A 21st Century Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal
For Redefining the Sanctity and Holiness of Marriage, In Order to Decrease the Current Divorce Rate in America, Allowing Children to Lead Unbroken Lives So That They Become Better Leaders For When They Inherit Our Society

Back in the 18th century, Ireland suffered a detrimental famine that decimated the country. During the famine, satirist Jonathon Swift wrote A Modest Proposal, a pamphlet detailing his belief that the Irish should eat their own children in order to survive. I've been thinking of what issues in America could use their own "modest proposal" and I think I've decided upon one that is relevant and relatable.

In recent years, the definitions of "family" and "marriage" have been in flux, causing much strife among politicians and their constituents. Great strides have been made in the last decade to ensure marriage equality for all Americans, especially following the decision to strike down DOMA in United States vs. Windsor. As of today, 33 states allow same-sex marriage, but this still is not enough. All 50 states should legally allow same-sex marriage. Further, the separation and divorce rates for opposite-sex couples are higher than ever. What kind of example is that to set for our children? For my purposes, I propose that we redefine the traditional notions of what a marriage is, as clearly the long-standing tradition of only one man and only one woman joining themselves together for life has, essentially, stopped working in 21st Century America. The federal government's definition of marriage being only one man and only one woman has led to the breakdown of half of all these so-called "holy matrimonies," forcing children to choose between one parent or the other, leading to awkward family reunions, alienation from both mother and father, and poor self image. Remember Milhouse and his parents' messy divorce from The Simpsons? Do we really want a generation of Milhouse's inheriting America?

Therefore, in order for our children, the very future of our country, to be happy, we must find a way to not allow them to grow up jaded and cynical towards marriage, family life, and the concept of romantic love. To do so, I propose that we ban all heterosexual marriages, defined as being the union of only one man and only one woman, and legalize homosexual marriage, defined as being the union of either only two men or only two women. As far as those who identify outside of the traditional gender binary (i.e. transgender, intersex, etc.), they are free to marry whosoever they choose; they have faced enough discrimination and prejudice, especially recently as the rate of homicide and hate crimes transgender people continues to rise. With my proposal, it is my hope that things will become just a little bit easier for my non-binary friends.

Marriage between two people of the same sex just makes more sense and is more pragmatic than marriage between those of opposite sex identifications. The benefits are both numerous and obvious.

For first, as I have already observed, the homosexuals have been waiting long enough for their chance to enjoy the legal, monetary, and social benefits of marriage. As openly homosexual people make up somewhere between 10-12% of our general population, they are guaranteed these long-awaited rights should they get married. In addition, there are many more men and women in the closet who certainly would get married should it become legal for them to marry the one they love.

Secondly, for genuine heterosexual people that are absolutely unwilling to partake in the world of same-sex sexual interaction and/or marriage, they will be permitted to engage in extramarital affairs without question, that is only if said adultery is communicated and understood by all parties involved. Partners are even allowed to move out and start "traditional nuclear families" should that be their desire. To that end, marriage can either be a love-based union, or a need-based title, neither of which could be legally questioned by any institution. Should these not work out in favor of the adulterous couple, the children at least have the comfort in knowing that there parents are still legally involved in a marriage to another person, and that that family will sustain despite trying times.

Thirdly, for children of those marriages that find one or both parents living with someone else of the opposite sex but still living near the legal marriage partner, they have the advantage of having more than one set of parents. They will grow up with a strong moral backbone, and will have excellent parenting skills should they become mothers or fathers thanks to the excessive parental presence. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child, and this arrangement would only create bigger, and, ideally, stronger villages.

Fourthly, for those heterosexuals who ever have been curious about what same-sex liaisons and/or marriage could be like, this is their perfect chance to bite the bullet and give their hand at experimentation. Should it not work out in the ideal, the same rules for moving out and starting their own families as previously mentioned still apply.

Fifthly, since married men and women cannot seem to be compatible marriage partners half the time, it could be argued that two married men or two married women could potentially be the solution to this problem, thus greatly decreasing the divorce rate in America, benefiting not only the parents, but also the children. No longer will kids have to jump from home to home, switching off parents. This will build their self image and confidence, allowing a stronger generation of people to inhabit the world left to them. Of course, if the divorce rate stayed the same, we could at least say that we tried.

Sixthly, gone will be the days of politicians and other public figures being exposed in same-sex trysts, as they will be the new norm. It will make our country stronger politically since we won't be caught up in unnecessary sexual scandals. Similarly, closeted homosexuals will not be forced to awkwardly marry someone of the opposite sex.

There are many other positives to this particular marriage definition. I cannot think of a single disadvantage or objection one could raise about it, unless we bring religion into the picture. However, in order to live in the country that our Founding Fathers intended us to live in, we cannot allow religion or dogma to fog our perspective. As such, marriages will no longer be performed by religious leaders; instead, all marriages will be administered through government officials. Those joining themselves together in the union are at their own discretion in terms of how beautiful they wish their ceremony to be, as I am sure most would prefer something emotional and planned out rather than a simple, bureaucratic exchange of words and signatures.

All that being said, I am interested in seeing other ideas in regard to lowering divorce rate and making lives happier for American youth. However, let us remember the staggering statistics: 53% of all marriages between a man and a woman in America end in divorce and 41% of all men and women in America admit to infidelity. With my definition of marriage, infidelity would not be as high of a problem, as it would be almost expected of heterosexuals that get married to someone of the same sex.

Though I do have some personal interest in this matter, being a homosexual male, I confess that I have no desire to ever get married to anyone, so whether or not people choose to accept my proposal is of rather low importance to me. I am but 23 years old, so if I do change my mind, same-sex marriage will likely be legalized in all 50 states by that time, making the true purpose of my proposal, which is to bring marriage equality to LGBTQ people in America, a moot point.