Jennifer Roback Morse

Surely you want to inform people with same sex attraction about these important findings. I have a whole presentation on the hazards of cohabitation. I’ll be glad to adapt it for gay and lesbian students. I’ll be waiting for a phone call from the Gay Straight Alliance.

Speaking of divorce, we could use your help in divorce reform. You may not realize it yet, but marriage is one of the least binding contracts in this society. Adultery is one of the most painful and disruptive experiences a person can go through. Yet, the law takes no notice of this egregious violation of the most basic condition of the marriage contract. Normally, the law requires the breaching party to provide compensation to the injured party. Only violators of the marriage contract get to walk away without any accountability.

I have in my filing cabinet some model legislation that would make adultery a civil offense. That means that a faithful spouse has the right to sue an adulterous spouse for damages. Don’t get me wrong: no policemen will be peaking in people’s windows. The injured party gets to decide whether it is worthwhile, all things considered, to sue. My guess is that few people would bring such suits. But lawyers and marriage counselors who practiced back in the Bad Old Days before no-fault will tell you: the threat of such lawsuits deterred a lot of bad behavior. Now that gays can marry, you have just as great an interest in marital fidelity as the rest of us.

I’ve been looking for someone to introduce this legislation. Maybe if a member of GLBTQ caucus introduces the legislation, it will get some traction.

You who made the conservative case for same sex marriage convinced the public that same sex marriage would provide the same private and social benefits as opposite sex marriage. But marriage is more than just a set of benefits: marriage also is a set of obligations and constraints. Those of us in the Marriage Movement have been trying to help people see that there is freedom within those constraints. But it has been a tough sell. People want only the benefits and none of the obligations. People go for the short-term gratification and miss the Big Prize: lifelong married love.

Now that you can marry, I assume that you are on board. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jennifer Roback Morse

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love In A Hook-up World. She blogs at

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