Marriage = An Institution Free from State-Mandated Gender Roles

Check out this insightful passage, just one of many from the full text of Judge Vaughn Walker’s overturning of Prop 8 in California last Wednesday:

The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry. Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed. The right to marry has been historically and remains the right to choose a spouse and, with mutual consent, join together and form a household. Race and gender restrictions shaped marriage during eras of race and gender inequality, but such restrictions were never part of the historical core of the institution of marriage. Today, gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents.

Read the full post on SUNfiltered


  1. I agree with Mlle L. I would add that one thing that has changed/should change is to make alimony and custody gender neutral. In other words, if a man stays home with the kids, he’s the primary caregiver and he should get custody and alimony.

  2. I am glad that it has been decided that GLBT people can marry! YAY!

    However, I don’t think traditional marriage roles make any difference. I know lesbian and gay couples where one stays home and raises the kids, and one is the breadwinner, just like MANY regular marriages still work!

    Mjay, From what I have seen, “True” joint custody is not good for children, (Children need a HOME. I know, I have raised kids, and know what they need.) and alimony and maintenance are NECESSARY, especially in marriages where the participants do believe in traditional gender roles, or even if Dad stays home with the kids.

    In this job market, what is a woman left with small children supposed to do, if there is no maintenance or child support? Starve along with her children?

  3. When there is true joint custody legislation and alimony is abolished THEN it will be an institution free of state-mandated gender roles.

    God help my gay brothers and sisters. They know not what they have done…

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