This article simply validates a belief I've held for a few years now.
I readily admit that my views on marriage are biased by own experiences - how could they not be? However, what really threw me personally over the edge was Bush's attempt to add discrimination into the US Constitution. Ironically, it wasn't the war that made me start paying attention to the political world again, but the marriage issue that did it for me.
This is one issue where I lean more towards the Libertarian side - I don't believe the government should be involved at all, and people should be absolutely free to join into whatever arrangements they want, so long as they are consenting adults. Should they wish to make changes along the way, and again they are mutual, then there's no need for court or government involvement unless and until there is a true legal dispute at hand.
Think of all the court's time we could free up if they only needed to interfere with those dissolutions/separations that were at dispute! My own divorce took 2 years, and we agreed on everything! (It gets more complicated when you have kids or assets.)
I also believe that marriage can be more harmful to women (this is obviously a generality - I know there are men that it harms, too) because the things that are agreed upon are not completely stated on the marriage certificate or license or in the vows, like taking on complete financial liability for all of your spouse's debts, even if you're separated and simply awaiting the divorce to become final, or the fact that you need to get your spouse's consent if you want your 401(k) contributions to go to your kids or someone other than your spouse in the event of your death, or being required to give your spouse's info (including their driving record) when applying for auto insurance even if you're not putting that spouse as a policy holder. These are just a few of my favorite things that came up in the years of marriage and separation. I think, actually, there's a legal argument to be made about how legal that document is, considering just how much isn't actually on there!
My conclusion: marriage has no business being an "institution." If you want to have the church wedding, go for it. If you want to have a private simple ceremony (and really, why? I love the fact that I have a viable reason to boycott weddings now as a political statement to stand with those who can't legally join this so-called "institution"), go for it. If you want your partner to be covered under your insurance policies, shouldn't that be your decision?!? I know couples that have been against marriage, but have done so for the health insurance. Now, isn't that romantic?
I also think that all of the obstacles that are put up against those trying to leave a bad marriage are unfair and are really the reasons for the "bitter divorcees." Ending a relationship is hard enough - fighting the insurance folks, the debt collectors, and the courts are what turned me cold.