Analyzing this issue will help us understand what is happening in our country, and where we might go from here.Tags: Antique Writing PaperDefinition Of Terms In Writing A Research PaperDifferent Types Of Essay PlansHow To Write A Thesis Statement For An Evaluation PaperA Level English Poetry EssayWhat Is A Business Contingency Plan
Nor is the debate, at least currently, about the civil aspects of marriage: we are moving toward a consensus that same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples ought to enjoy equal civil rights.
The leaders of both major political parties appeared to endorse this position during the 2008 presidential campaign, although only a handful of states have legalized civil unions with material privileges equivalent to those of marriage.
But marriage, it soon becomes evident, is no single thing. The institution of marriage houses and supports several distinct aspects of human life: sexual relations, friendship and companionship, love, conversation, procreation and child-rearing, mutual responsibility. (We have always granted marriage licenses to sterile people, people too old to have children, irresponsible people, and people incapable of love and friendship.
Impotence, lack of interest in sex, and refusal to allow intercourse may count as grounds for divorce, but they don’t preclude marriage.) Marriages can exist even in cases where none of these is present, though such marriages are probably unhappy.
This result has been seen by the same-sex community as deeply degrading.
More recently, Iowa and Vermont have legalized same-sex marriage, the former through judicial interpretation of the state constitution, the latter through legislation.It is a key to the pursuit of happiness, something people aspire to—and keep aspiring to, again and again, even when their experience has been far from happy.To be told “You cannot get married” is thus to be excluded from one of the defining rituals of the American life cycle.Same-sex marriage is currently one of the most divisive political issues in our nation.In November 2008, Californians passed Proposition 8, a referendum that removed the right to marry from same-sex couples who had been granted that right by the courts.The keys to the kingdom of the married might have been held only by private citizens—religious bodies and their leaders, families, other parts of civil society.So it has been in many societies throughout history.Unlike private actors, however, the state doesn’t have complete freedom to decide who may and may not marry.The state’s involvement raises fundamental issues about equality of political and civic standing.But much of the officially sanctioned marrying currently done in the United States is done on religious premises by religious personnel.What they are solemnizing (when there is a license granted by the state) is, however, not only a religious ritual, but also a public rite of passage, the entry into a privileged civic status.