Thanks to a tip from She-Who-Is-Named-After-The-Elf-Princess, I just listened to an episode of This American Life called "A Little Bit of Knowledge," specifically, Act II about Savage's adopted 6 year old son's thoughts on whether he and his partner should marry, how his ideas came to be, and how they evolved over time.
The story is great and is the boy/male correlary to my Girls Can't Marry Other Girls piece.
The story begins with his son explaining why he would prefer that his dads don't get married.
"Boys don't marry boys, he insists. And girls don't marry girls."
In the story, Savage says that he first began discussing the topic of gay marriage when he was four. He proclaimed that his dads "don't really love each other."
Because you're not married. People who don't love each other can't get married. And since you're not married, and can't get married, you don't love each other. Not really.
Apparently the source of their son's information was a five year old girl whose parents were divorcing. They told her that they couldn't stay married because were no longer in love. . . . The tautological argument followed: since his dads CAN'T get married, they must NOT be in love.
He uses some of the same strategies that I have used in the past with the SYO, one of my favorites being showing her the pictures of betrothed or just-married gay and lesbian couples in the style section of the sunday New York Times.
[SYO] do you want to look at the wedding pictures with me?
We always speculate as to which couples are the happiest and where they are going on their honeymoons.
Funny, she never questions me that we don't do this EVERY week. . . I only bring it up when I see gay couples.
Their son is also like the SYO in that he focuses on the cake part of a wedding. After two years of exposing their son to the liberal media, he finally conceeded that they could, in fact, get married. But he insists that they should not and that if they were to get married, that he would not attend the actual ceremony. Only the party afterwards, provided there was cake.
Our SYO could care less about the marriage part, but she'd LOVE us to have a ceremony in which she could, effectively serve as the emcee, on stage with some pouffy dress. Oh, and much cake to follow. See this post of FRM#1's talk with the then FYO about getting married.
Savage says It is hard to believe that his son has come to believe that marriage is about matched sets: boys and girls. "How'd that happen?"
Preschool, apparently, is where their son, from the exposure to other kids learned about gender expectations. In the school yard, the boys would chase the girls around on the playground. He learned that marriage was "a boy and a girl thing" and that it "wasn't agreeable to the boys. . . It was a weapon. Something the girls would do to the boys if they actually caught them." The girls would turn the tables by pulling the marriage card. "Marriage was nuclear coodies." After that, the girls would chase the boys.
So to their son, it didn't make any sense that his dads (two boys) would even consider marriage. Marriage was a girl thing. Since there weren't any girls in the family, why was the subject even coming up?