In the past few years, we have heard many arguments from the Religious Right concerning the definition of marriage. Many claim that civil marriage for same sex couples will fundamentally redefine marriage in American culture.

After the passage of California Prop 8 and Florida Prop 2, this debate has reemerged in the mainstream media. Many activists have made compelling and moving arguments for marriage equality. And some have even cited precedent for how redefining marriage has happened in the past and has made our nation better. In the past, marriage was a business arrangement between fathers. In the past, slaves were not allowed to decide who they got to marry, if at all. In the past, interracial marriage was illegal. In each instance, the social and legal definitions were fundamentally changed. And our nation has become more just for it.

But my favorite definition of marriage has come from a furry blue monster and a little boy. In this definition, we see that marriage has nothing to do with gender or sexuality. It has to do with love, commitment and support. This is what activists of civil marriage equality are fighting for. And I cannot think of anything better to be fighting for.

About the Author
Alex Winnett


  1. Bill Baar

    How can marriage be a “right” available equally if it’s so culturally bound? What’s marriage today won’t be marriage tomorrow as your history suggest.

    UU’s need to answer what marriage should be today and what that implies about who should marry. We duck that question with the equality frame.

    History frowns fuzzy thinking and dodges here.


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