Opponents of same-sex marriage worry that allowing two men or two women to wed would radically transform a time-honored institution. But they're way too late on that front. Marriage has already been radically transformed - in a way that makes gay marriage not only inevitable, as Vice President Biden described it in an interview late last year, but also quite logical.
We are near the end of a two-stage revolution in the social understanding and legal definition of marriage. This revolution has overturned the most traditional functions of the institution: to reinforce differences in wealth and power and to establish distinct and unequal roles for men and women under the law.
For millennia, marriage was about property and power rather than love. Parents arranged their children's unions to expand the family labor force, gain well-connected in-laws and seal business deals. Sometimes, to consolidate inheritances, parents prevented their younger children from marrying at all. For many people, marriage was an unavoidable duty. For others, it was a privilege, not a right. Often, servants, slaves and paupers were forbidden to wed.
But a little more than two centuries ago, people began to believe that they had a right to choose their partners on the basis of love rather than having their marriages arranged to suit the interests of parents or the state.
Love, not money, became the main reason for getting married, and more liberal divorce laws logically followed. After all, people reasoned, if love is gone, why persist in the marriage? Divorce rates rose steadily from the 1850s through the 1950s, long before the surge that initially accompanied the broad entry of women into the workforce…
Opponents of gay marriage argue that this trend will lead to the destruction of traditional marriage. But, for better and for worse, traditional marriage has already been destroyed, and the process began long before anyone even dreamed of legalizing same-sex marriage.
People now decide for themselves who and when - and whether - to marry. When they do wed, they decide for themselves whether to have children and how to divide household tasks. If they cannot agree, they are free to leave the marriage.
If gay marriage is legally recognized in this country, it will have little impact on the institution of marriage. In fact, the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage - an indication that it's not just the president's views that are "evolving" - is a symptom, rather than a cause, of the profound revolutions in marriage that have already taken place.
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Stephanie Coontz teaches family history at the Evergreen State College and is the author of "A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s."
History and Family Studies
The Evergreen State College
Director of Research and Public Education
Council on Contemporary Families
Premier's unholy row with Cardinal
by Troy Bramston,
January 9, 2011 - The Sunday Telegraph
PREMIER Kristina Keneally has lashed out at the head of her church in Australia, saying she was "saddened" by Cardinal George Pell for denouncing Catholic politicians who do not follow the church's teachings.
In an exclusive interview, Ms Keneally said Cardinal Pell risked being "interpreted as condemnatory and threatening" by urging MPs to stick to their religious convictions when making policy decisions on contentious social issues such as same-sex marriage.
Ms Keneally, a deeply committed Catholic with a Masters degree in religious studies, said: "I read those comments from the Archbishop and, if anything, they saddened me.
"Almost every Catholic politician I know takes their responsibility as an elected representative and their faith very seriously. Many have really struggled, as have I, when moral issues require us to vote - and particularly when it is a conscience vote."…
…Member for Lakemba Tony Stewart said: "I found those comments from Pell bizarre and straight from the 1950s.
"Trying to get politicians to vote in accordance to the Catholic Church is really to the detriment of what parliamentary representation is all about in Australia."
In a swipe at Cardinal Pell, suggesting he could be more helpful, Ms Keneally said: "Politicians of faith often would like to turn to religious leaders for pastoral advice and guidance, and sometimes that's not available."…
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Catholic Bishop Tobin lashes out at R.I. leaders for pushing gay marriage
By Philip Marcelo,
January 8, 2011 – The Providence Journal
PROVIDENCE –– Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin lashed out at Governor Chafee and legislative leaders on Friday for trying to advance legislation that would legalize gay marriage in Rhode Island, suggesting that the state’s leaders should focus on job creation and the state’s economy.
But Chafee and House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, who is openly gay, reiterated their support for allowing same-sex couples to legally marry. Chafee repeated his argument that gay marriage, in his view, is an economic issue.
Tobin’s comments came Friday, the day after bills to legalize gay marriage were introduced again in the General Assembly. They represent the bishop’s second public rebuke of the new governor, who took office on Tuesday.
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Despite outrage, little progress in church scandal
By: Robin Washington,
January 2, 2010, Duluth News Tribune
Gay Conversion | Religious Conversion - Transforms The Damned Into The Saved | COVERING - Kenji Yoshino – 2002 - The Yale Law Journal
"Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights"
A conversation with author Kenji Yoshino about Yoshino's book.
April 20, 2006 – Charlie Rose
Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior in Early Adulthood – by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, December 6, 2010 - FAMILY ACCEPTANCE PROJECT.
Institutionalized STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE – Vatican’s UNSUBSTANTIATED ANTIGAY TEACHINGS - severe harm lasting throughout a child’s lifetime | Benedict XVI & Hierarchy CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE COVER-UPS
SEXUAL ORIENTATION is less about sex and more about LOVE, being one with another human being - ATTACHMENT THEORY
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 - Brokeback Mountain” (NP)
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. Photo
"Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit." Erik Erikson