In that piece, published back in July of 2015, I argued that we have essentially been sterilizing marriage for 50 years. Same-sex marriage is simply the announcement and institutionalization of a work that has already been under way for some time.
So what is the alternative to an implicitly sterile, companionate model of marriage?
It is not simply a procreative, covenantal model of marriage, though it is that. It is a recovery of the fecundity of the cosmos, of the recognition that human marriages are simply a formal enactment of human participation in the life of the world. And as such the manner of the wedding ceremony must have certain traits. It should recognize that the union is not simply about the relationship of two people, but about a covenant they make to one another before God, their witnesses, and creation itself. It also recognizes that their union is simply one of the many life-giving unions that fill the world and propagate the existence of humanity and of the places that make human society both possible and delightful. In short, the traditional wedding ceremony is important precisely because of what it says not about the couple but about the cosmos. Because we have turned our back on the cosmos, finding it to be boring and unworthy of our attentiveness, we now can only look at each other. And we can only understand marriage as a kind of life achievement in which we express the truth not of the world, but of ourselves.
The abandonment of the traditional ceremony is, then, a tragic but unsurprising thing.