Towards an evolving understanding of marriage


The traditional marriage model is being re-examined in the 21st century America.This is the natural flow of societal change, as Hindu-American immigrants negotiate the tradition of arranged marriage, as LGBT couples seek the right to marry or participate in civil unions, as straight couples in Britain seek civil unions as a commitment option–and as French couples enjoy the privilege,  and as many relationship columnists–instead of just Dan Savage–are writing about polyamory.

Both the  high divorce rate and the number of couples in long-term partnerships are  anecdotally and statistically significant.

Historically, the church and religious customs have been the arbiters of marriage, a position now undermined by social diversity.

By narrowly defining the formal expression of love and commitment as heterosexual marriage, the church is marking itself as out of touch and losing relevance.

Grassroots change is always ahead of legal change, thanks to the influence of British common law, which bases the law on social precedent.

  • Thanks to the Full Faith and Credit clause in the Constitution, a gay couple in Dallas, Texas, where gay marriage is illegal, were married via a Skype session with a officiant and witnesses in Washington, D.C.
  • Sandip Roy writes about gay arranged marriages, in light of the rise in acceptance of  same-sex partnerships with the Hindu-American community.

In the 21st century, seeing marriage as a social issue–rather than a purely religious one–is essential. Politicizing marriage is a shame as well–it’s a personal choice, so while politicians expound on the abstract, someone’s life and partnership is affected.

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