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Should We Scrap Marriage Altogether?

This week we talked a lot about marriage. Vermont's legislature overrode the governor's veto to legalize gay marriage, and Washington DC pushed forward a law that would recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states.

Back on the straight marriage front (am I making a statement by calling it that?), one columnist said we should all be doing more of it, specifically those with kids. Froma Harrop wrote that "the seriousness of the legal bond between the parents — as well as from parent to child — helps foster a partnership in childrearing, even if that bond later dissolves in divorce."

But Colorado has just turned this whole debate on its head, by passing a law that allows any two unrelated adults to become a pair of "designated beneficiaries." What does that mean? Beneficiaried couples can inherit property without a will, make medical decisions for one another, sue for wrongful death, and enjoy other benefits of a legal partnership commonly known as marriage. So two gay, or straight, or non-romantically involved people can enter into one of these contracts all the same.

Would you rather see a total separation of legal unions and religious ones?


Join The Conversation
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I want to get married and I will. Don't change marriage because if gay marriage is allowed a large number of churches and religions will still not recognize them. I f same sex couples want the legal rights, then the government should give them the civil unions with all the legal rights. Don't force people to feel like their religion is under attack because I see marriage as a religious thing and you don't.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Which would be why the government needs to remove the term marriage. Recognize everything as a civil union.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
Id much rather be faloolad than married. I agree that it comes down to people getting stuck on a word. Two consenting adults should be able to be together and have the same rights as all other consenting adults and call that whatever they wish.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Well said, imLissy! That's exactly what I've wanted to see happen for years!
imLissy imLissy 8 years
so get married then. There will still be religious institutions that will recognize your marriage. The government shouldn't have any part in "marriage' though. As far as the law is concerned, everyone who wants to be together should have a "civil union," and then whatever you do and whatever you want to call it on top of that is just icing on the cake. For instance, we sign a document that says to the government, this is the person I have chosen to be with forever and we want all the benefits that go along with it. Then I we go have our ceremony in front of our friends and family and call it, I don't know, a Faloola! So we're faloolad, everyone we know recognizes it as a faloola and the government has nothing to do with it. Or course people will still say, "oh, so you're married." Because that's just the everyday word we use to call people who are faloolad. Silly, yes. But I think this is the most fair thing to do for everyone. Will people do this? Of course not. They'd riot. "What do you mean I'm not married!?!" Of course they would still be married, but, you know people. The government has dug itself into a hole with after sticking their heads where they don't belong for so long. I think there's so much disagreement over this issue because people just aren't sure of what they're actually arguing for. It seems simple, but it's really, very complicated.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I would be all for this common law unions/legal beneficiaries .... except that my family would never recognize a union that was not marriage [for me] ... and that would cause a lot of trouble for me [my mom being the psycho that she is ... and how much of a gossip mill the bengali community is] I would rather get married than have a guy pull this law on me for a reason not to get married ... because my generation [within the bengali community] is not going to be able to break the taboo in one sweep. Maybe I would be more understanding of my kids, but I don't want to rock the boat if I don't have to.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
yes, yes, yes. AMEN
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
sounds good to me!
imLissy imLissy 8 years
the problem is, that calling it a civil union would still be wrong if it's only called a civil union for them. The same way as having black only schools or water fountains was wrong. I don't want a religious marriage, therefore, my marriage should be called a civil union as well. You do that, then I'm happy.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
How does it ignore a minority? You're completely off base. You said it was equal rights, the civil unions I mentioned WOULD GIVE EQUAL RIGHTS. But no, thats not enough, it has to be the same word. So we're arguing about 1 word. All I'm saying is that if we go around changing the meanings of things to suit a small group of people then we should hold no value in any of our words (like mother or father) because there WILL BE people who want those changed to, and why shouldnt they? If we prove that anyone can change anything, then why shouldnt everyone ask for a change?
stephley stephley 8 years
Historically, religion doesn't have the solid claim to originating marriage that many people think it does.
seabee seabee 8 years
"And while we're at it I think we need to change the definition of mother, father, and all other sex based words." No.
seabee seabee 8 years
The problem with your argument here is that it explicitly marginalizes and ignores the minority, which is almost always a Bad Thing. Blacks used to not be able to marry. Women used to not be able to vote. A couple years from now, we'll be saying gays used to not be able to marry, so this is really a silly thing to be dedicating so much time and energy to.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Its not about equal treatment, its about equal wording. I mean lets at least be honest here.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
And while we're at it I think we need to change the definition of mother, father, and all other sex based words.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
No its exactly the same. We're expecting everyone to change an accepted definition that hurts no one to suit a minority of people. So why stop there? That's all I'm saying. Because it truly will not end here. And why should it? Why shouldn't people be allowed to be polygamists? Its discriminatory to allow gay people to change the definition but then say "no no, they're the only ones who can, all of your lifestyles are unacceptable." How does that make sense?
seabee seabee 8 years
"But if we're scrapping marriage, then F' it. Lets scrap it all, we need to allow polygamy, we need to allow people to literally whoever and whatever they want to." Now you're talking, kiddo!
seabee seabee 8 years
Dude, this isn't Affirmative Action Marriage! Gays aren't stealing marriages from well deserving straights. It's not like if a dude is on the fence about marrying a guy or marrying a girl, he'll get a bonus for marrying the guy. It's about equal treatment, and nothing else. And as far as your cross-gender argument, that just muddies the water and is discriminatory towards a whole other demographic.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I have nothing against gay people. I absoluetly beleive they should get the rigts of married people and all the coverage. But if we're scrapping marriage, then F' it. Lets scrap it all, we need to allow polygamy, we need to allow people to literally whoever and whatever they want to.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
And I dont think it is the same as separate but equal but that was very real in a practice. This would only be real in a word. Just one word. That's all. I'm a female. I don't demand to be called a male. I don't require everything to change so that it can accomadate me. There are things I will never be able to do that men can do. Is that separate but equal?
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Equal is never enough. See affirmative action. So its not enough to be equal, it has to be exactly the same and it has to be special, people have to, HAVE TO go out of their way to accomadate or else it's just not good enough.
T-S T-S 8 years
Haus, I was being facetious. Labels clearly do matter.
seabee seabee 8 years
@hausfrau "I think civil unions with all the rights of married couples is a very reasonable solution and I think this would have been solved by now if that were ok. Probably would have been solved years ago." It's not okay in the same that separate-but-equal was not okay.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Its because equal isn't enough.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
The common arguement is "equal treatment" OK. This would be equal treatment. So whats the problem?
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