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Thursday, August 04, 2005


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Amen. Hear Hear! Bless them all. You must be glad you made the special effort to attend. XXX b

Yay! How lovely!

See, that didn't hurt a bit did it?

But would you really have refused (or hesitated) to attend such a significant and heartfelt event if you had been given prior notice, purely because of your ideological objections to the "marriage" format?

Could that be one of reasons your friends might have sprung it on people by surprise, and bracketed their ceremony with apologies and disclaimers that it must be forgotten as soon as it has occurred?

What resemblance does your friends' wedding and marriage bear to the bad old oppressive creature which demanded that women "obey" their husbands and irrevokably surrender over their sexual and reproductive functions?

Much as I dislike the history of women's oppression through marriage, I really don't think your friends were aiming to oppress one another by getting married. Nor, from the sounds of it, does it sound like they were just trying to ape the heteronormative trappings of the nuclear family.

I think this is one area where quality is more important than form. Yes, there are still today some hetero women who see marriage as their be-all and end-all and cast off their names, careers and personalities to invest in a fundamentally inequal type of relationship. I think that is kind of sad, but aside from doing our best to invest in girls' education and resources for women to regain their independence when they want to / need to, I don't really see what you can do.

Equally, there are plenty of people (hetero and not) who want to seal their relationship with a special committment, and to take on additional mutual responsibilities towards one another beyond what the law could reasonably imply just because people live together.

That doesn't make their relationship automatically better or stronger or more worth recognising than other relationships. It just means that that particular couple want to opt-in to more shared legal responsibilities, and that they feel marriage is a good way to do that, and to confirm their relationship through a public committment. There are plenty of other ways to demonstrate your commitment or to confirm your relationship, but marriage is the only way to take on an extra layer of legal responsibilities for one another.

We are excluded from accessing that legal structure, however, because of our partner's gender. Regardless of whether or not you want to get married, that seems like a clear case of discrimination.

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