If you’re so keen on traditional marriage, make sure you know what the traditions of marriage actually are

Nice article in the Telegraph today …Tom Chivers, their assistant comment editor points out that the folks who are stongly pushing the “traditional” marriage viewpoint might not appreciate what rests within the scope of that tradition. For example, we have Mitt Romney pushing the tradition of marriage being one man and one woman, yet …

… as Sullivan points out, that’s not true. Sometimes it’s an institution between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, as Romney himself quipped in 2005. Mitt Romney’s own great-grandparents were polygamists. “[One] of his his great-great-grandfathers had twelve wives and was murdered by the husband of the twelfth”, Sullivan reminds us. Polygamy was widely practised in Biblical times, and still goes on in many societies today. The “one man, one woman” trope is tradition of marriage, of course, but only one. Polygyny and polyandry have both gone on for millennia. It’s not just the multiple-partners aspect, either. In 342AD Emperor Constantins issued the Theodosian Code of marriage, which outlawed same-sex unions – and obviously there’s no point in banning something that wasn’t happening. A bit more recently (but still almost a thousand years ago), in 1061AD, two men, Pedro Diaz and Muño Vandilaz, were married in a church in Galicia.

So … to the folks pushing quite strongly for “tradition”, they really need to be aware of what the tradition of marriage actually is. As for the claim that it is mentioned in the Bible, well that doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. It is after all the same book that touts ethnic cleansing as a jolly good idea and is also a very pro-slavery text. When debating hot topics like this history has clearly demonstrated that deploying  reason, ethics, and justice gets you the right answer, whilst specifically leaning upon supernatural and religious dogma places society well and truly up a well-known creek without a paddle.

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