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Marriage

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Essay  •  919 Words (4 Pages)  •  877 Views

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One of the most recent and most talked about controversies has been that of marriage rights. Left and right you hear the question: "gay marriage, yes or no?" It seems that the right is saying no because it isn't "moral", and the uninformed left is saying yes because it's the more liberal answer. This can't be it, gay marriage isn't a question with only two answers. Among many scholars a new argument is beginning to emerge, what about no marriage at all, for gay and straight people alike? In this paper I will argue that instead of trying to make marriage more inclusive, we should simply get rid of the institution all together.

The debate between advocates for marriage and opponents against marriage hide the fact that marriage is an economic arrangement. It provides a variety of state income tax advantages such as credits, deductions, and exemptions; it allows the communal control of property; it facilitates rights that deal with child custody and support payments in divorce proceedings; it also grants privileges of inheritance (Warner 117-18). These are just some of the rights that marriage entitles, most of which are related to property or, in other words, economics. Why should the state sanction a relationship--any kind of relationship--through economic privileges? Where does the government draw the line between what relationships to give or withhold rights? There should be no line, for relationships are not a basis to fairly distribute economic resources; therefore the government should have no right to reward people according to their status.

Most of us are willing to accept that it is a certain relationship that is being advantaged; in the U.S. this is between two heterosexuals of age. Right now people are fighting for others to be allowed into this mold for marriage, but why should there be a sanction of certain relations in the first place? There are many partnerships that would benefit from the rights and economic privileges given to married couples. For example, a person who is taking care of her grandmother, a gay or lesbian couple, or three people who would like to start a family; are all of which are systematically excluded from the benefits given to two heterosexual people of age.

Some people will argue that marriage is the cornerstone of society--in reality it has had many different forms and meanings throughout history. You see, marriage has no essential form, looking throughout our past its meaning can be so easily changed that it becomes indefinable. The fact that only certain people can be given it's benefits is a random historical accident. In other points in history marriage has excluded certain races, interracial couples, and marriage between different classes. It has also been used to trap woman into certain forms of domestic labor (Wittig 6-7). Marriage has been used to privilege and protect these racist, classist, and sexist prejudices of the majority of people at the present. Therefore, because marriage has reflected the interests of the majority, we need to stop pretending that are only option is to allow one more group to enjoy its benefits. What we need to do is consider the ways that we can abolish the way that the state sanctions these relationships to begin with.

Many people would counter my argument by saying that we can slowly extend the benefits of marriage to more and more kinds

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