Inspired by and largely clipped from a discussion on [ profile] 9thmoon's journal where I commented, but I feel more people need to know a little bit about history.

Marriage is not about religion.

The act of marriage has always been carried out religiously. St. Paul has something about that in the bible, and the whole Priest plus Two Witnesses wasn't even catholic law until 1563! The clever will note that is after Martin Luther and King Henry VIII.

Marriage is about the control of property and inheritance. It is about bloodlines in the sense that it allows a family to trace a clear path for inheritance; but that leads back to the fact that it's about property. Most of the world has arranged marriages that have 0 love in them at all--they are merely an alliance between two families for economic gain. It wasn't until the 12th century when Eleanor of Aquitaine wrote ballads that she spread throughout Europe via troubadors that the idea of courtly love and chivalry and whatnot came about.

Today, the act of marriage is more about love than it ever has been. But it is still about economics. Two people get married and they share property. They share responsibility, and there are inheritance issues. These issues still exist, no matter what the label put upon the union. But these are civil issues. Religion is not about inheritance (unless atheists cannot own property), nor is it about economic status (do not misinterpret this as saying that religious figures are not concerned about economy; they often consider it before truly religious matters). Marriage is a contract. It is between two people. Currently it is specifically between a male and a female but that definition of marriage is breaking down. And the reason it is breaking down is at the very core of what the definition of marriage is truly about. No matter how you slice it, no matter whether a couple are married by a judge, a catholic priest, a wiccan priest, a rabbi, a buddhist or by a non-religious member of the Church of Universal Love, marriage is an institution of economy, and that has always been and always will be the domain of government.

No, people; arguing (on either side) that marriage is about religion is the equivalent to arguing that the right to rule is about religion. And we separated that out when Henry VIII told the Pope to go screw, and we further separated that out in a small document known as the Constitution of the United States of America.


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