Gay Marriage: An outsider’s perspective on issues.

Flowers: Pink Dahlia

Reasons to marry.

It was long time ago that I heard a logic ‘We all know the ‘reason’ why people get married, but it is never mentioned explicitly.’ Now I wonder what that meant. In fact every time I asked a person getting married or recently married, the answer was that this is what every one does. Some courageous one tell me that they married because they loved each other. In some of those cases I only had to wait few years to ask again. But that is a different matter. Or is it really different? Unfortunately I am not personally acquainted with any homosexual person. However I believe that this should not change anything because I never had privilege of peeping into bedroom of any other couple hetro or homo. But my question remains same. Why marriage?

What is marriage?

Starting with mythological/religious theories, according to Hinduism, marriage is a union for seven lives. Christianity proclaims it to be a Union until ‘dust to dust & ashes to ashes’. I would settle with present conservative but speculative idea of ‘union to grow (up) old together.’ I would not even refer the idea of having fun together. While giving these examples I have assumed a union of two same-sex persons is same as a union of two hetro-sexual persons. I do not intend to interpret that these faith or any other approve of dis-approve same-sex marriage. In any case any person, who has read the human history would we wise enough not to judge same-sex marriage.

Same sex marriage

All this analysis is for the purpose of understanding issues relating to the demand of legalisation of same-sex union or striking down the legislation creating obstacles, like one pending before Supreme Court of USA.
While it is a consensus opinion that Court, Legislature or Bureaucrats would not intrude into bedrooms of citizens, the question remains: Why people enter into matrimonial Union? It appears this question is far more important than legal implications of relationships. There are three reasons given in support of legalizing Gay Marriages:

  1.   Succession to property in case of death?
  2.   Legal status of children?
  3.   Discrimination of same-sex couples by society?

Now first issue of succession is a property problem. There is work around available like joint property but do the members of this Union, trust each other? In any case it has no relevance to the question I am posing.

Why marry at all?

Second is status of children. Again work around are available but both partners can not claim ‘ownership’ of children like legal status. However in heterosexual marriages, in case of dispute over child custody, the dice is loaded in favour of mother, mostly. Now I wonder, how any particular partner can benefit from this so-called ‘normal’ law? In any case what children have to do with marriage in the 21st Century? Why marry at all, if all we want is children?
Third is rather tricky issue. Did legal abolition of racism, abolish racism. Do people behave logically or legally in the matters of social movements? The truth is that legislation may help but only in a long run. Though it will not disturb the cause and may help maintaining order in backward sections of society at present. However the fact remains that it has gained acceptance in a variety of sections of society, without any legislation as well. (May not be India)
It is unfortunate that same-sex marriage may have turned the humanity towards a new or different way of living in human relationships. But alas in its desire to imitate what the past is, it has followed the same direction. We want to be different. We want to do different things. But we want to remain same. Of course that means such Union will share the same problems/challenges.

So why did you marry?

Commitment/Security of relationship? Security of property? Security of larger family with children? Acceptance in society as a normal person? Plain sex? Or Love? Whatever that meant and what that will mean with every few passing years!

P.S.: Legal position of same-sex relationships in India is here.

About Sandeep Bhalla

A lawyer, thinker, author, Linux/Ubuntu power user and sometime an economist or gardener or philosopher or cook or photographer depending upon the current thought and environment. View all posts by Sandeep Bhalla

2 responses to “Gay Marriage: An outsider’s perspective on issues.

  • literary lew

    I was hoping you would opine on this issue. it will be interesting to see what unfolds in the months and years to come. “Change” is present…as if it ever was not…and conservatives always oppose that. True, a conservative presence needs to check “progressivism” (i.e. liberalism) and I’m sure they fear if they lose this battle, all is lost.

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    • Sandeep Bhalla

      The door which is ajar generally is headed to be open. It is yet another experiment of human mind. As regards ‘being progressive’; that is precisely my question: Is doing old things in new way is conservatism? Is doing new things (non-reproductive sex) in old ways (reproductive families with succession) is progress?

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