March 15th, 2017 by Carol Grever

A Welcome from Carol Grever

Straight Spouse Connection emerged in 2008 to explore topics relevant to straight spouses--heterosexual people in mixed-orientation relationships. That clear purpose, to connect, comfort, and inform, remains, nearly a decade later. Now the blog has a fresh start and a new look, integrated into a single site with all of my books and other related work. Articles transferred from the original site are updated to provide ongoing support for people currently in these mixed relationships. Diverse subjects present opportunity to join online conversations with other readers through comments at the end of each post.

When gay marriage was legalized in the United States in June, 2015, many assumed that the incidence of gay-straight partnerships would decline in this country. Apparently, that assumption was wrong. Because of complex societal views, professional/economic necessity, and enduring religious, family, and professional pressures, this has not been the case. Prejudice against homosexuality still pushes gays to marry straights in every part of the world. Internet readers in different cultures have widely varied political and religious expectations, but human needs and heartbreak are universal.

Eventually, most mixed partnerships fail and the straight mate is the casualty. This website is intended for those aggrieved spouses. It is a practical resource for families who find themselves mired in this painful situation. The need for such information remains. With over 123,000 hits, the site’s readership continues to grow.

Because so much of my published work relates to the straight spouse experience, it seemed logical to join my two websites for increased synergy. The original blog is now available using either URL— or The blog is found under its separate tab on the Carol Grever site. Please scan the article titles and browse the content. Also feel free to contact me through the site. May my work be useful to you.

Carol Grever


March 15th, 2017 by Carol Grever

When my husband told me that he had "homosexual tendencies" and later filled in details of two decades of clandestine gay activities, I was awash in conflicting emotions.  Over many months, we worked to stay married and then to divorce with grace, and I was unknowingly following a predictable pattern of reactions as a straight spouse.

When a married gay or lesbian comes out, certain stages of recovery may be expected.  These stages come and go and are often repeated.  Self-reports of more than 2,000 straight and gay spouses summarized the pattern in the publication Opening the Straight Spouse's Closet (PFLAG, 1994).  I personally experienced them all.

Typically, there's shock to learn that one's intimate partner has a different sexual orientation from your own.  Relief follows, as many unexplained details of the relationship become clear.  It is the "Ah, then it isn't me!" reaction.  Confusion is common, followed by denial of the reality of the situation.  Most people experience some self-blame: "What could I have done to prevent this?  Is it my fault that he's gay?"  In some cases, there is heart-felt sympathy for the anguish of the gay partner.  All these early reactions occur repeatedly, not necessarily in order--all with incredible intensity.

When it's clear there is no turning back, straight spouses face their new reality.  Stark awareness ushers in anger, grief, and despair.  This dangerous but necessary phase takes months or years to resolve.  Grief comes from the betrayal of trust, the loss of love, and the obliteration of future plans.  When straight spouses fully understand the health risks they've faced and the depth of their loss, their anger can deepen into rage and despair.  If they remain in this stage, their chances for full recovery are slim.

Fortunately, most spouses reach a turning point, finding inner strength to begin healing.  This usually happens when they accept what they cannot change and move toward resolution.  When anger is replaced by forgiveness, trust and hope can be restored.  People who heal most successfully usually reinforce their own inner resources with some belief or meaning beyond themselves.  When they regard the whole experience as a teacher, not a disaster, they are able to move into the next phase of their lives, reconfiguring a happier future.

These stages of coping were reiterated dozens of times in the interviews I did for my books and documentary.  They are relatively predictable.  The best news is that we can navigate these stages and arrive safely on the other side of this life event--whole and wiser for the experience.


March 15th, 2017 by Carol Grever

"When did you decide to become gay?"  My friend Sam had heard that question before, implying that he arbitrarily chose his sexual orientation.  I loved his quick comeback that ended the futile exchange:  "When did you decide to become straight?"  The erroneous assumption that we choose to be gay or straight has been difficult to correct.  Now there is ample evidence that sexual orientation is inborn.

A decade ago, researchers in Stockholm published results of their study of the brain architecture of gays and straights in the Procedures of the National Academy of Science ( 16, 2008).  The scientists searched for sources of cognitive differences by measuring brain structure directly, bypassing the possibility of learned cues.

Using MRI and measurements of cerebral blood flow in 90 subjects, including gay males, lesbians, and both male and female heterosexuals, they found key similarities between the brains of

  • Gay males and heterosexual females, and
  • Lesbians and heterosexual males.

These results strongly suggest neurobiological origins of sexual orientation linked to pre-birth brain structures, not to factors after birth.

My gay friend's retort defied the assumption that being gay--or straight--is a choice.  Nor is sexual orientation attributable to parental influence or style, sexual molestation in childhood, or any other external factor as a person grows into adulthood.  Rather, this study is only one evidence that being gay or straight is biologically fixed.

Why does this matter to a straight spouse whose mate is gay?  It is one more reason not to blame yourself.  When my husband came out, I spent months feeling somehow responsible.  My self-esteem plummeted. Now I know that I had nothing to do with his being gay, and nothing I could have done would change that biologically fixed trait.  This new research makes it a little easier to understand what happened in our family.

Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, predicted that this report might erode some moral judgments against homosexuals and perhaps counter outdated arguments that homosexuality is merely a lifestyle choice.  Dr. Qazi Rahman of the University of London commented, "As far as I'm concerned, there is no argument anymore--if you are gay, you are born gay."



March 15th, 2017 by Carol Grever

When I wrote a publicity description for One Gay, One Straight: Complicated Marriages, my documentary showing straight spouses telling their own stories, I inadvertently included a phrase that some found offensive.  I called the DVD "The first documentary revealing the pain and confusion of marriages mired in the secrecy of a homosexual closet."  At the first screening, one psychologist in the audience took issue with that use of homosexual.  While I had used that term only to include both gay men and lesbians in mixed-orientation marriages, she pointed out that my usage was dated and offensive. She asserted that Homosexual now is relegated to medical contexts.

Language is a living thing, changing constantly, and connotations around socially sensitive subjects are especially ephemeral.  That's why I was relieved to discover on the Internet a current stylebook on LGBT terminology by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, a Washington based writers' organization.  It clarified the woman's criticism of my documentary publicity piece and revealed other fine and useful nuances.

The stylebook's clear definitions would be useful to anyone interested in this subject.  For example, I learned that the term transvestite, one who wears clothing associated with the opposite sex, is currently considered "crude and old-fashioned."  The preferred term today is cross-dresser and is differentiated from transgender.  A clear distinction was also made among civil union, commitment ceremony, domestic partnership, and same-sex marriage.  The decades-old designation GLBT (acronym for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) was supplanted by LGBT.  Ladies first?  Additional letters are also used: LGBTQ, the Q for Queer or Questioning. The use of “queer” is now often used with pride, rather than as an insult. Terminology changes rapidly, following societal shifts.

I believe that these shifting linguistic distinctions are important to more than writers and speakers in this field.  If we hope to reach across the divides that exist between LGBT and straight, we need to be informed about these sensitivities.  Words wound and cause more distance between social factions when they are used with ignorance or malice.  Mutual acceptance begins with clear communication, unencumbered by negative connotation.

I recommend the NLGJA's excellent stylebook, not only for political correctness, but for the larger goal of mutual understanding.  Visit <> to learn more.


March 15th, 2017 by Carol Grever

Why did he marry me in the first place? How could I have been so blind? How could I not know she was lesbian? So many questions plague straight spouses when gay mates come out. It’s easy to blame ourselves: What’s wrong with me? Did I cause this chameleon to change colors? In reality, the gay partner usually experiences an evolution of self-recognition that may take years, and it has nothing to do with that person’s spouse.

Understanding their gay partners’ psychological process helps straight spouses feel less disoriented and better able to cope with unexpected and puzzling behaviors. Homosexual Identity Formation, a theoretical model developed by Dr. Vivienne Cass, helps explain the long period of internal conflict preceding most gays’ self-recognition. Cass’s six-stage formulation clarifies their process and helps explain the surprise and shock of their straight mates.

The first stage of identity confusion begins with the awareness of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that feel incongruent with heterosexual identity. It is marked by inner turmoil and alienation while the person tries to resolve sexual confusion in isolation. Two outcomes are possible in this early stage. Inhibition and denial may bring closure to the issue, or continued stress from the incongruent homosexual manifestations force the individual into the second stage of identity comparison.

This second stage involves exploration of differences between the individual and others. Social alienation and feeling out of place—not belonging—are common. Not wanting to be “different,” the gay spouse usually continues to pass as heterosexual. While some feel good about their growing awareness of homosexuality, others react with denial, more intense heterosexual behavior, or by becoming asexual. Many devalue themselves and fall into a pattern of self-hatred that, in extreme forms, may lead to suicide.

Tensions of that second stage often lead into a third phase, identity tolerance. Here, individuals view themselves as probably gay and begin contacting the homosexual subculture. This contact alleviates their feelings of isolation and alienation from homosexuality and they begin to detach emotionally from their heterosexual relationships. This is when their straight spouses feel growing separation and emotional distance.

Any negative experiences with other gays during this exploration may feed self-hatred and a desire to end homosexual impulses. However, if the initiation feels positive, greater self-esteem and a sense of empowerment may follow. As contact with the homosexual community increases, anxiety over possible discovery intensifies, along with attraction toward the forbidden.

In the fourth stage of identity acceptance, identification with other homosexuals increases. The person’s sexual identity may be selectively disclosed to heterosexuals who can be trusted to keep the secret. This is an ambivalent and difficult stage, with the gay spouse managing to fit in with both homosexual and straight culture. Inner conflict between the emerging identity and society’s rejection may lead to the next stage, identity pride.

This more aggressive stance values homosexual culture and devalues heterosexual norms. There is anger about societal limitations. Deepening commitment to gay life in this stage often results in changes of job, marriage, or home. Destructive, impulsive actions may be expected, as well as constructive activism on gay issues, such as AIDS prevention and treatment.

As attitudes settle, positive acceptance from members of the heterosexual community can lead to the final, sixth stage of identity synthesis. Anger and pride may remain, but they are tempered as the gay person experiences similarities to straight individuals and differences from other homosexual individuals. Seen through a broader perspective, the person integrates the gay identity as one among other important aspects of the self, and personal and public identities synthesize.

This whole evolution of gay self-identification deeply impacts family. During the first stages of identity confusion, and comparison, your gay partner may be emotionally suppressed, distant, depressed, needy, or alternating between neediness and emotional distance. In identity tolerance and acceptance, your partner becomes more confident, but also increasingly detached. Growing involvement with the gay community means more absence from home. Your mate’s life is split between two worlds, putting you both in the closet.

In the fifth stage, identity pride, expect dramatic, impulsive, abrupt changes, as your partner shifts to the extreme of a gay lifestyle. You will probably experience rejection, but it has little to do with you personally. This is not your fault.

If the gay mate moves on to the final stage of identity synthesis, often a balanced, friendly relationship can eventually be salvaged. This is not a speedy process. A perplexed, conflicted individual may be confused about sexual identity for years and may never go through all of these stages. But Cass’s model helps to clarify the theoretical journey and may help you understand your own history as a straight spouse.

Awareness of Cass’s six stages can facilitate healing and peace of mind for all involved. When a gay husband or lesbian wife can be recognized as evolving through their own phases of self-awareness, it is much easier to blame no one and to move more freely into a newly defined future.


March 15th, 2017 by Carol Grever

I was already an emotional wreck over my dying father when my husband abruptly came out.  His understated confession of "homosexual tendencies" blindsided me completely after more than 30 years of marriage, parenting our two sons, building a successful business, and utterly trusting his fidelity.  As his story unfolded through the following weeks, I learned more about his compartmentalized double life.  For 25 years he had engaged in mostly anonymous homosexual encounters, hidden by the facade of our "perfect family" life.

I had joined the ranks of straight spouses, heterosexual people who unknowingly married gays.

Struggling to adjust, I went through predictable stages of recovery over the next four years, cycling from shock and bewilderment through denial, self-blame, and sympathy.  Sometimes I was enraged that my husband's illicit behavior had put my health and life at risk.  That anger usually caved into the black hole of grief and despair; all our plans for the future were dust.  Through professional therapy, and peer support from the Straight Spouse Network, I learned that these cycling emotional states are typical during straight spouse recovery, the pattern similar to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of grief.  Knowing that I was not alone was essential during the darkest times.

Eventually we divorced and the passing of time softened my sharp edges.  I began to feel more hopeful.  Through it all, I had kept a journal, recording the good and awful turns of this foreign journey.  Then came an epiphany.  This coming-out event was the major turning point in my lifetime.  It could be the ultimate opportunity, the gateway to a whole new path of my own choosing.  I could recreate myself, reconfigure my future.  I realized the magnitude of this event, seeing it as possibility instead of disaster.

Writing became my door into that future.  It gave me meaning beyond myself.  Using my journal and interviews with other straight spouses, I wrote My Husband Is Gay: A Woman's Guide to Surviving the Crisis.  I had always wanted to be an author, and my husband's disclosure of his true identity as a gay man freed me to live my own true identity.  When I "got it," I could forgive my former mate and even become friends with him again.  Healing was the result.


December 12th, 2016 by Carol Grever


In the U.S. and other Western countries, major holidays begin in the fall and carry into the New Year.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year celebrations go on for months.  Holiday music blares in every store.  An air of rushed excitement prevails, commercialism abounds.  “Happy Holidays” greetings come through mail and email, phone calls and visits.

But are the holidays happy?  For many straight spouses, this time of year brings an eruption of unwanted memories, regrets, and melancholy. What used to be, isn’t.  What might have been, didn’t happen.  How many possibilities were lost?  What plans were dashed?  What bitterness lingers?  Recurring thoughts like these can plague men and women whose families were fragmented when a spouse came out as gay.  Depression is common. 

How can we overcome the sadness that accompanies this formerly joyous season?  Here are some recommendations from The Mayo Clinic, adapted for the special needs of straight spouses

1.   Acknowledge your feelings. The future you’d hoped for has evaporated.  You’ve suffered a huge loss and grief is normal.  Give yourself time to cry and express your sadness.  Be gentle with yourself and don’t force fake cheerfulness. 

2.   Reach out.  Phone a friend when you feel lonely.  When you tend to isolate yourself, seek out companionship.  Attend religious or social events.  Look for ways to help others in need.  Volunteer for a worthy cause to meet new friends and renew your sense of purpose. 

3.   Be realistic.  Holidays through the first year after a separation are the most trying, dredging up old memories of family traditions that no longer apply.  Clearly, the holidays won’t be perfect or even similar to previous years.  Rituals change and we have to create new traditions for a new life.  After my divorce, I celebrated my first solo Thanksgiving in Jamaica, drinking rum and eating jerk turkey on a barefoot beach.  It was a way to draw a line in the sand—that was then, this is now. 

4.   Understand that everyone won’t be on your side.  After a coming-out event or a divorce, some family members and old friends may feel awkward and even turn against you.  Try to accept what you can’t change and give everyone time to adjust to the new reality.  Set aside grievances until a more favorable time for discussion.

5.   Plan ahead and stay on budget.  Decide which of your holiday traditions you’ll continue and set aside specific times to shop and be with friends.  Participate in the activities that you really enjoy and eliminate those that evoke bad feelings or painful memories.  If gift-giving is part of your tradition, stay on your budget.  You can’t buy happiness with piles of gifts.

6.   Take a breather. Spend time relaxing alone.  Even a few quiet minutes without distraction can reduce stress. If you are a meditator, try taking five-minute breaks spaced through the day.  Relax and let go of the chatter in your mind.  Nap, or listen to music.  Or go for a walk.  These moments of peace can change the tenor of the whole day and give you strength to keep going. 

7.   Learn to say no. Decide which activities feel right and fulfilling to you and say no to all the rest.  Forcing yourself into extraneous or unpleasant social situations can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. True friends will understand your absence. 

8.   Maintain healthy habits. Overindulgence leads to stress and guilt. Have a healthful snack before holiday parties so that you don't overdo sweets, fatty foods, or drinks. Get sufficient sleep and don’t neglect physical exercise.

9.   Seek professional help for signs of depression.  These symptoms may include persistent sadness or anxiety, unusual physical complaints, insomnia, irritability, and hopelessness.  Inability to face routine chores is another red flag. If these feelings last, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Remember that time heals.  Regrets soften and wounds close through time.  Each successive holiday season can confirm progress on your personal journey.

Holidays are markers of your changing world.  It is impossible to recover the past, but a wider future is open to straight spouses.  You can reinvent yourself and reconfigure your life.  It isn’t easy, but it is certainly possible.  John Milton wrote, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Therein lies the secret of a wholesome future.  Change your mind and you can change your life.

A few months after my former husband told me he’s gay, we went shopping together for Christmas gifts for the family.  In a small gallery, I stumbled onto a pen and ink drawing by Kathy Wolff.  I was captivated by her meticulous image of a graceful tiger, stepping out of the ruins of a root-bound building, one paw firmly on solid ground.  Strong and sure, she was emerging, not from a door, but through a window—an unlikely exit.  She had escaped, free of  confinement, confident and quiet, ready to take the next step. 

That tigress changed my way of thinking about my former life and my life to be.  I bought the drawing and it has hung over my meditation shrine ever since, calling me to keep walking forward with courage and assurance that the next step will be the right one.

May your holidays be bright with hope and good will. 



February 1st, 2016 by Carol Grever

    Straight spouses have a lot to overcome, recovering their emotional balance after discovering that their mates are gay.  The stages of recovery are well documented, often followed by advice to forgive, as a final step.  The following message about forgiveness was a response to Jacqueline Vaughan's guest post, published elsewhere on this site.  It is a wise addition to the usual advice to forgive the gay partner.  I offer it with enthusiasm.  CG

Dear Carol,

Thank you for sharing the recent letter in your blog. My heart goes out to all of us who are suffering from the loss of our best friend, spouse, and everything that we thought was real. The pain that follows the shattering revelation (that what we believed was true is in reality a lie) is of a magnitude that is overwhelming to experience and difficult to find solace from.

I would like to share what a counselor told me about moving forward with my life as an individual. I have spent a lot of time examining the 25 years I spent with my husband, and I keep wondering why I didn't know he is gay. I married him at 43 years of age, and was a widow, and I had been married previously to a heterosexual man for about 20 years. Of course, as I look back, there were indications that my new husband was different from my first husband, but I did not know he was gay. He had a son and daughter from his first marriage. I loved him and coped as issues presented themselves. I thought it was life being lived with all its challenges and joys. I do not know why I did not know my husband was gay. The counselor told me that it is time to leave wondering why I didn't know, and begin learning to forgive myself. It is time to appreciate how I coped through the 25 years of life and made a safe loving place for us and our family. I think she is right. I do not need to forgive him - I need to forgive myself. He must forgive himself, and I must forgive myself.

Forgiving myself is a bit different than what we usually hear about forgiveness, I know. It is my strong belief that my husband needs to forgive himself for the deception and lying, and I need to forgive myself for being gullible and open to being fooled. I am working on supporting myself as I grow and learn to be independent. There are successes to celebrate and note. I encourage us all to be as gentle and kind to ourselves as we are to other people. We deserve our own encouragement, admiration, and respect. We are lovable and capable.

There is a saying: "Things generally turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out." We have the opportunity to grow and heal if we choose to do so. Not easy. Not easy! May we all be open to receive the love and support being poured out on us. Stay focused on kindness to yourself. You are important!



July 27th, 2015 by Carol Grever


When the obstacles of a mixed orientation relationship are complicated by addictions, challenges multiply.  Whether the addiction is to drugs or alcohol or some other debilitating habit—pornography or gambling perhaps—layers of complexity make the family’s burden even harder to bear.  Addiction kills relationships.  Without outside help, liberation is nearly out of reach.

To address this issue, I sought advice from a close friend who nearly lost his life to his own addiction.  He is now actively engaged in Alcoholics Anonymous and has been free of substance abuse for fourteen years.  He mentors others in the 12-step program and offered the following approach to recovery. 

Concentrate on working the steps with a trusted, seasoned sponsor within a peer group, such as AA or Al-Anon.  As AA’s Big Book emphasizes, staying sober requires a “psychic change” that entails spiritual undergirding.  The spiritual quest begins with identifying your own “higher power.” Individual concepts of this power vary greatly.  If you are connected with a particular religion, that is an obvious approach.  If you have no religious affiliation, you might seek support in one of many perennial wisdom traditions of east or west.  These offer truths that have lasted through the ages.  Read widely and experiment to meet your unique needs.

There is no single “right path,” but identifying a power beyond yourself fosters courage to fight addiction, as well as straight spouse challenges.  For many, the well-known Serenity Prayer is helpful in times of discouragement.  Written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, it offers valuable aspiration:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

Most spiritual traditions emphasize kindness toward others as a basic value.  That principle is included in AA's work through personal assessments, unloading resentments, and making amends for previous harm done to others.  Perennial wisdom traditions also teach compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, helpfulness, and right-sizing the ego. These values appear in some form in most world wisdom teachings, though AA has codified them specifically to address addiction.  In addition, the organization also reminds participants not to be a doormat for the world's judgments.  Treat yourself kindly as well. 

At every meeting, AA testifies to the fact that addiction kills.  To support recovery, establish some personal goals with a reasonable time frame. Overnight cures are unrealistic.  Progress is always “one day at a time” for sobriety and for advancement of personal psychic change.

This tested advice applies to both addiction and to straight spouse recovery.  My friend’s counsel, summarized here, is based on his long involvement with AA and the witness of his own recovery into a clean, sober, and happily married state.  His life was saved and renewed through that organization.  If AA is not available to you or does not fit your needs, alternative resources can be identified online. 

During any kind of recovery, it is also important to have a trusted person to confide in--a relative, friend, pastor, or qualified counselor.  Talk your situation through.  Peer groups are invaluable.  Find a network of people who are also faced with your specific problems, and contact them in person or online.  Today, the internet is the first and most accessible way to locate such allies.  Above all, know that you are not alone, that others have faced and overcome these ordeals.  It is possible to recover and thrive!

These suggestions from my friend have been proven effective for decades by Alcoholics Anonymous. My personal advice for straight spouses and also those suffering addictions is to take care of your mind, body, and spirit in the best ways you know. Don’t sacrifice yourself to any toxic situation.  Listen to your innermost feelings and consider your best options, then go forward with resolve.



June 27th, 2015 by Carol Grever


A major battle for legal gay marriage in the United States was finally concluded on June 26, 2015 in a landmark decision by a divided Supreme Court.  In a 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority ruling that same-sex couples can now marry in every state of the union, establishing a consistent, nationwide policy that guarantees equal civil rights, regardless of sexual orientation or identification.  Same-sex couples now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples.

This long-awaited legal protection of same-sex marriage represents the culmination of a gay-rights movement that began in New York in 1969 with the “Stonewall Riots.”  The “Rainbow Revolution,” advocating equal civil rights, has simmered and exploded in various locations since.  Finally, this question has been settled in this country—for the whole nation and territories, not just one state at a time. 

In a remarkable display of high level support for the court’s decision, President Barack Obama ordered that the exterior of the White House be lighted up with rainbow colors to celebrate.  However, this progress cannot be taken for granted, particularly in the wildly unpredictable political climate ushered in by the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.

For American straight spouses who have already suffered the consequences of ill-fated marriages to gays, this vital court decision came too late.  Their gay husbands or wives felt compelled, for a variety of individual reasons, to enter conventional male-female marriages.  Nearly all such relationships eventually fail, with the straight spouse the most obvious victim.  However, a mixed-orientation marriage that ends in divorce punishes everyone involved, including the gay partner and any children of the union.  No one wins.

Existing legal protections may have diminished the number of mixed-orientation marriages in the U.S., though it did not end these mismatches altogether.  Other significant societal factors remain, including family, social, career, and religious pressures. 

A fundamental change in public attitudes will be the ultimate deterrent to mixed-orientation relationships.  After a very slow start, public opinion here is moving toward broader acceptance of lawful marriage for any loving couple, regardless of sexual identification or orientation.  It took a half-century to reach this point, but the pace has finally quickened.  When societal acceptance advances sufficiently, that could end the straight spouse dilemma, as we know it.

The United States is only the world’s twenty-first country to legalize these unions nationwide and to guarantee all couples equal dignity in the eyes of the law.  Such legal sanctioning of same-sex marriage remains an open question in other places in the world, and familiar debates and arguments can be heard in Australia and elsewhere.  While this latest U.S. Supreme Court battle is won, there will certainly be continued push-back from states-rights advocates and others with strong negative opinions.  Dissenting Court Justice Antonin Scalia scathingly called the ruling a “threat to American democracy.”  It may take another generation for truly equal rights for all, but we appear to be moving in the right direction at last.