Saturday, 26 January 2013

In Praise of Equal Marriage

Of course I am in favour of Equal Marriage; that is why I do not want the law changed.

At present, we have a fundamental equality in our marriage laws: any adult may marry any other consenting adult of the opposite sex (providing they are not closely related, already married etc). Marriage is consummated in the marital embrace, in all cases.  That seems pretty equal to me.

There are proposals afoot to mess with that equality. Suddenly, some marriages will be deemed valid without consummation; what constitutes infidelity will be different in different cases, and so on.

Moreover, marriage will no longer be the social institution it has always been before: the foundation of a family on the basis of the mutual love and permanent commitment of a man and a woman to each other, and to their children.  Children will no longer have the equal right and expectation of a mother and a father, each contributing, in their complementarity to the stability and wellbeing of the children. Instead, by design, some children will have different, unequal arrangements which are tantamount to a giant social experiment.

If we are to argue on the basis of equality, I say that marriage should not be further eroded by re-definition, but rather strengthened in our traditional understanding of it.

1 comment:

Recusant said...

The use, misuse and abuse of the word 'equal' is a big problem in this day and age. I am reminded also of those images produced by the sufragettes which say 'what a woman may be and not have the vote' (teacher, doctor, etc etc) 'what a man may be and keep the vote' (drunkard, criminal etc etc). Marriage can never be open to everyone in the way the proponents of of it because people who are already married cannot marry, one cannot marry someone who doesn't want to marry you, one cannot marry a child, these are all crimes.