All I have to do is go down to a bar (or wherever) and find some willing guy and tomorrow we can get legally married. The law will sanction our frivolous loveless marriage; society will recognise it; and come next April we'll be filing our 2008 federal income taxes together.
But let's say we get really really drunk after the ceremony and my new idiot husband walks in front of a bus. In the hospital they'll ask, "Who is the next of kin?!" and I'll have every right to step up and assert my claim and control over what medical procedures he receives.
Let's say he dies. Do I shout out Bingo? I mean, I've just inherited his estate.
And then, a few weeks later when I discover that the awkward elbow-y sex we hurriedly had to consummate the relationship has left me with child, I need only to fill out the proper forms to ensure that said child receive the full Social Security survivor benefits due to him or her as the surviving child of my deceased husband.
I don't even have to know his middle name! But I can legally use his last name if I want to.
Yes, the sanctity of marriage is alive and well in the hands of the heterosexuals isn't it?
But let's say that instead of getting married, I accept an invitation to my neighbors' home for dinner. They have been together for 20 years. They are very much in love. Their home is beautiful and on the walls are pictures of their family. They would like to have children someday, but since they both have busy careers they are still working out the logistics of who will take leave from their career to be a stay-at home parent. See, they feel strongly that their child should be the first priority of their family. Both are also very active within our community and serve on local committees and boards.
If these friends were to ask me, "Why can't we get married?" I would not be able to even begin to formulate a single logical reason. The sad truth is that they cannot get married only because our society refuses to allow them that right.
Our country, with all of its wonderful freedoms, has decided to draw the line at allowing all of its adult citizens the freedom to marry whom they choose. In this great country of ours the love shared by two persons of the same sex cannot be legally sanctioned. We have enacted laws that guarantee the rights of individuals to choose their religion without fear of persecution or discrimination, yet we refuse to let everyone choose their partner with the same guarantees of freedom.
And don't even begin to talk to me about legal unions. Calling a marriage between two persons of the same sex a "civil union" is a separate, not an equal, right. There is absolutely no civil contract under existing law that can enact the same rights to a couple as the marriage contract does. None.
And yet ...
Prisoners can marry women they have met only via prison mail. Convicted rapists or murderers can marry. Sixteen year olds can marry (with parental approval) their first love. Divorced people can re-marry the same person they divorced - over and over again if they want. Perfect strangers can marry just for the hell of it. Gay men can marry gay women. Gay persons can marry straight persons.
If you really want to argue the sanctity of marriage read this.
There is no more sanctity in marriage. It has become a joke.
The divorce rate is through the roof.
One of our most popular TV shows is one where a single person makes out for weeks with numerous other single strangers (contestants of the opposite sex of course) and ultimately proposes to one of them leading the viewing public to celebrate his or her decision!
We talk of the "starter" marriage, as if it is merely practice for the marriages which will follow.
Sanctity of marriage my ass.
Perhaps if we did have the commonsense to allow for same sex marriages those who chose to participate might actually restore some dignity to the institution.