion about non-monogamy, he strongly pushes it any chance he gets. It is part of his money making brand, just like always wearing a T-shirt, and making himself Mother Teresa with “It gets better”.

  • Abirdwillingtobeitself

    @robert in NYC: Dan doesn’t advocate for group marriage. As a lot of people have pointed out, he just suggests that people be honest with each other about what they expect. He wants them to talk about the specifics of cheating before it happens. (And it can’t be “cheating” unless the presumption is that you’re dedicated to each other.) In other words, he wants couples to communicate. Communication can only take place in a relationship free of anxiety and repression, which may be why some straight people have a visceral reaction to what Dan has said about possible cheating.

  • idavid


    “Dan Savage makes lots more money by saying controversial things. He does not simply have an opinion about non-monogamy, he strongly pushes it any chance he gets.”

    I’d say your brand of attracting attention is through saying controversial things, that aren’t true. I’m sure it’s not your first time.

    Dan on the other hand, tells the truth.

  • killjoy99

    @DavyJones: I never meant to imply that I don’t support marriage equality; of course I do. But we can’t delude ourselves. No one can legislate love, or even respect. You can only legislate an environment in which it is *possible*.

    Projecting tolerance and acceptance toward others is experiential, and a very internal matter. Catalyzing that process is not easy and it’s not cute and – referencing history – tends to be completely unparallel with judicial and constitutional declarations. Even during the Civil Rights Era, “executive” leadership decided that it was ok to put the long term needs and concerns of the most vulnerable on the back burner to work on mainstreaming for the “greater good.” There were schisms then and there are schisms now.

    It remains a huge disappointment to me that several immediate issues that affect “our” community (universal health care, education/social services for homeless/undocumented queer youth, equitable distribution of resources for regional and local LGBT service orgs, HIV/AIDS treatment and research support, etc.) seem to be put on the back burner for the image of nobility and respectability that the marriage struggle is being framed in. I don’t see what kind of long lasting, substantial benefit this will result in.

  • AedanRoberts


    I understand where you are coming from but I simply did not see what you did for the following reasons:

    1. There already ARE tons and tons of gay people all over who are extremely vocal about their desired/existing monogamy. We have celebrities upholding the public image of this (Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres), we have advocates talking about it constantly, we have a lot of regular people showing by example. If her friends aren’t seeing it then it is willful ignorance in order to maintain their wrong-headed bigotry.

    2. A lot of this can be summed up to this: the arguments her friends are making are not following any actual evidence or supported even by the stuff they present as evidence (citing Dan Savage is false as well considering he actually does support monogamy for those who desire it). They are simply making up whatever they want to justify their position and if you refute their argument they will proceed to make another and another excuse that is equally ridiculous. Why? Because they aren’t trying to be logical- they are willfully opposing fact, and any logical arguments will fall flat because you can’t fight faith with logic.

    3. The legal rights ARE the only reason we need to want marriage equality. The rest is personal and none of their business (as I’ve said before)

    4. Stacey and many others in this thread are doing is taking the words of one man (Dan Savage), twisting them into something they are not (he is pro-honesty, not “everyone should be non-monogamous”), and then applying that false assessment of his words to the ENTIRE LGBT community. So not only is she misrepresenting Dan Savages messages she is also misrepresenting the views of a diverse and extremely differing community.

    All of this made her “gee I would be able to do more if you guys only got more vocal about some of your desires for monogamy” end-statement ring false. It sounded like placing the blame on the victim and not on the perpetrators of the wrong idea.

  • idavid


    We all have a lot of black and white thinking. Getting the straight community to see the honesty in rel when gays are involved is like trying to herd cats.

    I get your point as we both agree this thing is about honesty, and that’s it. And that is what Stacey could take to her friends.

    Cool Stacey? Lemme know.

    HOWEVER, and it’s a big HOWEVER …..

    That is a big pill for most to swallow when, “MARRIAGE” (cymbals crashing), has been for centuries (horns blowing), the founding foundational metaphor for “don’t ask don’t tell” for a major portion of marriages. (sour notes symphony dies)

    This is what Dan is trying to tear down. It’s not just in the military, it’s everywhere.

  • Steve

    I understand with what Badash is saying, but like the article points out, Savage never identified any one person who might partake in an open relationship. He simply said anyone bored with a monogamous relationship might find more excitement with the same security in an open relationship.

    Although, it is EXTREMELY EASY for any anti-gay figure to spin that as “Gay people don’t want monogamy.”

    I agree that words matter. But the reality is that Savage didn’t say only gay people have or should have open relationships.

  • DillonSaunders

    Wow, the one thing you quickly realize when reading there comments is how truly pathetic most of you are. The name calling, the ad hominem attacks … none of it reflects well on most of you. Be passionate about your argument. Take someone to task for making points that are full of holes or based on false assumptions. But the name calling and insults made about someone because they simply have a different world view are gross and weak and often without merit.

    There are a few who are actually having a debate about the issue. But when you start calling people stupid, well … you might want to look in a mirror.

  • Henry

    @DillonSaunders: Ad hominem attacks ARE passionate. In fact the most insulting SOBs are usually cold, passionless machines.

  • AedanRoberts


    The problem with making an argument like yours is you inherently are calling people idiots (you may have worded it discretely, but using that whole “look in a mirror” thing is literally telling people that they are an idiot for calling others idiots), which creates a cyclical line of reasoning that comes right back to bite you in the ass ;-)

    Sometimes people get passionate- but calling an apple an apple is often-times the best way of describing it. If all you do is call someone an idiot- sure, that’s bad and makes you look equally bad. But if you tell them WHY what they said was idiotic with actual facts that someone can either take into account or offer a rebuttal to? It may not be the most polite way of winning an argument but it definitely doesn’t make the proof they offer any less credible. It just makes them rude about it.

  • AedanRoberts


    I’m not sure I got your last statement. Were you saying that you think the biggest problem people have concerning this is people’s pre-conceived notions of what marriage is supposed to entail? And that this is due to it’s long, unchanged history?

    That’s what I got from your last statement and it is entirely false. Simple look at the poster accompanying this article “Marriage is . . . .” with all those parts added or removed over the course of just our brief history as a nation. Now apply that to the possibility of change for the thousands of years it’s been around and the countless other cultures that have used it and the ridiculousness of Marriage as an “unchanging entity” is yet another false and easily refutable argument these people try to make to justify their bigotry.

    Also I’m not sure where you were going with the “dont ask/dont tell” part. Could you explain that better?

  • iDavid


    What I meant was: the biggest problem people have with marriage is honesty. If a spouse suspects their spouse is cheating and shys away from inquiry which is all too typical, that’s “don’t ask”. If a spouse has trouble telling the other spouse they cheated, that’s “Don’t tell”. Sorry if that didn’t come out well earlier. Make sense now?

  • StudioTodd

    @Drake: OK smartass–prove it. Show me an example where he promotes open relationships OVER monogamy.

  • Ken S

    I find something despicable about marriage equality advocates saying that gay couples have to be monogamous in marriage or they’re “hurting the cause.” Fuck that, “the cause” is hurt and held back by two groups of people: (straight or “straight”) marriage *inequality* advocates– that cunt Maggie Gallagher, the Bachmans, Focus on the Family, and their vile ilk– and gay Uncle Toms who oppose freedom for us to live our lives how we want commensurate with straight peoples’ freedom to live their lives how they want. So not just the outright homo-homophobes who attacks other sodomites from the safety of their closets, but all the double-standard bearers who think that straight couples kissing in public is ok, but gay couples kissing in public is “flaunting it” and will provoke the ire of squeamish “allies” who are only okay with us as long as we’re fuckin’ eunichs. What kind of friend is that? “I accept you and believe in your equal rights, just… you know… keep that shit to yourselves.” No, sorry, that’s not “acceptance,” it’s “tolerance*” (where the asterix denotes that they still find you disgusting) and such “friends” don’t deserve pandering to.

    The fight for marriage equality is being staged as a PR battle, but we’re idiots if we allow ourselves to become convinced that that’s all it is. This isn’t Coke versus Pepsi. We aren’t a “brand” competing for market share or any other such trivial bullshit, we are *people* in a war for our freedoms. Not freedom-as-long-as-it-looks-like-everyone-else’s-choices, not freedom-as-long-as-it’s-unobtrusive, freedom to self-determine, same as the straight majority has had. Straight people are free to be monogamous but if they fuck around they aren’t accused of “setting back” anything for straight people. If they flash their tits and dicks at Mardi Gras they’re scolded (maybe, sometimes) for being over-exuberant (or too drunk), but they aren’t fucking pilloried for being “the shameful perverts who disgrace all straight people everywhere.” Whatever they– who have not earned it– are free to do, we ought to be free to do, and *those* should be our terms.

    If we water down the freedom we demand, if we suppress or demean each other so that we can get tolerant* friends to support us getting sanitized freedom, if we give up any part of our freedoms to acquire the illusion of the whole, if we oppress each other (and ourselves) from within, then frankly we aren’t much better than the shameless bigots who want to oppress us from without. This is more important than a fucking popularity contest, it’s about right and wrong. We are right in this, in wanting equal freedoms, and whoever opposes the full spirit of what that means– whether gay or straight– is wrong. Fuck accepting it with any limitations or conditions or concessions for the sake of appearances; it’s all or nothing. It’s freedom or it’s not. We’re a “community?” We’re individuals, diverse and as perfect or imperfect as any other group of individuals, and righteous justice demands that we will accepted each of us for all that we are, or not at all.

  • Cam

    These comments are very much like the ones where blacks were told that they needed to straighten their hair and dress nicely so they wouldn’t upset people in trying to get their rights.

    It was wrong then too.

  • Ken S

    @JAW: “As with anything in life… “it is best to always put your best foot forward”

    When selling a house or car… You do your best to clean it up and make it look it’s best.
    You may paint it, you may put a big piece of furniture over a hole in the carpet etc. when someone comes looking at it, you point out all the positives and try and stay clear of the parts that might not help sell the house. […]

    As someone else said… there are many people on the fence over gay/lesbian marriage, we need to get them on our side of the fence, We need to put our best foot forward, we need not air our dirty laundry out for all to see. We need to point out all of or good points and try and stay clear of the parts that may turn the buyers off.”

    Surely you aren’t seriously suggesting that the fight for gay rights should be handled like the marketing of a used fucking car. We have nothing to “sell.” Our freedom is not “for sale” and should not be “on the market.” And to fiery-nonexistent-Hell with “fence sitters” who need our “equality” with a fresh coat of paint on it before they’ll consider it. Those aren’t allies in the fight for justice, they’re motherfuckers checking teeth before they decide whether to do a slave a favour and buy him.

    Formulating the war for our equal freedoms like its a marketing campaign to make fat assholes sitting on their couch buy something they don’t need is doomed to one kind of failure or another; lots of people aren’t interested in buying shit they don’t need, and lots more who do buy it just end up throwing it in the trash later. We aren’t advertising some trivial lifestyle accessory, we’re in trench warfare to claim what is rightfully ours anyway. It’s a fight, for something important, and it should be taken seriously, not thought of like it’s just another part of the evening’s meaningless, decadent, commercialist home shopping network schedule.

  • Karl

    Dan Savage is a self-centered embarrassment. While I applaud his efforts at helping gay youths see the merits in holding on in tough times (which, unfortunately, is often their entire lives up to that point), Mr. Savage himself is the worst spokesman the gay community can ask for. He should stick to offering advice on putting metal rods up your dick and stop pretending he has anything intelligent to say on matters of institutional importance.

  • Ken S

    @lemon-lime: “Do you think it’s easier to sell monogamous marriage as the norm or non-monogamous marriage as the norm to politicians and their constituents. I think the former. That’s the point Badash is trying to make.

    This isn’t some sort of moral thought game. We’re trying to sell an idea to someone who, for all known history has rejected it. Threading a needle, at the very least.”

    Holy shit, another marketing analogy and it’s only comment #16.

    Thread the needle? Fuck the needle. BREAK the needle. The unelected, undeserving majority hold on power isn’t something to be bargained with or pleaded to so that we can be taken into its sweaty, fetid bosom. It’s a murdering, thieving dragon sitting on its hoard and begging to be slain. You don’t reason with dragons, you get some friends together, sneak into their lair and cut their fucking heads off to return what they’ve stolen to the people (while claiming your own rightful share in the process).

  • Ken S

    @gherkin: “He needs to be reined in ASAP. He does NOT speak for me!”

    And you don’t speak for me.

    See how that works if carried to its logical end? “We” as a group end up with no speokespeople whatsoever, because everybody objects to somebody.

    It’s the totally fucked up and perhaps unique thing about our minority: we cut across every other demographic– we’re young, old, black, white, yellow, brown, male, female, rich, poor, urban, rural, religious, godless, liberal and (somehow) conservative– and because of that we are tasked with growing the fuck up and learning to play together in order to defend ourselves against the depravities of the young, old, black, white, yellow, brown, male, female, rich, poor, urban, rural, religious, godless, liberal and conservative majority chauvinists who would limit our freedom as individuals.

    If the gay guy who’s young, white, poor, urban, religious and liberal gets to veto the gay rights spokesperson who’s old, black, rich, rural, godless, liberal and a woman, because “she doesn’t understand me” well then eventually everybody vetoes everybody else for some dumbass reason or another and the bigots who are willing to set aside all of their other differences in order to oppress us get to maintain the status quo.

    It’s the cause— our equal freedoms– that is perfect. We are not, or at least no more or less so than straight people. There should be no compromising over the cause, over justice, but we as imperfect people– as a diverse bunch of individuals lumped (often un-asked for) into a community by the targets others painted on our backs as though we were some monolith– have to be able to compromise on our representatives. Because the enemy is willing to. They’ll put all manner of bigot on their soapbox, as long as they’re a bigot; if we want to fight back on equal terms we have to be willing to accept that some of the volunteers for our soapbox are going to be people we would otherwise have nothing to do with, because they’re just as determined as we are to win against the bigotry.

    You don’t win the war for an important idea by disqualifying everyone from the army that’s willing to fight for it. Divided we fall.

  • Ken S

    @lemon-lime: “Making this into a “us” vs. “them” doesn’t solve the problem of marriage equality and it most assuredly wont help us improve the homophobia.”

    Pretending that there isn’t a “them” comprised of deranged fuckers who for no good reason hate us and always will, also isn’t going to solve anything or improve anything or win anything. You don’t survive a bear attack by pretending there is no bear. And you can’t reason with the bear. All you can do is play dead (ie by hiding in the closet) which doesn’t always work anyway, because some kinds of bear will just tear you apart regardless, or you find a weapon and you fight back with enough determination to kill the fucking bear if you have to to survive.

    The really determined, devoted, dogmatic gay-haters out there– the ones leading the fight against our equal freedom– are like a bear. We cannot reason with them because they have a singular hostile intention against us that’s deaf to reason. And in this case there’s a bunch of other ‘animals’ that don’t bear us any especially strong ill-will but they go along with the bear because, well, it doesn’t bother them much to watch it eat others as long as it isn’t eating them. So we can’t persuade the bear and we can’t turn its ambivalent herd to our cause, if we want to survive– if we want what’s ours (our lives, our freedom, etc)– we have to kill the bear, or at least fight it and be willing to kill it if it doesn’t fuck off and leave us alone.

    “Not making it an us-versus-them ‘thing'” isn’t an option when a group of “them” take it upon themselves to designate “us” as targets for inequality. When an invading army comes to kill you and take your home, you don’t get to keep it by pretending there’s no invasion. “They” want “our” blood, and “we” can fight to keep it from “them” or we can not-fight. But not-fighting isn’t going to stop them from taking what they want, only defeating them will. Accept that and join the fight, or deny it and at least stay out of the way of those willing to defend themselves while you dick around waiting to be slaughtered.

  • AedanRoberts

    @Ken S- I agree with everything you have written. Well done.

    @iDavid- I understand what you are getting at and agree with yu- thank you for the rewording.

  • jeff4justice

    I have been criticized as too slutty to be a gay leader because I have an Adam 4 Adam profile and post Craiglist ads showing my cock.

    It’s completely foolish when LGBT folk attack sexually libertarian gays using the same fear-based garbage anti-gays are using.

    Instead, I’ll make the sexphobes confront their fears and, more often than not, hypocrisies.

    Check out the debate:

    Alex Thinks Jeff’s Too Slutty To Be A Gay Leader 1/3

    Alex Thinks Jeff’s Too Slutty To Be A Gay Leader 2/3

    Alex Thinks Jeff’s Too Slutty To Be A Gay Leader 3/3

    Is Rev. Alex Closely Watching Me?

    I’m A Sexual Libertarian 1/2

    I’m A Sexual Libertarian 2/2

  • Ken S

    @jason: “The issue is really quite simple. If you’re getting married, you ought to try to be faithful to the person you’re marrying. If you’re not prepared to be faithful to them, you really shouldn’t be getting married. It’s a no brainer.”

    No, I’m sorry, I know this’ll see like a malicious personal attack, but the only “no-brainers” are people who try to argue that anything man-made (like marriage) exists in some inscrutible, indisputable, eternal realm of absolutes. People invented marriage as an institution– although they might have drawn some inspiration from the minority of animal species that mate monogamously for life– which means people can change it, modify it, adapt it and re-invent it according to people’s changing needs and wants. Want to know one thing that’s changed since marriage was invented? The human life-span. When people lived to be 40, (publicly and officially) taking just one mate for the rest of your life was probably less of a sacrifice– you were probably dead before you got fed up with each other. Even then, there was adultery. Of course there was. It’s the absolute apex of naivete to suggest that there was ever a time when people didn’t fuck around.

    Now people live to be 70, 80, 90, even 100 years old. You realise how much people can change over 10 or 20 years? How someone that seemed like all you’d ever need when you were 20 can be a tedious insufferable bore when you’re 40 and you’ve both realised just how little you really knew about each other when you promised to be together “forever?” We might have dressed up our relationships in civilized trappings but we are still meat and blood and bone animals with behavioural hardwiring etched into our DNA over millions of years, and I don’t know of the credible, scientific empiricist who’d say that “just one mate for a lifespan of a hundred years” is written in there anywhere.

    We’re horny animals that created an institution to serve a certain social purpose at a time in our history when our tribes were small and our lives were short and there wasn’t a whole lot to give up by (publicly, officially, fucking-around-notwithstanding) denying our natural desires (which, incidentally, were thought at the time to be ‘base’ and ‘immoral’ and ‘sinful’ in the eyes of a being that people thought created the world with magic). Things have changed. Even marriage! At one time interracial ones were “an abomination” and inter-religious ones were “immoral.” Changed and changed. For a long time, same-sex marriages were legal nowhere in the world. Changed. For a time polygamous marriages were permitted, and that largely changed (though not everywhere, lest we ignore the fact that our culture does not in fact define all of human culture everywhere). Marriage is not some untouchable sacred cow; it’s artifice. It’s by the people and for the people, and if enough of the people decide to change it– incrementally or radically– to suit their contemporary wishes, they have that power.

  • iDavid


    Great analogy. The bear takes a long time to die. Even the bear of racism is still wiggling it’s legs.
    Winning gay marriage in Calif will definitely put a permanent open vein blood stream down the bear’s chest.

    I’ve often thought if “the church” as vampiristic, attacking and sucking life force from anyone they don’t like. i.e. non whites, women gays doing the bidding of the grand vampire himself, their manmade diety etc. And we are warewolves and vampires who have defected who are just re-realizing our power to kill. And kill we must to undue their spin doctor voodooistic legacy.

    They will of course hunt for new blood, but we will be off the radar. Tho the sexual prognosis for Christianity, may very well be its death.

    We all have both tendencies, the predetor and the prey. When we start feeling like victims, best we not forget that.

  • Ken S

    @iDavid: Hey now, the fight is already an uphill one, there’s no need to fuel the fires of bigotry and intolerance against us by likening us to the cast of a Twilight film ;) hehe

  • iDavid

    Haha it’s a pretty hot cast to be likened to. The Twilight cast vs. the Bela Lugosi cast.

    Guess who wins!

  • Mark Snyder

    Definitely with Savage and Rosen on this.

  • Interesting

    @Cam: I thought many of us said something completely different than your blanket statement.

  • Queer Supremacist

    Some of the arguments against monogamy fascinate me, and not in a good way. It’s not “natural”, is it? Well, isn’t that the same thing the breeders say about homosexuality? It is also an inherently fallacious argument. The “men are not wired for monogamy” argument relies on the same “appeal to nature” fallacy. It’s an excuse to justify one’s lack of self-control. Alcoholics are hard wired to drink, but some of them stop.

    And how about claiming that monogamy should be rejected because it’s “heteronormative”? Who said that just because bad people do something that automatically makes it bad?

    What’s also funny is the claim that promoting monogamy as the norm is letting the Religious Wrong control the debate. The last thing they want is to see successful, gay monogamous relationships because it makes them look like fools for saying “gays cannot control themselves”. I have always maintained that a gay man who is not obviously gay is more dangerous to homophobes, because they cannot isolate him and marginalize him as easily. They want to see gays being monogamous as much as Hamas wants to see Jews and Arabs living side by side in peace.

    Relationships are not just about sex, and even as much as one may try to divorce emotions from sex there will always be an emotional component to it. The most satisfying sexual activity I have ever had has been within a monogamous relationship because it was an act of love.

    DISCLAIMER: None of this is specific to what that self-righteous psychotic idiot Dan Savage said. Has he licked any good doorknobs lately?

  • EquesNiger

    Legally equivalent partnership rights are public and outward facing. Monogamous or polygamous relationships are private matters, like any sexual interaction between partners, and should be kept behind closed doors. Why does Savage feel it necessary to fight both issues? No one is going to take away his right to an open relationship. They’re trying to restrict the right to an equivalently legal civil partnership. Perhaps he should fight the battle that’s actually being fought, and keep his sexual activities in the bedroom?
    Plus, why would anyone marry someone who created “boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted”? Sounds more like grounds for divorce than an open-relationship.
    Marry for happiness, not to make a point.

  • idavid

    Regarding the religions rights demand for monogamy:

    I think we need to call these a majority of these “monogamous” relationships what they really are, Open relationships with a built in desire to have more than one partner. What ever the ideal may be, at the end of the day a 50% divorce rate, most via infidelity, tell the true story.

    WE have open and closed rel whether we like it or not, and it runs close to 50/50 which makes sense as we do both sides of the coin on about everything in this world.

    This is why Dan is promoting honesty. If you look at reality in rel, which is the most difficult thing for those that still believe in the tooth fairy, santa clause and a chillingly dysfunctional Christian false “god”, the reality is a large portion of monogamous rel are actually, open, in thought (word? no way!) and deed.

    So we already have open and closed rel, now we just have to own it. G.U.L.P.

  • AedanRoberts


    Yes of course. Lets make sure the SEX ADVICE COLUMNIST stops trying to advocate what he believes to be a healthy sexual alternative FOR SOME PEOPLE (not all people).

    Why does Savage feel the “need” to fight both issues? Well for one- he doesn’t fight them at the same time. His arguments towards legal, equivalent civil marriages are completely separate from his opinions about what you do in the bedroom. He discusses BOTH of those issues because one is an important cause to fight for (marriage equality) and the other IS HIS JOB TO TALK ABOUT (the fact that monogamy is harder than it looks, and honesty about your ability to adhere to it is what creates healthy, stable relationships).

    The lack of faith you people have in the ability to keep these two issues separate but equally important is disturbing. I have never, EVER heard Dan say or write “marriage equality is important, but only if we can make sure that everyone is on the same page about open relationships.” He doesn’t DO that. And to infer this is ridiculous. He discusses matters of sex in relationships BECAUSE IT IS HIS JOB. He’s PAID to do this! He promotes marriage equality because it not only pertains to his job- but it is also something that has a direct effect on himself and those he loves. And due to his job he also has a much bigger platform to speak on it to reach more people.

    Also please stop taking quotes out of context. Most people who find themselves in marriages that experience “boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted” don’t START OUT that way. Of course most people wouldn’t get into that sort of situation if they saw it coming. But most don’t. And instead of getting a divorce (especially with children involved) Dan Savage promotes the open communication of these feelings and discussion on how to alleviate those quagmires. He’s NEVER said opening up a relationship is the first thing to jump to. He pushes people to find ways to re-invigorate their sex-life with their partner in any way possible- and ONLY THEN if none of that works should you discuss the rules of potentially seeking satisfaction outside the marriage. And only if both people are okay with it. And only if both people benefit.

    He promotes keeping families together because it’s simply healthier to a child’s development not to have their house torn apart until they are old enough to handle it. Very different than your interpretation of “Dan Savage promotes open relationships and non-monogamy at all times”.

  • Ken S

    @Queer Supremacist: “Relationships are not just about sex, and even as much as one may try to divorce emotions from sex there will always be an emotional component to it. The most satisfying sexual activity I have ever had has been within a monogamous relationship because it was an act of love.”

    Wow… did you seriously just scold other people for a logical fallacy and then turn right around and suggest that because you’ve had a particular experience it must imply some universal truth for everybody? And that isn’t a fallacy? I think it’s called the “you-felt-it-so-it-must-be-true,-except,-wait,-lots-of-other-people-feel-differently-so-what-the-hell-do-you-know” fallacy.

  • bluedavid

    ummm… did you bother to read the nytime’s article??? you should, because you’ve completely misframed Savage’s perspective on this issue, and in a way that further adds flame to anti-equality alarmists.

    basically, the whole article is about how important Savage thinks marriage is, and how the special quality about a marriage is its stability and endurance. he is NOT advocating that all (or even most) married people should start sleeping around or having open marriages– he simply argues that (and provides a convincing historical case for) in relationships where both monogamy and stability don’t seem possible, it’s much more desirable to be flexible with the monogamy part than to to trash the entire relationship, especially when there are kids involved.

    this is essentially a very conservative, pro-family position.

    he is not arguing for a radical new definition of marriage. he is simply saying that our view of marriage as a completely monogamous relationship (upon pain of divorce) is unrealistic, not historically relevant, and has led to much divorce-related angst in children’s lives that might have been prevented by a stronger commitment to the institution of marriage and a more flexible approach to ensuring it.

    finally, dan savage’s detractors should step back and take in the full breadth of his argument. if you truly support the institution of marriage, your number one priority should be fostering healthy marriage relationships and avoiding divorce, not in bashing couples in loving relationships who have made the institution work in their lives for the long-haul whether monogamously, monogamishly, or in completely open marriages. the more narrowly we define marriage, the more marriages we sacrifice as a society to the counterproductive gods of squeamishness.

  • James

    to think that dan savage could generate such a comment post is actually pretty pitiful. but then to come across HIV STIGMA just goes to show how far we have not come since the eighties.
    to think that those who are NEGATIVE live more meaningful and productive lives is utter bullshit when every hiv-positive person i’ve talked to in my years has confided in me that they are much happier with who they are now versus who they were “back then” when they were self destructive.

    what i see: the inability to care for those in your community. Instead, it’s the same ol’ bullshit of making yourselves feel better and more privileged in yet another minority group that is somehow convinced that breaking into a mainstream, CAPITALISTIC, evil hetero-normative society is going to magically make things better – HA! Savage is an A-Gay and is upper middle class and lives in the suburbs with a house and kids and just wants to emulate a Heterosexual lifestyle and thinks that all bisexual and gay men should do this or that we all somehow want to like him. Savage is a media whore with Peter Pan syndrome who just loves attention and can’t get enough of it even if it’s negative attention.

    I find it hypocritical that gay men are claiming that most bisexuals and trans people are somehow victimey or want to celebrate victimhood. Yet if a Straight person or even another gay man or LBT person who can think for themselves says anything criticizing their sacred cows or anything against the “Community” they’re branded as homophobic.

    I’m not sure why so many Savage/It gets better queens on this blog are now claiming and denying that Dan Savage is poz phobic? He clearly is and if you’ve read his “advice” column or listened
    to his podcasts one can easily see how he has major issues with people who are HIV+ and that he is poz phobic. Or how they’re now revising history and claiming that Savage has never been
    bigoted towards bisexuals, trans people, and African Americans.

    Try doing the resarch on these topics for yourself and you will see how Savage is very bigoted.

    It really is just as bad as the shit we get from Heterosexist society and Rev. Phelps but it’s from another GLBT person so it’s 10,000X more hypocritical and worse when it’s from someone on the inside like this.

    fuck this shit. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER!
    you’ll spend your days feeding the wallets of major corporations. allowing them to sell you a version of gay culture that is more concerned with KILLING YOU and this thing you call “individuality.”

    then instead of actually doing anything about being metaphorically “fucked in the ass” by nearly 99% of americans (because queer/GLBT people still fuck queer/GLBT people over in extreme
    ways) you’ll turn to some MONEY-HUNGRY ICON like Dan Savage, and repost false, generic information and claim it as your own.
    and don’t forget the pride celebrations and nightly outings, which take you on a spiral into ALCOHOLISM, meth addiction, bareback sex, and recklessness. where a quarter of you end up hiv-positive because nobody has learned how to talk to one another or give a shit about knowing their status or using condoms either in the heat of the moment or as part of having safer sex. and instead of blaming yourselves, you’ll blame others, until you hopefully realize how fucked up the “community” is, and start living a more productive and meaningful life.

    but fuck it, it’s pride and we all know what that is about, right?
    going out, buying shit, getting wasted, buying more shit, getting more wasted, angry, annoyed, horny, stupid, redundant and ugly.

    well, not so much. it’s about stonewall. it’s about resistance. it’s about a memory and celebrating a time when queers were brave enough to stand up and fight against the system in hopes of thriving and forming their own unique culture. stonewall was a riot! not another dreadful, self-loathing party in the gentrified Castro district while watching your “It gets better” video and pretending that you’re actually doing something and actually helping GLBT youth when you’re just giving them the stock quote that EVERY KID-even straight kids-get when school isn’t going so well or when they’re being bullied.

    Someone like Dan Savage who is a primadonna media whore that does not like bisexuals, people with HIV/AIDS, or Trans people is the last person we need representing gay men and GLBT Americans in the media. Yeah Dan, “It gets better” for you! Then again he did start the IGB project just for self promotion, since he can’t resist jumping on any bandwagon while pretending to give a shit and getting your money and attention, and to get a reality TV show on MTV.

    Savage is a tool, media whore, jumps on any bandwaggon-Started his whole “It gets better” project not to actually help GLBT youth but to self promote he and his husband and get an MTV reality TV show with crocodile tears claiming that he’s for GLBT rights when in reality he hates HIV+ people, bisexuals, and trans people and his “advice” column writings and podcasts on these subjects show his hate.

    Then again he did start the It gets better project not to actually help GLBT teens/youth (all while trashing bisexuals like he is still doing now) but he started It gets better just for self promotion to get a reality TV show on MTV, and because he’s a media whore who can’t resist jumping on any bandwagon or saying or doing anything as long as it gets him any sort of attention or media/press coverage.

  • xander

    @James : But how do you r e a l l y feel?

  • Ken S

    @ #124

    Rambling emo-gay is rambling. I mean, is there anything about *anything* that you like? Pride sucks, having lots of sex sucks, having HIV sucks (but so does not wanting to have HIV?), telling young people they don’t have to kill themselves sucks, buying things sucks, rainbows suck, straight people suck, gay people suck, people who say things suck… suck?

    At least I no longer have to bear the stigma of having written the longest rant anymore :-P

  • Ganondorf


    Are you bipolar? I’m curious. The cognitive dissonance you’re displaying (doubling down on this impassioned defense as if you’ve got a lot invested in Savage) could perhaps be explained if you were making a profit off of him somehow, but more likely, it’s some kind of fan situation. In any event, it’s a bit concerning. Go out today and play in the sun today.

  • AedanRoberts


    Im sorry- but do you even know what it means to be “bi-polar”? I’m not quite sure how passionately defending something or someone could be considered symptomatic of such a specific and easily definable disorder- nor does it fit with the definition of “cognitive dissonance”. Unless my writing swung back and forth between exuberant happiness and extremely depressed in a mocking imitation of the effects of bi-polar disorder I just dont see it. And re-reading my posts I have not done so. Nor am I arguing two conflicting ideas simultaneously- so that excludes “cognitive dissonance”. Are you just throwing terms out there into the ether and hoping something sticks?

    And in answer to the only question that actually makes sense as an attack in your reply: no I do not make any money from Mr. Savage. I don’t even know the guy personally. But I have read enough of his work and listened to enough of his public speeches to understand when people are simply getting things completely wrong. I suppose it may be silly to defend a total stranger on the Internet but it bothers me when petty people choose to wrongfully represent someone or their views when they are trying to argue against them. It just means they don’t really have an argument. It’s the tactic NOM uses constantly.

  • AedanRoberts

    @Ken S:

    At least your rant made sense.

  • The Bony Man

    I am on Savage’s side. I am very firmly on the side of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”, and as long as all sides are consensual, why do we care what constitutes another person’s idea of “marriage”. Both of these figures stand for the freedom of gays to marry, but Dan goes even farther, including polygamous and other not-strictly-monogamous groups of any gender. Why should we limit ourselves in our support for liberty?

  • iDavid


    You seem so psychotically attracted to attacking gays, I’m wondering if you haven’t entertained the thought of working for FOF or some such ideology more befittng of your nature. Or maybe I’ve misinterpreted you all along and you’re actually just a plant.

    “Just curious”.

  • Ganondorf


    Of course it fits with the definition of cognitive dissonance. When one has a lot invested in a certain personality, cult, or belief (and that can be monetary, too), they are a lot less likely to respond rationally to reasonable criticism. For example, if you were a cult member, say the cult of personality, and it was revealed that the cult leader you’d entrusted your entire savings and sense of self to was a charlatan, you’d be a lot less likely to believe that than the story he spun in which he was the victim. That’s classic cognitive dissonance. The bipolar speculation addresses your apparent mood swings. Anyway, go play in the sun NOW! It’s good for ya.

  • Ganondorf


    So criticizing dan savage’s superficial ideas, dogmatic beliefs, and absurd way of generating buzz for his brand (monetizing) by creating ridiculous controversies and incendiary language=antigay bigotry? Are you fourteen? Anyway, you’re not an intelligent person, and can easily be dismissed.

  • AedanRoberts


    The textbook definition of “Cognitive Dissonance”: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, esp. as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

    I have been quite consistent in this thread about my views on this subject- so have my attitudes on the subject. Passionate or not they are of one single line of thought. I’m sorry but your idea of what it means to be “cognitively dissonant” is off.

    Does your description of people not being able to respond clearly based on being too close to a personality or belief hold any water? That entirely depends on what you are talking about and the extent of how bad they are. Honestly? If what I’ve shown here shows that kind of symptom then so does yours. A person doesn’t have to be invested POSITIVELY in a personality or belief to have their ability to respond rationally affected. It seems to me by your vitriolic descriptions of Dan Savage that you yourself are extremely invested in the cult of his personality- albeit in the opposite way you claim I am. In that sense- that extreme sense of disgust or disliking of him and everything he does- you are equally unable to form a rational opinion on the subject.

    Also where has my mood swung drastically? I have been fairly consistent in my dismay and passionate defense of getting facts straight here. I have not said Savage is infallible but have simply pointed out when a person has been making a terrible argument backed up with incorrect or misleading information. You have no idea what it means to be bi-polar or what that disorder implies. So stop justifying your incorrect use of the term.

  • idavid


    Ah, attack pride and arrogance, you wear it well. I’ve watched you attack people on more than one thread, me included. Attacking back has it’s place, though this is not one of them.

    So Mr. Intelligent, there is only one time when it’s appropriate for one person to attack another. With all your aged wisdom and superior knowledge, of which you inadvertently and seemingly attest, you must surely know the answer.

    When is it?

  • Ganondorf

    Also, it was proven in the fifties that there is a positive relationship between cognitive dissonance and the amount of investment one has in a given belief. People think that they’re intelligent, and therefore things that disconfirm their beliefs would cause them to reevaluate that assessment (to them). Thus, they double down. It’s how mormonism was founded, and how mediocre talents like dan savage get to be “passionately” defended by crazy people on a blog.

  • Martina


    I see your point about Ganondworf. You’re talking to an emotional illiterate. Talk about low intelligence. My sense he is a bit too far down the rabbit hole and is unable to answer that question. I tend to veer away from people that negative.

  • Skeloric

    A part of a relationship, I’ve had to take a hard look at the “monogamish” concept and similar due to my medical issues.
    I’m on enough medications to be essentially “sexually dead,” my sex drive is so very low that my poor BF must in fact have a “close friend or two” on the side.
    Due to being on Medical Assistance, which won’t cover Viagra or anything similar, its a problem that likely won’t go away.
    Is it the BEST solution?
    Maybe not.
    But its OUR solution.

    I’m also reminded of the 70s “Swinger Clubs” where married hetero folk got together to wife-swap…
    That didn’t seem to cause any harm to the concept of marriage that I ever heard about.

  • high end of the kinsey scale

    wow, but it’s fascinating to read through this whole string of rants, and to see what a polarizing figure savage has become, even for fellow gays and allies, supposedly fighting on the same side all along.

    savage writes a sex advice column and podcast, responding to individual people from within gay and straight relationships. i think people are ignoring this original context to pretend he’s writing some cohesive manifesto advocating any one thing for all relationships; he’s giving relationship advice as responses to individual petitioners, and he’s advocating being honest about with one’s spouse about monogamy and impulses toward non-monogamy, rather than insisting on an ideal of fidelity that’s increasingly unobtainable. he offers this advice to gays and straights and in-betweens, and he’s never said “i speak for all gay men in insisting x, y, and z.”

    it’s funny that any gay who’s speaking is still taken to be, ergo, a gay spokesperson. mistress matisse blogs about sadomasochism and is never mistaken for a spokesperson for all sexually active straights. robert h. rimmer wrote a series of books about hetero non-monogamy in the 1960s and 70s, and no one ever said he spoke for all married people. people still perceive of queers as so marginal and homogeneous that “one spokesman will do,” as if savage, being gay, represents all gays with whatever he speaks. people think that, since we’re homosexual, we’re homogeneous, that we’re part of “the gay community,” singular (as if we all live on an island somewhere).

    i happen to agree with savage, and i’ve lived most of my adult life in a flexible/open relationship with my very understanding and loving partner, who’s been just as open and slutty and randy and i’ve been. we’ve called it “mahogany,” after an old “dykes to watch out for” strip by alison bechdel. but, in reading savage and savage’s advice–which is doled out on an individual basis, to people who have written him, asking for advice–i’m not taking dan savage to be speaking “for” anyone . . . but dan savage.


  • iDavid


    Agreed. People of fragmented intellect tend to trash their surrounding environment. He definitely excels at gay team destruction rather than gay team building.

    @High end,

    Very accurate take on Dan Savage. If people take the time to look at his work, they would find his advice invaluable for many. He’s for the common good via rational deduction, tho not exactly idolized by the irrational. As anyone can see, sanity about sexuality isn’t exactly high on the collective “to do” list.

  • AedanRoberts


    I’m sorry- but I wouldn’t really think that someone should be calling anyone else stupid who relies on Wikipedia for information. My understanding comes from research and textbooks. Also just the plain old Webster’s Dictionary.

    And regardless of who is right or wrong on the subject of cognitive dissonance- that does nothing to discredit what I wrote after it. Your own argument against my opinion on this subject easily excludes yours as well.

  • AedanRoberts


    Or passionately attacked by idiots on a blog *wink*

  • Ganondorf


    “I’m sorry”

    Apology accepted.

    “…who is right or wrong on the subject of cognitive dissonance”

    I’m right, you’re wrong. Hope that helps you with your vast clinical research into the subject and readings from many textbooks (some of which you’ll later go on to tell me you coauthored). Have a blessed day.

  • Jarvis Kittling


    If AedanRoberts is so “wrong” and you are so “right”, then why does AedanRoberts come off cool, and you come off like a total asshole?

  • AedanRoberts


    I’d keep going with this but it’s like running repeatedly against a thick, dense brick wall.

    And regardless none of this negates the truth of what I said before.

  • iDavid


    As pathetic and repulsive as DADT was to LGBT people, it would seem you too have been dismissed.

  • mike

    @Ken S: Bravo.

  • Brian Miller

    Dan Savage has inserted himself, front and center, into the marriage debate — via blogging, his media platform, and repeated media appearances. He should be able to take a little criticism, just as he dishes it out to people who do believe in monogamy.

    Incidentally, in numerous states (including, I believe, Washington state), cheating on one’s spouse is legally grounds for divorce AND can be a prosecutable crime. Thus, equal marriage in those states would mean rendering Savage’s ideal marriage model of “living together but sleeping with other people” illegal.

  • iDavid

    @Brian Miller

    Not true. Washington State is a “no fault” state meaning either spouse can dissolve a marriage by stating irreconcilable differences. Good try.

    Next time you might want to check your presumed facts before alluding to slandering another person’s reputation.

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