(Apr. 1) Louisville . In the face of increasing pressure from traditionalist forces in the
mountains who argued that the concept of marriage is not in keeping with the
kind of marriages engaged in by the founders of the commonwealth in 1792,
Kentucky's General Assembly has agreed to prohibit all marriages. The new
law, signed by the governor, who apparenty mistook it for a self-pardon--takes
effect April 1.
One of the few times conservative Christians and radical, bomb-throwing,
liberal gay and lesbian rights activists intent on destroying civilization as we
know it have been able to agree on any issue.
We looked at the state of marriage in frontier Kentucky in the 18th
century, says David Williams, president of the state senate, and realized,
hey, it in no way resembles what we now consider to be "traditional"
marriage Back then, historians informed him, Kentucky pioneers simply
coupled with each other in what would now be considered common law marriages.
No preacher was asked to perform a ceremony, and no licenses were required. If
the couple later decided to divorce, they simply told their neighbors and then
went off to couple with others.
Such customs were apparently in place in the British Isles for thousands of
years before the royal government clamped down in 1752 and required everyone to
obtain a marriage license.
"We welcome this return to the traditional concept of marriage" said David
Williams, former editor of The Letter (not to be confused with the senate's
Williams). For years we've been telling these people that if you really
want to go back to traditional marriage, then do away with marriage licenses and
do away with church ceremonies. Just cohabit like everyone did before the 18th
century. It makes the most sense, actually, because if things don't work out,
you don't have to go to court and face a judge and air all your private
grievances. It's a much more amicable arrangement.
Marriage has had a convoluted history. Before the Council of Trent in the 16th
century, the Roman Catholic Church refused to recognize it as a sacrament. Even
after that, marriage was considered a property rights institution engaged in
only by the wealthy who sought to protect their land by prudent marriages to
neighbors. Wives were considered no better than cattle, and children were
thought to be the unfortunate consequences of lust.
"At last" says David Williams (not to be confused with the former editor of
The Letter), "we've returned to the good old days when our commonwealth was
founded, when women were the property of the husband, and no activist court
could tell a family how to conduct their lives." Williams also feels the new
law reflects the type of marriages common in the Bible (a book which most
Christians perform idol worship on). "This is indeed," he concludes,
"what God intended."