We hear so much about the word “marriage” these days. We usually hear it along with terms like “traditional” or “institution.” With the whole debate about gay marriage, those who are not in favor call for a more socially conservative view of “traditional marriage.” There are those opposed to granting gay couples the title of “married,” but are okay with civil unions. Then there are those that oppose any form of union for gay couples. I did some research (actually the Log Cabin Republicans did most of it it for me) and found out what “traditional” marriage really is and has been in history.
Many socially conservative, extreme right-wing politicians and religious leaders latch on to this idea of a return to traditional “marriage” and make statements like, “It is an institution that has been the norm for years and should not be changed or challenged.” Given what marriage has been historically and traditionally, Dac and I are not really interested in the “marriage” label. Civil Unions are fine with us as long as we can keep what we earn, give each other what we have earned, and visit each other freely.
Here are some examples of “traditional” marriage that should (apparently) not be changed. Dac and I are fine not having to adhere to these norms that the social conservatives think are important to retain in our modern society.
- An adult man would be allowed to marry a 12 year-old girl.
- Someone could be forced into a marriage arranged by their parents.
- A person would not be allowed to marry someone of another race.
- Men could treat their wives as property to be disposed of at will.
- A husband would be allowed to have multiple wives.
- A person could not marry someone of a different religion.
- A person could not marry someone from a different economic class.
- It would be impossible to divorce, no matter how physically or emotionally abusive your spouse.