Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Is "Traditional Marriage"?

Blogger Archie Levine passes along an excellent editorial in the wake of the recent decision overturning Prop 8:

Traditional Marriage Perverts the Tradition of Marriage

...which traditional definition of marriage do we want our Constitution to protect?

...The one from Book of Genesis when family values meant multiple wives and concubines?
...Or the marriages of the Middle Ages when women were traded like cattle and weddings were too bawdy for church?
...Since this is America, should we preserve marriage as it existed in 1776 when arranged marriages were still commonplace?
...Or the traditions of 1850 when California became a state and marriage was customarily between one man and one woman-or-girl of age 11 and up?
...Or are we really seeking to protect a more modern vision of traditional marriage, say from the 1950s when it was illegal for whites to wed blacks or Hispanics?
...Or the traditional marriage of the late 1960s when couples were routinely excommunicated for marrying outside their faith?

No, the truth of the matter is, that we're trying to preserve traditional marriage the way it "was and always has been" during a very narrow period in the late 70s / early 80s - just before most of us found out that gays even existed: Between one man and one woman of legal age and willing consent. Regardless of race or religion (within reason). Plus the chicken dance and the birdseed.

Read it. Read it all. It's worth the time it takes.

1 comment:

Fran said...

I especially love the history of the white wedding dress, along with the birth of the phrase "sanctity of marriage". What a great article!

I keep asking people who maintain that my marriage to my wife has damaged their marriages. No takers yet.

Although I do get a fair amount of, "Wait, what? You're married to a who?" Heh. I don't ping many people's gaydar.