As the Supreme Court in the US debates over the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 from California that prevents marriage between any couple which does not comprise of one member from each sex, I thought it would be an appropriate moment for me to pen down my views on the whole affair.
Let’s start with Marriage. To me, a non-theocratic, secular state has no business establishing laws that govern the co-habitation of two consenting adults. This is because, fundamentally, marriage is a religious concept that actually has no legal standing. We, as idiot human beings, have given it a standing and a position in society that it does not merit. By sewing up co-habitation with societal needs such as healthcare, property rights, and the over-reaching “benefits”, we have given a completely ridiculous institution strong legal ground. Marriage does not really mean anything. If there were no economic and social benefits to marriage, I am sure that no one would march up to the court and register their co-habitation. Anything that consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business, not the state’s and definitely not the society’s. The word “marriage” has come to signify a legally binding contract between two adults. But given the alacrity with which people nullify this contract (also known as divorce), it is probably high time to evaluate the elevated status this term has in society.
What is the point of marriage? As the lawyers argue in the Supreme Court, is marriage’s point procreation? If that’s the case then all infertile couples and people over a certain age should not be allowed to marry — a point that the judges made. Also, then why limit a man to only one woman? If procreation is the purpose then should one not sow his seeds as far and wide as possible? So, procreation is not the point, then what is? Objectively, and secular-ly, there really is no purpose, except companionship — which does not require legal sanction or overview. At some point in time, maybe the contract of life-long co-habitation had some meaning, but not anymore. If people want to stay together for life, good for them — they do not need a contract for this! Especially not one that can so easily be nullified.
In today’s society , the only point of marriage is the legal, economic and social ramifications. I find it ludicrous that healthcare should be tied to this stupid notion of a pointless concept. I have very left-leaning views on healthcare, which I consider one of the primary needs of man that society needs to meet (yes, universal healthcare); however, even if such a system did not exist, all people who can take care of themselves should do so by themselves, and all those who cant, should be taken care of by the state, while constantly attempting to make them independent. What of the children you say? Ah, this is where my liberal views come into the picture again. Just like health, education should be a state’s responsibility, not a parent’s — this way, society would not distinguish between those who have parents and those who don’t. Morally, every parent is responsible for the general well-being of the child. As is already the case in most developed countries, the society is an overseer. If parental supervision is found lacking, then the society steps in and takes the necessary action. In the whole process, I do not see how a legal contract of co-habitation has any role to play.
I am all for LGBT rights and equality, as I have mentioned before on this blog. I do not see why any two consenting adults must be legally discriminated against. I am going a step further to state that a religious concept of marriage has absolutely no reason to find itself on the legalese of a secular country. I am not saying that people should not be married; go ahead, celebrate your co-habitation as per the dictates of your religion, but please oh please do not involve the state in the business. What’s next? The state telling you legal sex-positions — oh wait, that’s already been done before :
“Although the Bible does not mention sexual positions, from the 6th to 16th centuries, some Church authorities taught that intercourse should be face-to-face, man-on-top, primarily because they believed that semen flows with gravity, leading to conception. Exceptions were made for couples dealing with illness, obesity, or pregnancy. According to John Bancroft’s Human Sexuality and Its Problems, Thomas Aquinas believed that crimes against nature included intercourse in “unnatural” ways. Protestants did not communicate proper sex positions, and the Catholic Church eventually abandoned its discourse on the topic. Simon Hardy wrote that the missionary position was used to distinguish “bestial and civilized sex.”