L. Neil Smith's
Number 249, November 30, 2003

From a practical standpoint

What is Marriage?
by Ron Beatty

Exclusive to TLE

With all the current hoopla about the "gay-marriage" rulings by various courts, I sat down to think about what marriage really is, and as a direct consequence, what love is.

As a few of you may know, I have been, and am, strongly influenced in my beliefs by the late, great, Robert A. Heinlein. Therefore, I decided to start this off with two quotes from the master.

What is love?

Love is that condition where the other party's happiness is essential to your own.


The more you love, the more you CAN love, and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit to HOW MANY you can love.

Then, on a more personal note, I decided the following: Love is a gift of the Divine (whatever he/she/it may be) No person, organization, church, or government has either the right or the authority to limit, legislate, ration, restrict or regulate those gifts.

Having defined "love", to my satisfaction, at least, I turned to marriage. This was a little trickier, but when I looked at the history of marriage, it came down to a very simple premise:

Marriage is a social contract between consenting adults. It is religious only insofar as the contracting parties wish it to be. Neither the number OR the gender of the contracting parties has any bearing on the basic premise: consenting adults contracting to live together for a specific purpose. That purpose may be children, it may be financial, it really doesn't matter.

IF all of the above are true, then what in the name of all that is good difference does it make if the parties entering into marriage are the same sex, different sexes, or even how many of them there are??

From a practical standpoint, the fools and scoundrels in government have made it virtually impossible for a "nuclear family" to survive in todays world. A one income family cannot do any more than survive or exist. It is virtually impossible for a working class family to do more than make ends meet, and if a tragedy strikes, they may not be able to do THAT.

I submit that a "group" or "corporate" marriage may be the only way to deal with the world as it is becoming. In future articles, I will detail why I believe that not only is a desireable option, but why it may be the only option that will allow us (independant, libertarian individuals) to survive.


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