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Marriage undefined

Published April 2, 2013 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Please stop using "traditional definition of marriage." There isn't one. I'm talking to The Tribune and everyone participating in the gay marriage debate.

If our legal system has roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition, then simply look to the Bible and see the many different definitions of marriage through time: bigamy, polygamy, concubines, marriages that accept infidelity, marriages of very close relatives, marriages between old men and pre-pubescent girls, etc.

Nor has marriage only ever been about one man and one woman falling in love and then marrying to procreate. Sometimes it is mostly about that, but it often has also been about property, titles, inheritance, security, alliances.

Until modern times a woman was never an equal partner to the man. She became his property upon marriage. Is woman-as-property the traditional definition you want to adhere to?

Given Utah's history with different definitions of marriage, we here ought to know that there is no set, traditional, unchanging definition of marriage.

So let's stop pretending — and casually repeating — that there is a traditional definition of marriage. People are using this make-believe justification to discriminate.

Thomas Cushman

Salt Lake City,




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