Thursday, April 17, 2008

It Ain't for the Children... 

Government and Religion really need to get out of the marriage game now. Both institutions seem to think that marriage is some sacrosanct thing that they each control. They, alone, will decide who can be wed to whom. They, alone, will provide the proof of that union.

In two recent, and contrasting, incidents, the blatant abuse of the definition of marriage by government is apparent. Both have become clouded by other issues. Marriage, at its most fundamental, is simply a contract between adults -- an agreement to share assets, look out for each other's welfare and, if applicable, raise children.

Now... remove the parenting bit from that agreement, and how does a marriage contract differ from any other contract in the world? On a daily basis, groups of people unite in various configurations for the purposes of bettering their children. They're called licensing agreements, or marketing deals, or countless other things -- but they are all designed so that Group A, who owns Thing A, can exploit Group B for the benefit of Thing A. Or so Group A and B can create Thing C, then act for the benefit of Thing C.

The first story, of course, is the over-hyped raid on a Polygamist Ranch in Texas, an adventure which is even now falling apart. Sparked off by an anonymous phone call from an under-aged girl who was allegedly forced to marry (and have sex with) an older man, it is now becoming apparent that the informant may have been a hoax -- and that the women in the complex were not at all unhappy with their arrangmenets.

Story the second involves foreign women who gasp! married American sailors strictly for purposes of getting US citizenship, while qualifying said sailors for certain benefits only granted to married people.

Well, you know what? In both cases, I think the defendants are right. Mostly. (If there's been child abuse in the case of the polygamists, then they do not earn my sympathy -- but the evidence of that has become shaky.)

Anyway... I have yet to see any sane argument against polygamy. Why the hell shouldn't marriage be between two men and a woman, or one man and fifty women, or a hundred women and three men or... whatever? If all parties involved are adults, and all consent, there's no harm, no foul. Likewise, if a couple wants to wed with a stated purpose of "getting her citizenship and getting me lower tax rates and cheaper medical insurance", what's the fucking problem?

The anti-Gay Marriage crowd are just the most visible portion of the crowd that want to destroy your rights. But, really -- what business is it of government's what any configuration of consenting adults decide to do with their lives? The answer is: it should not be government's business at all. And, as long as they'll allow, say, Company A to absorb Company B in order to make a profit and get some tax breaks off of Product C, they have no leg to stand on in arguing that there's a reason to prevent Man A from wedding Man B, Woman C, Woman D, and Man E for the purposes of improving the tax situation of A-C, and getting citizenship for D and E.

Marriage should be guaranteed as a right in the Constitution -- "Amendment 28: Marriage being a vital contract that confers countless benefits to its members, no configuration of consenting adults shall be denied registration as a married unit, except in cases of proven coercion."

See? It isn't a gay/straight issue at all. And in this era of two working parents, it's actually a "for the children" idea. That is, have five or six parents in the household, chances are that at least one of them will be available at any given time to take care of the kids.

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