I have no idea why this post makes me think of the Princess Bride, but every time I read it, I think, Marriage, marriage, marriage. Marriage is what brings us to-gever today. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:
A couple of years ago, I was asked if I supported gay marriage. I replied with a casual ‘no’ before I realized that I would have to explain my position to not overly shock and offend my friends. I think that our government should get out of the ‘marriage’ business altogether. There are rights and privileges that the government doles out to those that get ‘married’ under the eyes of the law. These have nothing to do with the religious sacrament of marriage, and should be recognized as a separate ceremony. These rights and privileges should not be denied to any consenting adults who seek them and are prepared to shoulder the responsibility that comes with these rights and privileges. Allow me to illustrate:
My marriage was a shining example of the doomed heterosexual ‘marriage’. At 6 months pregnant, I knew that I would not be returning to work with the birth of the child, and health care was a priority. Along with this came joint ownership of goods and survivor benefits. Seeing as I do not adhere to any particular religion, when I married it was a simple trip to the courthouse. No chapel, no sacraments, just sign the legally binding agreement and pay the fee. There was no celebration, there was no community to help share our joy. Jump forward ten years, and my husband passes away about one week before we file divorce papers. As I was still considered his spouse, everything went easy-peasy from a legal perspective.
So now I’m in a relationship where the words ‘The trip to the courthouse is just a formality’ come out of my mouth on a regular basis in regards to a multitude of situations, such as combining the DVD collections, having the kids call my partner’s parents Grandma & Grandpa, picking out the perfect dining room table, creating a home and a life together that is so much better than I ever thought I could have. And yet the specter of ‘marriage’ hangs over all of it. My children have, for the first time in a long time, two functioning caring parents. If anything were to happen to me, my partner would not automatically continue under the law as their parent. The house is in my name alone, and even if it wasn’t it could still be contested. If I am in the hospital, my next of kin could deny visitation. So I think about marriage. A lot. And I wish that something was in place to just be able to say that this is the person I want to spend my life with, and I want that choice to be recognized even if someone else may not agree with it, and I want our rights to be protected.
I think that when we set up these laws surrounding consenting adults and how they choose to intertwine their lives, we got lazy and decided to co-opt the already existing religious ‘marriage’. I actually have a great deal of respect for the various religions that we have in this country, and I really don’t want to step on their toes. If gay marriage goes against your god, then don’t perform gay marriages in your church. I don’t have a problem with that. But when you are talking about the equitable treatment of the citizens of our country, I firmly believe that you have to take sex and race and preference, and all that stuff out of the picture, and look at a set of rights and responsibilities that you are setting forth for consenting adults to protect their future. So, no, I am not in favor of gay marriage; I’m not even in favor of heterosexual marriage. But what I am most passionately in favor of is the equitable treatment of all consenting adults who have chosen to commit their lives to each other.
1 thought on “Marriage Project, Day 6”
Sacha, thank you. This is very well said and heartfelt.