There is memeage floating around my LJ friends about posting a specific sentence if we, as heterosexuals, do not want the government to protect our heterosexual marriage. I cannot carry on that meme. I want government to protect my marriage. To understand why, you must understand what I believe.
1. I deeply support marriage. I think marriage is the basis on which societies are made.
Oh, there are other reasons for marriage. It manages a lot of economic issues among people(s). It populates in a planned, managed way. It keeps intimate things within a protected boundary. It keeps some from committing lechery, and protects some from being the lechee. And any number of things. Mostly, however, marriage does two important things: it manages property through time and builds society. Without the latter, the former is irrelevant.
Why do I say marriage builds societies? Marriage is one of two way (the other is adoption) we have to join two un-related individuals into familial relationship under law. Until marriage, one's closest relative is a parent, and then down the blood chain. Upon marriage, one's closest relative under law becomes the spouse. Marriage is as thick as -- or thicker -- than blood.
When two people marry, they leave their family of birth to form a new family. Where there were two, there are now three families. This continues to multiply. Marriage puts responsibility for an other onto an individual's shoulders under law. It is through marriage that the individual reaches out of self interest and adopts broader interest. From this are societies built.
2. I think marriage is how property ownership is passed after death. Good thing, too. Just think of how many wars resulted from an unclear line of property ownership after an individual's death.
3. I think marriage is a legal/social construct, not a religious one. Why? Because first, marriage pre-dates religion (yes, even Christianity -- the Church did not create marriage a sacrament for its first century) so religion is not necessary for marriage. Second, because it deals not with the metaphysical but the practical.
4. I do not believe everyone is created equal -- I would (almost) kill for Barbra Streisand's voice, Warren Buffet's acumen, and Grace Kelly's looks. Nor do I believe the Founders believed it, either. What I think they did believe was that the only just government was one which treated everyone equally under the law. I believe it, too. If we are to have a societal structure that protects freedom and individualism, then we must base that society on this equality under the law.
For all these reasons, I strongly believe in and support legal marriage.
I do NOT believe that:
a. marriage is specifically for the purpose of producing children and perpetuating the race. It doesn't take marriage for that. It doesn't even take society or law. Just look at any living thing on this earth. To say that it does diminishes the marriage of all childless couples -- and I want my government to protect my marriage, not break it down.
b. marriage is specifically religious. And frankly, I don't understand how even the most religious person can believe that it is. Unless we have a single, universal religion, then there are marriages made and recognized from outside the Church. I want my government to protect my marriage, not declare my religion apostate and, therefore, my marriage invalid.
c. marriage is specifically between two types of individuals. Again, unless there is universal agreement of what type is what and which can or cannot marry, then *all* types are, in some way or another, invalid. I want my government to protect my marriage, not impose a hierarchy of marital validity in which my marriage may or may not fit at the top -- or at all.
So, for all of my gay/lesbian friends who may have wondered why I have not joined in this particular memeage: I have not done so because I I want and demand that my government protect my marriage. To protect it equally, under the law, to yours.
This I believe. Comment or not.