Picturing marriage

What does marriage look like?

News organizations had to answer that question this week when deciding what imagery to use to portray same-sex marriage.

Time magazine settled on kissing…


And, coincidentally, so did we.



Legitimate choices, sure, but what does marriage really look like?

I tend to think this looks like marriage, taken at this year’s at a news conference urging legalization of same-sex marriage (AP photo).


Some years ago, when my parents visited Minnesota together for the last time, I walked into the living room one morning to see my dad in the rocking chair, and my mother on her knees tying his shoes. By then, he was too incapacitated to do even that. They didn’t see me and as he tried to help her to her feet, I snapped the picture in my mind by noting that it was an appropriate picture of marriage. A few months later, he was gone.

Of course, there aren’t a lot of images out there of elderly people saying goodbye to each other in a hospital room, after one has been left incapacitated by a stroke. But in many ways, this week’s Supreme Court was as much about tying someone else’s shoes as it was kissing.

What’s your picture of marriage look like?

  • MN 123

    Yes, the sexual side is really such a small part of a marriage. It is the other small things which define it. Your pictures and your description of your parents show the real side of marriage-no matter the gender of the parties.

  • Robert Moffitt

    Photo #4 is my favorite. That’s Larry Duncan and Randy Shepherd from North Bend, WA. I hope their marriage is as long and happy as mine has been.

  • Jack Boardman

    The last two photos tell the real story better than words.

  • andy

    Dangit Bob – you’re making me tear up. Awesome collage. It’s the older couples that get me every time. To stay together despite the prejudice I’m sure they’ve experienced over the years is awe inspiring. It’s great to know the tide is finally turning.

  • Jess

    When I was in college the Mom of one of my best friends was stricken with a rare disease and became blind. I’ll never forget the simple image of her Dad leading her Mom down the aisle for communion at church one Sunday. Just giving her a little guidance so she didn’t veer off to one side or the other while walking down the line. I’ve always thought that was the perfect snapshot of a marriage.