The “family values” crowd promoted and passed a law years ago called the Defense of Marriage Act; exactly why they thought marriage needed defending I never understood. Those same folks claim that traditional marriage is the only form of marriage that is acceptable but I don’t think they really know what tradition they’re speaking of since marriage traditions have changed many times over the centuries.
• The one from Book of Genesis when family values meant polygamy and concubines?
• Or the marriages of the Middle Ages when women were traded like cattle by their fathers and weddings were too bawdy for church?
• Or the traditions of 1850 when marriage was customarily between one man and one woman-or-girl of age 11 and up? Today we call that pedophilia.
• Or are we really seeking to protect a more modern vision of traditional marriage, say from the 1950s when it was illegal for whites to wed blacks or Hispanics?
• Or the traditional marriage of the late 1960s when couples were routinely excommunicated for marrying outside their faith?
In 1530, Martin Luther wrote on page one of his publication “Von den Ehesachen”: “No one indeed can deny that marriage is an external worldly thing, like clothes and food, house and home, subject to worldly authority, as shown by so many imperial laws governing it.”
The truth is that marriage has always been more a secular tradition than a religious one. It’s time to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
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