They’ve got the wedding bell blues

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They’ve got the wedding bell blues

It doesn’t matter whether you get married or stay single, Socrates said about 25 centuries ago. Either way, you’ll be sorry.
Mind you, Socrates had a gay streak, and the ancient Greeks didn’t have gay marriage ― though they probably would have been pretty good at it. So the aphorism doesn’t apply to same-sex unions.
Gay marriages aren’t allowed in Korea, either, and won’t be for a long time. Last week a court in Incheon, in a case involving one lesbian suing another for alimony, dashed any such hopes. Ruling for the defendant, the judges said the legal rights conferred by marriage apply only to heterosexuals.
The case didn’t make much of a splash newswise, of course. Remember, the local media are controlled by the fundamentalist heterosexual cabal, and the vast majority of journalists are straight. Those “metrosexual trends” you read about in newspapers and magazines? All a shrewd masquerade to subvert otherwise-healthy homosexual impulses, and thereby further the knee-jerk reactionary sexual agenda.
Ask local gays about the Incheon case, and they’ll say they’re disappointed but unsurprised. Gay marriages will be legalized someday, they say; but they’re not holding their breath.
Seo Young-sik, owner of the Itaewon gay bar Always Homme, says it will take 20 years. A bartender there, Mr. Moon, says it will take a hundred. A regular, Mr. Song, says it will only happen “way, way, way in the future.”
All three insist ― at least when their opinions are going in the newspaper ― that they prefer monogamy to promiscuity, and want to find a man to marry and stay together with until death do them part.
Mr. Seo, 39, says he’d like to walk down the aisle of one of Korea’s great big wedding halls someday. His co-groom would be his foreigner boyfriend, with whom he’s lived for 13 years. Mr. Seo is a brazen flirt, so people are always surprised to hear he’s been with the same guy for so long. “Monogamy is the best way if you really care about the quality of your life,” he says, as Mr. Song’s eyebrows rise in disbelief.
Mr. Song, 38, says he, too, wants a partner for life. But he can do without a wedding ceremony, since he’s already been through one ― he was married to a woman for several years before realizing he was gay. “I want true love with a soul mate,” he says. “But no more weddings. Once is enough.”
Mr. Moon, at 30 the suavest of the three, says he’s still playing the field, but that could change. “If I found the right guy, I’d get married right away,” he says. “I’d want to have the wedding in an ancient cathedral in Paris.”
Again, it will be a long time before Korean society sanctions same-sex marriage. Your average citizen, and your average district court judge, still thinks that gays have a mental disease, and belong in an institution.
Just not the one called marriage.

by Mike Ferrin
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