While listening to news reports of demonstrations outside the Supreme Court as they hear arguments pro and con regarding same-sex marriage, several things come to mind. The first harks back to the early 1980s and the visits from the little men in brown robes. This was their statement to me:
“The problem with your idea of marriage is that as soon as two people get married in your world, all personal growth and development stops. Both parties begin NOT doing the things they would like or need to do because it upsets the other. The original meaning of the word husband was “to raise to fullness.” In ancient times, to marry meant that two people would come together and commit to helping one another make as much progress as possible toward becoming full spiritual beings. Their goal was to ‘husband’ one another by nurturing the gifts, encouraging the dreams, and supporting the soul development of each. Today, the goal is to make the legal arrangement last as long as possible. Personal development comes to a complete halt. As such, we cannot support marriage as you practice it.”
The second came from my divorce lawyer at the time that Jim and I split up a few years ago. He shocked me by saying that the marriage laws had been set up solely for the benefit of men. Marriage became a legal affair in order to allow men to collect and hang onto property while at the same time making it difficult for women to own or hold onto property. He said that somewhere back in the Middle Ages, women had to bring property to the man or they would likely remain unmarried. The bigger the property, the more quickly the woman would be snapped up – usually in a deal decided by her father and the man who wanted to expand his land holdings. Love was not what brought people together, and no man of means expected to love his wife or be faithful to her. As soon as the required heir had been born, the master of the estate would build a small house at the far edge of the property for his wife, furnish it comfortably, hire a few servants to tend the house and the wife, and move her into the new place. He would then promptly bring his mistress or lover into the big house and proceed to enjoy the benefits of the property that came with the wife and the sexual relations that came with the lover. Although the 19th century and women’s liberation has brought some changes in the way divorce is handled, the basic laws of marriage are in place to benefit men and the state.
Given the above, what makes us think the Supreme Court is a good place to decide on the question of same-sex marriage? This question will be repeated in the next blog on Marriage!