Marriage and the Civil Society

In much of the recent public discourse about marriage one hears a good deal about the personal appurtenances and fringe benefits of marriage but never any meaningful discussion about the place of marriage in society as a whole. Yet how can a society define marriage by law without at least determining how the civil society in toto will best be served by such sanctioning of marriage by the state? Only after making such a determination should a society proceed to define the salient parameters of marriage, including who can and who cannot marry. If, for example, a society chooses to define marriage as a civil sanctioning of a union of two people who have a strong attachment to each other for whatever reason, and nothing more, or if a society chooses to view the purpose of marriage as a means to enable two individuals who are committed to each other to have access to certain legally sanctioned fringe benefits, such as health insurance or inheritance of an estate, then obviously marriage...(Read Full Article)

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