There’s no arguing that weddings are one of the few things in our society still governed largely by tradition. The rules are clear and well defined in volumes of books and blogs. As a member of the professional wedding community, “the rules” are a big part of my job. Knowing the rules also gives me insight into when it’s ok to bend — or even break — them.
The ongoing debate on gay marriage (and continuing legal wrangling around Prop. 8 in California) has me thinking a lot about the rules. My two cents:
The anti-same-sex marriage argument that marriage has “traditionally” been between a man and woman is meaningless. In the words of Judge Vaughn Walker’s in ruling Proposition 8 unconstitutional: “Tradition alone, however, cannot form a rational basis for a law.” We’ve made so much social progress in regard to marriage in this country. Maybe the anti-equality movement should study a bit of history.
The abolition of slavery changed marriage when freed slaves gained the right to marry as a fundamental right associated with the overdue recognition of their humanity.
Interracial marriage bans were once common in most states and are now viewed as archaic, shameful or even bizarre.
Marriage in many states traditonally required that a woman’s legal and economic identity be subsumed by her husband’s upon marriage. This once-unquestioned aspect of marriage is now in conflict with the idea of marriage as a union of EQUALS. Marriage was thus transformed from a male-dominated institution into an institution recognizing men and women as equals.
Why should same-sex marriage be any different? True equality includes EVERYONE and legislating morality should be against “the rules.”