Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “Truth can stand on its own, but error needs the support of government to stand.” I think this sums up how I feel about marriage. True love can stand on its own, but a toxic relationship needs the support of government, financial, and religious institutions to stand.
I believe that a relationship should be between two or more people and perhaps God, if one were so inclined to believe in such things. Marriage destroys the sacred intimacy of a relationship by dragging the entire community into it, including family, organized religion, government, and even financial institutions. The next time I cavort with my lover, should I make her sign a contract indicating this is voluntary? Should I get written permission from her parents? Should I have a priest bless the prophylactic? Should I call my bank and tell them to add another person to my account?
I think marriage comes when a relationship is at the end of its rope: when someone needs a system of artificial religious, legal, social, and financial punishments to keep themselves entangled in a relationship. How many loveless marriages are allowed to stand, simply because neither party involved wants to settle for half? Or for the sake of children, society, and interior decoration? How many marriages were initiated to keep one person in the relationship happy, simply because that person has been brainwashed since childhood to think that slavery is romantic?
Every bit of legal savvy I have inside me resists the very idea of signing a non-negotiable contract, the terms of which were created a million years ago by some pedophilic religious homos for the purpose of enslaving people to a false standard of morality. All contracts should be negotiable, but this is rarely the case when it’s a lowly individual doing business with a giant organization. Too often we are told to take it or leave it, whether you are buying a car, renting an apartment, or getting married. We all sign the same marriage contract just like we all sign the same lease agreement. A contract between two lowly individuals should be negotiable, but marriage is a contract not just between two individuals, but also their religion and their government, and the inclusion of the last two severely restricts the bargaining power of any individual involved.
Some people think the government should acknowledge gay marriage. I say, shame on the government for acknowledging ANY marriage. It should be a religious institution and nothing more. The First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Well then, what the fuck are the laws governing marriage? Giving tax breaks to married couples encourages religious behavior, thus discouraging irreligious behavior. Is this a free society or a religious oligarchy?
Community property might be fine for a man who makes his money shuffling papers at a desk job all day and wants to share the proceeds with his bought-and-paid-for Stepford Wife, but I dodged bullets for my money and don’t intend on sharing it with anyone. I wouldn’t be interested in a woman unless she had her own career and source of income anyway.
Lifetime commitments are only made by people who believe they can plan life. I maintain no such illusions. How silly will all the planning and money spent on cakes, flowers, dresses, and flying the whole family in look when, a few years down the line, the relationship ends, as most eventually do (extra probability points if your parents were divorced, like mine).
Who are the people who enforce the social institution of marriage? Some men are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Some men have plenty of time and resources to ‘play the field’ and ‘sow their wild oats’ during their youth. Some men have the clout to get their ‘pick of the litter’ when finally choosing a lifetime mate. Some men have a vested interest in stopping this game of socio-sexual musical chairs, even if you got the rickety chair that smells funny, or no chair at all.
How ironic that these men would be the captains of our society, enforcing their hypocritical morality upon us. Clearly, they have no understanding of the plight of the lower classes. Clearly, they do not know what it is like to have circumstances outside of one’s control choose their mate, just as circumstances outside of their control determined their job and fate. The rich assume that everyone else has had the same opportunities as they have had, because they have known nothing different.
And thus, these men, who have had their fill at the buffet of life and love, see fit to tell us what to eat and how much, judging us morally when we fail to live up to their false upper-class standards. So when they ask me why I haven’t tied the knot yet, I respond by asking them: How can the common man, whose decisions are made for him by his social ‘betters’, ever see fit to give up one of the few freedoms he has left: the freedom of association, the freedom of love? Why would anyone voluntarily agree to a proposition that seems so doomed to failure from the start? Why would anyone subject themselves to the terms of a non-negotiable contract, or even believe that such an agreement were necessary to have with someone they truly loved? If my boss gets to decide what I wear, what I do all day, how to divvy the proceeds of my labor, and even what I can and cannot put into my own body, why would I voluntarily give up any more freedom than that which has already been taken from me? Sorry sweetheart, I would symbolically surrender my freedom for the sake of our love, but alas there is no more freedom left to give.
This isn’t to say that I am against monogamous commitment for as long as it can be maintained. I’m also not against making a public announcement that two people are a couple. Even a wedding or other religious love ceremony is fine. Just keep the big men with guns out of it. A marriage contract is just a legal agreement that says if shit doesn’t work out, big men with guns come and take half your shit. There is no need to get big men with guns involved in your relationship. There’s no need for marriage to carry any legal aspect. That it does reflects the bias of our legal system. Why do people always feel the need to call the police into their personal affairs?
Or, suffice to say that I love strongly, but despise the idea of the church, the government, or money playing any kind of role in my relationship. Some things are supposed to be sacred.