Many anti-marriage equality proponents speak about how allowing same-sex couples access to a marriage license constitutes a redefinition of marriage. I suppose they are right about this point, but not in the way they are thinking. They use terms like “radical” to describe what is happening. Others have said that marriage is “under attack”. I realize these people use these terms in order to drum up fear and money out of their followers, but the use of these terms to describe what is happening is so patently ridiculous, it almost defies logic.
In order to put their words into proper perspective, let’s return to my original, simple argument for marriage equality. Of course, this means we are focusing solely on the marriage license. When states allow same-sex couples to have access to a marriage license, the marriage license is changed. In the spots where the couples put their names, the marriage license will use the term “spouse” rather than “husband” and “wife”. That is the only thing that is changed on the marriage license. Everything else remains: the rights aren’t changed, the responsibilities aren’t changed, the tax status of married couples aren’t changed. There is only one aspect of the marriage license which is changed, and it has to do with semantics, and not actual substance.
The ridiculousness of their use of the terms” radical” and “attack” does not stop with just the marriage license. When they talk about “changing the definition of marriage,” they are positing that there is one definition of marriage which everybody should subscribe to. This does not reflect reality. There is no one, true definition of marriage, no matter what you believe any deity decrees. Since every married couple contains a unique combination of people, every marriage is defined in a different way, based upon the shared values of the couple. Some couples make their marriage about serving a deity, some make it about adopting a large number of children, some make it about travelling the world together and not having any children. Each of these definitions of marriage are equally legitimate. In terms of the state, after the couple gets a marriage license, the state does not care what they do with it afterwards. There are no laws mandating what civilly married people are supposed to do, and there is no way the state could regulate what they do.
Anti-marriage equality proponents’ views on marriage are so myopic that they should not be considered to be legitimate. To them, marriage is defined by a biological male and a biological female joined together, and not too much else (note: many anti-marriage equality proponents speak about the production of children when they speak about a biological male and a biological female joining together, but I will go into the fallacies of that argument in another blog post). I find it ironic how the speak about marriage being “unique” when they desire for every married couple to find their myopic mold of what it is supposed to be. Their talk of marriage being redefined is not rooted in reality and should not be treated that way.
That’s all for now. Until next time, folks, “If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”