PHOTO: ironically, just as gay marriage rights are being won nationwide, heterosexual marriage skepticism is being expressed by the millennial generation in an Oregon State University student newspaper opinion page column by Brooklyn Di Raffaele, "United States better off without marriage," OSU Barometer, Apr. 10, 2015, p. 7-8. Note that this student's defense of 'marriage apocalypse' is more reminiscent of a 1960's gay liberationists and women liberationists, who rejected marriage a being only a tool used to oppress women, and not one supportive of the right-wing agenda to forbid gay marriages by eliminating all marriages.
What I love about living in a small college town is the constant opportunity to hear firsthand what is on the minds of the next generation of future leaders. My latest example came from an OSU Senior student in English who magnanimously states, "I am not saying that I think it is wrong to get married," while pitching her opinion:
". . . with new technology changing the way we view every aspect of life and societal changes toward gender and race. This century has brought all new technologies and ways of living that have made for better standards of life with new opportunities, and this is slowly phasing out archaic practices. Marriage is one of those practices that is losing its appeal and place in current society for many reasons." (Quoted from Brooklyn Di Raffaele, "United States better off without marriage," OSU Barometer, Apr. 10, 2015, p. 7-8)
I was amused to read this presumably heterosexual student's newly found skepticism about marriage because similar feelings were being expressed in the 1960's by both gay liberation and women liberation groups who felt marriage was an obsolete institution set up by men only to oppress women and that marriage could be eliminated if only lawmakers would repeal the blue laws against cohabitation and sex outside of marriage, including sodomy and gay sex. Likewise, my Grandmother, who lived in Sweden in the 1920's, thought Americans were religious prudes compared to the sexually liberated Europeans she knew who commonly "shacked up together" instead of getting married as required by many religions and American blue laws of the past.
The student columnist also cited the new concept of a "marriage apocalypse," which doesn't yet have a well-established definition when I tried a quick Google define:"marriage apocalypse" on Apr. 11, 2015, but Google deserves credit for returning a link to an interesting article saying, "The marriage apocalypse may be coming. Talk to any millennial and you can envision an America virtually marriage-free, with everyone happily single," by Carol Costello, Anchor, "Ready for the marriage apocalypse?" cnn.com posted Apr. 7, 2015
In my opinion, the importance of gay marriage predicted by a few gay activists many decades ago, despite hostile resistance by mainstream gay activists of the era, provides an important counterexample to the century old idea that marriage is not important or it can be replaced by another institution. However, I do agree with the fact that marriage has historically been used to opress women and only recently have women been able to marry on an equal footing to men -- thanks in part to gay marriage activists and women liberationists. (See previous posts Supreme Court on Jack Baker's gay marriage case 42 years later (3/26/13) and My opinion on upcoming gay marriage court decisions printed in local newspaper (1/28/15))