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MarriageFree - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 2nd, 2004

09:36 pm - MarriageFree

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So while I'm busy defending my interest in possibly getting married some day in one place, I thought that I should give a shout out to the very cool Alternatives to Marriage Project. I found out about them just from a random sign at a rally in 2000. Their website is chalk full of great resources relating to all things unmarried. They have a very informative newsletter about the state of marriage and unmarriage around the world.

Comments:

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From:ddbrown
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:34 am (UTC)
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Cool organization. However, I must recommend that you don't get on their mailing list (snail mail, I mean); they'll never stop sending you junk.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
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Heh. I've never been on their snail mailing list. I used to be on their email list and enjoyed the newsletters that I received.
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From:herbivorous
Date:December 3rd, 2004 07:43 am (UTC)
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I just took a gander at the whole marriage conversation on your other post. And, while I would love to read it, I simply don't have time now that my internet time is so short.

However, I'd like to say, hell yah.

For a long time, I thought I'd never get married. But then several things happened:

1) I love the idea of my friends and family getting together and me being able to throw them a huge, involved, fun party. This is one of the few opportunities life hands you for that, in this society.

2) YOu know, there's somethign extremely major about loving someone so much that you are willing to dress in silly clothes, get up in front of a bunch of family and friends, and PROMISE IN PUBLIC that you'll take care of one another. That's a pretty major committment, and for a guy to be williing to do that for me? It would mean a lot. A hell of a lot.

3) As much as it truly, truly, truly sucks that a lot of people I love and care for can't get married in the eyes of the state because they have the "wrong" combination of pubic plumbing, it DOES give you plenty of social benefits. While I will fight to get equal treatment for all, I'm not big enough to deny myself societal benefits until everyone has them. In much the same vein, if I'm offered health insurance, I'm sure as hell taking it, even if my next door neighbor still can't afford it--but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll do what I can to help her get it, too.

4) I like the idea of growing old with someone. Relationships are hella tough. I think that making the big commitment mentioned in 2) would help to keep me from throwing in the towel when things got rough. It's much easier to leave a boyfriend than divorce a husband. In my old-fashioned mind, it is, anyway.

5) My awesome family, which is full of happily married Catholics who have raised pretty decent kids, while being normal and suburban and very very sheltered in some ways, has shown me that getting hitched, getting a good job, and raising kids is in many ways a very noble way to go. I have respect for the fact that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have STAYED MARRIED--and raised a couple generations of solidly decent human beings, to boot. The older I get, the more of an acheivement that seems to be. I think I want to try to do that someday.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 07:49 am (UTC)
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Your arugment #3 is an excellent summary of stuff I wrote that you haven't read. That's pretty cool. We are of one mind. :)

I hope you get more internet in the future! I miss ya.
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From:hssst
Date:December 3rd, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC)
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#2 is really the best one....
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From:goytoy
Date:December 3rd, 2004 12:04 pm (UTC)
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I have often put forth the "legal civil union for everyone who registers w/ the state, marriage as a religious option w/ no additional legal benefits, for those who care about that aspect." We had a friend get a UCL ordination so he could do our ceremony, and that is just what I would have done if the other option were available, but I would have skipped the silly credentials for him. I basdsically agree w/ everything you said.

That said, I thought it was a bit surprising that no one responded to the person who said that people should come around to the idea that marriage is about being a child-raising unit. I would like to see people's ideas of marriage become less exclusive, not more so, and certainly as a person who can't have kids (and yes, we might adopt, but that is unlikely) I bridle at the thought that my marriage is somehow less "valid" than that of a couple w/ children. Then again, I'm not going to start a discussion w/ her, so why should I expect anyone else to do so?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC)
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Huh. I thought I remembered seeing someone address the no kids issue...but now I don't see anything like that. I wonder if someone deleted their comment. Either that or I imagined it.

Anyway...I was just explaining where marriage fit into MY life plan. I know lots of people get married for lots of different reasons. Sorry to have left that perspective out!

(Also, while you may not want to raise kids and that is 100% fine with me...I was careful in my post to talk about raising kids and not having kids. A gay male couple or a single man can not have kids. A lesbian couple may have kids but only with the help of a sperm donor. Folks with various medical difficulties can not have kids. But most of those folks can raise kids (e.g. through adoption) if they wish to. Again, not that that is the end all and be all of marriage. It is my desire to have kids and my desire to be married if I do. I do not expect those desires of anyone else.)
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From:goytoy
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
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It wasn't your comments that bothered me at all, it was this:
"Amen! :) I honestly think (or maybe I should say hope!) that there will eventually be some sort of evolution of marriage where it is stripped of all of its romantic notions and becomes only what it needs to be-- protection for the unit of people who have committed to raising a child or children.)"

Which would of course mean that she hopes that someday marriages like mine will be viewed as pointless. I don't disagree w/ people who might choose a non-romantic form of marriage or any combination in-between. I think that the beauty of marriage (or whatever partnership) these days is the ability for the two people involved to design their own rules. As long as both people are honest and on-board w/ the plan, I think that's great. It just frustrates me because I have heard people opposed to gay marriage haul out the old "caring for children" argument and I wouldn't have exp[ected to see it from one of your friends.

Maybe I should say something, since I keep going on about it..... Or maybe I'm just emotional today.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:31 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't have expected to see it from one of your friends.

My friends list is a big tent with people of many viewpoints.

I suspect that the issue here is her manner of saying what she said rather than what she actually feels.

The problem with all debates about marriage is that we're dealing with words that have a lot of power and meaning to a lot of people. Love, commitment, legal rights. So at some point when we talk about redefining the meaning of marriage in the future, toes get stepped on. Some people want to have marriage be only a spiritual thing and civil unions be the legal thing, some people want marriage to be everything, some people want marriage to become what others see civil unions as being, some people think it's all about kids, some people think it's all about love. It's a tricky minefield of semantics and pragmatics.

The person who made that comment isn't someone I know any better than I know you. Random LJ person. Hopefully you two can communicate but also remain forgiving with each other. :)

As boldmoves pointed out, not everyone remembers to be articulate when they post in LJ.
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From:goytoy
Date:December 3rd, 2004 07:28 pm (UTC)
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I try to always be respectful of other people's opinions. I'm sure I don't always succeed, but I do try.

As far as being surprised to see that here, I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't have friends of all views. But if I read someone in your journal talking about how, say, gays in the military were a security risk, I would feel surprise. I felt surprise at seeing someone here who seemed to very clearly be saying that marriage should only be about raising children. That certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't be her friend or that I think you are a bad person or even that she is a bad person, not at all.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
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True that. It's cool.
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