The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Gay unions aren’t monogamous? Really?

According to a new study, yes:

A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.


That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.

None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.

According to the research, open relationships almost always have rules.

Check out the link for what that means.

Comments read comments(27)
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posted January 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm

People being open and honest with their partners about their needs, and being willing to allow each other the freedom to get those needs met with full disclosure?
Sounds absolutely horrible. Why can’t they do it the traditional way? Sneaking around furtively, making bad choices, and lying to each other are three of the hallmarks of traditional marriage.
It’s disgusting how these gays are trying to ruin the perfect institution of marriage.

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Timothy Kincaid

posted January 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

As expected, this study is being distorted.
This is NOT a representative study. It was a convenience study of people living in San Francisco. Anyone who has spent any time there knows that the attitudes of SF are not representative of anything, really.
SF gays are nothing like those in Seattle, or Los Angeles, or Boise, or Little Rock or rural Alabama or suburban Massachusetts. Probably the REAL news here is that half of this sample of SF’s gays are in monogamous relationships.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

what?! no more cheatin’ songs?! musics gonna go down the tubes.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

It’s always hard to put statistics in perspective, especially in areas where we have pre-conceived notions of what the truth is. As Timothy Kincaid pointed out, the study just looked at gay and lesbian couples in the San Francisco area. There’s no reason to think that gays and lesbians in San Francisco are representative of gays and lesbians across the country, so there’s no reason to think that this study says anything about the behavior of gays and lesbians in general.
How was this study conducted? How was the sample of gay couples chosen? With a socially stigmatized attribute such as homosexuality, it’s incredibly hard to come up with a random sample … and without a truly random sample, the study can’t even be relied upon to tell us anything about the behavior of gay couples in San Francisco.
But even with the claims that the study makes, shouldn’t we look at it with caution before using it to judge gay unions? We should keep in mind that there are plenty of studies suggesting that equally high percentages of heterosexual couples, married or not, are non-monogamous (it’s a simple Google search). Despite all those studies, we don’t go around spouting off headlines like “Heterosexual unions aren’t monogamous? Really?”
The title attached to this post is a perfect example of the sort of distortions that I’m concerned this study will lead to. It invites the reader to ignore the shortcomings of the study in favor of the preconception that gay unions are unstable and that gay people are sexually promiscuous. The problem is, there’s precious little data to support these preconceptions: just a bunch of poorly conducted statistical studies (the infamous works of Paul Cameron are perhaps the best example of illusory statistics used to support preconceptions). The title attached to this post is a vicious example of abusing a poorly conducted study to reinforce a preconception.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Once again, popular opinion is presented against the perfect word of God, which condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms, and the consequences of such actions. Social science is not exact, since you can not insure that every interviewee is telling the truth. The only truth worth knowing is the truth of God’s word. All other so-called truth is a lie designed to undermine the work of God, and thus, should be ignored.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I agree with teacherdan. Why do peaple have to twist God’s word?

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posted January 30, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Thank GOD straight couples are monogamous, never cheat nor divorce. No one can convince me that a high moral ground and kind, honest relationships can come out of a wretched bunch such as gays, atheists, pro-choice activists and whatever.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 11:55 pm

It is true that some homosexuals are in open or polyamorous relationships, but many heterosexuals are also in open or polyamorous relationships. So if gay people are going to be criticized for not always maintaining faithful monogamous romantic relationships, straight people should also be criticized for not always maintaining faithful monogamous relationships.
Only about a week ago, I (a heterosexual male) was hit on by a girl who told me that she was in an “open relationship” with her boyfriend.

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Your Name

posted January 31, 2010 at 2:27 am

And Catholic couples are? I live in Southern California. In Latin American culture, married men are expected to have a casa chica (mistress) if they can afford one, even men who are supposedly married to the Church.

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Mr Flapatap

posted January 31, 2010 at 5:48 am

Your Name,
Watch it, you are delving into stereotypes. I am Latin and am totally faithful to my wife as are millions of others. As for “expectations”, you’d probably find the Mrs’ with bolt cutters if their husbands thought otherwise.

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Holy Cannoli

posted January 31, 2010 at 7:35 am

The study should come as no surprise except to the homo-promo gang who glory in their perversion.
Te Church calls it a “disorder.” That’s a euphemism. Homosexuality is a perversion, a grave mental disease and a curse for those who are under its domination which controls both their lives and their thoughts making themselves miserable till the end of their short STD consumed lives.

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David J

posted January 31, 2010 at 9:41 am

Gay couples don’t need to visit the abortion clinic because of an unwanted pregnancy. When gay couples have a child in the house it’s because they actually want one.
So, we can be happy for that, Deacon Kandra.

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Charles L

posted January 31, 2010 at 12:22 pm

@ Holy C,
Being a gay male @ age 42 I have yet to be “Miserable”. My health is fine as well btw. In fact, I’ve known far more heterosexual men and women who have had to be treated for STD’s than homosexual friends.
Yes, there are homosexuals out there that are promiscuous, but you are only fooling yourself if you don’t think that heterosexuals in relationships aren’t sleeping around as well. To be quite honest, the majority of the heterosexual people I know, both men and women, cheat on their boyfriends/girlfriends or spouses if they don’t think they will be caught by them. As for me, I can count on one hand the number of individuals I have ever been intimate with, including just a kiss. Which I would be willing to put money on that you cannot do.
Personally, the heterosexuals can keep marriage – the whole institution is joke. If marriage is so “holy”, the government needs to make it so once you are married, you cannot divorce or get remarried unless your spouse dies a natural death. Also make adultery a felony w/ prison time. Then we will truly find out how important marriage is to the average individual. My bet is most people wouldn’t even bother with it and take the risk of being stuck w/ an individual w/ no option to get out for the foreseeable future.
Finally, if God has a problem with me I am sure he knows where I live. He’s free to inform me directly at any time and not through a “miserable”, to use your term, forum troll that thinks he has the authority to badmouth individuals he has never met or know the first thing about.

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Holy Cannoli

posted January 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Charlie opines:
>>>…forum troll (referring to Holy Cannoli) that thinks he has the authority to badmouth individuals he has never met or know the first thing about.

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Your Name

posted January 31, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Don Flapatrap,
Let’s make Catholic marriage illegal and fire people from their jobs for trying to have a Catholic marriage and burn Catholics to death for suggesting they had a right to marry. The Church has done all these things to gays including burning them to death for marrying or having sex for that matter, so I’m not being unfair. What would the level of Catholic fidelity be after 2,000 years of such a reign of terror? As for trading in stereotypes, the Church has called gays pedophiles and rapists throughout its reign of terror over gays.
Holy Cannoli,
The people you laud confuse fascism with democracy and sociopathy with Christianity. Being considered devian such a group’s standards is a relief.

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Your Name

posted February 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” Joshua 24:15

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posted February 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Over thirty years after the start of the modern plaque, homosexual men continue to lead the rates of HIV infection.

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posted February 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I love how gays go after the soft underbelly of the religion the Catholic church or Christians in general and cite stuff that happened hundreds of years ago, but in thier PC twisted minds dont go after Muslim countries that routinely execute homosexuals. It is more politically expedient to go after groups not covered by the PC gestapho then it is to tell the truth.

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Franklin Jennings

posted February 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Hey Your Name,
Is it too much to ask an anonymous coward to provide citations for their assertions?
If it isn’t, would you mind doing so?

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posted February 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm

1) Please name the “gays” that the Catholic Church has “burnt to death” for having sex, or “marrying”…
2) Not all pedophiles are also homosexual, (nor does the Church claim this), but there ARE homosexuals who prey on children (like the “North American Man-Boy ‘Love’ Association”). These “gays” ARE pedophiles. Deal with it.
3) Likewise, not all rapists are also homosexual, (nor does the Church claim this), but there ARE homosexuals who rape people, (including the rape of children). Such “gays” are rapists.
That said, what IS marriage?
If it’s just a legal contract which states a relationship is in effect, then exactly WHAT are “gay marriage” advocates upset about?
It’s already legal for anyone to enter into a contract.
The central issue is that marriage is a complete UNION of two people.
It is biologically IMPOSSIBLE for 2 men or 2 women to become completely UNIFIED – period.
Adultery, or “cheating” isn’t wrong because of any “negative connotations”, it is wrong in part because it is a wedge into the UNION (or “marriage” of two people.)

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Mary Smith

posted February 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

“….as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships…..some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution…” blah,blah.
I resent the way gay relationships are portrayed as being superior.
You can be damn sure that they cheat on their partners just as often as everyone else.

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Father Doneau

posted February 14, 2010 at 12:21 am

It always amazes me how rabid and hateful comments become when discussing this subject. As for the Bible condemning homosexuality, the first and foremost scripture cited in in Leviticus, despite the fact that the first 8 chapters deal with diet, none of which any modern day Christian gives any heed to whatsoever. We can sit morbidly by in our accusatory self righteous armchairs, or we can concede that human beings are what they are and therefore, as Jesus Himself stated, should be loved as thineself. While Paul spoke against effeminate men and the sexual proclivities of human beings for those of the same gender, he also stated that women were to keep silent in church, never be in a position of authority over a man, and always keep their head covered in church. Notwithstanding, Paul also proclaimed that if a women divorce, she may not remarry while her husband is alive. Most dismiss these teachings as “culture bound” yet still hold on to the rest as moral imperatives. Come judgment day, we stand alone before God answering for what we have done, not for what others have done. It would do us all well to recall the parable of the splinter and the beam in contemplating our response to God in our own time of judgment. As infuriating as it may be to the modern day Pharisees and Sadducees, not everything is as cut and dried as we would like to believe, for who among us can truly judge the heart of a man lest he place himself on the throne of God Himself and assume an authority not rightfully his.

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Ed G.

posted February 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Interesting, I read an article yesterday that stated the ‘unreported health care costs’ incurred by homosexuals, due to all the secondary infections. This article seems to back-up some of the assertions.

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Sal Ignab

posted March 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm

It is hard to “cheat” on somebody when you’re not allowed to be married. If you want to stop extramarital relationships, you should ban extramarital relationships, not marriage. Just like if you want to ban pedeophilia, you should ban Catholic priests, not marriage.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Noly Cannoli,
“The study should come as no surprise except to the homo-promo gang who glory in their perversion.
Then, there are the normal gay folk who are simply your neighbors (you know, the ones you’re supposed to love instead of slur?), your co-workers, your friends (?), your relatives, your fellow church-goers. Some of us just want to live our lives and be able to claim the “liberty and justice” that used to be guaranteed to all. That isn’t ‘promo-ing’ anything, nor is it ‘glorying’ in any perversion. It’s called living our lives.
Te Church calls it a “disorder.”
And “Te Church” [sic] is wrong on that one too.
“Homosexuality is … a grave mental disease”
I do believe that is blatantly against Beliefnet’s RoCs. Besides being nothing more than you opinion. Clearly medical and spychological professionals disagree with you.
and a curse for those who are under its domination”
I guess I’m not under its “domination” since it is no curse to me. Fighting the injustice of unequal treatment before the law is the actual curse. That and ignorami.
which controls both their lives and their thoughts”
Does merely being heterosexual control your life and thoughts” This is plainly absurd, not to mention the bearing of false witness.
“making themselves miserable till the end of their short STD consumed lives.”
More lies. I and my husband of 25 years are both senior citizens. both completely STD free.
If you have to lie to make your ‘point’, then you’ve already lost the war, nevermind this particular battle. Lieing is a sin – it’s 1 of the Big 10.
Holy Cannoli? More like (un)holy crapola.

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Your Name

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I sure wouldn’t want any children of mine to be ‘taught’ bey ‘teacher’dan…
“the perfect word of God, which condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms”
Odd, then, that so many Biblical scholars disagree that the PWoG (TM) is ‘certain’.
“Social science is not exact”
As opposed to the exactitude of opinionating. LAFF!

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Your Name

posted March 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Holy Crapola,
“I will also include substance abuse, spousal abuse, & suicide to name several other charming characteristics of gay unions”
And you would be equally guilty of bearing yet more false witness against God’s gay and lesbian children. Somehow what you are doing to the least of these seems to escape your thoughts. Your soul is endangered with this constant lying.

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