Sunday, December 12, 2004

Domestic Partnership Law

I had a radical idea this morning. To strengthen marriage, maybe we should add rights and responsibilities to domestic partnerships.

It used to be that people could get married by simply having sex and moving in together. That's why we have these archaic laws about common-law marriage-- because people used to actually get married that way, instead of registering their marriage first with the state. So, what would happen if we gave all domestic partnerships (throw the homosexual ones in too, just for fun) the full rights of marriage that they clamor for so vociferously-- but with them, the full responsibilities of marriage, such as the merger of financial responsibility? Suddenly it would be a huge commitment to move in with someone. It would not be something people do casually any more. As in the old days, you would have responsibilities toward anyone you slept with. It would give people pause to think before engaging in premarital sex. It would certainly put a damper on some of the attitudes about sex that are degrading marriage nowadays, and eliminate this bogus idea that having some of the trappings of marriage without the responsibility is somehow an increase in commitment. It'd be like the genie in Disney's Aladdin: you want the phenomenal cosmic powers? You get them, and everything that comes with them. They come with an itty bitty living space.

Just an idea I thought I might throw out there in the marketplace of ideas, just to see if it sells.