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Author Topic: Is marriage what we're after?
Dzuunmod
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On gay message boards, you can usually find a thread like this if you look hard enough, so I just thought I'd bring it over here to see what y'all think.

Many queers argue that marriage is a corrupt heterosexual institution, that we should want nothing to do with. Some also say that there's no real reason for us to be after it, other than we want to be like heterosexuals.

On the other hand, some feel that if a right is given to some of the population, it ought to be given to others, as well. Gays and lesbians should have the right to express their love for one another in the same ways that straights can, they argue.

Me, I'm sort of the in the middle on this, but not really. I fail to see the reason for which one's relationships with others ought to be registered with the government, which, like it or not, is what marriage is, so I'm opposed to all marriage. I also think that it creates inequality between groups (not just queers and straights, but polyamorous people, say, as well), and that inequality is bad, and therefore so is marriage.

I should stop before I get further. I'd say that's my favourite rant of them all. But whatever. What do you think about all this?


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jazzpenguin
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I've always been opposed to marriage completely - I see no reason to put a contract on love. If it's to prove forever after, then it need not exist, as forever after will prove itself, and if it isn't to prove that, then the marriage is destined to fail.

However, marriage as a way of showing love is different, and I can see the benefit in having a special ceremony to say "I love this man/ woman. If this is the case, then of course gay marriages should be allowed, as love is love is love. (sic.)

BUt overall, as I think marriage is a waste of time anyway, I'm against the whols thing, for heteros or homos.

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jz


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violet
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well, i have to agree with most of whats been said, because i don't think we should put a contract on love. the only thing which could make a difference is the legal issue. i know it may seem a little removed from the whole point of this discussion, which is really about love and the emotional viewpoint, but sadly, its pretty important. for example, if a same sex ( or otherwise and unmarried) couple has been together for say 20 years and one partner dies, the other won't, in many places, be entitled to inherit anything technically owned by his or her partner, i.e. a shared home etc. also with immigration issues. most of the time straight couples can just marry and live together in one of their home countries, but for a gay couple this isn't possible. i know ther are exceptions and laws aren't the same everywhere, but i think this is pretty much the case in most places.
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sapphirecat
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Marriage should exist. Consider this situation: two people profess their undying love to each other. One of them gets pregnant. (Note that this wouldn't apply exactly to gay guys...) Seven months later, her partner takes off. What can she do?

I don't think it's practical to eliminate marriage without some way to help people in that situation. (Which is based on a true story.) At least divorce is messy and expensive in comparison to packing a suitcase one night and walking out.

That said, marriage or whatever replaces it should be available to same-sex partnerships as well as opposite-sex ones. It seems silly to limit protection to that which is "normal" and accepted.

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Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


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Dzuunmod
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The thing is, I just don't think that the government has any right to say that some relationships are okay, and are recognized, but others are not. If an institution like marriage exists legally (I've no problem with the religious brand for those who want it, by the way) then there's always the risk of leaving some people out.

For example, sapphirecat, what sort of legal arrangement, if any, would you propose for polyamorous people. In group marriages, when a child is involved, to what degree is a partner responsible? Marriage laws for those sorts of situations would be very tough to formulate.

Also, even with marriage in existance now, one night stands are still a reality for many women. Children out of those one night stands are also a reality. What does situation that have to do with marriage law, if the existence of marriages doesn't prevent it now? Besides, aren't paternity suits and such things the usual legal recourse for that sort of trouble?

Lastly, violet, there are all sorts of legal agreements that two (or more) people can make to protect the things that you suggest would be thrown into disarray in the absence of marriage.


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kythryne
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Being the bisexual polyamorous oddity that I am , I'm in favor of marriage for anyone who wants it -- same-sex marriages, group marriages, whatever. I think the old definition of "family" just doesn't apply anymore -- even among straight people, a family is no longer a man, a woman, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence. In my book, a family is a group of people who are committed to each other, regardless of the specific relationships involved.

Kyth


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smittenkitten
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I'd say I'm with kythryne. The whole "children need masculine and feminine influence" debate tacks on nicely here too. As long as a family is loving, why shouldn't they be allowed to bring up a child?

I saw the "Gay Scout Ban" south park episode last night. I think the irony that big gay al's sucsessor was a child molester was priceless.

Hugs & Scully,
Winnie :0)


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sapphirecat
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You know, my previous post doesn't make sense to me now.

At this very moment, I don't see an advantage to marriage. Perhaps it would be instructive to see if there is a culture without marriage somewhere.

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Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


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Confused boy
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Take marriage out of government laws. Isn't there supposed to be a division between Church and state anyway? It's up to any religion how to conduct joining ceremonies but they should be void when seen by law. That means any sets of people can get together and decide that they are "married."

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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jazzpenguin
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Saphire: Yes, there are societies without marriage. Many small isolated villagers in the Burmese area, Central Africa, Russia and in South America have forgone maariage for centuries. However, marriage is widelt established mainly because it used to be primarily a business contract in ancient times, tying two families together.

This shows that marriage is a redundant institution in a culture where marriage is seen as being connected with love. That was never the purpose of marriage. Indeed, Sharia Muslims believe that romantic love should definitely not be in a marriage, as it is an 'intoxicating effect' which can cloud one's judgement. I think this backs up the argument against marriage. I think.

Ah well.

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jz


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violet
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yeah, dzunmod, i get what you're saying,its just it seems kind of unfair that a same sex couple would have to go into the marriage/equivalent arrangement already planning , or at least thinking about the end, whereas a straight couple already has those things in a way thought out for them. i wouldn't like to start a commitment to someone by drawing up a contract in case we split up. anyway i'm not arguing for marriage at all, i'm just pointing out the bullshit that gets in the way.
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$uMMeR
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I'm not opposed to marriage, but at the same time, I don't see it as something necessary when "in love". If you want to get married, fine. It should be your own choice.

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*Read my diary

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*And...alwayz

[This message has been edited by $uMMeR (edited 11-22-2001).]


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Grizabella
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As a Vermonter, I saw the whole same sex marriage controversy going on a couple of years ago. I basically saw our entire state divided into "Take Back Vermont," the gay marriage opponents, and the supporters who retorted with "Take Vermont Forward." I was called anti-Christ by a Take Back Vermont protester. Reading letters to the editor every day, I saw every excuse in the book for why we shouldn't have gay marriages, or who homosexuals are evil. (Somehow, the whole thing got blended with the gay scout controversy.) Eventually, they decided to OK the "Civil Unions Bill." Yeah, civil unions. We're not allowed to call them marriages.

I have two aunts who are in committed lesbian relationships. There's been one ceremony and hopefully there will be another in June. (I say hopefully because they've been putting it off, and I'm getting concerned because my aunt's girlfriend left her once before several years ago, after using all her credit cards and forcing her to file bankruptcy. I love my aunt to death and I don't want to see her get hurt again. Sorry, I'm rambling.) I had one aunt who just refused to go to the ceremony, and that was sad. I mean, she doesn't have to condone it, but that's her sister!

Long post with no point? Probably. Bottom line is, I fully support gay marriage. And I fail to see how allowing gays and lesbians that privilage (sp?) can do anything but good.

Just my $0.02.

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"Sometimes people care too much. I think it's called Love."
---Pooh Bear

[This message has been edited by Grizabella (edited 11-22-2001).]


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Hotbuttered101
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I am not against marriage at all. I think that it is a wonderful way to express eternal love. At the same time I feel that it is not a neccessity(sp?).

It really irritates me that gay people aren't allowed to get married in most places. I honestly feel that gay people should not be restricted because of their orientation. There should be equal oppertunity.


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Lisa D
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I've got to agree with Kyth on this one; the traditional nuclear family is quickly becoming just one of many choices with regard to family constructs. Today, I see much more diversity when I look at the "families" of my friends; gay people/couples adopting children, extended families that choose to live together, poly relationships, etc. I find it really refreshing.

To me, it seems perfectly reasonable that 2 people be able to marry one another legally, regardless of their gender. As much as I'd like to see other variations on that theme, I question how viable that is within our current political/legal/societal construct.

I'm getting married in April; for a number of reasons. Not only am i sure that R. is the man I want to live my life with, but we also want to construct an "us" in the eyes of the "state," as opposed to a "him" and I. Not to sound unromantic, because he is the love of my life and our marriage is about love first and foremost, but there is something to be said about the benefits of shared property and increased fiscal stability (obviously, money ebbs and flows, but it is safe to say that your chances of establishing financial stability increase with combining 2 people's money) When you get to 30, and you are looking at the rest of your life, those things take on more importance than in your twenties.

When you choose to marry legally, I see it as taking a yoke of responsibility as each other's caretaker in the eyes of the law. By assuming those rights, you take on that responsibility as caretaker by your own choice and declaration, and your peers recognize that authority. Goddess forbid a terminal illness afflict one or both parties, but when it comes down to it, you have the right to make whatever choice needs to be made at the time. If you aren't married, the court gives that right to the person's blood relatives, which may or may not be the right thing.

No easy answers on this one, just some issues to think about!


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Kite
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Jazzpenguin, just a short note: "Sharia Muslims" doesn't quite mean anything. The Sharia is the Islamic corpus of laws. Also, to my knowledge, it doesn't prohibit love from existing in marriages.

It is true, though, that in some Muslim countries the popular opinion is that love should be only one of the considerations in choosing who to marry. Whoever you marry you will end up loving after a while, is their theory. That sort of attitude is slowly changing, though.


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italianboy84
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I do strongly believe in marriage, in religious marriage. I think marriage is a special union between a man and a woman who become one, and even make a new life be born from their love! I think marriage is beautiful, the nucleus of the family, wonderful, fulfilling.

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I love God, I believe that my virginity is a gift to be given to the woman of my life, at marriage, with God's blessing. I love and respect life.


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Confused boy
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Of course, you think it is of great religious importance and nobody will deny that. BUT do you think it should also be a legal bonding as well? In a "multi-cultural" society should not all Religious ceremonies be disregarded by the law and be kept a personal matter?

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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italianboy84
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I think that the religious marriage is very different from the civil one. I think that if you make that promise in front of G-d, in Church, in a temple, etc...you become one with the other. So I think that once you're aware of that, what's the problem if that goes into the state's records or not? I really believe that the meaning of marriage is so huge, civil records or not.

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I love God, I believe that my virginity is a gift to be given to the woman of my life, at marriage, with God's blessing. I love and respect life.


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Dzuunmod
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But, there's more to marriages in law than just records. There's tax changes, for one, and I don't think the government should make exceptions in the tax code for people who have a piece of paper that says they're in love.

It just shouldn't be the government's place to recognize people's relationships.

It's funny, all the people that usually say they want smaller government, and government out of their lives, they usually disagree with that statement. Isn't that funny?


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violet
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for me to get married it would have to be a technical thing (ie immigration issues etc.) or a drunken spontaneous thing. in vegas. with elvis. but then i'm 18, and my views are bound to change with time. and this is my point.
personally, ( and i know this is probably an unusual attitude) i don't make promises i don't know if i can keep. i can promise that i intend to do something, and that i feel something at a point in time, but how can i know the future?
if god means so much to you( and i'm not saying it shouldn't) then how can you promise something before god you have know way of knowing whether you can keep?
i know this sounds a lot like i'm attacking your beliefs, but its an honest enquiry.

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Dzuunmod
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My country is going through the whole debate now.

Interestingly, Quebec recently passed civil union laws (the first 'marriages' went through over the past month or so), and there was hardly a peep about it. I'm just 20-25 minutes away from Grizabella's home state, and the way the whole deal went down in the two places is like night and day. No protests, no biggots writing letters to the editor, nothing.

On a larger scale, though, it looks as though the fight over Canada-wide gay marriage is going to our Supreme Court. Yesterday, there was a point-counterpoint sorta deal published in a national paper where two lesbians had it out.

(Warning: the links that appear in the next couple of graphs, if clicked, may result in invasive ads on your screen. They're not hard to get rid of - in fact they leave after a matter of seconds on their own. They're just friggin' annoying.)

One argued that marriage is a het institution that we shouldn't care about. We have our own institutions and rites of passage, and marriage just isn't ours, and so get over it. She also argued that the people who're fighting for gay marriage here have their own activist agendas - that's to say, they don't really care about the right to marry, they care about making names for themselves. (And that's a position that I heartily agree with - if you watch the news in Quebec with any regularity, you'd probably start to think that there are only two gay couples in the province!) Finally, she also claims that gays basically have everything they could want (like pension benefits and adoption rights), except for the word 'marriage', and that going after the word is ridiculous.

The other person holds that politicians in Canada have been passing the buck on this issue for years, and they shouldn't be let off the hook now. She says that just as pension benefits and adoption rights are simple human rights issues, so too is marriage.

So, the lines have been drawn. Do you have a position? It's a tough one. See how ugly marriage is? Tearing communities apart, creating inequality and wasting a lot of money with these ultimately useless court cases, it is.

Don't think that once gays get marriage rights, that that'll be the end of it, either. Groups will want marriage rights, and poly people will want more flexible laws that reflect their multiple partners, and people in types of relationships that we haven't even conceived of yet will want rights that reflect their realities.

Any further thoughts?

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"Impress yourself!"
-Braid, Milwaukee Sky Rocket


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gurl15
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I can't wait to find a woman when I get older to marry and have two beautiful children with. Just like any heterosexual couple.
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PutMyLoveInABox
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It's disgusting and a horrifying thought that is true and it sickens me.

Homosexuals marriages. Not allowed? It's awful. Any two people should always have the right to marry. Who can say what morals everyone should have what beliefs and what is wrong and what is the "right" thing to do?

Even for Christians- they say their god gave people free will.

Free will, which means that peple are are different, have different beliefs, and also can have different thoughts on good and bad.


Free will? Free will to do 'what?' nowadays.


Homosexuals and Bisexuals... just same-sex relationships in general need to stop being discriminated. People make a big deal if a black person is discriminated against, but most of the time Teachers won't say a frigging thing if a classmate yells out: "That's so gay!" or Queer, or fa*. Even calling another person that.

People are so blind nowadays, I feer for our world and what may become of it in the future.


Love has no colour, religion, or gender. Love is love, and nothing should be allowed to change it. Marrigae is a sacred tradition to prove someone's love to another, dedicating their life to that person and people take it for granted.

It sickens me.

~Boxy

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-Someone once told me to do my homework. I responded in explaining that it would then leave me no time to plot my world domination takeover-


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Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by PutMyLoveInABox:
Any two people should always have the right to marry.

But, what about more than two people?

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"Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish/when the little sensation gets in your way/no ambition whisperin' over your shoulder/oh, isn't it amazing you can do anything"
-The Tragically Hip, Fireworks


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PutMyLoveInABox
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Well, as I'm not going to judge people based on that, but I do think that marriage should be exclusive. So no marrying more than one person... but three people marrying all each other I have no problem with.

I personally believe in soulmates... but I also believe everyu person has many of them. What if you happen to find two? ^.^ Now this is my personal opinion so don't freak on me ^.^ hehe.


~Boxy

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-Someone once told me to do my homework. I responded in explaining that it would then leave me no time to plot my world domination takeover-

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