The Absurdity of the New “Marriage”

Now that the post-modern ideologues and feckless careerists of the New York State Legislature have re-defined marriage to mean something that it cannot mean, we can reflect on the absurdity that they have created.

According to the Orwellian-named “Marriage Equality Act”, civil marriage under the laws of New York State will now be defined as a civil contract between any individuals (two, for the time being) who choose to consent to it, “regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex”.  In other words, sex doesn’t matter to marriage — only consent does.

But another provision of New York State law already holds that sex not only matters to marriage, but that normal male/female sexual intercourse is the standard for whether a marriage is valid.  And the “Marriage Equality Act” didn’t change that law at all.

The statute in question can be found in Section 7 of the Domestic Relations Law, which is entitled “Voidable Marriages”.  It reads, in part:

A marriage is void… if either party thereto: (3) Is incapable of entering into the married state from physical cause.

This is an ancient principle of the law, a legacy that comes to us from the English common law and which finds its roots in ecclesiastical law.  The courts have always interpreted it to mean that the couple must be physically capable of consummating the marriage by having normal male/female sexual intercourse, what one court once delicately called “natural and perfect coition” — or, to use the traditional Latin phrase, “copula vera “.  The reason behind this law is, of course, the immemorial and universal recognition that ordinary sexual relations between men and women, the kind that potentially may lead to the procreation of children, is essential to the very nature of marriage.

So there’s the absurdity that has been produced by the “Marriage Equality Act”.  We have one provision of the law saying that that persons of the same sex may validly enter into marriage, even though they would obviously not be engaging in normal sexual intercourse.  But we have another part of the law that holds that ordinary sexual intercourse between a man and woman is an essential part of the definition of marriage itself.

I have no illusions about this.  The “Marriage Equality Act” will not be struck down by the courts because it conflicts with another part of the law.  I am confident that, if the issue ever arose, a Humpty Dumpty court will feel free to re-define “copula vera” to reflect the fallacy of same-sex “marriage”.

But the fact remains.  The “Marriage Equality Act” is on its face an absurd piece of legislation.  And it is directly rebuked by history, tradition, common sense — and New York State law itself.

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6 Responses to “The Absurdity of the New “Marriage””

  1. lauren says:

    I’m confused. Is the Catholic church now policing how or if people consummate their marriage? Will the priest ask if the couple is physically capable of having sex? That seems awfully invasive and inappropriate! Although it would be in line with the clergy’s warped sexuality…

    If the focus is on procreating – then why does the church marry couples who may be infertile, or don’t wish to have children, or are senior citizens and are unable to conceive?

    You’re missing the point. Marriage equality is about ensuring that all citizens have the same legal and financial rights. People get married for a whole host of reasons and procreating is not the only one.

  2. Ed Mechmann says:

    I will leave aside the bigoted and ignorant comment about the sexuality of the clergy, which tells us much about the forces of “tolerance”, and their attitude towards those who disagree with their newly-invented ideology of sexuality.

    Instead, I will try to explain things to you, so that you are not so confused about what we believe.

    The ability to have normal sexual intercourse is a requirement for a valid marriage, both under civil law and canon law. It has always been so, under English common law and American law. You can actually go to a civil court and have a marriage declared void if one of the parties was incurably incapable of having normal sexual intercourse. You can also obtain a declaration of nullity from a canonical court for the same reason.

    The sexual relationship within a marriage is also essential under both civil and canon law. For example, you can obtain a divorce on the grounds that one of the spouses has unreasonably and repeatedly refused to engage in sexual intercourse. Under canon law, a failure to consummate the marriage by engaging in normal sexual intercourse renders the marriage invalid.

    The priest or deacon who witnesses a sacramental marriage is required to ask if the couple is capable of having normal sexual intercourse — the kind that, by its nature, is ordered towards procreation. That’s because we — and everyone else, until about ten years ago — understand that marriage by its essence is about having children. Of course, some people are incapable of fulfilling that goal due to some accidental characteristic (age, or a medical reason for infertility), but that does not render the marriage invalid — the nature of the sexual act remains intact (albeit impaired in its potential to procreate), and thus so does the marriage. This distinction between substance (essence) and accident was understood as far back as Aristotle, 2,500 years ago, and is essential to rational thinking.

    Marriage is marriage — an exclusive relationship between a man and woman dedicated to their good and to the procreation and education of children. The relationship in a same-sex “marriage” is obviously something completely different. To equate them under the name “marriage” violates the principle of contradiction (“A” cannot simultaneously be both “B” and “not B”) — another foundation of rational thought that was well known as far back as Aristotle and the ancient Greeks.

    In short, you can call a same-sex relationship by any name you prefer, and you can try to convince the government to grant that relationship whatever legal rights and privileges you want. But to call it “marriage” is simply logically incoherent.

  3. Patricia says:

    The word absurd is not strong enough. It should be oxymoran.

    It is as though they have chosen to say the law of gravity is no more. They can say it all day long but if they try to hang a hammer in the air, watch you head.

    They lie to these poor souls and tell them what they have is marriage when it is just not possible.Yes I believe what these people do is wrong, but nature backs that up. they endanger one anothers life’s and health. I believe God, but nature if you will has us disigned in a certain way and all parts have their purpose. What two men do to one another is not natural and Mother Nature will get them eventually. God forgives, nature never.

    What right does the state government, any more than the Fed have passing out rights. Government is NOT the source of our rights. Further their only responsibility as far as marriage goes, is protecting children.

  4. Florence Maloney says:

    The law will be repealed. It has no validity but is centered on attempting to satisfy a small minority of persons who want to “force” their lifestyle into acceptance. There’s too much against it for its survival.

  5. So now that we have Marriage Equality, we should have one standard that applies to all “marraiges” equally. I wonder what sexual act will count as consummating a same sex union? and will that same act be required of opposite sex unions?

  6. Ed Mechmann says:

    One shudders at the through of how that would happen — probably in a contested case in which a court has to determine what sexual act is inherent to the meaning of a same-sex “marriage”. On the other hand, since the Legislature has basically defined “marriage” to be meaningless, the courts could just say “Anything Goes”.