What is on a marriage license?

Posted on September 6, 2009. Filed under: Marriage, Uncategorized | Tags: |

MarriageLicense Minnesota

Marriage. The word of this decade. Opponents of same sex marriage, the kinder ones, will say “call it anything but marriage”. I have to admit, at least they are willing to give gays and lesbians equal rights. I think they just don’t understand what the word marriage means to a couple. It’s a reflection of the commitment that two people have together. If you are in a domestic partnership, how do you answer the question “Are you married?” Better yet, how do we now ask if a person is single or….. what? Married? Domesticated? Civil unionized?

Marriage is a religious word. Really? Then why is it on a marriage license? I decided to look for some marriage licenses. I looked at my own. Nope, nothing there asking me my religion. I looked on the web. Could not find a single license that asked what religion the parties were. Couldn’t find one asking if they plan to procreate. But most surprisingly, many did not ask if the parties were male or female. Take a look for yourself.

Marriage is a secular word that has been used by the legal system for well over a hundred years. It seems  a little late to make a claim that it is a religious word. It’s just a word. Just because it appears in a religious text, doesn’t make it a religious word, any more than father or mother are religious words.

For information on marriage laws in all 50 states, click here.

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