Marriage seems like a pretty basic idea to me. Consenting adults commit themselves to each other as an expression of their love.
I am naive when it comes to relationships. I am a perennial loner, but it fails me why marriage has to be such an over-complicated issue. Why does the state lust over marriage in the way it does? It seems that there have been thousands of years of successive annexations of marriage. That simple declaration of love must have undergone many selective breeding programs. First by a parent’s thirst for control of their commodity, then by religion’s thirst for parents’ commodities, then by the state’s thirst for religions’ commodities… Oh! and throw in the occasional autocrat and despot for good measure. Where is love now?
My inductive suspicions make me think this lust by the state has a lot to do with an outdated vicarious religious power, involvement in the trade of goods, and a delirium suffered from once practicing imperialist castigation. The advent of human rights have diminished parents’ power. So inevitably, religions and states have lost power too. The state no longer needs to promote reproduction to fulfill an expanding empire’s enforcement quota, mainly due to there being no expanding empires. The only system that requires an increasing human quota is capitalism. State power may be being, or has been, annexed by multinational corporations. It is true that marketing is easier when everyone makes the same commitments to the same things. Woman, man, child, house, children, debt. Perhaps the state’s lust is to satisfy the new power. It is a hard notion to be sure of. Regardless as to the truth of that scenario; power is diminished nevertheless.
I have been active in appealing to my member of parliament on numerous occasions to get her to support equal marriage and Humanist ceremonies. Although, she voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, she was against the idea of Humanist ceremonies. Her response came in this conservative email circular.
… the current system of marriage in England and Wales is based on registered buildings, rather than authorised celebrants. A fundamental change to marriage law of this nature would undermine the religious protections within the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, and would risk delaying implementation of same sex marriage since this issue has not been consulted on and the policy implications have not been fully considered. As such, this is not a policy the Government is in favour of. If this change could be limited to Humanists, then this would make Humanists the only other organisation, apart from religious organisations and the State, which would be able to conduct a marriage – this would be an extraordinary step. However, the Government does not believe it would be possible to limit this extension only to Humanists, so this would open the door to a whole raft of other belief-based organisations to conduct marriages, or else it would be vulnerable to a human rights challenge. Additionally, some of these organisations could potentially risk bringing marriage into disrepute.
The Humanist amendment did not seem unreasonable. Elizabeth Truss either did not see it, or is actively complicit in maintaining religion’s archaic presence in parliament. Conservatives wear tradition like a mason’s tabard. It is ritualistic, and required for the club. I mean, marriage’s legitimacy relies on the existence of buildings; what the fuck? This sounds like a non-sequitur to me.
To pin my colours to my sleeve I have to admit to never really liking the idea of government involvement in marriage. My support for equal marriage and Humanist ceremonies was garnered through empathy, activism, and (sadly) from a resignation to a fusty way of working. Who needs the state approval and rubber stamp‽ What does it actually achieve? Does it make people love each other more? Does it diminish their commitment to each other? I would answer nothing, no, and no to the last three questions. Legal benefits could be gained through civil partnerships, if equally applied. The census, the state, and Lockheed Martin can still acknowledge the love if that is the marriagers’ will. What would be left if we removed everyone elses involvement? A marriage that is acknowledged by the only people that matter.