Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: South Central PA
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Face, you should check out the book "Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation." It focuses on marriage exclusively in America. Even this book (which does not include any other cultures or any other nations, and only focuses on the nature of marriage since America was formed and excludes all other historical marriage information) concludes that marriage in America was and is definitely treated as a private, civil contract between two people versus a religious institution. This is not saying some people didn't/don't treat it as the latter; it's simply saying "from the beginning," marriage in America was always treated as a contract first. One can find similar information regarding marriage, historically, being a civil contract in pretty much any document/article written about the history or marriage. So in short, this book is saying historically, in American, marriage has been a civil union. The same is true of marriage around the world.
Many people against gay marriage are arguing that marriage is essentially and necessarily a religious rite and view marriage in almost exclusively religious terms. For them, legalizing gay marriage is basically sacrilege... and is often seen as government butting into a religious matter. And while it is true that religion has played a role in sanctifying marriages in the past (but not throughout all of history as I have pointed out), this view is understandable... but this view is incorrect. Marriage, by definition, is neither essentially or necessarily a religious rite.
The fact is marriage, to be considered legal, must be recognized by the government, not the church. Marriage does not need a religious component to be considered valid.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.