Are you married to a man or woman?
by Nick Galieti
I travel quite a bit with my job which affords me many opportunities for exposure to people from all over the United States as well as other countries. I wear a wedding ring which historically has been an indication that a person is married, or at least wants to appear married. On a recent flight from Salt Lake City to Hawaii I sat next to a woman that identified herself as a life long Utahan, specifically from the Logan/Cache Valley area of Utah. Our flight had a slight delay in take off so we started engaging in conversation about home towns, past travels, and our families.
At a particular point in the conversation this woman asked me, “I see (pointing at my wedding ring) that you are married.”
“Yep.” I said with a hint of pride.
She hesitantly and gently asked, “To a man or woman?”
“Excuse me?” I responded wondering if I heard her question correctly.
“Well, you never know these days and I don’t want to assume and offend someone.”
I suppose the context of this goes to the fact that in the last couple of weeks before this conversation a Federal appeals court struct down the ban on gay marriage in the State of Utah. So, in her defense it was a legally legitimate question as the possibility is live for same sex marriage even in Utah.
However, that was the first time I had ever been asked to clarify wether I was married a man or woman. I have thought about it since and while I didn’t feel that this persons question was ill-intentioned, I wonder if that is a question that is socially acceptable to ask?
So in a generic way I pose that question to you the reader of this article? Is that socially acceptable to ask? Is such a question similar to asking “so who do you have sex with?” Or is it simply just decent curiosity to know more about the person with whom they are conversing.”