Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Interesting question

Last night at dinner little j asked me how many girls could get married. I wasn't quite sure what she meant and when I quizzed her it turned out that she wanted to get married to several girls and wanted to know if that was okay. Well, that had me stumped. I wasn't sure how to answer. I finally told her that usually it was two people that got married but it was possible to live with many girls. And she responded, "Well I've never done that before."

This isn't the first time she has asked about marrying another girl, but definitely the first time she implied that her marriage of choice involved polygamy! I realized how difficult it is to explain the rules and laws of society to a 5-year old who just wants what she wants. It makes perfect sense to her that she can marry another girl, or, for that matter, several girls. It sounds like a good domestic arrangement.

I was reminded of a NYT op-ed piece: Taking Marriage Private. The thesis of the piece is simply that state government should be out of the business of sanctioning marriage. I couldn't agree more. Isn't it interesting that in the U.S. there is lip service given to separation of church and state and yet many of our laws, most notably marriage, are tied to religious convention. For parents raising a child without a specific religious context it's difficult, especially since some laws seem to directly contradict the rule we feel is most important: do unto others as you would have them do to you. If little j wants to marry a girl (or girls) I am happy as long as she is happy. Of course she's five and who knows what she will want when she's 15, 25 or 50. Whatever it is, I hope that she is happy.

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