Opinion: This isn't about homosexuality - it's about marriage (part two)
I couldn't have agreed more whole-heartedly with the headline of Charlie Wolf's opinion piece in last week's Jewish News, sadly I went on to totally disagree with his entire article. He is right that the Marriage Bill isn't and shouldn't be about homosexuality. This is not about defending some mythical definition of marriage either it should be about offering every couple the same opportunities in life and the same freedom of expression.
Words and concepts change their meaning over time and as a happily married woman I am truly grateful for this. What is this definition of marriage that allegedly goes back to time immemorial which Wolf is trying to defend by keeping it as the sole privilege of the heterosexual world? According to Wolf the fact that marriage comes with the expectation of rearing children provides its primary function. Our ancestor Jacob knew this and rather efficiently managed to use 4 wives to father his brood, does this mean that polygamy is in fact more akin to Wolf's precious image of marriage than a monogamous same sex relationship? Perhaps it is the definition of marriage summed up by the Orthodox ketubah which Wolf is alluding to: the traditional ketubah requires two witnesses to sign in order to testify that the groom has "acquired" the bride in the prescribed manner and that he has agreed to support her. There is no mutual agreement, the bride simply holds onto her ketubah as a surety of her rights and her husbandís duties. Even though many Jewish couples, for the sake of tradition, continue to use the traditional Aramaic, legalistic wording of the traditional ketubah, I wonder how many of them are truly entering into a marriage based on duty and acquisition, it simply isn't how we define marriage today. So whose definition of marriage is Wolf trying to preserve?
- Miliband: I've No Tolerance with Boycotts
- David Ward Faces Fresh Lib Dem Action Over JN Comments
- Threatened and harassed
Perhaps when the word marriage becomes one that can be used for any couple making a loving commitment to one another we can stop labelling people according to the choice of partner they make.
- Archbishop Exclusive: 'My Cousin The Rabbi' - 21/03/13
- Opinion: As Charedim, We Must Take Responsibility For Ourselves - 18/03/13
- Opinion: The Joy And Tears Of Marrying 'In' To The Jewish Community - 18/03/13
- Opinion: Shared Parenting - One Size Definitely Does Not Fit All - 18/03/13
- Opinion: At Pesach, Let Us Remember Our Obligation To Others - 18/03/13
- Opinion: Hamas Scurrying From Peace Like Cockroaches From Light - 18/03/13
- We Team Up With Tzedek To Help Fight Poverty - 14/03/13
- Blair speaks of Israel friendship as he opens new Mill Hill shul centre - 14/03/13
- Miliband: 'My Debt To Israel' - 14/03/13
- Coalition Marks 'Direction Change' for Israeli Politics - 14/03/13
- 'This Place Is A Life-Saver' London's Only Kosher Soup Kitchen - 08/03/13
- Another Shabbat On The Streets - 08/03/13
- Opinion: Was The ZF Right To Reject Yachad? ... NO - 07/03/13
- Opinion: Was The ZF Right To Reject Yachad? ... YES - 07/03/13