by George Saunders March 8, 2004
As an obscure, middle-aged, heterosexual short-story writer, I am often asked, George, do
you have any feelings about Same-Sex Marriage?
To which I answer, Actually, yes, I do.
Like any sane person, I am against Same-Sex Marriage, and in favor of a constitutional
amendment to ban it.
To tell the truth, I feel that, in the interest of moral rigor, it is necessary for us to go a step
further, which is why I would like to propose a supplementary constitutional amendment.
In the town where I live, I have frequently observed a phenomenon I have come to think
of as Samish-Sex Marriage. Take, for example, K, a male friend of mine, of slight build, with
a ponytail. K is married to S, a tall, stocky female with extremely short hair, almost a crewcut.
Often, while watching K play with his own ponytail as S towers over him, I have wondered,
Isn’t it odd that this somewhat effeminate man should be married to this somewhat
masculine woman? Is K not, on some level, imperfectly expressing a slight latent desire to be
married to a man? And is not S, on some level, imperfectly expressing a slight latent desire
to be married to a woman?
Then I ask myself, Is this truly what God had in mind?
Take the case of L, a female friend with a deep, booming voice. I have often found
myself looking askance at her husband, H. Though H is basically pretty masculine, having
neither a ponytail nor a tight feminine derrière like K, still I wonder: H, when you are having
marital relations with L, and she calls out your name in that deep, booming, nearly male
voice, and you continue having marital relations with her (i.e., you are not “turned off”), does
this not imply that you, H, are, in fact, still “turned on”? And doesn’t this indicate that, on
some level, you, H, have a slight latent desire to make love to a man?
Or consider the case of T, a male friend with an extremely small penis. (We attend the
same gym.) He is married to O, an average-looking woman who knows how to fix cars. I
wonder about O. How does she know so much about cars? Is she not, by tolerating this non-
car-fixing, short-penised friend of mine, indicating that, on some level, she wouldn’t mind
being married to a woman, and is therefore, perhaps, a tiny bit functionally gay?
And what about T? Doesn’t the fact that T can stand there in the shower room at our