At the risk of bordering on an “agenda” around here lately I just wanted to share some thoughts with you all about marriage equality. Again I don’t want to isolate anyone so there is something for everyone here.
Marriage is a relatively recent phenomenon, at least here in the UK, it became popular in the 16th century when you still required parental and church permission to marry. Prior to this marriage was considered a private act and required no formal church involvement or ceremony. It is also worth pointing out that curiously the idea of men wearing heels also came from around this time and it started with the upper classes. This was later dismissed as unmanly and feminine when the heel returned to fashion much later. It did not stop many Kings and leaders posing for coronation portraits in heels, and, even on their wedding day portraits.
A history lesson would teach us very quickly that homosexuality was far less frowned upon in the time of the Greeks. It was often the case that married men in senior positions in the military were encourage to take a younger man under their wing. Christianity brought us the shame of homosexuality (as well as the idea of a woman being a lesser sex). The Romans were quick to deface any statues in which a man’s genitals were displayed.
So we have this fashionable idea of marriage wrapped in the shame of homosexuality. It was always going to be the case that it would be between a man and a woman. As many things came and went with fashion, somehow, marriage remained in fashion right up until Henry VIII created the Church of England on a point of divorce. After this time many changes were still being made to our idea of marriage by the 1700’s formal marriage ceremonies were introduced to curb fleeting marriages and, in the 1800’s, civil marriages were introduced. It has always changed and evolved.
For myself personally, I really couldn’t care much either way about marriage. I see it as an outdated institution that was probably never really required anyway. It has served only to repress women and to give men, at least externally, the image of being an honorable man. In a recent UNICEF poll there are still several countries where, in excess of, 80% of women feel it is acceptable for a husband to hit a wife. In the 12th century marriage changed so that a woman had to take a man’s name. Marriage creates division and inequality.
Those who say redefining marriage as between a man and a man or two women is not for government to decide and that it goes against the original idea of marriage just simply don’t know their history. It existed long before religion and hardly 100 years went by without it being redefined in some way or another.