Encore: When Two Open Marriages Collide
When two open marriage couples — one gay, one straight — run into each other on an elevator, it can be a momentary shock for one to realize that these very different people could potentially have come from the same place — if only they’d let it.
“You’d think that these two people who were just getting the hell out of their relationship would be happy to see each other,” says the Rev. Michael Bortman, leader of the New Albany-based Christian Church of God in Christ, which has a large LGBT+ population in central Indiana. “People have a tendency to fall back into thinking that the gay community is a big family. But we see this all the time where people just don’t know that we’re here in God’s family. It’s not about people who are gay or straight. It’s about the brokenness of our broken world.”
This kind of misunderstanding is a big reason why many gay and LGBTQ+ people remain in marriages that don’t feel right to them. After all, how can a couple who’s been together for years find themselves going out on their second date as a husband and wife?
But the idea that same-sex couples are some alien species on the wrong side of evolution is still something many of us still wrestle with. It’s why the phrase “open marriage” is so prevalent when it comes to same-sex couples. The word “open” means “open to all.” And in most cases, when two gay couples want to marry, they want to do so without anyone else being told. But open marriage is a legal term that has a less-than-positive impact when applied to same-sex couples.
In an open marriage, the two partners are not legally bound by any rules about who can enter into a marriage and who can’t. There are no legal requirements for officiants to take the time to learn and understand about both partners’ specific desires. There are never any limitations placed on what the people who marry each other are allowed to tell the world.
In an open marriage, the two partners are not legally bound by any rules about who can enter into a marriage and who can’t. There are no legal requirements for offic