I attended a family wedding this past weekend. It was great to see family we haven't seen in a while, but I have to admit, I continue to be perplexed by this whole concept of marriage. Why do people do it? The money, the angst, the stress. The endless planning and painful spending, what does it all mean?
It seems to me that marriage as an institution has questionable usefulness to society, and as I have written before, aren't all marriages performed outside of a religious sacrament really just civil unions? Simple legal agreements between two people to honor each other for better or worse, through sickness and health, until death do you part? I don't get it, but I guess it doesn't really matter if I do or not.
And hold on, before you jump on me for being a cynic. It isn't like I am saying I don't understand love. Love is a many-splendored thing, I get it. But marriage and forever commitment? Well, it seems to me that when you use the same word to describe entering a relationship as you do for entering a mental institution there might be something to be concerned about.
As someone who has never been married, refused to get married and who has no desire to get married, I cannot understand the need of two adults to dress up and stand up in front of witnesses and promise to stay together forever and ever. I mean really, it doesn't seem like it is any of my business what two consenting adults want to do with the rest of their lives. And I am a bit beyond believing in happily ever after.
But like I said, what two consenting adults do is not my business. Which is why I guess I feel pretty strongly that if gay couples want to get married they absolutely have that right. No one has the right to bar two consenting adults from entering into a committed relationship, or legally binding contract, or marriage or whatever you want to call it. And we decided many years ago that in this country we don't discriminate based upon race, age or sex. So why should any state have the right to stop two consenting adults from entering into a legal contract of commitment? Or in conservative speak, a marriage?
I mean, let's think about this, most state houses that are blocking gay marriage are using the one man and one woman argument, which is really a religious argument, and if I remember my high school civics, that argument is barred from our government pretty clearly. So why are we allowing this blatant discrimination? And the new procreation argument? Pure hogwash. That is not a legal argument. Marriage is not about procreation. I know plenty of childless couples. Are we going to force annulments on all of them?
What really confuses me is the constant crowing of conservative groups that somehow marriage equality is going to cause inequality. Or bestiality. Or polygamy. Really? How is that even a rational thought? I mean, its not like these same groups are ignoring any other basic logical realities; no, of course not. They are totally supportive of a sane, reasonable slate of policies based upon their constant affirmation of a total and absolute conviction and belief that we must uphold and protect every aspect of our Constitution, just as the Founding Fathers intended. Oh wait, that can't be right.
What about immigration? Conservatives are all for the same immigration policy as the Founders, right? No, they are not. Nor do they agree with them on taxation, religion in politics, education, the postal system, libraries, or basic civil liberties. To name a few.
Wait, but they believe in the Founding Fathers and the Constitution don't they? Well, sort of. Sometimes. That is, they do until it isn't convenient to their particular ideology. Like for example, when it comes to equality. Suddenly when two men or two women want to marry they certainly aren't equal to the one man and one woman theory of marriage equality. And they have no problem infringing on what two consenting adults agree to do or what a woman wants to do with her body.
And it doesn't stop there. There are lots of other Constitutional provisions conservatives love to hate.
Who was it screaming loudest to forget all that Constitutional hooey and charge a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil as an "enemy combatant"? Who is it that keeps carping we should forget about due process and all those other pesky protections our patriarchal politicians professed would protect us from tyrants and taxation without representation?
I have to say it is quite confusing to this simple liberal voter. I believe we should read our Constitution with a mind to the intent and context of when it was written and that we were meant to interpret it given our current context. This activist isn't a fan of activist judicial interpretation that seems to taint the tenor of this testament to the Founders faith in our shared future.
And there it is. Faith. Could it be that is the problem I have with marriage? I guess that is what marriage is really about. And why I don't get it. I am too locked into logic and reason to take a leap of faith into forever, like that literal leap across the broom of olden days. And I can't see the sense in a sacrament that is blatantly biased.
Any contract that has at its essence an invalid clause is in and of itself invalid. So to me, every marriage is invalid as long as two adults are barred from marriage. It is an immoral clause, and a moral cause.
And one we all need to fight. In sickness and in health, for better and for worse. Until death do us part.