Helen Fisher, PhD

Marriage Equality

Marriage equality is human equality.  We are built to love—and these feelings are just as powerful in gays and lesbians as in heterosexuals. 

I study the brain in love.  I and my colleagues have put over 100 men and women into a brain scanner, using functional magnetic resonance imaging.  And we have found some of the basic neural highways that give you that rush of exhilaration and ecstasy, the focus, the energy, the motivation and the obsession of being passionately in love.  Someone is camping in your head.  Moreover, these primary brain pathways for romantic passion lie way below the cerebral cortex (the outer rind of the brain with which you reason and decide), even below the neural factories in the middle of your head that generate your emotions.  Indeed, this passion emanates from the basement of the mind–near brain regions that orchestrate thirst and hunger.   Romantic love and the feeling of deep attachment to a mate are basic human drives, natural urges that evolved millions of years ago.   And these drives to love and to be loved are no different in gays and lesbians than in heterosexuals.  Everybody loves. 

And we have reams of data to prove it.  At Match, we do an annual study called Singles in America.  We don’t poll our Match members, but instead a representative sample of Americans based on the U.S. census.  And the past five years of this research on more than 25,000 men and women has vividly shown that gays and lesbians are just like straights when it comes to loving.   These men and women are just as likely to believe in love at first sight, just as eager to find a committed partner, and just as likely to seek a partner who respects them, someone whom they can trust and confide in, and someone who makes them laugh.   And as for wedding?  Forty-two percent of gay men and 43% of lesbians want to marry, and another 33% of men and 37% of women are uncertain but would consider it. 

Be you pink or green, tall or short, young or old, rich or poor, gay, lesbian or straight: you love. So we at Match are in favor of a Supreme Court ruling that enables gay and lesbian wedding. Marriage Equality is not just appropriate and timely—it’s human.