By: Steve Northcutt What is the definition of marriage? What is marriage? In Websters Dictionary marriage is defined as the institution whereby men and women are joined in special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.
The definition states a man and a woman not a man and a man. Some people believe same gender marriages should be allowed. But right now the law doesnt allow same gender marriages. I guess only time will tell if that law will ever change. Marriage has always been an evolving institution, bent and shaped by the historical moment and the needs and demands of its participants (Johnson 266).
The Romans recognized the phenomenon we call falling in love, but they considered it a hindrance to the establishment of stable households (266). Marriages certified by the state had their foundations not in religion or romance but in pragmatics-e. g. , the joining of socially prominent households (266). At the beginning of the thirteenth century, facing schisms and heresies, and seeking to consolidate its power, the Catholic Church institutionalized marriage, confirming it as a sacrament and requring that a priest officiate-a crucial step in the intrusion of organized religion into what had previously been a private transaction (266). So instead of just having any person marry a couple you now have to have a priests officiate the couple.
This is another issue that makes a marriage more difficult besides the gender issue. To be an official marriage a couple must have a license and the right person to perform the wedding, like a justice of the peace or a priests. Throughout the U. S.
same-gender marriages are illegal. The state of Hawaii tried recently to allow these marriages. However, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Defense of Marriage Act. This act undercut Hawaiis effort and made it practically useless. The Defense of Marriage Act permitted states not to recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states. There is a separation between church and state in this country (Sullivan 260).
Andrew Sullivan states we are asking only that when the government gives out civil marriage licenses, those of us who are gay should be treated like anybody else (260). Many people just dont believe marriage should be between two people of the same sex. Throughout history marriage has always been between a man and a woman and thats the way many want to keep it. Many people believe that gay marriage would cause the American family to break down.
Others say they are citizens just like you and me and deserve equal rights. Lisa Bennett poses the issue like this: What the people who have the power to rule on same-sex marriage know of a relationship like mine, I cannot say. I know they claim that our marriage would make a mockery of theirs; they warn that our families would cause the decline of the American family; and they label our love immoral, disgusting, even dangerous. The shocking thing is that before I knew what it meant to fall in love with a person of the same sex, I might have agreed with them.
But now, having been on both sides of the fence. I know that to understand a life that is different from the life lived by most people takes time-and an open mind. Like everybody else I know I want to get married because I was raised to believe that marriage is how we best honor a lifelong relationship. I want to feel the support from the family and society that marriage brings. And I want people tp know they can not interfere: Love is love, In whatever shape it comes, it deserves respect. Throughout history marriage is believed to be a union between two people.
These two people have always been a man and a woman. Not a man and another man, or a woman and another woman. This belief has been challenged in recent years because many people believe its time for a change. They feel that if you are in love the same gender issue should not matter. Its going to take many more years I believe for the laws to change.