I wish the newlyweds featured on the front page of the Sun-Times and in Neil Steinberg's column today all the best. Short version of the story: She's from Norway. He's from Chicago. They met face-to-face last Friday for the first time after getting acquainted on Steinberg's Facebook wall and were legally married Thursday in a ceremony in the observation ledge atop the Willis Tower.
To me, the entire event -- it really borders on a stunt -- utterly trivializes the concept of marriage, all the way down to the phony-baloney baptism the woman went through in order to generate the proper paperwork for a nearly instant marriage license. In my opinion, marriage ought to be the solemn and considered union of an established, loving couple with enough of a track record together to give them and society confidence that their union is for life.
But you know what? Our laws allow for hasty stunt-like weddings of men and women with huge crushes on each other; marriages that arguably make a mockery of more traditional marriages. And I'm fine with that. In part because you never know. Couples can date for years and undergo lengthy pre-marital counseling and then divorce in less than year. This Facebook marriage may last forever.
What I'm not fine with -- and I know Steinberg also isn't fine with -- is that while the law allows virtually any heterosexual couple to get hitched for virtually any fool reason they want, it still forbids loving, committed gay couples from getting married on the grounds that legalizing such unions would threaten the definition and sanctity of traditional marriage.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Making a mockery of marriage
Chicago Tribune blogger, Eric Zorn on marriage: