Global Clarity over Cultural Confusion on Marriage and Marriage-like Expansion

A ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently determined that there is no human right to marriage expansion. In a recent Daily Mail article entitled "Gay marriage is not a 'human right'" at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2117920/Gay-marriage-human-right-European-ruling-torpedoes-Coalition-stance.html, the ECHR ruled that no human has a right to marriage as he or she deems appropriate.

Europe is struggling with marriage, as recent political events in France seems to indicate a carefree attitude on the legal status of marriage. "As the world adjusts to a France without Nicolas Sarkozy, scrutiny turns to president-elect Francois Hollande and his domestic partner, journalist Valerie Trierweiler. The couple have been living together since 2007 and have no intention to get married in the short term..." The immediate result of this non-marital arrangement is that President Hollande will not be able to visit some nations without a first lady. Read the entire article at CBS News story at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-57429378-503543/french-president-elects-domestic-status-a-yawn-for-tolerant-french/.

Marriage, its meaning, definition, and requirements for entry are all questions before several federal courts in the past few months. With each case, courts are finding that marriage is a legal relationship between one man and one woman of minimum age who are otherwise unrelated by blood or affinity. See the Lawyers.com article entitled "Federal Court Decisions Chip Away at Same-Sex Marriage Ban" at http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=ca2e88b6-5f8c-4b51-9556-7f9dcb5d077d
for a good overview of the current state of this matter of marriage in the federal courts.

In the midst of cultural confusion on marriage, the law is becoming more clear to judicial authorities around the globe. Marriage is inherent. I have published on this area before, particularly regarding how marriage expansion affects marriage, in "How Will the Proliferation and Recognition of Domestic Partnerships Affect Marriage?" 4 J. FAM. STUD. 105 (2002), which is also available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=269418, has been cited numerously, and is used in the University of Pittsburgh Law School Family Law course taught by Professor Margaret M. Mahoney. See some of my other research on the effects that marriage expansion has on law and culture in "The Collateral Effects of Civil Unions on Family Law," 11 WIDENER J. PUB. L. 451 (2002), which can also be found with some of my other works on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at http://ssrn.com/author=183817.

Family restoration is needed around the globe. Global clarity is coming to the law, even in the midst of cultural confusion in some nations. Not even framing marriage expansion as a human rights cause of action can alter the obvious nature of the time honored institution of marriage.


  1. It seems to me that Christians who want to protect the sanctity of marriage, as defined by Christian standards, would be served well by taking actions to draw distinctions between the sanctity of "marriages" sanctioned by the church and those performed by the state.

    To this end, perhaps it would be beneficial to support the idea that the state abandon the use of the sacred "marriage" term altogether, and adopt exclusive use of new language to define legal partnerships as they pertain to state recognized agreements between adults.

    In this way, Christians could maintain the sanctity of religious marriages without employing the same terminology the state uses to define partnerships which are not supported by religious values.

    It seems that the trend toward state sanctioned gay marriage is moving forward, and while many Christians may continue to object, they would also be wise to begin to develop a strategy to maintain the dignity of Christian marriages as something separate from the state and ordained by God. Moreover, it might be the case that gay couples may prefer to define their partnerships using secular terms because it seems to be the case that many such people have a contempt for religion anyway.

  2. I am a married female I was married in the church & I have young adult children who I hope will also one day be married, my opinion is not biased by my faith, marital or sexual status or preferences.

    That being said, I agree w/the above comment that if society would feel better using the term "marriage" for ceremonies done in a church & a new term for any couple (regardless of sexual orientation) married outside of the church by the state rather than by a Priest than that should be something to look into.

    However, I also think that those "christians" that feel so strongly about the sanctity of "marriage" that they cannot allow anyone they don't approve of using the term take a close look at themselves & those they support. It is in my experience which has been well documented in the news, that there are more heterosexual Christians disgracing the sacred marriage vows, then their are homosexual couples behaving badly in any way. We have adulterous Christians, homosexual pedifile rapist Priests all while good Christians look the other way or participate in the cover up of their bad behavior. This is also leaving out the fact that the majority of the people protesting are spreading hate, which I think the bible frowns on many more times than it frowns on homosexuals. A gay person is a person who is only hurting himself if in fact God chooses to punish him for his choice he made with the free will he was given. His choice to be gay does not affect me personally or my eternal destiny. Hate affects us all, it spreads to our children & their children for generations, it destroys lives. Hate hurts everyone equally.

    One thing those opposing Gay marriage should think about, "People in glass houses, should not throw stones" and then say WWJD?