Gay Marriage and Family Values

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English 1302 March 22, 2013 Gay Marriages and Family Values At the very heart of the debate about same-sex marriage is the definition of the word "marriage". To some people, it changes to meet social and economic needs, to others it remains firmly fixed. In traditional cultures of Asia, arranged marriages are the rule. Marriages are designed to further the well-being of families, not the individuals involved. Marriages are seen as a matter of ancestors, descendants, and property. The Anglo-Saxons saw marriage as a strategic tool to establish diplomatic and trade ties. As a result, history and literature are full of love-smitten couples that chose death rather marriage to the person selected by his/her respective families. People marry for many reasons, including: legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. Polygamous marriages may also occur in spite of national laws. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction. English common law; adopted by the United States, [understand] a husband and a wife as one person, and that person [is] the husband. Under the doctrine of the coverture, a wife [has] no independent legal identity. She [cannot] sign a contract, own property or money. She is required to provide services and labor for her husband and to obey him; and in return he is required to support her. (
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