Civil marriage is, in essence, a legal contract, a business agreement. No one should go into a partnership of any sort without something in writing, and the standard contractual agreements of state-recognized marriage is the best choice for most.
It also provides a number of legal benefits. If one partner is incapacitated or dies, it is essential to have the marriage contract in place. If there are children involved, it protects both them and the parents. Having a civil marriage simplifies the whole process of two people being and living together.
I do consider those people married in the eyes of nature and god if they are living together as man and wife. Or woman and wife. Or even woman and two husbands. None of that matters. It would be ideal if governments also recognized these unions, these partnerships. I don’t care whether or not they call them ‘marriages’ or ‘civil unions,’ as long as the same rights are there.
A legal contract should be open to any consenting, competent adult. The validity of all contractual law is threatened if we deny this.
I have probably posted stuff along these lines previously here at The Lucky Lad. I just wanted to lay it out in a logical manner. Why? Because it is one of the themes that I am exploring in the early stages of writing a new novel. That would be a sequel to SHAPER, almost certainly to be named WAVES.
I left the two lead characters in SHAPER more or less agreeing to move in together at the end of that book. Implied, actually, as Ted offers Michelle a job at his shop with ‘room and board’ included. Ted’s opinion is my opinion about 'living together,' that it is marriage in the natural sense. But he also wants a legal union — something of which the twice-divorced Michelle may prove a bit leery.
Hmm...considering that both husbands passed away after their divorces, does that also make her twice-widowed? I’m not sure.
I am not certain that WAVES will actually be the next novel I write. I tend to make notes and dabble at several ideas simultaneously until one says, “Okay, I’m ready! Write me!” It works for me. SHAPER turned out to be more of a 'crime' novel than I had originally intended, so I guess I need to stick to that sort of thing for any and all sequels, eh? All the drugs and hard life in Michelle and Charlie's past was just going to be backstory when I first conceived of the book, and it was going to be much more about relationships and the sort of stuff one finds in a 'literary' novel. Indeed, I intended a downer of an ending with Michelle moving on and leaving poor depressed Ted behind.
Fortunately for Ted, I changed my mind and turned it into more of a 'surf noir' sort of novel. And I think that worked.