In 2004, newly elected mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom threw away his political future when he directed the county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of their genders. This kicked the fight for marriage equality into high gear and here we are, almost ten years later, and we are well on our way to universal marriage equality in this country. And that’s not acceptable. Or, rather, it’s not enough.
Archive for the ‘Marriage/Divorce’ Category
Marriage is an abstract concept that, frankly, most young children don’t fully understand. For them, it’s usually good enough to know that when grown-ups love each other very much and want to be a family together, they get often get married. There’s no need to discuss the tax implications or workplace benefits or hospital visitation rights with a three-year-old. But is it necessary to limit the concept to the traditional one-man-one-woman definition just because you’re talking to a three-year-old? Even if you, personally, are okay with the idea of same-sex marriage? Even if you live in a country where same-sex marriage is legal? Lisa van de Geyn, writing in Today’s Parent, seems to think so, because talking about same-sex marriage is hard.
According to Andrew Haines, writing in Ethika Politika, the blog of the Center for Morality in Public Life, without children, the whole point of marriage vanishes. That is, you and your spouse don’t actually love each other; you’re just in it for the good genes. While this is not a new theory (in fact, it is so old as to have been thoroughly debunked over and over again), Haines’ take on it is a novel one; he seems to be saying that if two people who cannot have children together are allowed to get married, everyone else’s marriage will fall apart.
Someone I know is getting a divorce. I suspect that most of us, these days, can make that claim most of the time. The percentage of marriages that end in divorce within 10 years ranges from about 1 in 4 to almost half, depending on the age of the bride. There are many reasons why couples split — abuse, dishonesty, and infidelity are common — but I’m not so interested in whether or not a particular reason is valid or sufficient. I’m more interested in why those reasons exist in the first place, especially when there are kids involved.