Something I've been thinking about for years, and came up for a bit at work tonight, is marriage and how here in the United States we have sort of lost what exactly it means to be married. I always hear and see these huge outcries against same-sex marriages, but rarely or never hear any outcries at the steadily climbing divorce rate in this country, and maybe that's just the media's fault for covering one more than the other for ratings. For the record my stance on the matter is any two people who love each other should be able to get married, not matter their sex. Just like it is my believe that two people that stopped loving each other, and might down right hate each other, have the right to not be forced to live together until death just because of some ancient traditions. The rather radical idea I've proposed on a few occasions at work and among some friends is that marriage should be a 5 year contract that you can keep renewing or let dissolve at the end of its original term. So basically you get married, you live together for a few years, and if you find out you can no longer stand each other you go your separate ways after 5 years.
Now some might argue that this is destroying the sanctity of marriage. To which I would remind them that in our modern culture marriage is something licensed by the state, and has little to nothing to do with its religious origins. For those that want to maintain these supposed sanctity of marriage and get married by their church and hold it til death do they part if they wish and all the more power to them if they can manage a long happy marriage, but as far as the state is concerned its just a contract that none the less. A contract that says your partner has certain rights and that you are taxed differently. The spiritual meaning behind marriage was long ago stripped away, if it was indeed ever really there. Look at how those in power have always through out history had extramarital affairs. Look at how celebrities will get married and divorced so quickly that they might have multiple spouses in the same year.
Now the true argument that foils my idea of short term marriages is what about children of that marriage and the splitting of common property at the end of the contract term. To this I have yet to come up with a satisfactory answer, but in until I do the current divorce setup should be able to handle the problems. Though I know the current methods with divorce court can be rather lengthy and messy and really in the best interest of no one but the lawyers involved.