Legal love: the great marriage debate
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." - Mignon McLaughlin.
The concept of marriage has recently been a topic under discussion, as well for the past few years. But what is marriage exactly? Is the there one way to be married? Is it a constant in our society and never has seen changes or evolutions of the concept of marriage?
Some want to make a change to marriage that allows couples of the same sex to be legally married. To this I say "bravo!" It is high time that we include gay couples in marriage vows. Contrary to conservative opinions, marriage has changed over the course of human history.
Women were once property in marriage, incest widely practiced, interracial marriage forbidden, divorce out of the question; all these concepts of marriage were practiced in fairly recent history, and all practiced in the United States. So this claim that marriage has been an unchangeable concept in our society is completely ridiculous.
Much of the opposition, a.k.a. "the Christian Right," uses the Bible as the foundations of their arguments against gay marriage. I do not know if they know this, but the United States is not a theocracy, and Separation of Church and State is in the constitution.
Plus, the Bible is such a book of contradictions and harsh laws, I do not understand where they get the authority to pick and choose the laws and rules they enforce or disregard.
Deuteronomy and Leviticus are chock full of laws and rules for everyday living that God gave to the Jews: some on sexual practices, some on food preparation, some on family structure and some on marriage/marriage validity. The Old Testament instructs us to not wear blended fabrics (well there goes Palin's hideous cotton-poly blend suits), not to eat shellfish (no Red Lobster for you) and no sleeping with your mother (sorry Oedipus, try your cousin; maybe she is free).
While I give the ancient Jews the whole no incest thing, some of their laws, like blended fabrics and shellfish are simply out of date.
Even laws on sexual promiscuity are no longer valid, as bloodlines and STIs can be controlled with birth control and protection. If we stoned every homosexual or promiscuous female, there would be stoning every day. Take the example of Deuteronomy chapter 22: 20-21:
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman's virginity can be found. She shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you."
I know a lot of brides and brides-to-be that deserve stones thrown at them, but we as a society have chosen to abandon these archaic laws, as they simply do not fit into modern day.
So the Bible, while a great tool for one's faith, is not a great tool for American legal matters. If churches do not want to perform gay marriage, that is their constitutional right. However, it does not give them the power or authority to deny other churches or religions the right to do so.
Besides, not everyone is married in a church. In fact, marriage licenses are issued by the state, a power given to them by the national government. President Obama has recently come out in support of gay marriage, something I am sure he is using to gain back support he lost from the left.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is against gay marriage, believing that it will change marriage in a way that it has changed before. I wonder what his great-grandfather, a Mormon Polygamist with 12 wives, would think of Romney's stance of one man and one woman...
See, changes in marriage have always happened in America. It is not new, but a lame and weak conservative attempt in the denial of rights to American citizens.
Romney claims that America will benefit from keeping marriage how it is, I am not sure exactly how. He fails to realize that not every American lives in a white-pickett fence neighborhood from the 1950s.
Some dudes love other dudes; he needs to get over it. Marriage is no longer a means of oppressing women and keeping bloodlines strong. Marriage is no longer a means of justified procreation, as some heterosexuals either cannot or chose not to have children, so there goes that reason.
Marriage is now and should be about love and commitment; I do not see how a gay couple will tarnish that. I do not see how Neil Patrick Harris marrying David Burka is destroying the memory of Britney Spears' 55-hour marriage. The thing that truly destroys marriage is divorce, not equal rights.
Choice and freedom is what makes this country great, and you cannot limit freedom, equality must be given. So if you do not like or support gay marriage, do not have one.
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