Friday, March 17, 2006

Defining Marriage

I just read yet another confusing Charles Krauthammer op-ed in today's WaPo and felt the need to comment. Krauthammer loves stirring the pot with his social observations but I can never understand where he's coming from. Sometimes I think he just straddles the fence for the sake of instigation.

Anyway, today's piece is on ploygamy and how some activist groups conside the legitimization of gay marriage as the logical preceing step to recognizing polygamous or polyamorous relationships. I don't necessarily buy into that logic but for me it really doesn't matter. In instances such as this I retreat to my standard argument, why does the goverment need to be in the business of defining marriage in the first place? What logical practical purpose does this activity serve?

Ultimately the "definition" of marriage should be left up to the people for whom it matters; churches, communities, individuals and so on. If a church/religion wants to view marriage exclusively as the holy union between a man and a woman so be it. It is their right to discriminate among the devotees of their faith. If two men and their friends and family wish to view marriage as a lifelong committment between two loving individuals, please do so. In the end marriage only affects those who participate in the couples' lives. (Is there really any harm done to a god-fearing Baptist family in the midwest when two gay individuals living on the East Coast get married?) It is the fact that the government has decided to bestow a selective and yet seemingly arbitray status among certain groups of people that creates this tension.

If there were no license or taxation involved in marriage would there even be a debate anymore?


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