Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Marriage Contract

This is a good idea:
Gov. Mike Huckabee took the former Janet McCain to be his lawfully wedded wife Monday night, just as he did nearly 31 years ago, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do them part.

This time, although the actual vows were not repeated, the emphasis was clearly on the "until death" pledge.

Upgrading their vows to that of a covenant marriage, a legally binding contract available only in Arkansas, Arizona and Louisiana, the Huckabees hope to jump-start a conservative movement that has shown little sign of moving in recent years. A covenant marriage commits a couple to counseling before any separation and limits divorce to a handful of grounds, like adultery or abuse.

Here's an even better one (from my comment on a post at Agoraphilia):

The "wrong" [thing about the controversy surrounding same-sex marriage] is that government is involved, one way or the other. When I contract for services, I don't submit the contract to a government entity for approval. If the other party breaches the contract I may, if I wish, seek redress in a government-sponsored court. But government, in that case, is merely acting (or should be acting) as a neutral referee in a contract dispute. Actually, because of the demonstrated inability of government-sponsored courts to make sensible decisions, it would be better to take marriage out of government's hands by stipulating that marital disputes must be resolved by the parties themselves, through mediation, or through binding arbitration -- as the parties wish -- but not through the courts.

A "covenant marriage" needn't require the state's blessing, just an informed, binding commitment by both parties to the covenant.