Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines marriage as:
- The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law
- The state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.
Historically, marriage wasn’t about the love factor either. It was about inheritance, social status, and politics. Love was found outside marriage and adultery didn’t have the stigma we now place on it. In some cultures and religions polygamy was, and still is, practiced. Arranged marriages are still the norm in some countries and in religions such as the Unification Church.
What is “marriage” but a contract between two people? And to get out of that legally binding contract what must two people do? Go through the courts to get a divorce. Hammer out custody arrangements if necessary. Divide the assets.
Why is there such importance placed on the word? What makes “marriage” so special? And why do Republicans want to keep marriage for the Straights only?
The hot-button social concerns that are shaping the 2012 Presidential cycle are absolutely amazing. Between the War on Women and gay marriage…wow! It was wonderful when Vice President Joe Biden said on Meet the Press, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”
It’s pretty awesome he forced the President to make a statement regarding same-sex marriage. Frankly, I’m rather tired of President Obama trying to play both sides of the aisle. Having him tell Robin Roberts, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,”was astonishing! Finally, he’s not dancing around the subject! He’s even making noises about repealing that silly Defense of Marriage Act!
As a married straight person I firmly believe we, as a nation, need to banish the word “marriage” from our legal system. Throw it out completely. Replace “marriage” with civil unions for all, regardless of sexual orientation. This would ensure that all couples would have the same legal rights, from family insurance plans to family memberships at the YMCA.
Civil unions would be performed at the local city hall by a judge or a justice of the peace. Once a couple pays for the civil union license and has that legal document in hand, they can get “married” in the religious institution of their choice. Problem solved!
I know the Religious Right would have a hissy fit if the government took away “marriage.” We’d hear arguments yet again about Man on Dog relationships if “marriage” is abolished and “civil unions” take its place. The conservatives will whine, “So what’s the point of saving oneself for a civil union? Where’s the sanctity in that? People will just go have the sex all willy-nilly!”
It’s not about that at all. It’s about stopping discrimination just because someone happens to love another person of the same sex. America needs to get crackin’ and grant civil rights to all of its citizens. Because do you know what happens when a same-sex couple gets married?
A same-sex couple gets married. Nothing more, nothing less.
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