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  #61  
Old 12-21-2012, 09:47 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is online now
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As I said when I first posted, there is definitely a cultural thing here

First, clearing things up, I did not mean to say that nobody has ever used marriage in a religious way. Simply that when I hear "marriage", I don't think of religion. I'm aware that some people use it religiously, but I was in my teens by the time I realised it was the case, which in my opinion means it cannot be as prominent as you make it to be.

As for "husband" and "wife", I have definitely used the words often to mean "long term partners", for me/my partners and other people. Mind you, this was all in French, when the word "partner" would seem extremely weird used for romantic attachment (it can be use for sexual partners, but usually implies a lack of emotional connection, the word "partner" implying that sex is treated as an activity in the same way that a sport would be, for instance).
Once again, this is cultural, and I'm sure other countries, even French-speaking countries, will have different connotations with different terms.

I have also lived in Canada, where living with someone for a whole year while in a relationship with them makes you legally married (common-law-marriage is what they call it), and you have pretty much the same rights, and you're referred to as spouses and/or husband(s) and/or wife(ves) (but it's limited to a union of two people, and since you signed no contract you can't define the terms specifically).

I understand that you feel strongly about the issue, and that to you the word "marriage" has such strong connotations that you want to stay away from it for good. But I still disagree with your opinion that it's only or even mainly a religious word.
I knew someone who insisted that "single" meant "unmarried". It's not going to stop me from using it for people who are in no romantic relationship, and not using it for unmarried people who are.
I know people who think "feminist" is an insult, means "sexist towards men", and want to stay away from the word and use others. They're free to do so, but it won't prevent other people from using the word "feminist" in a different way.

Yes, big changes cause paperwork and hassle, and that's fine because it's a small price to pay for a big, positive change. From my point of view, though, this would be a price to pay for at best a neutral change (just a change of words) and at worst a negative one (telling religious people this word is now theirs, and preventing secular people from being able to use it, even though it's a very common word that is and has been used in secular contexts regularly).

To me, an unfortunate consequence would be that people who are used to the word and don't want to bother with a new one, as often happens (and as would be the case of pretty much everyone who doesn't feel strongly enough about it to consciously change their speech and habits) will keep saying "marriage", but now it will be said in legal texts that they must be talking about religious marriage, and therefore religion will look more prevalent than it actually is, and people will have to constantly correct themselves and said "I didn't mean it in a religious way".

I also can't help but think that people will have a hard time getting used to asking "Would you enter a civil union with me?" rather than "Would you marry me?"
I certainly know which phrasing I'm going to use when I propose to my boyfriend. (Or will "propose" have to be changed into another word as well?)
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  #62  
Old 12-21-2012, 10:33 PM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
Hold up, I think there was one misunderstanding that would make this conversation much less intense. [etc.]
Thanks for your post, I think it gave much needed de-fusing... on both sides.

I can put a "signed" under your whole post, I just reacted strongly to Tonberry's use of the word "totally"... that word just doesn't mesh with a subjective viewpoint, to my ears.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
Seriously? Tonberry never said it was a totally secular term, she said it had no religious connotation to HER and many other people. You are the one insisting that because one religion made it a "sacrament" that it is now a totally religious term.
See above. I never said it's a totally religious term, just that it's untrue that it's totally secular. The facts are that it's has a mix of secular and religious meanings... and I would dearly wish those two aspects could become unmeshed; making marriage a completely religious term would be the easiest way to acheive that that goal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
And when gay marriage became an issue, I have stated many times that I think the states should be in charge of, and grant, civil unions for everyone, no matter whether they are gay or straight or whatever, and let marriages be the domain of religious institutions. Then the legal end is satisfied, and those who feel a marriage is important can go and do it as an extra step in a church or temple or whatever, and it is up to the religious institution whether or not they will marry someone. The state can do the legal paper thing, the religious institutions the marriage thing. In other words, instead of gays aspiring to get married, why not have everyone get down on a level playing field and let straights all start with civil unions. Now, as far as poly's, I know some create LLCs instead of civil unions.
We come from pretty heavily different starting experiences, but I can just say, a world of agreement to every word of this paragraph.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
As I said when I first posted, there is definitely a cultural thing here

First, clearing things up, I did not mean to say that nobody has ever used marriage in a religious way. Simply that when I hear "marriage", I don't think of religion. I'm aware that some people use it religiously, but I was in my teens by the time I realised it was the case, which in my opinion means it cannot be as prominent as you make it to be.

As for "husband" and "wife", I have definitely used the words often to mean "long term partners", for me/my partners and other people. Mind you, this was all in French, when the word "partner" would seem extremely weird used for romantic attachment (it can be use for sexual partners, but usually implies a lack of emotional connection, the word "partner" implying that sex is treated as an activity in the same way that a sport would be, for instance).
Once again, this is cultural, and I'm sure other countries, even French-speaking countries, will have different connotations with different terms.

I have also lived in Canada, where living with someone for a whole year while in a relationship with them makes you legally married (common-law-marriage is what they call it), and you have pretty much the same rights, and you're referred to as spouses and/or husband(s) and/or wife(ves) (but it's limited to a union of two people, and since you signed no contract you can't define the terms specifically).
Oh my, thanks for the clearup! We might as well live on different planets, then... it's way different here! (Germany)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I understand that you feel strongly about the issue, and that to you the word "marriage" has such strong connotations that you want to stay away from it for good. But I still disagree with your opinion that it's only or even mainly a religious word.
Oh, certainly not "only"; I'm not sure on "mainly" or not. I am, however, dead sure the religious meaning is a noticeable part of it... at least over here, when you hear "marriage", you pretty much automatically think "church"... you can choose against that, and certianly get a non-religious marriage just by visting a secular office (the Standesamt), but you pretty much can't help but have the religious aspects pop into your head.

(There's more aspects over here where church and state aren't nearly as separated as I'd want them to be. *cough*church tax*cough* )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I knew someone who insisted that "single" meant "unmarried". It's not going to stop me from using it for people who are in no romantic relationship, and not using it for unmarried people who are.
I know people who think "feminist" is an insult, means "sexist towards men", and want to stay away from the word and use others. They're free to do so, but it won't prevent other people from using the word "feminist" in a different way.
+1 to that part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Yes, big changes cause paperwork and hassle, and that's fine because it's a small price to pay for a big, positive change. From my point of view, though, this would be a price to pay for at best a neutral change (just a change of words) and at worst a negative one (telling religious people this word is now theirs, and preventing secular people from being able to use it, even though it's a very common word that is and has been used in secular contexts regularly).

To me, an unfortunate consequence would be that people who are used to the word and don't want to bother with a new one, as often happens (and as would be the case of pretty much everyone who doesn't feel strongly enough about it to consciously change their speech and habits) will keep saying "marriage", but now it will be said in legal texts that they must be talking about religious marriage, and therefore religion will look more prevalent than it actually is, and people will have to constantly correct themselves and said "I didn't mean it in a religious way".
Well, we just differ on the evaluation there how important this is. For me, the benefits (make a clear cut to establish a purely secular state and legal system without religious context) would by far outweigh the work needed to get there. For you, coming from a cultural viewpoint where the whole starting sitch apparently is quite different, I can understand why you'd see it as lots of hassle for minimal gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I also can't help but think that people will have a hard time getting used to asking "Would you enter a civil union with me?" rather than "Would you marry me?"
I certainly know which phrasing I'm going to use when I propose to my boyfriend. (Or will "propose" have to be changed into another word as well?)
I trust both people and language itself to adapt to a change, even if it may well take a generation... 100 years in the future, people probably wouldn't see it as weird at all anymore, even if you changed it to something that would sound horribly artificial to current-day ears.
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