Thursday, October 30, 2008

Defining Marriage

On a more serious note, one of the main issues surrounding gay marriage is a matter of semantics. Some people define marriage as strictly the union of a man and woman. Others interpret a broader meaning.

At first, this seems trivial, why not just broaden your interpretation? If a homosexual couple says: "We're married" then marriage has a broader meaning. The same word can be used in other scenarios as in the example from webster: "seafood marries with other flavors". So why restrict the usage of the legal world?

Well, there does have to be a legal definition somewhere. Otherwise, if the legal word and dictionary word were the same people could go around marrying inanimate objects and whatnot. So marriage does have to be defined somewhere in our legal framework and does need to specify who can marry whom.

So to appease those with a strict marriage definition legislatures created a sort of euphemism: "civil union". But if we have marriages and civil unions and both have the same legal consequences, what legal difference is there between them? The only difference I see is a label. And that label allows government official to discriminate. If both unions have the same legal purpose then they should be the same thing and labeled the same. Either we call unions between people marriages or civil unions.

Gay Marriage and the future of humanity

I've begun to wonder if humanity will ever change. Will we continue to argue over civil rights every time the world changes a little bit?

In the 20th century we argued over women's rights and racial rights. In the 21st we're arguing about homosexual's rights. I'll predict that in the later part of the 21st we'll argue about genetically modified human's rights, in the 22nd we will argue about robot rights and in the 23rd alien rights.

Now you're thinking I'm a crazy person who just wants hot alien robotic sex. Maybe...but I'm trying to make a point. And besides, the issue is not about sex. It's about love & marriage. Otherwise people would be up in arms about blow-up dolls.

In response to something like gay marriage, people against it often bring up the slippery slope argument. They ask what prevents someone from marrying their sister or a horse? Well, the first is actually genetically damaging. But if you weren't to have children one could argue for it, though it seems psychologically disturbing to me. The second (the horse) isn't sentient or able to communicate at the level necessary for meaningful love or marriage.

So, if the requirements for marriage are sentience and the ability to communicate then there's no reason people won't be marrying robots and aliens in the future. And there's no reason homosexuals shouldn't be able to marry now.