Date The History of Marriage and What It Means for Gay Marriage Introduction Marriage has been a bedrock of every society since the dawn of time. This is really indisputable. However, has it been unchanging and unevolving throughout the years? If it has, then this might possibly be an argument against marriage equality in the United States…
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Moreover, the arguments against same-sex marriage almost exactly track the arguments against interracial marriage, which shows that the evolution of marriage should go in the same direction – just as interracial marriage is accepted by the majority of people, so should same-sex marriage be. The History of Marriage The history of marriage, of course, would be the topic of a much longer discourse, so this section will only review the pertinent aspects of heterosexual marriage which impact the arguments for and against gay marriage. Fox-Genovese (49) traces the history of marriage, stating that marriage began as a relationship between families, tribes and clans, as opposed to uniting individuals. Marriage was transformed, however, into a right to enjoy certain benefits and privileges, along with community approval and recognition. Fox-Genovese (50) begins her analysis of marriage by stating that Adam and Eve were created and ordered to be fruitful and multiply, which was the basis for this original union. In the Old Testament, women suffered greatly, as their husbands took concubines and fathered children with many other women. At that time, marriage was mainly about families and tribes, not about the individuals themselves. This motivation continued in pre-modern societies, as primitive groups, such as Hebrew tribes, used marriage as a way to strengthen their house. Marriage was also typically used as a political solidification practice, as ruling families used marriage to strengthen their political rule. Therefore, for most of millennia, marriage has been a pragmatic institution, not based upon love, but, rather, based upon economics and power consolidation. This is shown by the pragmatics of marriage in consolidating power, and is also shown by dowries and bride prices, in which the potential husband literally paid for the privilege of marrying his future wife (Fox-Genovese, 53). Throughout these historical eras, women were subjected to patriarchy. The man ruled the home, and, at least in the Old Testament cases, was able to take on multiple wives, concubines and lovers without censure. Fox-Genovese (60) states that this patriarchy was lessened, somewhat, towards the end of the 19th Century, as women gained more equality in and outside the marital unit. Eventually, marriage evolved from its pragmatic status to one that is more egalitarian and ostensibly based upon love. Marriage is no longer merely a way to solidify power, or a way to gain economically. It is now considered to be a sacred bond between two people in love. The emphasis is now on personal happiness, not economics, power and social ties (Fox-Genovese, 61). Fox-Genovese (62) makes the case that marriage, historically, has been based upon practical concerns, and these concerns do not necessarily focus upon what anti-gay marriage advocates insist are at the core of marital unions – the family and procreation. Marriage has traditionally been based upon economic, social and political concerns, which seem to undermine the arguments against gay marriage. Another sound argument which is based upon an analysis of heterosexual marriage, which profoundly undermines the current bias against
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(Marriage Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words)
“Marriage Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1489616-marriage.
In the late 19th and early 20th century marriage was not something that women really looked forward to. In fact, initially marriage had been a largely patriarchal institution although feminist group did try to bring about reforms for the women to be able to have certain rights after their marriage.
Marriage has legal as well as social aspects. It is evident that many countries grant tax benefits to married couples. Marriage ensures the property rights if one partner is died or permanently disabled. In a social point of view, marriage constitutes a couple’s commitment to each other and their agreement as a family unit.
Even though gay marriage possesses legal recognition in some states, the moral and ethical dimensions were always questioned by intellectuals, sociologists, researchers and experts. It is evident that gay marriage is against the natural order; it undermines the sacred institution of marriage and natural heterosexual relationships which result in the procreation of children and paves the way for familial relationships.
However, a few governments have already started formalizing same-sex marriages. The most important argument put forward by the proponents of the same-sex marriage is that denying this right amounts to denying universal human rights. However, gay marriage is not normal, for it violates the nature’s law as the tendency of homosexuality is only one among the many sexual deviations experienced in humans.
Equally as vocal, however, are the members of society who are committed to keeping the ‘traditional definition’ of marriage in tact and making sure that only one woman and one man are permitted to marry for decades to come. On the one side, many contend, “Gay marriage is really a matter of respect and human rights” (Mollmann 105).
The traditional meaning of equality depended on the natural act, which is the marriage between a man and a woman. “Equality and gay peoples’ rights spite the notion of procreation” (Wolfson 79). In such cases, equity was viewed as a process of recognizing the rights of both spouses in a relationship.
Traditionally, family was seen as the basic unit of the society and was henceforth valued not only by the society but also be the authority. The spread of culture through globalization has been some of the influential factors that have caused the breakdown of marriage institution.
ter the state of the law, people still get married, and almost half of couples will end up getting divorced, 60 percent of who have children (Nolan, 2011, 185; Wardle, 2009, 800). The United States led the world in the rate of divorce in 1916 and still does to date (Nolan, 2011,