Marriage can mean a lot of different things to LGBTQ people. There’s an active movement to legalize same-sex marriage (the Freedom to Marry movement); as a result, several states recognize marriages and other unions.The Alternatives to Marriage Project is a strong supporter of thismovement — we believe all people should be able to choose whether theywant to marry or not (see our position statement on same-sex marriage).
On the other hand, significant numbers of LGBTQ people say they wouldn’t want to marry even if same-sex marriage were legal (these folks may find perspectives of interest to them in the Marriagefree section). Some LGBTQ families wouldn’t fit a model of marriage that’s based on couples — for instance, sometimes a gay couple and a lesbian couple form a family to parent their children together (and that’s only the beginning of the creative, thriving non-traditional family structures that aren’t unusual in the LGBT community). Some LGBTQ folks take pride in the way their community has formed strong, flexible relationships and families outside the boundaries of marriage, and have no desire to take part in the institution when same-sex marriage is legalized.
AtMP’s founders are pleased to be among the original signatories on “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships”. Read the short version of the statement here or read the entire statement and view all of the signatories at www.beyondmarriage.org
Although civil marriage is still not an option for most LGBTQ people in the U.S., growing numbers are married. Some are lucky enough to live in one of the 9 states or District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal ; some have traveled to the provinces in Canada that recognize same-sex marriage. Some people marry a different-sex partner and later come out as gay or lesbian. Bisexual people may not be able to marry if they fall in love with a same-sex partner, but can if their sweetie is different-sex. Depending on state laws and the legal gender of the partners, some transgender people are able to marry. Lots of bi, queer, and trans people who have the option to marry choose not to, in solidarity with their LGBTQ friends who can’t.