You know what they say; once you allow gay marriage, next thing you know people will be marrying lizards and cats. Oh, wait ...
Bethesda marketing and PR man Pete Hines has revealed via Twitter that same-sex marriage will be allowed in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. After being accused of being "hush hush" about the issue by a Twitter follower, Hines had this to say: "Not hush hush, just not making a huge deal out of it. You can marry anyone." In a second tweet he clarified, " ... not any NPC, [I] just mean any male or female. Doesn't matter what you're playing."
Elder Scrolls spouses, regardless of gender, aren't just for show in Skyrim. By wooing NPCs, players can complete relationship-boosting tasks, find a roommate for the new 3,000-gold house they bought in Dawnstar, and even get a traveling companion for those lonely late-night dungeon crawls. Seeing as how Bethesda is turning these partnerships into something more than a "press triangle-press circle-groan-moan" cutscene designed to make twelve-year-olds snicker, it seems there may also be a practical benefit to having additional options when selecting a mate. Who knows, maybe that surly Argonian maid would be slightly better helping you explore the dank cave near your hut than the burly Nordic blacksmith you had one too many Skoomas with the night before.
Even if Skyrim relationships were purely meaningless and aesthetic, I'm extremely pleased with the tone of Hines' response. No, it's not a huge deal; it's just one more option available to enhance your role-playing experience, if you choose to take a same-sex mate at all. If for some reason you're the sort of person up in arms about Bethesda's choice, just breathe and take a moment to remember: You don't have to buy it. The rest of us, however, will be killing time-wielding, world-munching dragons without you. Just ask David Gaider.
Skyrim will be released on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 11th, 2011, as if you didn't already have it circled on your Wiley Wenches of the Black Marsh wall calendar.