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A Case Against Marriage Equality By a Single Gay Man

By The Second City | May 16, 2013

Same-sex marriage isn’t necessarily a new concept, but for the religious right, social conservatives and comfortably single gays, it’s becoming a harsh reality.

Let’s face it, gay marriage is trending. State legislatures are treating it like their own personal Harlem Shake, stopping at nothing to get their own version out there before the fad passes. In the last couple of weeks alone, Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota have created this clusterfuck of marriage equality. All this on the heels of Maine, Maryland and Washington last fall (don’t even get me started on France, Uruguay and New Zealand).

That leaves me, a single gay in Illinois, living in fear. My days free from the shackles of societal expectations are numbered.

I’m not sure if I have a fear of commitment or of heteronormativity, but either way, I’m not looking to “settle down.” At 33, I experience enough anxiety over the mere thought of planning my birthday party. A wedding seems like unnecessary self-torture. (With that being said, I have decided that if I were to get married, in lieu of traditional wedding parties, I would invite all my self-identified lady friends to wear all white so that there could be a seemingly never-ending procession of brides at my gay wedding – DO NOT STEAL THIS IDEA!!!)

And let’s be honest. I love to travel, but a honeymoon is just a vacation where you have to limit the number of sexual partners you have to just one. At this rate, if I want to remain comfortably single without the pressures of a looming marriage proposal, I’ll have to move to one of those shitty states. Next time I’m on Craigslist, I’m going have to forego the Men Seeking Men section so I can peruse apartments in Biloxi.

The thought of gay marriage on the horizon makes me question my own dating life:

  1. Why am I still single?
  2. Should I stop dating dudes with boyfriends?
  3. Should I stop sleeping with dudes with wives?

The self-questioning is endless, and I honestly don’t have all the answers. Just most of them*.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for equal rights, but I’m just a wee bit skeptical of marriage. Let me toss a hypothetical at you: Say we’re all spending the day at an amusement park together, and we’re all brainwashed to think that we have to go on that one old-ass rickety roller coaster on the edge of the park.

You know, one of those old wooden roller coasters that has been around for fucking ever– that everyone wants to ride– even though you have to spend hours in line just to ride it once, but you commit to the wait, because you’re told that your trip to the park is worthless unless you ride that coaster.

You know the one I’m talking about. The one that once you’re on it, you realize that it’s fucking old and possibly not safe and you end up getting tossed around, and you feel like you have whiplash by the time you’re done. I think you know the one I’m talking about. The one where a few assholes sitting in front actually have a decent time doing it, but most folks just sit there and take it because they feel they have to.

That same coaster that when you hear a friend of yours wants to ride it a second or third time, you’re shocked– because you know for a fact that they had an awful time the first go around.

So, say this death trap has a height requirement that excludes short people from partaking in this time-honored amusement park tradition, and for ever and ever, this has never stopped any of the tall people from subjecting themselves to this supposed “fun.” Then, out of nowhere, everyone realizes that the height requirement is rather arbitrary, so all of your tall friends demand that you’re able to ride that same ancient safety hazard that is the revered Ol’ Wooden Roller Coaster.

Fuck that. There are so many other rides that are really fucking fun, that short people can go on, that don’t involve waiting in line, and that will most likely not end in regret. With that being said, say that the park offered over 1,100 benefits for riding said coaster, like free refills on soda and discounted turkey legs. I guess I would consider riding it, provided I had some cool-ass furry dude to ride it with who also wouldn’t mind if I occasionally went on other rides with other dudes.

(For the above hypothetical, the wooden roller coaster was a metaphor for traditional marriage, and the day at the park was a metaphor for life. Get it?)

Oh, in case you’re curious, I’m a self-identified post-bear queer, and these opinions are mine, and mine alone. If you are queer and/or gay and/or lesbian and/or trans and/or bi and you can get married and you want to, please do. I might even want to come, because I like a good party, and chances are you won’t be able to have your ceremony in a church.

You see, the real issue at hand is that I spent most of my 20s being really fucking poor, and I skipped out on buying no fewer than two dozen wedding presents. My straight friends’ liberal guilt has probably prevented them from saying anything to me, but if I can get married, I’m going to have to send out countless molcajetes from Crate & Barrel. I’d rather spend that money on my dogs and/or a trip to P-town.

*(Answers: 1. Emotionally Unavailable 2. Probably 3. No)


Tim Paul (@thatguytimpaul) has written and performed in shorts featured on such sites as,,, & He is on the teaching faculty at both Second CIty & The Annoyance, but is probably most recognized for wearing an ugly Christmas sweater in a USPS commercial.

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