I recently was arguing with a friend about marriage. He contended that marriage was just an outmoded convention, something people did to please their parents and society at large. This is something I hear often from people my age. Whether they despise marriage because of its religious implications or because they somehow link it with the subjugation of women, it seems that many of us are ready to be done with the idea of marriage.
Obviously (being happily married) I disagree with this line of thinking. Certainly the idea of marriage being pushed by the fanatic right wing is distasteful, but why should we let those nutcakes tell us what marriage is about? I got married for the reasons Glenn McDonald so eloquently described in his defense of marriage:
Belle and I are getting married in August. We are no more immune to the pollution than anybody else, but we do what we can. We are asking no church to sanctify our union, our commitments to each other are made for their own sake. Recognizing them by marrying legally, anyway, is a gesture of hope. It should be possible for marriage to mean what it’s supposed to mean. We are going to share our lives. Anyone willing to try this should be celebrated and supported. Marriage isn’t an imperialist’s treasury, to be safeguarded by gates and sentries and clauses, it is an act of humanity. Humanity doesn’t need more walls, more weapons, more religions to organize away our responsibilities, or more defenders of our limitations. We need excuses for union, not codification of disjunction. We need more faith in ourselves and each other, and more love and art in our actions. We need to be more human, not fewer.
Well put. And I think there are a lot of happy couples in San Francisco that would agree.