6/21/08

Jonathan Rauch, today in the Wall Street Journal:
"[I]magine your life without marriage. Meaning, not merely your life if you didn't happen to get married. What I am asking you to imagine is life without even the possibility of marriage.

Re-enter your childhood, but imagine your first crush, first kiss, first date and first sexual encounter, all bereft of any hope of marriage as a destination for your feelings. Re-enter your first serious relationship, but think about it knowing that marrying the person is out of the question.

Imagine that in the law's eyes you and your soul mate will never be more than acquaintances. And now add even more strangeness. Imagine coming of age into a whole community, a whole culture, without marriage and the bonds of mutuality and kinship that go with it.

What is this weird world like? It has more sex and less commitment than a world with marriage. It is a world of fragile families living on the shadowy outskirts of the law; a world marked by heightened fear of loneliness or abandonment in crisis or old age; a world in some respects not even civilized, because marriage is the foundation of civilization.

This was the world I grew up in. The AIDS quilt is its monument."

8 comments:

Marion in Savannah said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm surprised it was in the WSJ, which I've always thought was an extremely conservative place. Love is a gift from the Creator, and gives us a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other every day. And love can't be parsed, defined or controlled. Thank heaven there are some places that recognize that.

Christopher C. NC said...

Are you and Guy going to tie the knot? You brought it up.

chuck b. said...

The Wall Street Journal's editors are relatively conservative, but they let many reasonable people with diverse opinions speak in the opinion pages. Guy works in business, so he subscribes to keep abreast of that world. I sometimes read it too.

"Love is a gift from the Creator, and gives us a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other every day." Words to live by. Love must be cherished, and never squandered.

Christopher, we might. Six years is long enough, don't you think? Alas, I have baggage! :) Anyhow, the M-conversation has begun. We shall see where it leads.

Gayle said...

I've been reading your blog lately and until I saw this, I hadn't even realized you were a fellow queer. I've been attempting to garden for the first time, in my girlfriend's back yard in the Yuba City/Marysville area. But none of my native wildlflower seeds ever sprouted (too many weeds to compete with, I think), so the only plants I'm actually growing successfully right now are two that I transplanted from pots: Cercis occidentalis and Iris douglasiana. I hope someday my garden starts to resemble yours.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

:) Good luck to you and Guy, whatever you decide in regards to "the M-word!"

There was a good column by Connie Schultz in the Plain Dealer today. Not as tony as the WSJ, I know, but I think that she used a good angle in terms of possibly getting through to people in a "morally conservative" (*cough*) Rust Belt city like this one. You can read it here for a couple of weeks until it goes into the archive.

Randy and Jamie said...

Chuck, movement forward is good. Even if it is just baby steps, I'm glad I'm living in a time when I can see it all taking place and hopefully I will live long enough to say, "I remember when..." I'm sure Alabama will be one of the last state to allow gay marriage if ever. May 27th was our fifth anniversary. I we went out to eat at Olive Garden with a dear "strait" friend of mine that was visiting from Virginia. She had the staff of Olive Garden sing to Jamie and me in observation of our anniversary. In south Alabama, can you believe that? I could tell some of them were uncomfortable, but they still did it.

lisa said...

Good reading! Though I don't know you "live and in person", I think you are worth the investment, baggage and all! Of course, I've heard lots of people say that marriage changes things no matter how long you've dated, plus I've never "cut the cake", so what do I know? ;-) Best wishes no matter what you guys decide!

Germi said...

Thanks for posting this, Chuck - I don't read the WSJ.

I am still crying...

If you choose to get married you guys will have the most beautiful bouquet!