Marriage at the Crossroads

We Americans are a diverse people. Some find it is inconceivable that a man or woman be allowed to marry a member of his or her own gender, while others cannot fathom the taking upon oneself of such allowing or disallowing. Clearly we are guided by different notions of what marriage is and thus of love itself.

Not surprisingly those wishing to relegate couples of a different affection to a bond coldly termed civil union are the very same petitioners who are hoping to put an asterisk beside generations of marriages making them by definition—rather than by yearning—between a man and a woman. Surely even if posterity proposes with ring in one hand and open dictionary in the other, love will find respite—as it has for centuries—in the undefined heart.

Consider the ancestral parents of a one-gender couple wishing to marry. Did they conceive outside of or contrary to wedlock? Were their affections unable to survive into marriage or at all? Based alone upon this proclivity in their two descendants, the answers could only be the same as if posed about any ancestor: shrugs. Our past is too unfathomable to have what is as much this couple’s legacy, marriage, divvied out by late comers; and all of us—even those with an ear tilted towards heaven—are late comers.

For centuries the written word has firmly entwined itself about religious orthodoxy. Early needs were addressed with guidance passed along by spoken words and divine whispers. Once written, such words would no longer adapt to the drift of circumstance; nonetheless, they became both instrument and evidence of their meaning’s immutability.

Currently there is before this nation an idea whose novelty stirs up the usual, slippery-slope suspicions. Fundamental to such disputation is a cynical blindness to abilities of the courts, legislatures and ourselves in recognizing and dealing with absurdities trying to piggyback upon the new. I join with others in putting to you that the very essence of marriage includes couples of one gender and is quite compatible with recent judicial rulings.

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