Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I have never been a big fan of marriage. To me a piece of paper doesn't validate anything. I would be totally happy to cohabitate with Cori for the rest of my life. That piece of paper is completely useless to me. I know how I feel about her, she knows how she feels about me. I have already made the commitment to her that anyone would expect of a husband. I am faithful, I help with the bills, I love her to pieces, I support her choices, I laugh and cry with her, hell, I even clean sometimes. I have every intention of staying with her forever. Our relationship is solid, it's based on a realistic foundation and we communicate very well. It's not always easy, but no relationship is.
That said, I completely understand the allure of marriage. First there are the legal benefits. I can stay with her at the hospital, I can be given medical information, and I have the say on procedures. Then there is the validation that some people like to have. I just have an issue with marriage, but if signing a paper, dressing up, and seeing a lot of family members makes Cori happy and keeps her around, you bet I will do it. (Not any time soon though.) Now my issues with marriage in its current state, and my plan to fix them.
My real issue with marriage is that 1) we are excluding many people who wish to get married, and 2) It is where the church and state combine.
I want to see that combination split. The state can officiate a relationship and have it legally recognized, and churches can perform their own ceremonies. This way the state can provide legal benefits to people of all genders and gender combinations who wish to be recognized by the state, and the churches can continue to disallow anyone 'not pure enough' for their hoodoo. For most people, marriage will continue just as it has. You set up your ceremony, you go get the license, ta-da! If you choose not to be recognized by the state, then you work in the bounds of your religion, or non-religion, and go from there. If you want the legal protections of marriage you can get them without having to have a ceremony.
I can already anticipate a few arguments, so I'm going to address those now.
1. What if I'm already married?/You're trying to ruin my marriage!
My plan will not terminate any previous marriage, nor will it take away the special bond you and your spouse have. It simply allows the state to bow out of having to take religious views on who is and isn't appropriate to be married, and for people who don't want to be legally tied together to enjoy being in a more committed version of their relationship.
2. Won't this ruin our tradition of marriage?
No. Marriage has already ruined itself. It's so sacred that 52% of all first marriages end in divorce, and the numbers just go up with each subsequent marriage. Everyone deserves the same benefits and legal protections, regardless of sexuality.
3.This will allow gay marriage! How morally reprehensible!
Yes it will, and no, it's not reprehensible. If you believe gay marriage is wrong, then don't marry someone of the same gender. Your opinions/religious views/ignorance do not get to decide the rights of people. Even with a majority vote. This country has protections in place to protect its citizens from the tyranny of the majority, deal with it. You don't have the right to not be offended. My idea makes it so you can have your little ceremonies and call your relationship whatever you want, and you can discriminate anyone from your little clubs for whatever reason. Churches can already refuse to join individuals for whatever reason, and you can continue to do that with my idea. The state, however, is not allowed to discriminate.
4.The definition of marriage is between a man and a woman!
Perhaps in the dictionary, but definitions change. Marriage is not like it was. If it were, divorce would be illegal, women would be property, adultery could get you legally killed, etc. Times change, get used to it.
I really hope that one day this will be the treatment marriage receives. That it will be equal. That we, as a nation, can split religion and law. Uphold the constitution, protect the rights of all of our citizens, and quit this ridiculous 'morality' argument.