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Defining Marriage. A Legal Right or a Religious Privilege?

Updated on December 19, 2015

Marriage is only a legal contract between two people

Marriage holds no mystery - just a legal contract between two individuals
Marriage holds no mystery - just a legal contract between two individuals | Source

One Giant Step for True Equality in the U.s.a.

N.O.M. Promoting Bigotry and Lies

An exercise in futility at last

A brief explanation by the author as to why this article is still published:

Since the supreme court ruling that same sex marriages would now be legal in all states, the first impulse was to delete this hub as irrelevant at this time. But, after much contemplation it was decided that it would be left intact as a reminder of the ugliness of the recent past and be testimony to how religious stupidity and unfounded hatred could permanently destroy the lives of innocent people.


Love and marriage. What is the great controversy? It is only a legally binding contract between two people. Give it a rest.

This quick hub is in response to two question asked today by Anne Pettit.

The questions were:

  • 1.. "If a person is "pro-life", why isn't the life of the mother worthy of protection and consideration?"
  • 2. "How can a person be "pro family" and opposed to "same sex" marriage at the same time?"

Both good compelling questions that are no so difficult to understand, or answer.

First let's look at the word 'marriage", how it originated, and how it was twisted into something that was never intended. Much like everything else these days that actually makes sense to the discerning and half way intelligent among us.

Marriage defined:

  • a. the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.
  • b. the act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected.
  • c. an intimate or close union.

But there is another dictionary interpretation of the institution of marriage. It is called "A Marriage of Convenience". Defined as: a marriage contracted for social, political, or economical advantage rather than for mutual affection.

Defining Marriage by today's standards. Is it a right or a privilege? Or merely a rite binding a contract between two people? {these are rhetorical questions only}

Who is defining marriage anyway? The Law? Religion? The constitution?

The original intent was to legally bind two people (man & woman) who intended to raise a family so that the moral responsibility was legally placed on both parties.

In other words if one walked away from the union they would still bear some legal responsibility for the rearing of their children. Ergo, the legal terms of alimony and/or palimony were borne. These had nothing to do with religion or morality. They were strictly to legally bind two people together.

Then when the Roman government created the Roman Catholic Church and the concept of Christianity to exhort control over the people, they added the religious ceremony as a "blessing" bestowed by their created religion as a "courtesy" to their brethren, not as a legal entity. Thereby the institution of marriage became the illustrious ceremonial event as we see it today steeped in deep tradition and deep pockets.

The present day views on marriage are put askew by the organized religious cults to try to take possession of this legal ceremony for their own personal agenda.

People can still get married for the sake of convenience, and by a justice of the peace, or any other person identified to be able to perform this "legally" binding ceremony between two individuals.

In their zealousness to control people, the cults then threw in the concept of "family" to try and convince the uneducated public into thinking that this was some kind of a "holy" event or somehow a "creation" of God.

? Who married Adam and Eve? They were the first couple to represent the concept of "common law marriage". Dictionary definition:

  • a. a marriage recognized in some jurisdictions and based on the parties' agreement to consider themselves married and sometimes also on their cohabitation.
  • b. the cohabitation of a couple even when it does not constitute a legal marriage.

This was all based on "common law" which is the body of law developed in England primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and precedent, unwritten in statute or code, and constituting the basis of the English legal system and of the system in all of the United States (except in Louisiana whose ignorance is currently being followed by other ignorant states).

When trying to redefine the concept of family, the conservative moralists again twisted something good into something evil in order to lay claim to that conception as well.

A "family" is merely a group of people who come together, either by cohabitation, by groups, by community or any other similarity that binds them together as a unit.

There is way too much emphasis on the religious infringements on people in our society today, not only in the U.S., but as a global society.

This inane attempt to mandate morality by a few people who deem themselves spokes persons for our Creator have over stepped their bounds and are only the creators of disorder and chaos in a society that can take care of itself in peaceful and harmonies ways without their interference.

Religious interference in our lives can be viewed as abusive and bordering on (if not truly) crimes against humanity itself.

For there is NO man, religion, or cult, on this earth that has the right to act as, or in the name of, our Creator to pass any moral judgements on others for any reason. Those that do so and state it to be sanctioned by God are committing one of the greatest sins of all against humanity: That of righteous indignation and disrespect for basic human rights.

We must learn to respect one another and allow individuality of choice in our pursuits of happiness, love, partnerships and every other personal aspect of our lives, without interference, or making moral judgments on others. No man (or woman) has been given that right by anyone else.

We must stand united against this religious repression and tell them it is time to stop interfering in our lives.

If this interference continues on the scale it is at today, these cults will be the losers in the end, as they are driving people away from them faster than they are attracting new converts; though this loss by religions is a major gain for humanity.

Morally decent people do not act in the way religious zealots are portraying themselves in our society today.

These judgmental-ists are nothing more than zealots, bullies, tyrants and rogues. This is the last thing a wavering economy needs as a distraction from recovery.

We are all born equal, with equal rights, and morality judgements should stay within the cults in which they were born, and hopefully die there.

by d.william 02/14/2012

Rights? What Rights?

And yet another state approves same sex marriages

Don't Let This Happen to You or Anyone You Love. We Must Stand United for Basic Human Rights.


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    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      ib radmaster

      I did delete your last comment as it was over the top. We are certainly not on the same wave length, and i would never associate myself with Christianity (as a religion) or any other radical religious cult. So name calling is not appropriate. But your did inspire me to write a new hub that was specifically inspired by you called: "

      I trust we can part ways with a reasonable decorum of amicability.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Thank you for reading and commenting. This is the first article that i have written that i had to actually deny comments. This sort of disturbed and perplexed me for a moment or two. Then i realized that there are those people who will never understand the difference between unjustified discrimination and logical discernment.

      And it is beyond my capacity to teach that to them in metaphorical terms. If a person does not possess the skills for critical thinking, there is no amount of rebuttal that will suffice against this shortcoming.

      I loved your last paragraph. It sums it all up better than i could have done. Thanks for kicking me back to reality.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Great article, D, I concur strongly that rithts as enshrined in the Bill of rights must apply to equally to everyone and every state within the united states. It is ludicrous as one of your commentors suggest that states can violate this idea, this was firmly established in the aftermath of the Civil War that the Constitution and bill of Rights are not just binding on the Federal Government but on the states as well.

      The rightwinger, if nothing else, is a fascist that hides behind warm and fuzzies of God and country with their ultimate goal of enslaving us all to their insane beliefs. Thanks for bringing this out in this article, Cred2

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 6 years ago from Southern California


      Not publishing my last comment shows conclusively that have no answers to my questions/

      Very Christian of you.

      I see that this hub has petered out, so you won't have to give any more answers.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      ib radmaster:

      Enough. You can argue with yourself as long as you like, and your opinions are yours to keep. The point of this hub was simply to show how silly we are as a supposedly "intelligent" race to be arguing about whether any minority has the same rights to marriage as their majority counterparts. As human beings who live in a free society, there should not even be any discussion as to whether basic rights should, or should not, be enjoyed by ALL Americans regardless of their gender, race, color, religion, etc..

      Your 'points' that you made are superfluous to the core point. What is right, or wrong, morally. is a matter of personal interpretation. The Government should have no right to discriminate against ANY individual, or group of people. The act of marriage itself is of little or no significance in the big picture. People can cohabitate, have intimate relations, and raise children with or without a marriage license. The question we should be concerned with is whether everyone should be allowed to live their lives the way our Creator intended them to. Genetic deviations excluded, as there is NO choices to be made for those who are considered abnormal by the majority who have no right in assigning those terms to other people in the first place.

      You base your opinions of your right to judge others, as if you truly have the right to do so. And there to, you DO have the right to judge, but to act upon that judgment to prohibit freedoms from those you pass those judgments on is incongruous with the philosophies of a free society.

    • profile image

      Gusser 6 years ago

      Comparing apples & oranges & fruits? Leave the gays outa this.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 6 years ago from Southern California


      I don't know what your point is here.

      The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were made because even though the south lost the civil war slaves were still not people. So these amendments were made to protect the slaves from abuses of the south.

      But it really didn't make them equal. Even a hundred years later blacks were still not equal.

      As for separation of Church and State as far as a national religion run by the state is addressed not in the original constitution but in the 1st Amendment.

      Perhaps you should restate your point because it is not apparent.

      The reality is the government never believed all men were created equal and neither does the bible, unless you read it as all males are created equal.

      I am disappointed that you just glossed over the points that I made in my last comment.

      Marriage is a privilege.

      Why, because you don't need a license for a Right.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      ib radmaster:

      as an addendum to my comments above. I would behoove you, too, to visit the web site i provided above for "Gusser". You will find the document for the abolishment of slavery under the 13th amendment in our "Charters of Freedom".

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south


      et tu brute?

      You are clutching at straws to try and prove something that you can't. No, the concept of separation and state is not actually a part of the constitution, it is a valid consideration by our fore fathers to keep religious influence out of our politics and our legal system. If you want to know more about the separation of church and state, do you own research, instead of just repeating something you have been told by uninformed right wing fanatics. Here is the official web site for your perusal should you desire the experience of updating your information.

      The other argument that people against equality "espouse" is that anyone who disagrees with them dislikes the constitution. Bogus argument at best. Our constitution may not be the best it can be, but it is the best that is possible in an imperfect world. To alter this document would certainly be an injustice, and we can only hope that the upcoming fanatical opposition to democracy does not ever have the opportunity to do such a dastardly deed.

      If i were wrong in any of my assertions, i would be man enough to accept an alternative point of view and bow out gracefully.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      ib radmasters:

      I found you comments quite amusing. Not worthy of retort, but none the less amusing. Your arguments are inane and superfluous to logic and common sense.

      Comparing apples and oranges is silly as they are both fruits.

      Comparing men and women is equally silly as they are both human beings.

      Separating bathrooms is simply respect.

      With the abolishment of slavery and equality afforded blacks - yes the law did in fact give them equality AND the right to vote in all elections as did the affording of voting rights for women.

      Your comments about gays being deviants is also irrelevant, in that, although there is a deviance in the make up of men, women, and hermaphrodites, and these deviations are not by choice, all are still human beings and still afford equality of status under our constitution.

      You can not even argue the inequality between sexes based on religious beliefs, as those too are also corrupted by human judgments. And hardly indicative of any truth what so ever.

    • profile image

      Gusser 6 years ago

      Seperation of church & state appears nowhere in the Constitution. You keep espousing concepts foreign to the Constitution. Do you hate it that much? When children can't get their way, they also try to find other ways to get something.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 6 years ago from Southern California

      d williams

      That law didn't prevent blacks from being treated as slaves, or allowed to vote etc.

      Women also weren't treated as equals, and that exists today.

      So don't look to words and make them equal to deeds.

      Man and Women are different, so that is like saying the oranges and apples are equal.

      The reason that we have two genders is to procreate, and multiply. If the animal kingdom had homosexuals they would be extinct.

      Human homosexuals existed only because of bisexuals.

      Marriage was created specifically for two genders, one of each gender to enter into a relationship.

      Substituting gays into marriage is a ridiculous as putting a human and an animal in it. Neither gays, nor the animals can procreate.

      Gays want marriage to validate their deviance, otherwise a they could do with just a civil union. If the civil union didn't give the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, then the solution would be to get it to match. But to mess up marriage to suit gays is wrong.

      As far as I am concerned I think that due to the failure of marriages today, that we should replace it with a civil contract. On that would make the process of divorce simpler and fairer.

      Marriage is an implied contract with very little structure and with no real recourse for breaches of it.

      A marriage contract would be explicit and cover all the necessary details, including conditions for breaches and recourse.

      The federal government should not be the judge of contracts between individuals, and marriage should be removed as an item on the income tax form, as well as all documents which have marital status information.

      The government treats at least for income tax, married people different than single people, and rich people different from poor people.

      So that pretty much blows a hole into your born equal statement.

      BTW, why then is there a need in the US for gender separate public rest room facilities? Why don't we have unisex public facilities as they have in other countries. Or are people only born equal in the US?


    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south


      Thank you again for commenting. Even though the 2/3 majority vote is probably a good thing, there are (and should be more) safe guards for that majority not to be able to make laws that diminish, or remove, basic human rights from a minority due to ignorance that is usually based on some kind of religious teaching or warped attitude.

      Obviously our fore fathers had the wisdom to put safeguards in place to stop the religious cults from imposing their silliness on others. Ergo, the need for that all powerful 'separation of church and state'.

      Your last comment: "that is about to end abruptly" is inappropriate and meaningless in any discussion. Comments welcome discussion, opinions (based on fact)and logical conclusions. Not idle remarks without justifiable significance.

      And hopefully, those current 'radicals' running against the incumbent president will NOT have that opportunity to radically alter our basic U.S. constitution as they are currently doing unilaterally - state by state.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      ib radmasters:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Under the law (in this country) we ARE all born equal with certain inalienable rights. (meaning these rights are unable to be taken away, transferred, or altered because someone. or their radical organizations, think they do not apply to all people.

      'mores' ARE set by culture, but you have to look with scrutiny at the cultures in this country or this world. When our culture is affected by the ignorance of religious beliefs it is time to take a stance to change that indoctrination of hatred and bigotry beset our unsuspecting children.

      I am sorry that you find the dictionary definitions in opposition to your own beliefs, but that is one of the "mores" of our culture. If you do not like the definitions then take that up with the publishers of the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

      Most fanatical religious and the neo-republican party is trying to re-write history to their own liking. This is not acceptable to those who have common sense, logic and the ability to reason and conclude what is appropriate or not.

      Your arguments regarding same-sex marriages is based on a bias born out of ignorance and inappropriate religious teachings. I truly feel sorry for anyone who blindly follows any doctrine that embraces hatred, bias, and intolerance above logic and reality.

      In your view, infertile couples should be denied marriage as well. Marriage today is all about "love" (not sex) and a commitment between two people. Denying the same privileges to people who are born different than you (whether they are "different" or "not normal" in reality or simply perceived by you) will not make the reality of their existence disappear. Violence, murder, bullying, or prayer will never change the laws of nature. Call it a birth defect, or simply mother nature's way of preventing a devastatingly destructive situation by over population of this fragile planet.

      Marriage is nothing more than a legally binding contract that two people agree to, to share responsibility for raising children (whether naturally birthed, or adopted) and financial considerations. There is NO 'sanctity' is marriage except in the minds of those who want to believe that this "contract" is of God's making. These beliefs are ludicrous at best. Marriage is a man made contractual law.

      And lastly the distaste for others who are different is only in the minds of those who would judge others unjustly. Hatred, intolerance, bigotry and stupidity are not innate in people - these are learned traits by uneducated and irrational minds.

      Thanks again for reading, commenting, and helping to make the article a little more clear in its intent.

    • profile image

      Gusser 6 years ago

      Radicals want to ignore the Constitution to get their way. They can't ammend the Constitution because they are so far in the minority. The founding fathers called for a 2/3 Majority to stop these radicals from destroying this country. Instead they get radicals appointed to judgeships to over-ride the Constitution. THAT is about to end very abruptly.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 6 years ago from Southern California

      d williams

      You end this hub with

      We are all born equal, with equal rights, and morality judgements should stay within the cults in which they were born, and hopefully will die there.


      That statement is a fiction,we are not born equal, we don't have equal rights, and mores are set by culture not birth.

      Gays fabricate a right that is similar to smoker's rights. Smoker's don't have a right to smoke, and gays don't have a right to be called normal.

      Your dictionary term is ridiculous.

      Marriage has long been used to prevent bastards.

      A gay couple cannot bear children, so the children cannot be a part of the wedlock.

      Today the use for marriage is unnecessary. Half of the marriages end prematurely. And divorce is a brutal unfair process. Divorce is not setup for gay marriages, and gays will divorce and when they do they will make a mockery of the process.

      The contract of marriage was not fully executed until the couple had intercourse.

      How is that applicable to gays

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Although this IS allowed that states can make their own rules and laws it does not make it any more palatable. my point is that there should be NO loopholes in our country to allow the federal government, states, or districts to pass laws that are discriminatory against ANY minority.

      If this is allowed, then we will simply return to the good old redneck days when blacks were only allowed to sit at the back of the bus, interracial marriages were crimes and punishable by imprisonment, women were not allowed to vote, etc... shall i go on?

      Bigotry has not place in this country. And yes, if I had the power to amend the constitution there certainly WOULD be a provision banning discrimination of any kind in this country. But to go even further, there would also be a law banning religious businesses from influencing politicians as well as the rest of the lobbyists that buy favors for themselves. I do not believe there should be any representation without taxation. Perhaps these "opinions" are anti american by today's standards when conservatism is trying to make an all out come back, but right is right and the old ways of destroying the lives of those who you disagree with must end before peace can be attained.

      Passing laws based on perceived morality by religious entities also is going away, sooner or later. (And please do not insult me, or any other readers, with that old rhetorical argument about laws regarding murder, rape, theft, etc...being discriminatory). There will always be a need for those laws that reject cruelty and harm to others. When discussing marriage (as this article is all about), there is NO harm to society, or heterosexuality, children or anyone else in equal rights, except in the misguided ignorance of religion.

    • profile image

      Gusser 6 years ago

      Allowing States to make their own laws is EXACTLY what the Constitution calls for. If you don't like it, Try to ammend the Constitution. Having 50 States making their own laws allows me the freedom to pick which of those 50 I chose to live in. THAT IS FREEDOM. Federalism/socialism never survives .

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south


      Not sure what happened, but i just noticed my response to you did not post for some reason.

      I do agree with you that the 'right to marry' was not mentioned in the constitution or the bill of rights. But allotting the states the right to make their own laws is a perfect example of just how warped we are as a nation. Making individual state laws that do not pertain to the entire nation is just plain wrong and totally discriminatory. When you look at the idiocy of states passing discriminatory laws against women, gays, unions, abolishing minimum wages, child labor laws, etc.. it just goes to show you how this can be abusive and chaotic. The dolts who passed these laws in the states of Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona and Maine, just to name a few have caused extreme hardship on the people of those states. I did an article entitled: Independent State Laws?" that expounds on this theme in greater detail.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      thank you so much for your kind words and support. As i stated above i do believe that the majority of people feel the same way. But our politicians will never make a move to rectify this injustice as it would eliminate some of their fodder to get people riled up and agitated with each other for their own exploitation of the minorities.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      thanks for reading and commenting. I think the majority of Americans feel that same way. It is always the few with the loudest mouths that create all the problems in our society. You are one of the lucky ones to have a marriage that feels like a privilege as well as a right.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      A gay person has as much right to marry as anyone else. It should not even be discussed. It is natural for a person who is in love to get married, if they wish. I enjoyed the video, I also enjoyed your hub. You make some excellent points...

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      I do Have a Sense of Humor, so I did Enjoy the Video, D. Williams. I do feel Gays should have the Right to Marry, if they so choose.

      I Enjoy being married to my Lover Man, and feel it is a Privilege, which we have Chosen. Everyone should have that Privilege...It is their Right! Good Hub on a Hot Topic Subject.

    • profile image

      Gusser 6 years ago

      The right to marry is NOT mentioned in the United States Constitution. Therefore It is NOT a right under Federal juristiction. The 10th admendment CLEARLY makes it a State issue. Each State therefore can make marriage a right or privilege.