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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Whither Marriage?

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Author Topic: Whither Marriage?
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Ah, one of my pet topics. Some developments have recently suggested that perhaps marriage isn't quite the social insitution that it used to be.

In Canada, recently, it was noted by the government that so-called common-law marriages are increasing in popularity. In the province of Quebec, about 70 per cent of residents now have a common-law marriage before the traditional sort of marriage - if indeed they ever get around to the traditional sort at all.

At the same time, countries in some parts of the world are offering marriage incentives - financial gifts to lure people to the altar.

Marriage used to be mostly about child-rearing. That's not so today. Take a look at the birth rates for the developed world, and you'll see that the long-term trend is one of decline.

The possibility of gay marriage (or at least some reasonable facsimile) moving into law in many jurisdictions where it has not already, clouds the picture further.

Add to all this the fact that marriage rates are on the decline and divorce rates are on the rise in too many places to mention, and it becomes clear that marriage is transforming pretty dramatically in much of the world these days.

So, here are some questions:
Do you want to get married? Why or why not? Is marriage important to society? Does it matter if two (or more) people in love live together, but do not marry? Are any of the trends cited above worrysome? If so, are there any solutions?

Long-time posters already know my feelings on this, but I'll run through 'em briefly. If people want to live common-law, that's totally their business. Marriage isn't important to society, and if people don't want to get married, short of pointing a gun at someone, there's not much anyone can do, anyway.

I'd be livid if I found out my taxes were going to causes such as marriage incentives.


"Impress yourself!"
-Braid, Milwaukee Sky Rocket

Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Ah, yes. Marriage. Personally, I don't want to get married, even if I could. Several reasons:
*Gay marriage is not allowed in the US. This is discriminatory, but I won't get into that here.
*I have enogh trouble with labels as it is. Labels such as 'girlfriend' or 'boyfriend' both unnerve me if I have to use them, and bore me to deja-vu. The idea of 'girlfriend' becoming 'wife' unnerves me further.
*The complications of divorce are not something I'd ever want to be mixed up in.
*I think it'd weaken the relationship. Without marriage, it seems more of an open possibility that my partner would leave me, and taking care of the relationship would be more important. In marriage, we might take each other for granted after a while.
*I don't like fitting in, odd as that may sound. Being part of a stereotype doesn't work for me.

On another note, I think marriage is great for those who wish to take part in it religiously, but shouldn't have any special benefits attached to it by government. That's merging religion and state. Not cool.

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. -Matt Groening, Life In Hell

"Pope John Paul today confirmed his opposition to gay marriages. Said that they are unnatiral. Gay marriages are unnatural. Then he put on a pointy hat, his dress, and returned to never having sex at all." -- Bill Maher, Politically Incorrect

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Personally, the legal marriage thing is something that I'm not fussed about. I'd do it if it was really important to my partner, but I wouldn't be worried if it never happenned.

However, if I do ever find someone that I would like to spend the rest of my life with, I think it'd be cool to have a little ceremony with good friends to celebrate that. No white dresses (I'd want a pretty red dress ), no loads of money spent on cakes and stuff. But lots of fun for all the guests.

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1. To answer the questions of "Do you want to get married and why?" I will say "yes" and here is my explaination. First I am Catholic amoung other religion traditions I practice. In other things I practice marriage is important and the symbolism involved is VERY important to me and to my parents and grandparents. I also like the idea that if I am married to a man there are certain legal obligations that have to be met by both of us. However, I do not think two people need to be married in order to raise healthy, happy children. As a matter of fact single parent, and multi-parent families suit me just fine as long as a safe, loving home is provided.

2. Is marriage imprtant to society? In the United States I don't think marriage has the sanctity it used to. However it is important to certain cultural groups in the US, at least in theory, not nessacarily in practice. Let me use Catholics as an example. There are many Chatolics in the US, and Catholicism says two people have to be married (in the Church as well as legally) to have sex, and have children. But I know a good number of Catholics that follow neither of these tenants so to them it's theory rather than practice.

3. Ah, you mean Polamory? I'm COMPLETELY fine with it.

4. Let me say I have no problem with common law marriages, unless two people don't legally want to be married.

Marriage incentives? I don' thtink you shouldget special treatment for being married, but you shouldn't get rat screwed for it either like you do here in the US (on your taxes).

As I said earlier people do not have to be married to raise good, content children. The same token though why should two married people be EXPECTED to have children. Chilren are a choice, not everyone wants to or should be a parent. Just because two people love each other and want to be married legally or symbolically should not mean they HAVE to be parents.

And homosexual marriages? Who cares. Homosexuals are people, just like heterosexual people. If any of them have the desire to marry then why should they be prohibbited from it? Shouldn't they have equal access to any legal procedure that a heterosexual has? I think so (and that goes for having/adopting children too)!

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I really don't see this as a huge issue. To me, marriage is a personal decision and has no real impact on society.

Do you want to get married? Why or why not?
I do, but i don't. I think it's far too easy to get out of marriages ... w/ the skyrocketing of divorce rates. You can make a commitment and a promise w/o that piece of paper that tells the government and society that you're 'married'. There is nothing wrong w/ commonlaw, and maybe if people lived together commonlaw before getting married, there wouldn't be so many divorces (stats show otherwise, but it's just how i feel). I do want children though, and that is really the only reason i want to be married. The marriage itself doesn't show love or commitment to my partner, I do.

Does it matter if two (or more) people in love live together, but do not marry?
I'm completely okay w/ common law marriages. My mom lived common law w/ her bf for a few years ... It eventually broke up, but i think that would've happened even if they were married. Nothing is forever and people change ... And it was much easier to rid him of our lives since they weren't married (Can you tell i didn't like him?) I also see nothing wrong w/ polyamory (i don't think's spelled right. Oops.), as what other people do w/ their lives isn't really any of anyones business (as long as no one else is getting hurt in the process).

Are any of the trends cited above worrysome? If so, are there any solutions?
It worries me that some countries are trying to bribe people into getting married. If people would start minding their own darn business once in a while, things would be fine. But i guess tha'ts not very realistic ...

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[This message has been edited by LilBlueSmurf (edited 07-21-2002).]

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Well, I'm legally married. My partner is a MtF (male to female) transsexual, so we're now a legally married same-sex couple.

At the time that we got married (before she began transitioning) we debated quite a lot about doing the whole legal marriage thing, but in the end, we decided to go through with it. Originally we'd just planned to do a committment ceremony/handfasting sort of thing, but at the very last minute we went to the courthouse and got a marriage licence. In retrospect, it was one of the smartest things we could have done, since it guarantees that we're recognized as a legally married couple, even now that we're both female.

And I absolutely love being able to say that we're a legally married same-sex couple.

Aside from my personal situation, I'm a bit divided on all of this. I think marriage absolutely should be available to everyone, regardless of things like gender or number of people in the relationship. At the same time, I think it's perfectly acceptable for people to just live together if they're in love and committed to the other(s). A marriage, to me, is just a way of recognizing that two or more people are committed to each other.

For that reason, I think legalizing same-sex and multi-partner marriages is a good idea, because those sorts of relationships are often far less visible and less acknowledged than the traditional opposite-sex two-people marriages.

In my ideal world, all relationships would be recognized and honored, regardless of the arrangement of the relationship, and regardless of the labels affixed to the people involved. But that's in my ideal world, which is pretty darn different than the one I live in. ::sigh:: So for now, I'll stay married, and I'll continue to fight for same-sex and multi-partner marriages to become legal.

Kythryne Aisling
Scarleteen Sexpert

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The "marriage incentive" -- though I'd be more accurate and call it the dowry it is -- being proposed in the states is especially atrocious because it is aimed at mothers on welfare.

I could go on and on about my feelings about this as well as what a nightmare it is to push women already on welfare into marriages, but everything I would have said was said very expertly right here by Alana Kumbier the other day:

(And in short, I'm fine with any relationship model which is beneficial to and healthy for all parties involved and works for them. But when possible, I prefer to keep the feds out of my bedroom.)

Heather Corinna
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Celtic Daisy
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Do you want to get married?
Yes, I do.

Why or why not?
Mostly tradition. I wouldn't care that much if it was a legal marriage, i'd like just a handfasting. I think mostly tradition.

Is marriage important to society?
I don't really think so. I think just the general relationship is. It doesn't matter what name you give the relationship, so long as the relationship is there.

Does it matter if two (or more) people in love live together, but do not marry?
Depends on the people and their feelings. In my eyes, just two people in general happy living together without being married? No problem at all. My cousins lived together for years before they were married. In fact, i thought they were married until they asked me to be their flower girl.

Are any of the trends cited above worrysome?
As in common law marriages? Not in my eyes. I'm a very open minded person and if that's the way people wish to handle their relationships that's their business.

'You've got the eyes of ten women. Not in a jar! I wasn't accusing you. I just mean your eyes are really nice'-coupling

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Do you want to get married? Why or why not?

Yes. I'm a Wiccan, and we (my family) have handfastings, regardless of the genders of the couple. (We also have slightly different vows, mostly "For as long as love lasts.") Therefore as a lesbian, the handfasting part is important. The legal piece of paper (or equivalent) is (atm) out of reach for me in Australia, but it's also important to me so that my relationship would have the same rights etc as heterosexual ones.

Is marriage important to society?

I don't think that marriage itself is important. I think that committed stable relationships are VERY important however, in raising children, being happy and so on. that doesn't have to mean marriage per se.

That answers most the questions, I think . I think the divorce rates are a little worrying: not so much b/c it means even less people are married but b/c it means that more ppl have probably had miserable times, as have their kids.

"If you don't like gays, then they're everywhere, coming out of the woodwork to corrupt little children... but if you are gay, especially if you're in high school, you're the only one in the universe..."

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For anyone who's interested, the usually-high-quality program from the United States, Frontline is airing a program tonight on this very subject. Should be good.

"Frank, get back to work! And if the acid burns you, well, good!"
-Ms. Gusto, Grade 11 physical geography class

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Yes, I want to get married.

Why? I'm not really sure there's a definite reason for it. I can't see myself doing the common-law thing.... I like marriage as a celebration, as a tradition, and here, if you don't have a legal marriage license, your will can get all &*^%$# up if you're only common-law.

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I indefinitely want to get married, but whether I actually will or not is a totally different question. lol

To me marriage is a great thing if both people want it, and they are willing to work at their relationship. Marriage is one of two things... proof of love or a lifelong friendship/partner there to help you get through life.

For myself, if I ever find that “Mr. Right” and we know each other well and are crazy about each other, than marriage would work. That’s if I know them a very long time, and we’re still going strong. At a much later time in my life, if I haven’t found that “Mr. Right” I would want to get married to someone who is a very good friend. That way it is about friendship and it would be pretty platonic, but we would be there for each other to get through life. This, of course, is when I am very old, and if/when I feel the need to “settle down” in life.

In the end, even if I marry for love, I may want to just settle down and have my husband form into a lifelong partner anyway. I dunno... I always dreamed that when/if I get married, my husband and I will never get over that fun and flirty-ness, but my father tells me that at a certain age... you just don’t want that any more. I try not to believe that’s true, but I guess for some it is… I really hope its not like that for me.

I don’t think everyone must get married or anything, but I hope for myself... I will find that right person, and be with them forever. **wishful thinking** lol

I'm also in love with the idea of the wedding itself. When/if I get married it will definitely be the works! (and I'll be paying it off for a long time afterward. lol) The big church, beautiful gown, veil, a big pretty cake, my friends and family... and all that good stuff.

I don’t really thing marriage is important to society, and people can be happy living together without marriage and whatnot... its their choice not mine. =) I just think that marriage is a bit more insurance that the people in the relationship will work harder to keep things together, after all divorce is pretty pricey. lol Besides you’re binded to one another... so there may be more consequences to cheating.

I look at singers/actors and how some of them are getting married every couple of months. It’s crazy... I think if they get married they should know the person well enough to at least believe it will work out. They're bringing down the meaning of a wedding/marriage... its sposed to be a one-time deal... one of the best days of your life. If you have 7 husbands/wives... I would think it would lessen the meaning of a marriage to you.

Well... that’s my 3 cents. =)

dont worrie b happie... its like a law! =)

hunt for clothes NOT for animals. =)

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