Monday, October 27, 2008

Marriage is a social contract

I am going to come out and talk about another unpopular subject. Marriage. I think this country is facing some HUGE HUGE HUGE issues and marriage is one of them.

Some people in this country are rather vocal about Marriage being between one man and one woman and all about LOVE. Really? Let's examine this.

Marriage gets me a break on my taxes and my health benefits. It gets me certain rights, specifically if my partner dies. I get tax advantages when inheriting my partner's personal property. Marriage means I can own property with my partner in a special married persons sort of way. The tax advantages tied to marriage are huge. The distribution of wealth in the marriage contract are rather advantageous.

Marriage means my children have certain advantages - specifically where property and their financial care is concerned. It also affords them certain protections and customs for their care - should the partnership dissolve.

Marriage means that my life partner can make certain choices for me or will be afforded certain courtesies should I be ill and in the hospital.

Marriage used to mean - that I was property. That I was no longer my fathers financial burden but rather my husbands.

In many cases I would be the "prize" to seal a land swap or some other deal worked out by the men in power.

Is anyone detecting a pattern here?

Marriage is and historically was about money and legal rights. We as a cultural have dressed it up to be about love. Sure maybe it is. In our culture it is a blend of all of the above. In many cultures around the world it is about property, marriages are arranged and are not "love matches" there is an air of practicality.

I fully support "gay marriage." I think that a culture is strengthen by stable unions. If we are going to afford all these "rights" to married people - then everyone should have the right to pair off as they see fit.

If marriage is going to be about a man and a woman being in love - then nix the special tax benefits and make it about love and all that who-haw.

It should not be about both. It should not be exclusive. A union that combines should not simultaneously exclude others from certain rights.

Taxes are a function of government and Marriage can either be a function of government (social contract) or a function of love or a function of the religious right.

It matters not to me - as long as the playing field is equal and fair.

Are my gay friends no more or less in love and no more or less committed that H and I? Who am I to judge? Who is the religious right? Or defenders of marriage?

If anyone for a minute thinks that the weddings and marriages in the Biblical times had solely to do with LOVE, they need to think again. It was legalized slavery. Women were bought and sold - dressed up as marriage. It was about money and property and getting one more mouth out of the tent and into someone else's tent. Could Love happen? Sure. But it was not about love - it was about money and the clan and honor and it was all about MEN! As an aside - in many biblical cultures - men had more than one wife! Kinda makes the one man and one woman thing seem like a newer concept now doesn't it.

I would also humbly submit that families are best built by free choice and that LOVE comes in all forms and is splendid.

Taxes advantages and wealth distribution should not be tied to a social contract available to a select group. Where is the democracy in that?


IHateToast said...

sent you the huffington post article on gay marriages via facebook.

carolynn said...

i so totally agree with you. Love is love, and really, wouldn't we be so much better off with more love in the world than hate. The time is coming for all people to be able to marry whom they choose, however, i am afraid it will have a similar (maybe yet less brutal) outcome as the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. There are people who will choose to be closed minded no matter what the cost. What a shame for them.

Susan said...


I am going to watch the clip - I did get it! Thanks!

Carolyn -

First of all welcome, thank you for stopping by and I totally agree with you - this is going to be a big cultural shift but then 50 years ago - women were not equals in the political system at all... most change is painful - at least while it is happening. But it is time for some change.