Thoughts on marriage

I was browsing around for wedding vows and readings and stumbled upon these thoughts, which strangely enough relate to the current debate on the availability of marriage (or lack thereof) to all persons. It’s definitely got me thinking.


From “Goodridge Vs. Department of Health” by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations….Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.”

Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.


One thought on “Thoughts on marriage

  1. I wish it could just be a decision of the two people, not of the State or the Church. Chris and I both have family members who think we should be married. But marriage as an institution is going to have to change dramatically before either of us feels comfortable in it.

    Everyone who wants to get married should have that option, and people who choose a different type of union should be respected as well. If two adults in full possession of their faculties are that committed, then what business is it of the state?

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