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February 8, 2012

9th Circuit Has Some Good Writers

Prop 8 Trial Tracker picks out the Top 10 Quotes from the yesterday's decision on Prop 8. I'll give you just Number 10:

We need consider only the many ways in which we encounter the word "marriage" in our daily lives and understand it, consciously or not, to convey a sense of significant. We are regularly given forms to complete that ask us whether we are "single" or "married." Newspapers run announcements of births, deaths, and marriages. We are excited to see someone ask, "Will you marry me?", whether on bended knee in a restaurant or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see "Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?". Groucho Marx's one-liner, "Marriage is a wonderful institution … but who wants to live in an institution?" would lack its punch if the word "marriage" were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare's "A young man married is a man that's marr'd," Lincoln's "Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory," and Sinatra's "A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late." We see tropes like "marrying for love" versus "marrying for money" played out again and again in our films and literature because of the recognized important and permanence of the marriage relationship. Had Marilyn Moneroe's film been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie, even though the underlying drama for same-sex couples is no different. The name "marriage" signifies the unique recognition that society gives to harmonious, loyal, enduring, and intimate relationships.

Filed under California,English,Gay Issues | permalink | February 8, 2012 at 10:19 PM

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