I chanced upon this tweet sent out in response to Ireland’s vote on gay marriage.
“Oh.My.God! We’re actually Married now!” (emphasis added).
Here we see the inherent problem with the entire marriage equality movement. If you need the affirmation of the state in order for your relationship with another individual to be “legitimate,” what does that say about your relationship?
I’m sure someone will say that they are simply trying to have access to the same rights as other marriages. If this is the case, then why not push for eliminating government marriage licenses? Wouldn’t this make it equal for everyone? And aren’t these the same people who preached for years that went on in the privacy of the bedroom was no one else’s business? How does making one’s relationship a matter of public record fit into this?
In this debate, the door swings both ways in terms of blame. There are similar problem with Trad Cons, who feel as though they need to have the state reaffirm their moral and/or religious convictions (though the ramifications on civil rights due to marriage equality laws do offer genuine reasons for them to be concerned). They, too, believe that unless the state deems it legitimate, it is not.
If a social institution is sound, it does not need the coercion and aggression of the state to maintain itself. Marriage is older than the state; it doesn’t need it to survive.
I don’t need the permission of the state to marry, and who I choose to marry is none of their affair. The only practical reason to get a marriage license is for tax break purposes, but that only goes to show how the state discriminates through the tax code.