Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's Official: Marriage is Over

Done. Dead. Run its course.

I woke up this morning 40 years old and starting my new decade of life I find I am possessed of great wisdom all at once, and from the depth of my profound understanding I declare that marriage is passe, dead, yesterday's news, ancient history.

Not love. Love is still in good shape.
Not commitment. There will always be people who say to one another, "I like you and I'm happy being with you and I think we should be nice to each other and take care of each other from here on out."
But the heterosexist institution whereby a father "gives" his daughter to a man and the couple promises to cherish each other within the bonds of marriage until death or divorce on the grounds of infidelity or mental and/or physical cruelty separates them is through. Finished. "Wave your little hand and whisper so long dearie..."

I take no delight in this. I'm just noticing what is and naming it. I couldn't have predicted it. I didn't especially want it. I'm no better or worse off knowing that its true. But it is true. And this is how I know: Because we're going to the trouble of banning it for same-gender loving couples.

The institution of marriage apparently is so fragile, weak, sickly, terminal, that just knowing that gay people are engaging in it threatens the whole darn thing. The pope is begging countries to forbid it. People in congress want to pass laws against it. Many of our states have changed their constitutions so that it can't happen. If marriage is so weak that my having access to it would destroy it worldwide, then guess what, it's already over. I'm an ordained clergy person and available to conduct the funeral. Call me when you're ready.

I'm surprised, but there you are. Marriage is so unsteady that it can only survive if it belongs exclusively to straight people. It's a shame. I would have guessed it was healthier and more resilient than that, but apparently not.

Rest in peace, marriage. You had a good long run, but your day is done. We'll miss you. I'm sorry you went to your final reward before same-sex couples were able to taste and see what you had to offer. But if you were so sick that you couldn't withstand even the idea of two women or two men being admitted to your country club like status (restricted and exclusive), then you must have been in a lot of misery anyway. So, hopefully you are now out of pain and are enjoying beautiful harp music being played by angels.

I'm 40.
Marriage is dead.
And the world still keeps on turning.
Ain't that a kick in the butt?!

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