What is “traditional marriage”?

Many Republicans have this whole “defense of traditional marriage” thing they believe in. It’s code for “no gay marriage” of course, and just about everyone understands that.

I’ve always wondered though, just what is “traditional marriage”? If I remember my history correctly, marriage traditionally has included such rules as:

  • The wife is considered chattel. She’s not a person, she’s a possession.
  • No interracial marriages. Unless you wanted to end up in jail, or dead.
  • Underaged marriages. Because 14 is old enough to bear children.

I’m not being fair, of course. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone defending “traditional marriage” using these examples. But it highlights my point: “traditional marriage” has no lasting meaning. What’s traditional today is likely to be considered “outdated” tomorrow.

With the number of “traditional marriages” failing, and people like Britney Spears getting married and divorced twice in two years, one month and 55 hours, why are people looking to stop the union of couples who’ve been in monogamous, committed relationships for decades? People who have raised children together. People who, were they different sexes but still gay, would be considered something of a role model.

My mom, social conservative that she is, doesn’t like gay marriage. She believes they should have all the rights of heterosexual couples, it just shouldn’t be called “marriage”. That word, she says, should be have some traditional meaning.

To me, that meaning is “bigotry”.