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15 October 2003 @ 05:11 pm
On Marriage  
I'm seeing a lot of stuff today about the "Defense of Marriage" week, even from some my roommates. Just enough of this got under my skin that I feel like posting my own thoughts.

1. I believe that marriage is none of the government's business. Or the church's business, for that matter.

Maybe it's my liberterian streak again. Maybe it's my belief that marriage predates either institution, and will outlast them both. Personally, I have a strong conviction that marriage is between the people directly involved, and very few people outside that relationship have any right to try to control the marriage in any way. Why should some politicians have the right to decide who can and cannot get married? Why should a church official have the right to say "No, you two cannot get married."? Demonstrate that these organizations deserve these rights, and I might start considering their opinions.


2. Marriage is more than just expression of love, it's a Promise.

It really is all about commitment. The commitment to be there for each other, to trust each other. The commitment to form a stable household together, and perhaps to raise children together, if that is a direction you choose to take with your lives. It's one of the most serious promises a person can make in their life, and should never be undertaken lightly. Because of the promises made, I think people should make every reasonable effort to make the marriage work before they declare it a failure and move on to divorce. Conversely, I believe that promises should never be coerced, and I object to any attempts to make people feel like they "should" get married, or "should" stay together after they have made the aforementioned reasonable efforts.


3. Logically, governments and churches CANNOT control marriage completely.

If you want to get married, you can do it. It really is that simple. Of course, they can limit their definition of what they endorse, license, hold ceremonies for, tax, award benefits too, let you claim on your tax return, etc. Those things aren't marriage, they are just trappings and chains wrapped around marriage. Of course, if you WANT those trappings, you will have to accept the definitions too which they are tied. Or make the institutions change the definitions they use.