...I do believe that it would be for the best -- better both for the institution of marriage and the individuals getting married -- if we could change the law to prevent couples from getting married before the age of 25.Some schmuck from Toronto actually believes that armed government officials should come to either incarcerate or punitively fine young newlyweds. That's what "changing the law" means, right?
First off, why is the .gov in the business of issuing marriage licenses anyways? Shouldn't marriage be between you, your spouse, and your friends/family/deity of choice? Could it be that the government meddled in marriages so as to prevent the wrong "type" of people from getting together?
The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later part of that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-law marriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.
By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. Twelve states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, an addict or a “mental defect.” Eighteen states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.So, Ms. Nagy -- Get. The. Heck. Out. Of. Other. People's. Lives. Seriously, get over yourself. DW and I got hitched below the age of 25 and we're celebrating five solid years thus far. Young adults under the age of 25 serve as commissioned and non-commissioned officers in both the US and Canadian armed forces. That's right, people that age literally take on life-or-death commitments including binding themselves to solemn oaths. Just because you were personally unable to handle that kind of commitment, or because you showed poor judgement and got yourself married due to nothing more than alcohol-facilitated peer pressure, doesn't mean that all young adults are so reckless.
This really bugs me because it pushes a few buttons. First is that knee-jerk totalitarian impulse to control over people's lives on display by Ms. Nagy. Seriously, what gives a random middle-class 20-something person who has made some bad choices in life themselves the right to dictate how I live my life?
Next is the involvement in the .gov over marriage. I tend to agree with Sean's analysis -- get the government out of marriage altogether.
Finally, Ms. Nagy represents and articulates the continued infant-ilization on young adults. The age of majority seems to be creeping upwards and upwards. Being free to marry without permission is an important legal right bestowed on adults. We continue to define adults as being older and older -- driving laws, alcohol laws, firearms laws, access to credit, and now marriage licensing all send the message that you're not an adult until, oh, say sometime in your 20s. This is bullhooey. My thought is that if you are old enough to enlist in the military and get sent to a cruddy foreign country to potentially take a bullet or mortar round for the cause, then you're old enough to have a beer, get married, and buy a gun.