TBR: The Commitment

Today’s book is The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family, by Dan Savage, of Savage Love [decidedly not work-safe] fame.  It’s the story of his and his boyfriend’s discussions about whether to get matching tattoos, wrapped in various digressions about the marital choices of the rest of his family and the weirdness of the institution of marriage in general. 

It’s a quick read, funny in places, but without the emotional intensity of The Kid, in which Savage wrote about their decision to adopt a child, and the adoption process.  The heart of the book is the personal stories, which put a face on the gay marriage debate.  But fundamentally, I don’t see this book changing many people’s minds; the only ones who are likely to read it are already on Savage’s side.

Savage makes some interesting points about how people hold gays who want to get married to a higher standard than they do to heterosexual couples.  (That is, if they want to get married to their same-sex partners — Savage points out that if he wants to enter into a sham marriage with a woman he has no plans to live with, the state will happily bestow its authority on it.)   He argues in favor of commitment, especially when children are involved, but against enforced monogamy as an essential part of such commitments.  And, in a passage that is both funny and biting, he argues against the perverse logic that says that "only a marriage that ends with someone in the cooler down at Maloney’s [funeral home] is a success."

Leave a Reply

one × 6 =