Gosh, I actually agree with this:
If marriage is just the emotional bond "that matters most" to you — in the revealing words of the circuit judge who struck down California Proposition 8 — then personal tastes or a couple’s subjective preferences aside, there is no reason of principle for marriage to be pledged to permanence. Or sexually exclusive rather than "open." Or limited to two spouses. Or oriented to family life and shaped by its demands.
Isn’t it true already that marriages are often not permanent?
The marriage breakup rate in America for first marriage is 41% to 50%; the rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67% and the rate in America for 3rd marriage are from 73% to 74%.
Also, less than half the households in the country are husband-wife pairs, and of all households, less than 30% have children. So isn’t it a little weird to define all stable relationships by a minority’s preferred lifestyle? It’s about time we faced the fact that personal relationships are complex and diverse, and it’s not just to demand that a marriage always involves sexual exclusivity, or children, or just two partners, or partners of different sexes. By one of those requirements, I’m currently unmarried!
The authors of that article are lawyers and right-wing think-tank trolls, though, and they’re actually arguing against gay marriage. This is their bizarre conclusion:
Redefining marriage would, by further eroding its central norms, weaken an institution that has already been battered by widespread divorce, out-of-wedlock child bearing and the like.
But by their own admission, marriage is a decaying institution, yet they can’t blame that on gay marriage at all — that’s a recent innovation, while traditional marriage has long been a bastion of state-supported abuse, casual transience, and ungodly decisions by the partners to not have children.
Maybe recognizing the different forms marriage can take, rather than trying to shoehorn people into roles they may dislike, would actually revitalize the institution.
But what would I know. We had our 33rd anniversary this last weekend; maybe the only thing holding it together has been the formal and traditional requirements of our heterosexual wedding vows?
Nah, I don’t think so.