To counter my friend and co-creator of Freedom Cocktail (and to show there is no ‘groupthink’ here!), I say, “no” to the former but “yes” to the latter (read his post here). I think it is a dangerous position to redefine a religious and sociological practice that has been around since before the concept of government.
This is not to say I believe same-sex couples should not have a legal solution that would provide the same legal protections and recognition as a heterosexual union. I am all for survivor benefits. I am all for shared taxation and insurance benefits. I totally believe that same-sex couples should have a right to a division of assets via the court system when they divorce from their union. There should be all of the same legal protections given to that union as a union between a man and woman.
I just don’t want to see words and traditions redefined.
50 years ago, suggesting two same-sex partners would be allowed to join in a legally recognized civil union would be met with derision, yet we are here. This provides the basis for my next thought. Since, just a few decades ago, the supposition of same-sex unions would have been thought of as a ridiculous leap in logic, how long would it take for something that sounds outrageous today, to become the new norm?
What if, years from now, an argument could be made that love between an older man and a young, minor male is something too strong to be regulated by an unenlightened populace? Or, for that matter, what about an older woman and minor male? A man and multiple women? A woman and her cat? Who are we to define “love”? Can’t all of these be thought of as a “right” and therefore a marriage?
How do you keep “marriage” from becoming, “anything joining two (or more) things together who/that express love for one another”?
But, that’s the strawman, isn’t it?
This issue is not about love or marriage and should not be confused with the emotions associated with either of those two concepts. The government — trust me — should not be in the love business. What we should be doing is leaving religion to the church and laws to the government. By all means, let’s seek the same legal and financial rules in our society for any committed couple who wishes to pledge their lives together (however long that may be) so long as it meets with prescribed notions of monogamy and legal age. And they pay their licensing fee to the state.
But, let us not take the route of redefining concepts that have been around since time-out-of-mind. When you do that once, you open up that oft-quoted box of doom whose lid is not easily replaced.