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'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert: 'Committed' to LGBT Equality

'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert: 'Committed' to LGBT Equality

While most of the world is fixated on the prevailing discussion of whether or not to allow gay marriage to exist (even though variations of it already do for millions of people in committed same-sex relationships around the world), Eat, Pray, Love’s famed author Elizabeth Gilbert releases her follow-up novel Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage to show her support in the best way she knows how – through her own eyes.

While most of the world is fixated on the prevailing discussion of whether or not to allow gay marriage to exist (even though variations of it already do for millions of people in committed same-sex relationships around the world), Eat, Pray, Love’s famed author Elizabeth Gilbert releases her follow-up novel Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage to show her support in the best way she knows how – through her own eyes.

The first time many of us discovered Elizabeth Gilbert was when she appeared on Oprah in 2006 to promote the incoming sensation that would become Eat, Pray, Love. Oprah gave the now 41-year-old American novelist from Waterbury, Connecticut the promotion of her life by utilizing the platform of her television show and, following the Oprah Book Club review, Eat, Pray, Love spent 180 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List (as of July 2010).

Since her original stint on Oprah’s show, Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love has become a feature film starring Pretty Woman’s Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, and Javier Bardem. Release date for Eat, Pray, Love couldn’t be any more appropriate for the timing of this article – August 13, 2010.


 

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One can only hope that Gilbert’s follow-up effort, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, will have the same positive media coverage and favorable impact on the world’s view of gay rights and the LGBT community regarding equality. Committed has been receiving glowing reviews since its public release in January 2010. The New York Times has dubbed Gilbert’s newest literary effort “Eat, Pray, Marry”. We hope to see a movie in this book’s future!

The true story takes place at the time in Gilbert’s life following her famous journey through Italy, India and Indonesia. The 285-page memoir touches elegantly upon the author’s evolving views of marriage and commitment since that first publicized journey.  Gilbert spent years denying the need or want for marriage since her very public divorce years earlier, but when she fell in love again and was told that her Brazilian partner would not be allowed across the border again unless they were to get married, well, she started thinking and she started writing.

Where did the institution of marriage originate anyway and what other cultures around the world treat it differently than in the United States? How was it fair that she could marry her partner any time she desired and yet the LGBT community could not? What did marriage actually stand for and why was she so against the idea? All of the above ponderings (and others) are reflected in Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

Since writing this piece, Gilbert has become outspoken regarding marriage equality. In fact, she has a date with the Immigration Equality Action Fund in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2010. The Immigration Equality Action Fund is an organization dedicated to helping LGBT immigrant families. Gilbert is expected to ask lawmakers to pass the Uniting American Families Act (a bill which would allow lesbian and gay Americans to sponsor their partners for residency – the same thing Gilbert had to do in order to spend time with her partner in the United States and, eventually, get married).

This past June, Gilbert told supporters of the Uniting American Families Act "My citizenship is not a courtesy that is offered to me by my government. It is my birthright. It is my right as an American citizen. And my rights are not something that are offered to me out of politeness or friendliness by the United States government. Central to those rights are the idea that I will obey the law and pay taxes and be a good citizen, and the government will do its part, which is to first and foremost ensure the safety and the well-being and the privacy of my family, however I should choose to create that family."

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Sarah Toce