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HOME ABOUT GIVEAWAYS MEDIA KIT CONTACT US STORE DEALS BROWSE FROM EDITOR ARTICLES FASHION FOOD HOME FINANCE MOTORING MOVIES MUSIC REFLECTIONS TRAVEL FITNESS← Previous Post Next Post → NEVER MISS ANOTHER ARTICLE… WHY MARRIAGE? 2 New City Magazine May 07, 2012 ARTICLES , MAY 2012 Edition LIKE - FOLLOW - SUBSCRIBE Connect on Facebook 914 Fans Follow on Twitter 55 Followers Subscribe to RSS Feed The Marriage Equality Act currently sits before the Australian Parliament. Whilst I have to admit being a little bit sick of hearing about this particular piece of policy as it has been hogging the public debate stage for what feels FIND US ON FACEBOOK like an age, I am joining in to ask a different question: “Why marriage anyway? Why doesn’t the government just wash their hands of the whole institution and hand the whole issue of marriage back to the church where it came from? New City Magazine on Facebook Like You like this. The issue of Marriage Equality is such an emotive one for many if not all Australians. The ‘vote yes’ population is 915 people like New City Magazine. shouting their message from the rooftops. The ‘vote no’ population are often branded ‘bigots’ by opposing this form of societal evolution. Am I a ‘vote yes’ or ‘vote no’ person? It doesn’t matter. I am a citizen. I will raise my yet unborn children in the great nation of Australia. I have friends of all persuasions. My children will have friends of all persuasions. The life circumstances of these friends will inevitably impact on our lives. The H ow ard S tev e Zakari Kamerly V irosh progress and evolution of our society matters to me, as indeed it should matter to all of us. If we are prudent, we should be worrying about what is best for our nation not simply what floats our emotional boat. M agz F endy N aomi Widy a Lidia F acebook social plugin ADVERTISING I have to say that the history of the institution of marriage surprised me when I started to look into it. It hasn’t always been the way it is today. But the strength of the institution and its locus of regulation has waxed and waned over the years. Want a quick look? Read on. - Gre e k and Rom an Civilisation: Marriage was an essential social institution. Solon (A law-giver guy) even considered making it compulsory. Pericles made sure certain public positions included ‘Must be married. No bachelors allowed’ on the qualification list. (Imagine seeing that on a job advertisement today!) Sparta encouraged homosexual relationships but insisted men still marry and have kids. Single and childless people were looked down upon. This being the case, marriage was an important thing and once married, monogamy
was an expectation. However marriage itself was driven by social/political advantages not romance. Contractswere signed in front of witnesses. No ceremony. No fanfare. No government recognition beyond the contactitself. Usually there was a big age difference between a man and his young bride and her main function was topop out babies. Women’s rights were low to non-existent. Men’s rights were paramount. Prostitution and variousforms of sex slavery ran rife as did legal inequality between the sexes.Early in the Roman Era, the husband held the destiny of his wife and children firmly in his hands. It was his rightto punish, kill or sell them as he desired. You can imagine the abuse that occurred during this time. But as Romeapproached the Imperial era, the legal rights of women in marriage improved. Some experts believe this waswhat contributed to their emancipation. Gradually, as marriage became more regulated, women and childrenbecame more protected under the law. Abuse had legal recourse. Women and children had legal protection.- Pre - 10 th ce ntury to 12 th ce ntury – Forgetromance! Marriage was mostly an economical affair.However if we cast our eyes back to this period of ARCHIVEStime, women didn’t have much in the way of rights orlegal protection either, almost echoing the Select MonthGreek/Roman era. Northern Europe and countriesunder Germanic law treated their women only littlebetter than domestic slaves. Soon, Christianity was onthe rise and infiltrating Roman law. Laws penalisingthe single and childless were repealed (Thank God!Pardon the pun!). Marriage and divorce remained aprivate matter rather than state controlled one. Butgradually, marriage began to make its way out ofprivate status and into a church/state issue. Consent by both parties was now necessary. A bride had to agree andnot simply be given. Divorce was made a lot harder; this creating a list of pro’s and con’s all of its own. But therights of women were slowly on the rise.- 16 th Ce ntury. Society wasn’t doing so well under the conditions prefixing the Protestant Reformation.Society had rejected many Catholic doctrines including those pertaining to marriage. Martin Luther declaredmarriage a worldly thing that belongs to the realm of government. In the 17th century, Puritans passed an Act ofParliament asserting that marriage didn’t belong to the Church but to the State. Still, marriage ceremonies weremostly religious until 1792 when a compulsory civil marriage was required. This remained so in Europe and wasadopted by Germany. Eventually Bismarck diminished the influence of the Catholic Church. Marriage before amagistrate or government official was now the only valid form of marriage. Religious weddings only happenedafter the civil ceremony took place.Few things have changed since then (apart from the fact that you can now marry your first cousin. I don’t adviseit! But you can). As government regulation of the institution of marriage has continued to develop, so did theprotection and legal status of the nation’s most vulnerable parties: women and children. Today the definition ofmarriage still stands as this: “The voluntary union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of allothers.”The fact is that governments are concerned with law, order and the maintenance of a society that can support itscitizens. They are concerned with facts, data and decision making based on the evidence. So why on earth isgovernment so concerned with how people feel about each other? It never has been before. But if you look atthe data over the years, the strength of the marriage institution and the wellbeing of society, including itswomen and children, correlate. Government regulation is not hampering equal rights. History shows us thatrather than quell the minorities, regulation of marriage has in fact given rise to the equal rights of men andwomen.Divorce rates are high in today’s day and age. While parents might be able to pick up and move on from adissolved marriage, the same cannot be said for the children. If marriage was about feelings, then picking up andwalking away wouldn’t be an issue.Marriage isn’t about feelings. It never really has been. Though romantic love is undoubtedly the necessarypremise of marriage, it is not the purpose of marriage. Historically, marriage has been for the procreation andprotection of the generation that results from the union. It is about commitment and protection of the partiesinvolved. Why is the debate on changing the definition of marriage rather than finding new ways of supportingthe existing institution of marriage that seems to be flagging under the pressure of societal change? The bigflow on effect of family breakdown is on children. Both male and female role modelling is necessary forhealthy child and adolescent development. Whilst this can be provided outside the home, it springs from theright of every child to have a mother and a father. Transience of key role models can do so much damage to thechild who is trying to figure out who they are, where they come from and what their place in the world is. Thefamily is now and forever the cornerstone of society. This is what we need to be protecting and advocating for.Marriage is the vehicle that allows children to be raised in a secure environment.Some would argue that the likes of Kim Kardashian and her 72 hour marital blitz and ensuing divorce have donemore to damage the institution of marriage than the quest for same sex marriage. But let me throw a spanner in
the works: In Islamic countries, men can marry multiple wives. They are denied this right in Australia. There are ahuge number of polygamists in the state of Utah but we wouldn’t allow it here. Why? Women don’t have thesame rights as men in these situations. Marriage equality cannot happen here.If you thought that giving everyone the right to marry anybody would strengthen the institution, think again.Since Norway legalised same sex marriage nearly two decades ago, illegitimacy has risen to nearly 80%. Thismeans that nearly 80% of children are born out of the security of wedlock. What about their rights? To have twoparents and to grow up in a secure environment.Government cannot shackle two people together in ‘love’ for life. Sure. But nor is the law supposed to reflectfeelings. It is supposed to protect the vulnerable. Who are the vulnerable? Kids. Always kids. The debate needsto move from us to them. How do we make Australia a better place for children and families? How do we giveour kids a place to grow up secure, safe and knowing where they belong? (CH) tag1About the Author NEW CITY is a "Positive, Healthy & Successful Living" Magazine distributed for FREE in the St George & Sutherland Shire and expanding into Sydney CBD. Twitter - FacebookRelated Posts2 Comments Cis 08/05/2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply Couples with a pre-nup agreement may as well not get married, because they already have Plan B sorted out before they even get married! It just defeats the purpose and encourages couples to throw in the towel when things get tough. Marriage is sacred and couples need to honour their wedding vows. No marriage is perfect because we live in an imperfect world. But it is when we accept each other’s weaknesses and admire each other’s strengths, that is when we can appreciate and experience the joy of marriage. Jake S al v atore 14/05/2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply Oh my gosh. I don’t even know where to begin with this article. - There is a mistake in the first paragraph, marriage never “came” from the church in fact it wasn’t until around 500AD that the church even started looking into it! - This article is also far too similar to one published and promoted by How Stuff Works just a short while ago (however their article made sense, the fact that this article looks like it’s been copied from that and that had some added to it.) - Kim Kardashian was not married for 72 hours. - Deductive reasoning (as used in the Norway example) is a most absurd way of backing up a position – illegitimacy rates have been skyrocketing around the entire world, not just countries legalising same sex marriage. And further to that, children born out of wedlock into loving families are by no means any less forunate (what is this, the 1800′s?) - There has never, EVER been any legitimate study showing that children raised with same sex parents are any less well adjusted or less fortunate than those who are raised in opposite sex relationships.Leave A ResponseName (required) Comment