Do marriage laws seem outdated and too traditional for today's society? Discuss.''The need for a marriage license from the gov't is unneccesary. Religions should run marriages and divorces''...

Do marriage laws seem outdated and too traditional for today's society? Discuss.

''The need for a marriage license from the gov't is unneccesary. Religions should run marriages and divorces'' Evaluate this opinion.

Asked on by rdg

2 Answers | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

From a moral point of view, I agree with the statement you give.  However, from a more practical point of view, I do not.

I do think that there is no reason for the government to be involved in saying who can say that they are married and who cannot.  It seems to me that marriage is more of a religious ritual (and a personal commitment) than anything to do with the government.

However, there are practical issues.  It is very convenient, legally, to have the institution of marriage.  Because my wife and I are married, we automatically have the right (for example) to visit one another in the hospital.  We automatically (without having to go through any legal hassles) have joint responsibility for our children.  If one of us dies, the other automatically gets benefits from Social Security.  If the government did not recognize marriages, these kinds of things (and many others) would have to be done individually, with all sorts of extra legal bills and such.

So I think that it would be nice for government not to be involved in defining marriage, but there are many practical reasons why the government should recognize (and therefore define) marriage.

write2life's profile pic

write2life | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

There are two factors to consider when asking if marriage laws seem outdated  and too traditional for today's society.  First, one needs to determine if we are talking about American society or all societies.  Then we would need to look at marriage laws as constitutionally or statutorily.

So, let's disect this a little bit.  "Too traditional" would entail that we are looking at marriage in the "ole' fashion" sense or in the way that our grand mothers and grand fathers viewed and practiced matrimony.  All marriages were male and female and monogomous by those standards.  That brings us to the American constitutional right to practice your religion. Is it acceptable for certain individuals of particular faiths or religions to practice polygamy?  In America, monogamy is the only acceptable means to wed through the state.  However, polygamy is an option in some religions like Islam and Moormans. This allows them to practice their constitutional right to have more than one wife.

Current times and some modern day thinkers or persons with "alternative lifestyles" may lean toward same sex marriages.  The politial and religious controversies stem around finance and security, dignity and respect, and religious freedom.  The debate over same sex marriage (SSM) in California as Proposition 8 was terminated whereas, New Jersey now allows for same sex marriages.

The basic issue is that the government can not legislate morality.  The federal government has established some basic constitutional rights to all citizens.  States are empowered to legislate on a more local level.  But the fact still remains that government does not legislate the moral attitudes of individuals even though they can influence them.  Government should not be the determining factor unless there are matters of finance and real estate.  Then it becomes a money issue.  Now, can you rightfully see religion handling that matter fairly?  So why not let government determine what's monetarily fair?  If you do that, then it is quite fair for government to determine who can get married.

We’ve answered 318,946 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question