Should it be reserved for one particular union, that of a man and women, or should it be open to people that are lovingly committed to forming a union regardless of their gender?
It seems in reality that the answer to this question is based on what you see as the value of marriage. Values are typically one of the most difficult issues to change, negotiate or compromise on because they are our essence, our foundation and our belief in the working of the world around us. Our values are often hard to specifically define and are often part of our family background, world experience and our relationship with others.
Let's take a closer look at what values the word or the concept of marriage entails. By clarifying your perceptions around the values and beliefs that you have about marriage you can then understand common ground with others as well as areas where you have differences.
Commitment – people of all backgrounds and beliefs value the concept of commitment between marriage partners. This goes beyond a spiritual and emotional commitment and extends to staying monogamous throughout the relationship.
Structure – through the structure of marriage support for children, extended family members and the family unit is maintained. This allows for long term planning, growth and financial security. Non-traditional types of relationships, including same sex couples, still have the same structure as well as the same sense of the other two values.
Companionship And Love – humans are social animals and not designed to live solitary lives away from others. Through marriage strong emotional bonds are formed that allow for love, companionship and friendship to develop. These are different feelings that companionship with individuals that are not partners, although sometimes friendships may be lifelong and incredibly meaningful.
There may be other values including religious and moral issues that are a big factor for some individuals. However, there are at least these three values in any group of people that consider marriage as an important institution in their lives.
In essence there are always values in marriage, regardless of the gender of the couple, and they are important ones for all people. Although times may have changed and society may be reflecting those changes the values inherent in marriage are consistent and lasting regardless of what the partnership looks like.
Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E books at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba”on CBS Radio. Are you a Love Addict? Take Sherry's quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.