Thursday, January 21, 2010

M/M Romance and Same-Sex Marriage

I don't generally like to blog about political issues. I know that readers come from a wide range of backgrounds and have a diverse set of opinions. I don't like it when someone tries to force their views down my throat, so I return the favor.

However, Catherine Lundoff's post about her wedding a few days ago got me thinking. I'd like to find out more about how readers feel regarding the contentious issue of gay marriage.

Male/male romance is incredibly popular. My own M/M work sells better than anything else I write. I've received enthusiastic responses to my contest queries as to why romance fanatics enjoy reading about hot and heavy man-love.

Given this phenomenon--do readers who like M/M romance believe that men should have the right to marry eachother? If not, how do you reconcile this opinion with your reading tastes?

If you do support the idea of same-sex marriage, do you make your opinions known? Do you write letters to your congressman or your local newspaper? Or are you a closet conoisseur of homoerotic literature, not wanting to share your preferences?

I know that the majority of romance readers are married women with families. Many of you are religious. You're not wild sex fiends getting it on with strangers and looking for kinky thrills. (Well, maybe some of you are! But I suspect you're the exception rather than the rule.) If you live in the U.S., the current battleground in the war over same-sex marriage, you represent the typical, normal majority that the opponents of marriage equality say are against gays and lesbians marrying.

I have to ask myself: what would be the impact if hundreds or thousands of wives and mothers started advocating marriage equality? I think it would help redefine the debate. It would take the wind out of the sails of conservatives who like to portray support of gay marriage as a "blue state", ultra-liberal, perverse, anti-American position.

I'm really curious about this. I'd love to learn about your feelings and actions - pro and con. All opinions will be treated with respect. So let me know:

  • Do you like gay romance?
  • Do you support gay marriage?
  • If you do, are you active in expressing that opinion?

I will give away a copy of I Do, the MLR charity anthology supporting marriage equality, to a randomly selected commenter. Or, if you'd rather have a M/F title, I'll send you a copy of Getaway Girl.

Thanks in advance!

32 comments:

Jambrea said...

I love gay romance. So much so that that after reading it, I started writing it. I do support gay marriage and have written to my congressman. Unfortunately, I think my state is a LONG way from seeing gay marriage happen. I was very upset when Prop 8 went through.

I feel that love is love, no matter the gender. :)

marcy said...

M/M romance is my preferred genre of reading currently. Although I am a divorced heterosexual woman with adult sons I not only favor total same-sex privledges, I would not have been in the least distressed if one or more of my sons were gay and let them know that as they were grpwing up. I email/write letters in favor or same-sex marriage and support politicians who do so. I only object to promescuity, gay or straight.

P.A.Brown said...

I fully and vocally support gay marriage. As far as I'm concerned the reasons cited for not supporting it make no sense. How does the marriage of two men or two women undermine anyone else's marriage? Given the number of heterosexual divorces in the US, I'd say marriage isn't all that sacred to them either. And there are two types of marriage -- one is a civil union, recognized by the state, the other is a religious union recognized and sanctified by a religious organization. Legalizing gay marriage has never meant that church's have to marry anyone they don't choose to marry.

And the scare tactics and lies the anti marriage groups spout at every turn prove they can't win the argument on truth or logic and they know it, which is why they lie. And yes, I get pretty hot under the collar -- I think the whole thing is just so wrong.

tropical2265 said...

I am a gay male who loves m/m romance. I agree with the 3 previous comments, especially P.A. Brown's comment. I just don't understand why it is such a big deal in a country started because of the persecution people received in the places they left behind. It seems a lot of those places are more progressive than the US has become.

Cynthya said...

Yes, I like m/m romance and yes, I support gay marriage. One of my family members is in a same sex marriage, unfortunately it wouldn't be recognized in most of the U.S. I really don't understand why anyone is against it.

I'm not very active in letting my views be known, but that's mainly because it does no good in this very red state I live in. I do vote and donate money, but that's all.

Anne Kane said...

I'm not much of a fan of m/m romance, it just isn't my thing. However I do support same sex marriages. If two people love each other and are brave enough to make that kind of commitment, they deserve all the support we can give them. I'm quite open about it, but I live in Canada where it is legal so I don't have to do anything to support it.

Kathy Otten said...

I am a Christian with personal beliefs that come fairly close to those of the Moral Majority, fundamentalists. Aside from excerpts posted as promos, I don't read gay romance. However, I do support gay marriage. I think from a legal standpoint as far as insurance benifits(under the current plans,)being able to file a joint tax returns, custody of children and other legal issues, marriage benifits should be fair to everyone. As far as a marriage before God, that's between God and the heart of each person who stands before him. I know a few gay couples in a commited, monogamous relationships, who don't cheat, beat-up their spouse, or do things to hurt other people. They go to church (albeit, not your typical pulpit pounders,) and contribute to the community. As far as what marriage means, the couples I know are wonderful examples.

P.A.Brown said...

I live in Canada too, and it's one thing that makes me very proud to be Canadian, but I support it vocally, on my web site and with letters, because I have so many American friends who can't do it and even some who have been hurt by the narrow mindedness and petty hatreds that I can't keep quiet about it.

erastes said...

I doubt anyone who reads this blog would be against it!! I'm a fervent supporter and although we don't have FULL gay marriage in the UK, we are half way there with Civil Partnerships - I don't know if we'll ever get church weddings, but I'm in favour of every kind of marriage. I don't see how a country can have a law which states that everyone is equal and then not actually DO that.

booklover0226 said...

I love reading gay romances and I support gay marriage. Life is just too short and we all deserve to be happy to live and love anyone we please.

Alessia Brio said...

I am genderblind. A romance is a romance. And, to me, a marriage is a marriage (or should be).

I am outspoken in my support for equality. That said, I don't think the government should be in the marriage business at all.

Shayla Kersten said...

I fully support gay marriage. Marriage in this country has nothing to do with religion. It is a civil partnership to begin with. You can't walk into a preacher, have him say words over you and walk out married without a civil authority-issued marriage license. No one is asking fundamentalist preachers or priests to perform the marriage. All we're asking is that same sex couples be allowed the priviledges of the existing civil contracts with all the rights and tax breaks that accompany it.

As far as the fundamentalist backed efforts for elections against gay marriage, like CA Prop 8, the majority must never, never, never be allowed to vote on the rights of the minority. If a vote had been taken for civil rights for blacks, the majority would have voted against it. Civil rights must be legislated or handed down from the courts. Only after the rights are granted can people begin to find common ground.

I could rant on but I'm late for the day job! LOl Great post, Lisabet! Great comments, everyone!

Michelle Houston said...

Lisabet,

Good post on a wonderful topic.

I read and write M/M romance/erotic romance.

I also support the rights for all to marry, provided everyone is over the age of consent. I don't think it should ever be denied to anyone, based on color, sexual orientation, etc.

I am not very active in trying to change minds about the laws, because of being in a small town and working towards working in the education system. It has caused problems for other teachers I know, so I have to be careful.

Michelle

BrennaLyons said...

I read M/M and M/F...and I've even read the occasional F/F, though I am a married, heterosexual woman with no interest in F/F sex, personally. But love is love, no matter who is experiencing it, and some of my favorite authors write both M/F and either M/M or F/F. Or...just write M/M. Some are female authors and some are male.

I have written one M/M so far and have ideas for two more, though the rest of my formidible backlist (more than 80 published works and an equal number of WIP) are M/F or at least M/F/M.

Yes, I support gay and lesbian marraige. You're talking to a woman who hosted a baby shower for friends who are a lesbian couple and offered to help plan a gay friend's wedding. You're also talking to a woman whose best friends are in a polyamory relationship, where they have provided a stable home to the primary couple's children for the last four or five years. If the match-up works for you and is stable, what you do with your life, love, and in your bedroom is none of my business and certainly not the government's business. I'm all for equal coverage under the law for anyone who wishes to marry.

Yes, I'm vocal about it. You're talking to a woman that started a firestorm about a publisher losing a house, because of one M/M book in the entire catalog of more than 150 products (games, t-shirts, and books) they offer. I am not shy of calling bigotry when I see it. Nor am I shy about calling the kettle black when I see double standards and hipocracy.

Brenna

Eva S said...

Great post! I love reading m/m romances and I do believe in marriages for everyone.

andromeda4000 said...

I am not qualified to give an opinion about gay romance novels because I haven't read anything but a smattering of mid-rate fanfic stories. I am not opposed to reading gay romance F/F and might read M/M though neither would be the first choice for me.
I am a married man and I agree with those who believe same sex unions should be allowed the rights given traditional marriages, benefits, recognition, and so on. I am uncomfortable calling the relationship marriage for some reason. I'll go for civil union or something else much easier. But that's just a word association game in my head isn't it? I still respect the relationship.
I do not voice my opinion to lawmakers or newsmakers. I try not to opinionate to my neighbors and friends. I will try my hardest to get someone voted from office if they are a deaf, selfish, pigheaded, psuedo-sadist politician. I might even comment on your website if I feel passionately for or against the issues. Like here :-)

First time commenter,
David in Indiana

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I do enjoy M/M romance. My favorite is the Tri Omega Series by Stormy Glenn.

I do believe gay marriage should be legal. I do not believe it should be honored by the church. These are two separate issues to me.

I am vocal online about my beliefs but censor myself IRL as a courtesy to my husband. (Not TO my husband. He knows how I feel.) I don't mind stirring up the hornets' nest and dealing with the backlash, but he would rather a non-confrontational existence.

I already have the I Do anthology and recommend it!!!!! But I would enjoy reading Getaway girl if my name happens to be the lucky one.

Miranda
Sweet Vernal Zephyr .blogspot
mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

Sapphire Phelan said...

Yes, I read m/m, as much as M/F.
Yes, they should be allow to marry.
Sapphire Phelan
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sapphire-Phelan/324399690647

orelukjp0 said...

I am just a average middle aged woman who reads just about anything. M/F, M/M, F/F, and multiple combinations.

If a story is well written with a good plot, it is worth reading.

That being said, personal preference in a significant other is just that. Personal. Not everyone is wired the same with the same tastes as shown with our choices in reading and viewing materials.

If a man wants to marry a man or a woman marry a woman, that is their choice and should be respected and allowed. I would be upset if some dictated to me who I can marry and so should they.

Deirdre-Gwynn said...

It has taken me a long time to come around to the understanding I now have that Love is Love no matter the ages, genders, races or anything else. With that POV, any and all unions need to be supported, recognized and accepted! I write m/m romance myself and find that getting into my characters' heads and hearts since they tell me their stories, not the other way, has broadened my understanding a great deal. While I have not actively supported gay marriage up to now,I am coming to that at this point. In the long run it makes sense and takes nothing away from traditional marriage. Next step, they say, is three or four somes or?? Well so what!! If it feels right and harms no one, why not? I am a straight woman and a grandma but if any of my clan of kids came out I would embrace them and their partner(s)of choice with no conern other than knowing some prejudice would still impact them at times. I do read some GLBT fiction but mostly not when I am actively writing as things stick in one's mind and might be regurgitated without intending plagarism! Do not need that ooopps.

SiNn said...

to be quiet honest i feel that same sex marraige should be embraced just like hetro marriage if two concenting adults who love and guininly care about eachother then is ay go for it and all the nay sayers out there irk me because seems they r all its maken the sanitity of marriage look bad no that would be divorce and people getting married before they really know what love and committment is if someones committed then im all for it and yes im veryvery open about my opinions because i feel that if its good for one sect its good for all

Katie Hines said...

I do not read male gay stories, nor do I support gay marriages.

Alysha said...

In many ways I am a surprisingly old fashioned romantic...I believe in love, I believe that people in love should be entitled to make a public commitment in the form of marriage. I don't believe gender makes any difference to that. And I don't understand the people who object because it doesn't suit their personal beliefs. I didn't marry in a church, it doesn't make my marriage less valid. Marriage is about much more than a religious rite. I use my vote and my voice to support anyone's right to marry the one they love.

Ally Robertson CEO said...

Yay Lisabet! Loved the blog. Yes I fully support it and I am still hoping to to be the one to Officiate for the marriage of my niece and her partner this summer. Another Proud Canadian :).

Hales said...

I love the blog Lisbet. I'm all for gay marriage. I remember my mom having a ceremony done when I was eight years old with her girlfriend and was confused with why she couldn't be called her wife. I hope it passes in all states. No one should have a say in preventing marriage. Love isn't gender based, it's just love plain and simple.

Gianna Bruno said...

Ugh, Google just dumped my entire post. I hope it doesn't show up later.

I am from New England where same sex marriage is legal in several states. I have a lot of same sex friends, both M/M and F/F friends who are married. In NYC, many friends, including M/F relationships, are in domestic partnerships.

Many companies in NYC honor domestic partners for insurance purposes. But not being married complicates health care and estate planning, as well as child custody.

I don't see any reason why people who are committed to each other shouldn't be allowed to be married, regardless of gender.

Lord knows there are plenty of M/F marriages where one or both partners who condemn same sex marriages as immoral are cheating (just look at sports figures and our political leaders). What makes that any less immoral? I dislike when people cover their transgressions with a cloak of intolerance.

Hopefully, same sex marriage will become more accepted. The fact that GLBT stories are so popular is a good thing. Information disperses ignorance

She said...

I read m/m, f/f, m/f, and menage. I support gay marriage. Love is love no matter where you find it.

Angela Daniels said...

I can't offer anything new to this discussion, only agree with what many have said. I support same sex marriage and don't believe the government should be able to tell grown folks who they can or can't marry. I'm an out bi woman who is pretty vocal about me views though I wouldn't see I'm that into politics.

As far as what I read MMF is my fav as well as tales with polyamorous characters. I write MF, MMF, and MM. Thanks for blogging about this topic Lisabet!

Daun Ann said...

I love reading M/M romance. I do support gay marriage, especially for insurance and tax reasons. My family and friends know that I support gay marriage, but I haven't thought about writing my congressmen about it.

Another thing that I've thought of, what if a boyfriend is in the ICU, they won't let him in because he's not 'family' because they're not allowed to be married.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Thanks to all of you who have commented. And I want to offer a particular thank you to those of you who were brave enough to say that they do not support gay marriage. Each individual is entitled to his or her own opinion, and I respect that.

I actually had a few people write me off blog to tell me that they really didn't support gay marriage but didn't dare say so.

I personally believe that lobbying your government, or speaking out on issues that are important to you, DOES do some good. I'd love to see more M/M romance readers offer concrete support to the cause of marriage equality. However, we each need to do what we are comfortable with.

Thanks again!

Lisabet

GLBT Promo said...

Cindy McCain defends gay marriage, but Obama doesn't. The US is so fucking backwards when it comes to gay rights, it's ridiculous. Bravo to places like Canada.

BrennaLyons said...

It's sad that people don't feel free to say they don't support it. I always welcome an open discussion. What I can't stomach are people who would have turned this into a battle ground. Shrug. This has been one of the nicest discussions I've seen in a long time. Thanks again for asking the question.

Brenna

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