It has been just over two years since a tribunal of black-robed Massachusetts judges set out to undermine traditional marriage. Now say a growing number of experts, most marriages in that state are teetering on the verge of collapse. It is predicted that by 2013, the majority of adults in Massachusetts will be 'hooking up with' or married to at least one same-sex partner.
More couples 'exploring what's out there'
BOSTON—Retired teachers Bob and Debbie Mastrantonio had planned to celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss this summer, welcoming friends and family to their suburban Boston home for hot dogs, ice cream and a tribute to that all-American institution: marriage. Instead, the party's off, and so is the marriage. Like an estimated 92% of married couples in Massachusetts these days, Bob and Debbie are headed to divorce court.
From man and wife to 'man hunt'
The trouble started two years ago, recalls the couple's son Tom "Tiger" Mastrantonio, just weeks after a fiat of black-robed judges in the Commonwealth handed down their infamous decision legalizing homosexual marriage, effectively undermining Bob and Debbie's union, along with hundreds of thousands of other traditional Massachusetts families. "Overnight my dad just turned into a different guy," says Mr. Mastrantonio. "He kept saying he wanted to 'get out there' and 'explore other options.'" What initially seemed like a new hobby reached a crisis point last fall when an uncle encountered Bob's profile on a popular gay dating site: manhunt.net.
Meet your new polyamorous mom
Meanwhile Debbie's devastation over the collapse of her traditional marriage led her to seek relief and companionship in the arms of another woman: former high-school classmate and long-time public school teacher Juliet Kolodny. The couple recently invited a third woman to join their polyamorous union and hope to make the love trio official sometime next fall. "I never knew this kind of situation was even an option," says Debbie Mastrantonio. "It's basically anything goes these days."
Marriages collapse en mass
Experts say that the collapse of Bob and Debbie's marriage is far from unique. More than half of all Massachusetts marriages have ended since the Supreme Judicial Court launched its assault on morality in 2002. By 2013, it is predicted that the majority of adults in the Commonwealth will have abandoned traditional unions in favor of homosexual marriage, polygamous pairings, relationships with dogs, cats or other house pets, or incestuous love matches with their own brothers and sisters.
Gay levees breached
While there are still a handful of heterosexual Bay State couples that continue to try to buck the cultural tide despite the collapse of the gay levees around them, even they show signs of weakening. Organizers of the recent Boston Pride events report record attendance at this year's parade and festival by married couples who describe themselves as "bi-curious."
Bi-curious and curiouser
Boston resident Linda Haynes is part of one such curious couple. Mrs. Haynes notes that while a typical June Saturday would have found her playing with her kids in the yard of her suburban home, she and husband Doug opted instead to march in the gay pride parade. "There's a whole world out there to explore," says Mrs. Haynes. "So we said 'let's hire a sitter and get out there.'"
The couple has no plans to divorce, says Mrs. Haynes, but they are keeping their options open. This weekend they plan to post a joint profile on bicupid.net, a virtual meeting site for bisexual and bicurious friends, couples and singles. "We haven't decided whether it's going to be another man or a woman," says Mrs. Haynes. "But we're definitely ready to expand our marriage."
Have gay unions in Massachusetts caused your marriage to deteriorate? Talk back to Russell D'Arby at [email protected].