Newly Defined Marriage


The law always changes. We like to think the law, is the law, but in fact, it is a constantly evolving set of rules, understandings, and ideas. The law reflects ourselves as we are and as we wish to be.

On May 13th, Minnesota passed its “gay marriage” law. What that means, is that marriage, as recognized by the State, is a civil contractual relationship that now may be entered into by persons of the same sex.

Marriage has always been both a religious sacrament and a statutory contract. Because religious leaders perform marriages does not mean the State sanctions religious unions. (Remember, we separate the Church and State.)

Religions in Minnesota do not have to change their ceremonies or their beliefs because of the new law. Just as certain religions will not marry persons of different faiths, religions may still chose to decline to marry persons of the same sex.

What does this mean for our society as a whole? I do not know and likely, no one else does either. One can only predict. When the emancipation proclamation came out, there were widely different viewpoints. Some people saw the emancipation proclamation as the end of civilized society, while others saw it as an inevitable result of a free society evolving over time. In the middle of the last century, there were still states that did not allow people of different races to marry; our Supreme Court struck that down. No matter what, all change is fraught with controversy, but when one looks back over history, when was the granting of freedom to seek “life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness” wrong?


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