Marriage and same-sex marriage. That’s the topic of discussion for episode 93 of Flash Past. It has been a hot-button topic in the news and on social media long enough for most of us to see the stories pass by and just shrug. Sure, there may be a few minutes of contemplation, but the argument has been going on long enough. Well, not quite long enough; let’s give it enough time for a podcast.
On Monday, March 2nd, a federal judge struck down Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage. This comes just a month after gay marriage was legalized in Alabama. Yes, that Alabama. But, not to be confused with more liberal-leaning states, on March 3rd, Alabama reinstated its ban. Unfortunately, Lyle and Dan were unaware of this at the time of recording.
Marriage is an old institution. It hasn’t always been based on love and fidelity, either. In its earliest incarnation, marriage was more of a business transaction, an alliance between families. As time went on, the basis and nature of marriage changed, but it wasn’t until about 50 years ago that the idea of marriage being a partnership of two loving equals became the norm.
Beginning around 1993, the discussion and potential nature of marriage changed again. Now, the question isn’t “Should two people love one another and act as equals?” it’s “What is the definition of marriage, and can two people of the same sex be married?” The debate over, and looming acceptance of, gay marriage has gained a lot of traction in recent years. According to Stephanie Coontz, author of “Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage”
“One of the reasons for the stunningly rapid increase in acceptance of same sex marriage is because heterosexuals have completely changed their notion of what marriage is between a man and a woman,”Coontz said. “We now believe it is based on love, mutual sexual attraction, equality and a flexible division of labor.”
The discussion doesn’t end at a decision as to whether gays should be allowed to spend their lives together as a married couple. Even people who are in favor of same-sex, non-religious, love-based unions of two people are at odds as to whether it should be called marriage or a civil union.
Listen to the show to find out how the hosts feel on the subject. Once you’ve finished, get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to have you join the conversation.