Why We’re Not Going Back There
Change is a bitch, isn’t it? We haven’t lived in Leave It To Beaver land for at least two generations. In my opinion, while there are several factors, these changed everything: equality in pay for women (roughly), college education for women, contraceptives, and the introduction of innovation and modernity in the Church. Be fruitful and multiply? The only “low birth rates” in our population are amongst the college educated.
Forget expansion of access to the institution. It’s far better than it’s ever been simply due to criminalization of spousal rape. It was only up to 1993 when it became illegal to rape your wife in all 50 states. So when you fawn over how marriages were in the 50s you are also defending the right of a husband to rape his wife.
That’s right. Wives were property of their husbands so he could do with her as he pleased. That was codified in law. Again, the desire to return to the ‘traditional’ family structure would have to also include spousal rape. The point? We have redefined marriage in the past, and will continue to do so in the future to create a more just and civil society.
We’re Not Going Back There
If we passed marriage neutral laws, none of this would be an issue. Of course this would mean no tax breaks, employer benefits, or healthcare pricing based on marital status. Under these conditions, I think we would find many couples declining the marriage certificate. I know many people, gay and straight, who would (and currently do) take care of the legalities in their relationships with contracts, wills, and healthcare proxies.
There was a time when men made twice what women made because “they had a family to support.” Then, AT&T got sued for sex discrimination. Now, two incomes are needed to support a family for most people.