Saturday, July 22, 2006


I discovered this in Saturday's Lexington Herald Leader ...



The couple who lent their name to the lawsuit that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts have separated, a family spokesman confirmed yesterday. Julie Goodridge, 49, and Hilary Goodridge, 50, were married on May 17, 2004, the first day that same-sex couples were permitted to wed in Massachusetts under the terms of Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health. The Goodridges, who selected a common surname after perusing their families' histories, declined to comment yesterday on the split. The couple have a 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

As someone who has often advocated for gay marriage, this really saddens me. I guess I believe that there is something inherently good about a commitment of love between two people. Not our popular view of love, any sort of emotion or physical attraction, but really committing to living in such a way that the other is put first and committing to that even when it is difficult. I believe that is the kind of relationship God works through whether it is a family, marriage, friendship, or community. I think that is one of the main reasons I support gay marriage. I believe that God can redeem same sex relationships through such a committment between two people. I have often disagreed with friends and family, even my own husband at times, for such a view, as many have seen on this blog. If someone wants to commit to such a relationship, it is difficult. I don't believe a relationship of love will succeed without the support of others, and I am willing and eager to offer that support.

With this said, I am all the more troubled by such news. Because I have felt so strongly about this, for those who disagree, I'm sure in some ways I've been more difficult to love, and I have had a harder time loving in return. This makes me wonder if it is worth it. If I take a risk to stand up for someone to have the right to be married, I would like them to stand up for their own marriage. In a way it makes me angry. Clinton said to me "it's just one couple". It's not just one couple. It is the first couple. Imagine the effort they put into gaining the privilege of being married legally. I imagine the whole process was draining and hard on their relationship. They were able to stick it out when the battle was against forces on the outside. I wonder if it isn't more of a struggle to battle the way we hurt ourselves and those closest to us. I guess I want to say if you are not going to handle marriage any better than that, you shouldn't have it. (Maybe the same should be said to heterosexual couples.) But, at the same time, my heart aches for them. Any relational split is heartbreaking. No matter what part a person plays in causing it or how much else a person could have done to prevent it, at the end of the day broken relationships hurt.


bfine107 said...

that is a sad story

jkoch said...

this whole story is a disappointment. as a child who has lived through a broken marriage, i feel for the child.
especially since this marriage was highly publicized. i think that whatever our sexual orientation is humans, overall, suck at relationships and marriage. we're selfish bastards.
is there anything we can take from this story?

geoff said...

thanks for posting this lis. it's such a sad thing to see people go back on their covenant-word. i'm more convinced than ever that humans are closest to the holiness of Jesus when they are reflecting the fidelity of God. i'm currently reading a book called "For Fidelity: How Intimacy and Commitment Enrich Our Lives" and it is helping me see how this applies to my marriage. jodester is right on...we are (I am!) selfish to the point of self destruction (and to the point of mortally wounding those around me).

...but we have the good news of Jesus and the love of God.

Staupostek said...

Don't get discouraged. It is just another example of how homosexuals and heterosexuals are not that different after all. We are all human, regardless of sexual orientation, and are fallible and in need of redemption. I wonder sometimes how any relationship that is in the public spotlight can survive, especially one that is constantly condemned by "good" people.

The way I approach this is the same as for a heterosexual divorce: pray for all involved, especially for the children involved. And I will pray that your belief that "there is something inherently good about a commitment of love between two people" does not waver, for I believe in such a thing also. It is the love that goes beyond the sexual, emotional, and sometimes practical, that put the "other" before us, be it God, spouse, child, parent, or even a stranger. This kind of love is a gift from God and should be longed for and cherished.

So keep your chin up, press on, and remember that it is hard to waver if standing shoulder to shoulder with others.