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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Sanctity of marriage a misnomer

Proposition 8 in California is causing a firestorm across the nation. Groups have raised more than $40 million to air ads and send letters, even in Texas, to support their respective causes.

On the "yes" side are groups like Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association. On the "no" side are groups sucha as the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay ‘ Lebsian Alliance Against Discrimination and Equality California.

The sanctity of marriage argument to vote "yes" on Proposition 8 is unrealistic and flat-out historically inaccurate.†

The "sanctity of marriage" is a relatively new term that has been used since the days of anti-miscegenation laws. In the Bible and other ancient societies, marriage was an exchange of property rights from a father to the suitor. A bridewealth, a type of dowry, was given to the family for the bride.

Note that a bridewealth is usually property or money. In essence, the bride is an item that can be bought with heads of cattle or gold. In other societies a regular dowry was used to fund a man’s household once the bride was transferred to the groom.

It is interesting that people use the Bible as the basis for the sanctity of marriage argument since marriage has been a transfer of property throughout history. In this sense, buying a laptop from the CougarByte should be considered sacred.

Along those lines, it is questionable that there is such a thing as sanctity of marriage in today’s society.

The divorce rate has been increasing in the past few years with estimates from 40 to 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce. The majority of people who divorce remarry, with half remarrying in three years.

What should be even more shocking to the sanctity of marriage crowd are drive-through weddings in Las Vegas. The official city of Las Vegas web site touts being the marriage capital of the world.

It asks, "Where else can you get married by an Elvis impersonator at a drive-through chapel?" It is also user-friendly, with the bride or groom only having to provide one form of identification. Unfortunately, there are no statistics on how many of the people getting wedded are inebriated and soon get a no-fault divorce.

Thank you, Ronald Reagan, for introducing that concept to U.S. law. A constant reminder of the un-sanctity of marriage is the simple fact that marriage, in most of the U.S., is between a man, a woman and the state. There is no mention of God anywhere in legal statutes regarding marriage.

Other arguments for Proposition 8 are almost as ridiculous as the sanctity of marriage argument, but are not used as frequently in arguments against same-sex marriage.

It is pure alarmism that the "sanctity of marriage" is being challenged by a group that has been historically repressed and wants rights. Marriage will be the same as it has been in the United States if same-sex marriage is legalized without question on Nov. 4.

Nothing will change except for anti-American groups like Focus on the Family that have their entire bases on the foundation of religious extremism. In all hope, Californians will vote "no" on Proposition 8 and we will go forth in society.

Corgey, a political science senior, can be reached via [email protected]

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