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A Flood of Marriage Comments
We hit a few nerves on yesterday's show about The Meaning of Marriage, and we have over 150 comments to prove it. The thread is filled with personal stories and experiences, and I recommend giving it a read, but if you're pressed for time, here are a few tidbits that stood out.
I am a straight woman. I was unable to have children and my first marriage ended largely as a result.... I heard Maggie mention on the program that the purpose of marriage is for a man and woman who love each other to create children. By that rationale, I should never have married to begin with and should never hope to marry again. I can't have children. But I feel that my life as a woman still holds value even though I can't create new people. I think I could still be a wonderful, loving wife with a purpose in this world without making children.
I would like to see marriage remain as an institution for heterosexual couples, with the assumption that the overall intent is to fuse the procreating couple. If some heterosexual people want to be married and have no intention or biological ability to have children, so be it. If heterosexual couples, homosexual couples, polyamorists or other sexual behavior variants want to create a legal institution of bonding with tax benefits and kinships claims, I support that.
My partner and I have been together for nearly 8 years, and were married this past summer, though it is not legally recognized in Oregon. While some of our family members were hesitant to participate in the ceremony at first due to their religious beliefs, we have found that our family as a whole has been strengthened by the commitment that we made to each other that day. Our family, even those who are hesitant to embrace same-sex marriage, now considers us to be a committed, loving family. My mother-in-law in particular is now supportive of our strong desire to have children. Our marriage, though not currently legal, has strengthened our relationship and our family tremendously. Why should this wonderful experience be denied to some couples based not on love or commitment, but on gender?
If marriage is a commitment between two people who want to spend their lives together, then that's what it is for each couple who undertakes it. No legislation can change that. If it's a legal institution which carries rights and privileges, it must be available to all adults. I think it can be both, but not one to the exclusion of the other. That has nothing to do with the personal meaning marriage has for each individual; that can't be legislated either.
Personally, I "tolerate", accept, invite, respect and revere many people in homosexual relationships. None are married, though some are ssmarried.... Let's all agree to tell the truth, these unions are ssmarriages (pronounced smarriages). Conveniently, the honest description of the proposed unions begins with s s, which means same sex but also references social security rights, tying in to the best arguments ever made by same sex supporters.
Marriage is not some objectively magical agreement that will make 2 people capable of living a meaningful life together as partners. The sooner we learn that and stop incentivising marriage economically and socially, the better off we'll all be. Gay, straight, whatever.
And this sobering nugget from PPSteacher:
In my class of 29 students, I have 3 whose two biological parents are together.
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