Here is my reason why:
I learned a while ago that a former girlfriend is gay and has finally come out, mainly spurred, I suspect, through society's increasing acceptance and support of gay rights.
And I am so happy for her. I was deeply in love with her - in fact, she is the only person I can say I know I was truly in love with.
But I felt that during our relationship she was always angry. More often than not this was passive aggressive anger, an art in itself, such as giving me the silent treatment or vicious looks when I tried to express emotions and feelings or playing mind games such as telling her friends in front of me while we were living together that she wanted them to set her up with someone "smart, cute and rich!" and then refusing to discuss that with me.
During the time we dated Leslie would spend every Saturday afternoon with her "girlfriend" Alice Riener. When I asked "Can't we just spend one Saturday afternoon together?" Leslie would simply respond, "Alice says she needs me."
At the end of her bed, Leslie kept a large framed photo of Alice so that Alice's face would be the last thing she'd see at night and the first face she'd see in the morning. After I bought an apartment and we moved in together I was arranging to put half of the ownership in Leslie's name (which seemed to me in my love besotted state a more meaningful gesture than an engagement ring) and asked her, "Am I your best friend?" She shook her head and looked away.
At that moment it dawned on me that Leslie Geddes was in love with Alice Riener.
I asked Leslie if Alice was gay and she refused to answer.
When I saw the movie about the gay cowboys, the scene that really resonated with me was Anne Hathaway's confusion about being lied to while sensing the truth. I related because my relationship with Leslie was terribly confusing. The audience was supposed to feel sympathy for the gay cowboys who felt they had to live in shame, but I identified with the wives who were being lied to but who loved their husbands, and I knew then that the cowboys in my life were Leslie and Alice.
Every decision by Leslie to the extent possible revolved around Alice. For Alice's part, despite my best efforts she was always unfriendly to me and I was never invited to join them on any of their dates. I see in retrospect that Alice was profoundly jealous.
After almost two years, I felt that I was constantly walking on eggshells around Leslie, unsure of expressing my feelings and emotions so as not to say the "wrong" thing to her. And that's how our relationship ended: in fear with Leslie kicking me when I was at the lowest point in my life.
I now believe that Leslie felt that if she communicated feelings of emotional intimacy or allowed herself to feel empathy she'd then have to let go of the emotional control that maintained the facade of her sexual identity. Her anger was, I feel, a coping mechanism that kept her from looking into herself.
I wish I could have been there for her to help her work out her emotional pain, but I guess she had to ultimately work it out through her own path.
And, if I did talk to Leslie again, I'd tell her:
"I'm your ally and I always have been; my love for you was real. I support you completely. I believe in you and wish you happiness. I care about you more than you will ever know. I want you to be happy."
From a legal perspective, the obvious argument as to why the Supreme Court should make gay marriage a constitutional right has been ignored: marriage is simply a contract between two people and to not have states recognize the ability of two people to enter into a contract violates the Commerce Clause.
This is straightforward and legally sound and far simpler than an argument of equality (although that makes sense too). If gay marriage was argued to the Court as an issue relating to interstate commerce (which as a contract it is) then I suspect that Scalia, who is a thoughtful legal scholar, would find it reasonable.
But here is the big picture: the sooner gay marriage is mainstream, the healthier society will be because even more gay people will feel supported and normal and free to come out and be who they are. To me, this seems a win-win for the mental health of individuals and thus society as a whole.
Living a lie hurts everybody.