Can someone explain to me how it’s possible to have a Tumblr and not just retumbl everything that Beyoncé tumbls?
Marriage was originally a legal transfer of property. For a long long time, women weren’t people. They were property. A marriage was a transfer of that property from the father of the bride to the husband. That’s part of the reason that marriage is between a man and a woman — you can’t transfer a man as property (except as a slave, but who wants to marry a slave, am I right?)
But that’s not really relevant anymore. No one I know, not even my most religious, backwards-thinking Facebook friend that I stalk every night because I’m so fascinated by her is looking at their wedding as a legal transfer of ownership of the bride. Marriage means something different now. And it doesn’t mean something different because of gay people — it means something different because the institution as it was is no longer needed today.
When people talk about the “sacred” institution of marriage, what they’re talking about is a sale. If they want to keep their marriages sacred, then they’re already too late if the woman was allowed to choose her husband and also make any other decisions about her life for herself that her father didn’t approve of. You fucked up the sacredness of marriage before you even got engaged. Because marriage was about a woman being property.
So marriage needs to be redefined as a legal entity, because women aren’t property anymore. Why do we have it? Why do people still get married? Because people don’t want to be alone in a hospital when they die. Because people want to be notified if a person they love is hurt. Because people want to be able to provide for someone after they pass. Because people want to establish legal protections for their children (though given how taxing divorces are for kids, this is debatable, but that’s for another day). Because things like buying a home are easier when you’re married.
That’s the new definition of marriage. And because that’s the new definition of marriage, there’s no reason our LGBT friends can’t have that. Because there’s nothing “sacred” about it. And there shouldn’t be, because there never really was.
Posts like this one are always read by the people who already agree with the author. But maybe next time you’re in a conversation/argument (if you ever are) with someone who wants to keep marriage “sacred,” maybe this will give you a new framework for talking to them.