Interesting news that the Supreme Court of Appeals has approved same-sex marriages. I say interesting because although I support the ruling, it raises interesting questions for me personally. I am unmarried, although I have a child, and am in a stable relationship – at least as much as I believe is possible 🙂
For me, I choose not to get married because I don’t see a good reason to. What exactly is marriage? Marriage can mean a socially sanctioned union, a state-sanctioned union, or a union sanctioned by a religious organisation.
For me personally, the social and religious sanctions are of little importance. Perhaps though I do seek social sanction, but my social circle sees not getting married as a sign of non-conformity, a plus, perhaps the social equivalent of some of my physical trappings, long hair and a beard, manifestations of an ongoing rebellion. I see no advantages to a state sanction. And the religious sanction is unimportant to me. One reason I do respect for getting married is so that one member of the union can get a visa/citizenship. The whole state interview process to ensure the couple are ‘really in love’ is a charade.
For same-sex couples, state sanction is a plus, as there are situations where a couple would find it advantageous to be married. Social sanction may be affected by state sanction, but sadly will be withheld by many regardless. And religious sanction is perhaps the toughest of all, as too many decision-making members of a religious organisation are bound by dogma, endlessly interpreting words on a piece of paper.
So not supporting the decision shows either that one is bound by religious dogma (the ACDP, who did not support the Constitution as it clashes with their interpretation of divine law), prejuduce (the DA’s Tertius Delport – read the ANC’s view of the former senior leader in the apartheid government here), or that one is unquestioningly, fearfully, or for populist reasons reflecting the same from society. Neil also comments on the political parties reaction in his blog.
So, a small step forward, but one that moblises the religions, and sows the seeds of the opposing forces. But I hold out hope for humanity’s development, that people can learn to love, as a certain wise man tried to point out 2000 odd years ago.