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gender & sexuality | government

If I Marry, Will I Be Marrying The State????

I am exploring the issue on marriage. What are the views of all of you out there on marriage?
What are the positive and negative effects of getting married?

Do Anarchists believe in marriage?

Is there some hidden knowledge about marriage that most people do not know or think about when getting married?

If I marry, will I be marrying the state?

I really did not start thinking of this issue until there was a same sex marriage ban. Then I started to think, "hmmmm...I don't think marriage in general is a good idea, Isn't it religious? Well i am not religious so why would I get married under religion? And what's up with the white wedding gown?"
Marriage can exist without a state. 13.Dec.2004 17:13


Originally, it seems, marriage was a religious "institution." When states came to exist, they ursurped religious authority and created the concept of "civil marriage", which isn't all that bad since it gives the non-religious some way of "legitimizing" their marriages. However, from an anarchist point of view, marriage would be a contract between parties and not need the approval of the state or a religion. Furthermore, from an anarchist perspective, there is no reason why marriage could not be between more than two people. In addition to the number of people married into one union, it would be counter to anarchist principles to restrict marriage to certain gender/sex combinations. Therefore, anarchists should support same sex marriage, different sex marriage and group marriage. Anarchists should also support non-marriage. The key from an anarchist's point of view is that all parties to the marriage consent, can divorce at will and that the structure is not hierarchical.

boycott marriage 13.Dec.2004 17:31


i'm a straight person who's decided to boycott marriage. I had always planned on getting married after college, and I was given my wedding dress when I was 13 (it was my mom's and my grandma's). Well, i found a great guy and was hoping to get married in a year or two after he gets out of college, but now that M36 passed, marriage is ruined for me. The passing of M36 tells me that marriage is now a bigoted institution, and I don't want to sign up for that. I've decided I'll just keep living in sin and have illegitimate children one day. Actually, I've written my state senator and representative asking them to sponsor or at least look in to creating civil unions in this state open to hetero's and homo's, AND then separate marriage from the government, make it only a religious ceremony with absolutely no government benefits or state recognition. If you think this is a good idea, PLEASE let your state senator and rep. know.

what about the children? 13.Dec.2004 20:16

the ubiquitous rhetorical question

>>Is there some hidden knowledge about marriage that most people do not know or think about when getting married?

My answer to this would be children. Sure, there are married couples who don't have/adopt kids, but many couples who have lived outside of wedlock cite a desire to raise children as a reason to get married. Consider the extent to which the state interferes with the family:

- it sets an arbitrary age up to which parents have exclusive control over the kids
- children can be forced to stay with their parents against their will
- it burdens parents with the responsibility of raising the child and makes parents responsible for their children's acts
- children are property of the state and can be removed from their parents when certain conditions are met
- it allows parents to legally punish children corporally (spanking/beating)
- through economic incentives, the state makes home schooling an option available only to a few.

What this creates is a hierarchical structure where parents are given a great deal of power over their children, and this power imbalance results in the abuse and terror of the nuclear family, even among well-meaning parents. The family is yet another proxy institution (along with schools, churches, the military and corporations) of the state, in which we are taught to obey and respect authority. It is one thing for parents to say, 'If you want to live here, you must respect our rules and guidelines,' and quite another for kids to be forced to stay with their parents until they either turn 18 or run away. I'm sure some kids get along just fine with their parents, but I wonder if those cases aren't even sadder, because the children may have been conditioned to not only obey arbitrary rules they might not if given a truly free choice, but are conditioned to *like* obeying said arbitrary rules.

So if you insist on getting hitched, think about the kids!

Re: boycott marriage
I hear what you're saying but the problem is that civil unions do not give you all the rights that married couples have. Many rights, such as social security benefits and tax benefits, could not be granted by simply replacing occurrences of the word "marriage" with "marriage or civil union" in applicable statutes. You can read up on this with a few internet searches ... this is one reason why queers nationwide are fighting for marriage, even if it is another racist/patriarchal/religious institution, because all benefits conferred by marriage cannot be granted by civil unions barring massive overhaul of hundreds of laws.

I think... 13.Dec.2004 20:38


...it's great. I'm hetero, been married almost 3 years, and so far so good. And it's because I think it can be a great thing to do, that I want gays and lesbians to be able to have it too. Why should we heteros be the only ones who get these benefits:

-automatic recognition as a family,
-right to see each other in hospital and make care decisions for each other without seeing an attorney first,
-right to have children together and BOTH be recognised as parents without having to do extra steps like adoption(imagine that - a parent having to adopt their own child!)
-right to open accounts, buy property, and enter into legal decisions together without one of us being asked "and you are...?"
-right to take the spouse's name FOR FREE(all other name changes require a fee and a waiting period)

Marriage as a civil construct protects family integrity and makes it easier for couples to do the things they need to do without consulting an attorney and racking up those fees every time they sneeze. I think that civil marriage should be open to gays and lesbians 100%.

Religious groups are gonna have their own opinions on it, but you know what, religious ceremony still ain't worth jack to the state without the license. You can't force all church officials to bless gay marriages, but plenty of other ministers WILL bless them, and when it comes to the family, it's the license that has the REAL needed benefits, so I say - let 'em get the licenses! Who's it gonna hurt? Nobody. Who's it gonna help? A heckofa lot of gay-parented families.

separation of church and state 13.Dec.2004 22:35


the real problem with the marriage laws is that in them church and state are intertwined. In Latinamerica or Europe there is a clear divide. The state provides the legal certificate. If one wants a religious event, one must first have a state license. In the USA a minister/priest/rabbi acts as an agent of the state. They must be registered with the state to act in that role. They also act as agents of their particular denomination. What is confusing is that we use the same name for both events --- marriage-- and it is a loaded name for many people.

The state part should be open to whoever wants to bind themselves to another and gain legal benefits. This is and should be a civil union for everyone. Any legal rights gained should be uniform for all.
The religious ceremony then is a ceremony of choice by those who decide to do so.
Since the couple chooses to go to a particular religious body, they know what that body does or does not permit and also what hoops (preparation etc.) the religious body wants/needs. This does not concern the state unless the religious body is acting for the state (which I thoroughly disagree with!).

So I say, civil unions for everyone. It is a good idea to have some legal standing in a state that does not recognize common law marriage, lest you move in together young with stars in yours eyes and later discover that all is not peachy keen and you need a fair division of property etc.