Another Perspective

Gay Marriage, Hollywood-Style

Fast forward to a financial train-wreck.

By 2.26.04

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Financially, the gay marriage issue is a terrible idea.

Aside from the philosophical ideology of it, this is the worst idea for gay men in a long time from a financial point of view.

Here's an example; see if it "hits home":

Paul is a successful agent in Hollywood, he works as most agents do, 19 hours per day, but has amassed a nice net worth -- house in the Hills, swank pad in Palm Springs, tidy IRA, $1.2 mill in profit sharing, weekends in Paris, etc. Paul is 42.

Paul marries Todd, 28, a talented landscaper with perfect teeth, tan, and biceps, whose net worth amounts to his 1999 Ford F-150. They pledge to live happily ever-after.

Three years later, Paul is 45 and Todd is 31. After a dip in the box-office grosses for Paul's clients in Hollywood, Paul must work even harder to get his client's new roles because their box-office numbers aren't so great. Paul is still working night and day, on the phone at all hours, going to meetings, screenings, and everything else.

Todd, on the other hand, pretty much quits work at dusk -- how can you landscape in the dark? Todd has a lot of empty evenings on his hands while Paul is scrambling to keep his position. Paul, when he does get home, is beat and testy from too many lost deals to new, fresh-faced kids represented by other agents. Paul is having to scramble to get his client's work and to keep up the payments on all their "stuff." He is too tired for sex most every night and falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. When he is awake, he is grouchy and uptight about business.

The gap starts to enlarge between Paul and Todd.

IN THE MEANTIME, Todd has started going to the gym at nights because Paul is always busy. One day, Todd sees Gary, a new guy that has just moved to LA from Des Moines. Gary is eager to make friends in his new town, and with Gary's 46" chest and 19" arms, he is an attractive person. Gary is friendly and out-going and works as a temp on the lot at Paramount.

Gary suggests one evening at the gym that he and Todd catch a protein shake on the way home. It seems like a friendly offer to Todd, so he accepts, but the protein shake seems to be at Gary's apartment.

Fast forward: Gary and Todd fall hopelessly in love and Todd is now, once again, as a virile 31 year old, enjoying passionate, sweaty sex.

Todd sees that his homelife is cratering with Paul, and he is so happy with Gary. Gary has a great idea for a play, but needs $500,000 to produce it, and, being a new kid in town, doesn't know anyone to back him.

Todd, on the other hand, by community property rights, owns half of a great house in the "Bird Streets" of the Hills, half of the equity in their Palm Springs pad, and half of the accumulated-since-marriage profit sharing down at William Morris. (Paul's big hit, "Monsters From Pomona," was actually during his marriage to Todd, giving Todd half of that forward income and contribution to the profit sharing plan.)

Todd has finally had it with Paul, who is so busy, doesn't notice that Todd now is gone quite a bit. Todd sues Paul for divorce and a division of assets.

With Todd's half of community property, he can now flush it down the toilet backing Gary's ridiculous play about young love in Mozambique. But, at least for the moment, Todd is blissfully happy and regularly "getting it" from Gary.

NOW, THANKS TO GAY MARRIAGE, Paul is broke, he has had to sell both homes to split the equity with Todd, at fire-sale prices in a softening market (Todd needed his half now as Gary's play needed to get underway), he has lost three major clients due to the time spent in court with Todd, and is being "let go" at William Morris in favor of a go-getter 29-year-old hot-shot who just signed a kid from Tennessee who's sure-to-be-next year's Hot Item.

Next, the play about young love in Mozambique actually has cost over-runs (big surprise) and costs hit $900K, in small $25,000 increments, which Todd, so far, has been happy to cover.

Now, Gary is so consumed with making sure that his play is a success, he, like Paul, is working 22 hours per day, and Todd is lost in the shuffle.

The play opens to less than dismal results. The $900K is gone, and, Gary seems to be spending a lot of time with the lead actor, 22-year-old Tim, a hottie from Laguna.

Todd is tired of being left out of the loop for a 22-year-old, is now broke, and Gary moves in with Tim.

Now, class, what have we accomplished, other than a financial train-wreck?

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