What Makes a Marriage?
I don’t know what’s happening but I’m reading one appalling article after another today:
The reason Schiavo hurt Republicans was probably not so much because the public agreed with the husband (though they did), but because they wondered why the Republican Congress was hot-dogging the issue.
Huh? As far as I remember, nobody was on the side of this so-called husband. The entire issue had nothing to do with the right to die, euthanasia, religion, or anything of the kind. This was all about a jerkwad who was living with a woman and procreating with her as a crazed bunny but who still believed he had the right to decide whether the woman who used to be married to him should be taken off life support. If he’d had a shred of decency, he would have removed himself from the equation legally, just like he had done in every respect that mattered.
There is this guy who can have any number of wives (which he demonstrated in practice) and there are the parents who can’t dump a child in a coma and pick up a fresh one. So who should get to decide whether she should remain on life support? For the husband, she is obviously dispensable. For the parents, she is obviously not.
I was appalled by this horrible case when I first heard about it because, to me, the idea that a man could just kill off a woman because he wanted to marry somebody else was completely shocking. I fully support the right to die and euthanasia. But I don’t support this completely mechanistic and formulaic definition of marriage that considers people “married” when one of them is popping out kids with somebody else.
Loving gay couples – who have actual, living marriages – cannot get their relationships legally recognized. Yet the Schiavos of this world get to kill the women who have started to bore them because, as it turns out, marriage is nothing but a formality, an empty piece of paper.
I keep hearing how gay marriage will devalue the concept of marriage. I find the argument egregiously offensive. I also find it shocking that while this entire Schiavo debacle was going on, nobody pointed out that the real damage to marriage as an institution had been done at the point where it started being defined in terms of a meaningless piece of paper that had little to do with the actual relationship between people.