It Sure Will Be A New Year...
A primary reason I created The Marriage Education Act is to prevent marriage from becoming obsolete in the coming decades as current trends suggest could happen with marriage rates at an all time low and continuing lower. Some might think marriage becoming obsolete a far-fetched notion. As a native New Yorker who twenty years ago was in The World Trade Center every day, I would have said those buildings being taken down was beyond far-fetched.
Regardless of your opinion on same-sex marriage, thirty years ago most people would have thought it was not even in the realm of possibility this would be legal. Right now, something you might find unbelievable which affects you and how your kids and grandkids get married becomes law in California on January 1, 2015.
Six months ago, on July 7, 2014, with the power vested in Governor Jerry Brown by the people of the State of California, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1306, which takes effect January 1, 2015. As stated in the official California Legislative Digest, amongst other things, SB 1306 will “delete references to “husband” or “wife” in the Family Code.” For instance, as of January 1st, a wedding officiate who performs (solemnizes) a wedding no longer has power vested in them to pronounce anyone husband and wife. Here’s some of the actual language:
SEC. 8 Section 420 of the Family Code is amended to read: 420. (a) No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the physical presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as spouses."
This article isn’t about same-sex marriage and quite frankly I think most gay people - who comprise less than three percent of our population - wouldn’t want their family and friends to unnecessarily lose something so precious in the coarse of them receiving what they value. Additionally, I believe all of the focus on same-sex marriage has allowed everyone to ignore the decay of marriage in America. In fact, the women behind the first same-sex marriage case in Massachusetts are already divorced as are women behind the famed California Prop 8 legal case.
This is simply about marriage and I bring this up to substantiate the notion that marriage could become obsolete in the not too distant future. I find it sad that on New Years Day if you are already married in California you are no longer husband and wife in the eyes of your state. Rather, you become Spouse # 1 and Spouse #2. I guess at halftime of the New Years Day Bowl Games you can figure out which one of you will be #1 and who will be #2? It seems Dr. Seuss was a visionary after all with Thing 1 and Thing 2. Oh, and by the way, don’t blink, because by the time you do, the terms Mom and Dad will be replaced by Parent #1 and Parent #2. By the logic used to pass this law that is inevitable!
I’m guessing that clergy, who still perform most weddings, will make a noble stand and simply just continue to ask couples to take each other as husband and wife and accordingly pronounce couples husband and wife. After all, in the bible, the word husband is mentioned approximately 120 times, the word wife approximately 400 times, and the word spouse mentioned zero times. As a proponent of civil disobedience where God and man’s authority conflict, I will applaud clergy for taking a stand.
Never the less, attempts at civil disobedience likely will unravel a few years from now when a crafty lawyer gets a divorced spouse off from paying a large spousal support or other financial order by proving the couple were never legally married in the first place because clergy violated the law. People have gotten off of far worse things on a technicality.
All this to say that if we don’t develop a sense of urgency and fix it now, there’s a good chance marriage will become obsolete in the coming decades and the hopes and dreams you have for your kids and grandkids to be married will be a distant memory! This is not a far-fetched statement. As of January 1, 2015, the terms husband and wife begin their journey down memory lane. Please join me now in The Marriage Education Act and let’s take a bold step now to fix the state of marriage in America!