Marriage… what is it good for?


by Sunny
21st June, 2006 at 3:39 am    

Scrap marriages and replace them with a variety of civil partnerships, the think-tank Ekklesia said this week.

…the abolition of legal marriage would allow couples to specify the type of legal commitment they wished to make to one another. Under their proposals, couples would still be allowed to marry if they wished but the legal aspect would be removed from the ceremony and they would then have to register their partnership under law in a separate process.

Under existing law, if a couple marries in a Church of England ceremony they are simultaneously legally and religiously married because of its status as the Established Church. But if a couple marries in another denomination or faith a separate act of state is required to legally register the union.

Just think for a second, though Ekklesia is not promoting this, a world without marriage. For a start Asian parents would be a lot more relaxed. So would Asian kids infact. Can you imagine your parents not nagging you about marriage (or maybe for our older readers that is a distant memory)?

I jest of course. Marriage is useful to provide stability to offspring, but more than that I’m not sure about its usefulness. What Ekklesia proposes, to legitimise a variety of unions, seems more useful in today’s society to provide a stable household. What say you folk?

Simon Barrow is part of the think-tank and welcomes the news that the Episcopal Church of USA has elected a woman as its next presiding bishop. Ahhh.. I love liberal religion.

As a side note, I’m off to Europe for a conference rest of this week so the other Picklers will be runnin tings.


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Filed in: Religion,Sex equality






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  1. Vladimir — on 21st June, 2006 at 10:04 am  

    It’s a nice idea, but don’t think this holds much relevance to Asian marriages, since I think that the whole hoo haa would only cross from the marriage scene to the civil partnership thing that is being proposed. We would still have illegal abortions, issues in regard to dowries, the whole ‘song and dance’ (around the trees) and money being thrown at civil partnerships if not marriage.

  2. sonia — on 21st June, 2006 at 12:14 pm  

    well whether you call ‘em marriages or ‘living-in’ or partnerships or just relationships – it’s still going to be the same thing really. life is all relative. people will say oh aren’t you going to find a civil partner? uncle sammy’s daughter already has one. Legitimizing other forms of union is a good idea sure. {I don’t see the need to ‘scrap’ marriages } in my mind it’s valid to extend the legitimacy the institution of marriage enjoys, to other forms of union that currently for some barrier or other are unable to benefit legally in the same way. Though of course plenty of people will have moral objections. Just look at the kind of hoo ha in the USA about “oh my god gays getting married will mean my marriage is no longer valid..!” huh?

  3. Kismet Hardy — on 21st June, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

    Marriage is an institution. A mental institution.

    ‘I do’ is the longest sentence on earth.

    Take my wife. Please.

  4. Don — on 21st June, 2006 at 7:10 pm  

    Nah, marriage is cool.

    But by all means take away the CofE’s special status. And while we’re about it, get the bloody bishops out of parliament.

  5. katy newton — on 21st June, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

    PARTY!

    You get to invite fifty million people and they all have to choose a present from a list which you write!

    Someone show me the downside!

    (Obviously if I ever meet someone I want to marry I will be going for something low key and tasteful.)

  6. Vikrant — on 23rd June, 2006 at 6:43 am  

    Haha! kismet whatever others may say i still like ya…. over Rohin ! ;)

  7. Rajbeer Dhatt — on 23rd June, 2006 at 8:24 am  

    Michael Kinsley on Slate said the same thing 3 years ago:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2085127/

  8. sonia — on 23rd June, 2006 at 11:43 am  

    Interesting article. As long as it happens the world over then it would be fine. I spent a bit of time on Sakshi’s blog arguing on her ‘live-in’ vs. marriage post and then it came to a point where i was like – although marriage doesn’t mean much to a lot of people e.g. in the UK, and living together represents a similar commitment, sometimes situations arise where the legal implications are unavoidable. I gave the example of a friend of mine, who didn’t get married to his girlfriend, they were together for 10 years, have a 2 year old, and earlier this year he had to move to the States for work. Bang – they had to get married otherwise his partner wouldn’t have been able to go over and live with him. ( if they carried on being unmarried she would have to sort out her own immigration status, get a job or sth)Done in by the fact that in a lot of countries, couples aren’t viewed as having a right to ‘be together’ unless they’re married. If you both happen to have different nationalities then this is even more pronounced.

  9. Robert — on 26th June, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

    Scrap marriages and replace them with a variety of civil partnerships, the think-tank Ekklesia said this week.

    Yawn. I posted the very same idea, on this very blog, some weeks ago. Its tough being ahead of the curve.

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