Traditional Marriage: Whose Tradition?

I seem to be pulled into the “marriage” debate a lot lately….

To be clear, we have 6 sets of dishes, so I originally didn’t see the need for Gay Marriage.

As time has passed- almost 16 years with m partner- I’ve seen the need for gay marriage from a legal and societal point of view.  I, and most enlightened, educated people understand that marriage is a legal contract that provides security for couples- and gay or straight is irrelevant to this legal contract.

Frankly, to me at this point in my life, it’s more about protecting joint assets, determining who can visit you in the hospital and make major medical and legal decision if you are incapacitated.  It’s about who makes sure, when the time comes,  your wishes are honored to be cremated and have a  tasteful memorial- instead of being painted and stuffed and subjected to a hypocritical Southern Baptist Funeral by people who barely know you….

It’s also really nice to give a big party and celebrate who you love with a couple of hundred of your closest friends.  And maybe get some more dishes….

Anyway…..

I’ve also been read by an old friend for not taking Marriage seriously as a religious institution.  That’s because it isn’t- at least not primarily so.  It’s a legal contract. Period.  That’s why you have to get a marriage license from the government before running off to your clergy person, if you choose that route….

There is such a thing as the separation of Church and State whether these people like it or not….

The religious significance of Marriage depends on the Religion.  And the time and place….that does not supplant the legal, contractual importance of marriage.

I’m fine with a religious marriage ceremony- as long as it’s a secondary religious observance of a civil contract.

Legal rights come first.  And “traditional marriage” is a concept that has changed radically over time- both in the Christian and non-Christian world.

I won’t even touch the Biblical Old Testament definition of marriage as it’s too complicated and messy for even me to explain, so I’ll leave it to Mrs Betty Bowers:

 

 

And those who think Gay Marriage is an especially new invention should read this from “The Week”….

Same-sex unions aren’t a recent invention. Until the 13th century, male-bonding ceremonies were common in churches across the Mediterranean. Apart from the couples’ gender, these events were almost indistinguishable from other marriages of the era. Twelfth-century liturgies for same-sex unions — also known as “spiritual brotherhoods” — included the recital of marriage prayers, the joining of hands at the altar, and a ceremonial kiss. Some historians believe these unions were merely a way to seal alliances and business deals. But Eric Berkowitz, author of Sex and Punishment, says it is “difficult to believe that these rituals did not contemplate erotic contact. In fact, it was the sex between the men involved that later caused same-sex unions to be banned.” That happened in 1306, when the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II declared such ceremonies, along with sorcery and incest, to be unchristian.

via How marriage has changed over centuries – The Week.

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