(broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage:
Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.
See Word Story at the current entry.
1. Also called opposite-sex marriage. the form of this institution under which a man and a woman have established their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
See also traditional marriage (def 2).
2. this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage; gay marriage.
the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock:
They have a happy marriage.
Antonyms: single life, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, singleness.
the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities:
to officiate at a marriage.
Synonyms: nuptials, marriage ceremony, wedding.
Antonyms: divorce, annulment.
a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction:
any close or intimate association or union:
the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
Synonyms: blend, merger, unity, oneness; alliance, confederation.
Antonyms: separation, division, disunion, schism.
a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
Politically, we’re talking about words as legal terms, and some are trying to ban one demographic from the right to utilize the term in the way they deem best for themselves. However, all words are subject to interpretation.
We didn’t have courthouses in the beginning, nor did we have church buildings. Man built churches and courthouses and even religion itself. Now I know many would be offended by those words, but think about that for a moment. According to the bible and multiple other religious texts, people were directed by a deity to live a certain way. Man created the structure of religion as much as he did churches themselves. The one aspect of religion man did not create was faith. Everything else man created around that faith. And when man decided that those he put in charge were straying from what he believed to be the right way to run things, he branched off into a new variation of religion.
And so it is with every aspect of life. Things are how we interpret them to be. So it is with marriage. Even before recorded history, marriage was a contract. As such, women most often did not have any say in this contract. Often the marriage was of a child to someone that could advance the bride’s family in social, political or financial standing or all of the above. Her feelings on the matter did not factor in. She was nothing more than chattel, and love had nothing to do with it, nor did religion. This idea does not fly in the United States of America, though some would like to go back to that. The laws in this country do not support such a regression, nor does the general population’s mindset. And that cannot be reversed. People will not move backward no matter how hard well paid politicians push.
Each human being lives life and believes in his own perception of life based on his experiences. His perception changes with each experience. For this reason, man, as he evolves with these experiences is capable of changing his mind and his views. With knowledge and experience, views and perception can go in any direction. Unfortunately, some hold so strongly to what their past perceptions led them to believe that they refuse new information. They refuse the natural progression of evolution. And no, evolution is not an evil concept that says we evolved from monkeys. It’s much more than that. It says we change with knowledge and that we adapt to our environment. As time goes on and we continue to overpopulate our environment, nature will do whatever is necessary to adjust to these changes.
Those of us with our eyes wide open can see these changes as they happen. We are open to these changes and accept them and adjust accordingly. To adapt to change is essential to survival and the changes happening right now in politics and in society are reshaping what we are as a society. Those who do not adapt will begin to flounder as they’re left behind. As nature has taught us, they will soon become the minority and eventually will die off.
Opponents of same sex marriage talk of the idea that procreation is impossible in such a union and therefore a factor in the validity of the union. But people marry every day that can’t have children for one reason or another. Are the marriages of people who are too old to procreate to be nullified because they’re “too old”? Are the marriages of people who are infertile to be nullified? Too many people in this country get married for the wrong reason and wind up divorced. A large percentage of those same sex couples that want to marry have been devoted to one another for many years. Not allowing them to marry does not keep them from having sex. It keeps them from being able to take care of one another like other caring couples do. To be married means that they will be each other’s legal representation in the event they can’t speak for themselves. It affects their being able to be present for and sign for treatment for their loved ones in the event of an Emergency. It keeps them from preparing for the event of their death and allowing their loved one to be taken care of after they’re gone. These are legal protections that hetero couples take for granted. Who are we to deny them access to these same protections?
Those most vocal against same sex marriage call themselves Christian, but nearly every single argument against homosexuality they offer as testament to their hatred comes from the old testament, not from the teachings of Christ. Therefore, that hatred does not come from Christianity nor does that opposition. Christ taught love thy neighbor as thyself. He taught caring for the sick and feeding the hungry, not judging whether or not they deserved the help. He taught tolerance and acceptance of our fellow man.
And then we need to consider that while opponents of same sex marriage often support their arguments against homosexuality as that it’s not natural, sex among same sex animals is often seen in many species. There is nothing unnatural about any living creature. Nature creates an abundance of diverse beings and it does so based on the environment. But these very same people turn around and argue that science is a hoax so nature doesn’t really do the things we have documented it doing. I often wonder if they’re ever going to wake up to the reality of what life on earth is. These are human beings who have the same wants, needs and desires in their lives as anyone else. And they’re being denied the right to act as two hetero people do in taking care of one another because they don’t fit into the ‘normal’ range of what someone they don’t even know thinks they should fit into. But here’s the thing, its normal for them.
Marriage is what you make it. Over the years in the western world, marriage has evolved into a legal arrangement, a binding contract between two people who love one another. For many, religion and religious beliefs do not come into play in their relationship. They go strictly to the legal end of the union and the loving aspect of the relationship. They put more credence in the relationship’s emotional connection and the legal aspects of it. They devote themselves to one another and promise to take care of one another. One does not have to be religious to experience such devotion. That’s not to say they can’t make religion a part of their marriage, but it’s not something that is an essential part of the relationship and many relationships survive quite well without it.
People in the United States are supposed to be guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not our decision to make as to what makes our neighbor happy any more than it is their decision as to what makes us happy. If you don’t want someone else’s ideals of what your life should be forced on you, don’t force yours on others. Let your neighbor make his marriage what he wants it to be and you focus on your own. We’ll all be happier when we can find our own happiness without the interference of strangers.