Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Anti-Marriage Blog

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.

6 comments:

LunaNik said...

Hello, Nikki2425 here again! You know, I was wondering why you responded to me as "Delilah" and then I realized that it was an alias I use to go by many moons ago and I forgot to change it. Anyway, I couldn't agree with you more about being anti-marriage. I think it all comes down to what you think a marriage is. Unfortunately, to most people it seems like the def of marriage is a ceremony, a ring, and 200 of your closest friends. But let's face it, all of that combined may not add up to a marriage. How many "married" people do you know have serious infidelity or respect issues with each other?? I know way too many. To me, marriage is love, understanding, respect, and loyalty. It's a partnership, a deep bond. I don't need a legal document to reinforce that. My "husband" and I have been unofficially married for years. We love each other, respect each other, and we are raising our two children together...we're a family. And though we openly refer to each other as husband and wife, we have absolutely no plans to ever "make it legal". On another note, I must say that I should stop reading your blog...you seem to tackle the same issues that I am passionate about and therefore are leaving me with nothing to write about in my own blog. LOL =)

April said...

Nikki - oh, go ahead and steal the topic and expand on yours! Kori's done it a few times, and I don't mind - but I'd appreciate a link to mine so more people can be "exposed" to my way of thinking ;) I didn't even get into the whole love thing here, but given my bad love experiences, that should be left to someone like you who is happy in an un-instutionalized relationship.

Kate said...

When my two friends Molly and Veronika were in the process of getting a civil union in VT and then a marriage in Mass they told me that they felt that people who didn't get married to support their right to were actually detrimental to the cause because it was just one more reason for the conservatives to say that gay marriage would be the down fall of their concept of "marriage".
I know that you have many other reasons to be against marriage - just wanted to insert another point of view on that topic. My personal point of view on legalizing gay marriage is that I don't expect everyone to agree with it on a moral level, nor to I want to try and force someone to change their morals unless they want to, I just think that it would be better for everyone if the government stayed away from these kind of moral issues, which is pretty much what you have already said.
And here is yet another point of view - while the idea of living as married is a great one, it is really not financially possible for us - we would get $500 more a year back on our taxes if we were married (and yet I can not convince Ed to get married before we buy a house, he has a strict order he wants to do things and it is hard to get him to deviate from it), plus there is the inherent security for me as stay-at-home mom it would provide, my family is not in a position to help me to the degree I would need if Ed and I were to split up - since they would not be able to care for Audrey while I worked as they are both still working full time themselves (ironically my Dad is working taking care of other people's children) add to that the fact that I want a ring on my finger and I want to see my ring on Ed's finger and I want the piece of paper, we are in our hearts wife and husband and refer to each other's families as in-laws, so what is wrong with me WANTING to make it legal?

April said...

Hi Kate - There's nothing wrong with you wanting to get married so long as it's what you want.
I know I posted this as anti-marriage blog, but my point is more about gov't involvement in marriage. I think people should have the right to do it however you want, and I don't think it should make you tax money. I have a huge problem with that, but again, it's because of the gov't involvement.
The one caveat I'd say to what could possibly be wrong with you wanting to get marriage, is WHY? If you're in a happy relationship, what difference does the piece of paper make to you? If it makes it more "real" somehow, then I think that's the cause of society's forcing marriage down our throat. Now, I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T get married - that's not for me to decide. But if Ed wants to wait, then why do you want to force that issue?
In terms of your friends who think that it's detrimental to the cause, well...I think that's a nice rationalization for them to go through with their own, and if it makes them feel better, whatever. But if you look back through time, slavery didn't end until white people got involved, and women didn't get the vote until men stood with them. It's going to take straight people standing with homosexuals to make real change.
(BTW, thanks for saying something on the ZoomPanel about the Focus on the Family issue.)

Kate said...

I'm not trying to force the issue with Ed, it just feels like we have come to a stand still on all of these things - getting a house, getting married, having another baby (which really should wait until we get the house) the problem is that it might actually be easier to get a house if we were married, sad but true - I'm not saying I agree with it but I know that no matter how hard I try the system is not going to change in time to help me and Ed, so for now all I can do is work with it and hopefully get it changed in time for Audrey.
Molly and Veronika would have gotten "married" anyway they could have just as a way to share their love and commitment to each other with the people they love, if it furthered gay rights than that is a good thing too but that is not why they did it.
I'm not sure where I am going with this - you have asked questions that I have no answer to and probably never will. So I am ending it here rather abruptly, because I don't know why and admit I am probably a product of society but at least I can admit it and isn't that the first step to recovery? :)
(Focus on the Family was an issue I couldn't keep quiet on, it is just too close to home for me - but I am glad that it appears to have not turned into an issue on the board much like the ones that lost us SaharaMichael and StephanieG)

April said...

Kate -
this is one of those times where I was guilty of posting before thinking it all thru.
I was a little hard on you; hopefully, my impression of our relationship is correct in thinking that I don't necessarily need a disclaimer with you, but just in case...I respect you so much, Kate and adore you! With my friends, I tend to be a little harsher sometimes. So forgive me my tone. I won't take back the words however.
Here are 2 problems I see with this obsession our society has with marriage: 1) I think some people stay in marriages longer than they should, and 2) I think some people ruin good relationships for forcing the issue.
My concern for you is that you don't fall into #2. Now, obviously, you're not planning on leaving Ed or anything, but I do think that even the concern that you've aired about it can affect the actual relationship. You've had more valid complaints about him when you talk about him not being present. I think the marriage issue is muddying the waters and makin g it harder for you to focus on the issues that are more important, more vital to the health of your relationship.
As far as your friends are concerned, it didn't hit me until an hour later that they were gay. But I stand by my belief that their attitude about boycotting weddings is more about them wanting to make sure everyone went to theirs than anything else!
I'm sorry that Stephanie and SaharaMichael left, too, but it's because I'm sorry that they're not willing to even hear other points of view. People who leave are shutting themselves off from the discussion, and that's what really divides people - not our different opinions on subjects. I have friends who vehemently disagree with me on the marriage issue, but that doesn't stop us from talking and sometimes just agreeing to disagree.