Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Marriage Act of 2007

The NBA implemented a rule at the end of last season that disallows high school players from jumping straight to the pros. One year in college is now the required minimum.

In Major League Baseball, players may opt to turn pro straight after high school but if they decide to go to college, they are required to commit to at least three years at the collegiate level before leaving school to turn pro. I believe there’s a similar rule in the NFL.

Some Catholic orders have a system of renewing vows annually until a certain number of years are accumulated before allowing its brothers to move up in religious rank to become priests. Most companies give new hires a probationary period where they can see if a long term employment commitment can be made and would be worth it.

Professional sports, religious orders, and companies don’t take commitment and one’s readiness to handle commitment lightly. Perhaps there’s something to be learned here with regards to marriage.

Thus, I introduce the Marriage Act of 2007* (M.A. 07). Here are the proposed provisions:

1. A newly-married couple must renew their marriage license annually for the first three years. If the license is not renewed, the marriage is annulled, which is to proclaim that the marriage never existed.

2. After the third year, another renewal extends the validity of the marriage through the seventh year. Legal separation is prohibited during the four-year validity of the third renewal.

3. If the couple wishes to renew their license after seven years, a yearly renewal is again required through the tenth year of marriage overall. If the couple wishes to separate anytime between the eighth and tenth year, they reserve the right to acknowledge the existence of the failed marriage through divorce or deny it ever existing through annulment.

4. If the couple is still strong after a decade, they may renew their marriage license one last time. Only then is the license a lifelong contract which may not be terminated unless in extraordinary circumstances which are left to the investigation and discretion of the proper authorities.

5. The presence of children does not affect the provisions of this proposed law.

6. Provisions will apply to homosexual couples if ever amendments are made to legalize same-sex marriages.

M.A. 07 was conceptualized in an attempt to protect the institution of marriage and to ensure marriages are maintained through true commitment rather than obligation, thus increasing the quality of the relationship as well as creating an honest, less-deceitful environment for children to grow up in.

M.A. 07 also protects the rights and the intentions of the individuals in the marriage, safeguarding their own being as opposed to fusing them with another institutionally.

Legislative pressure is seen as a means to proactively promote communication and conflict resolution between couples to avoid leaving the sanctity of marriage in the hands of passive faith and romantic preconceptions.

*M.A. 07 comes from the mind of the one who wrote these provisions. He is neither a government official nor a lawyer. But the author of M.A. 07 strongly believes that the law makes sense—not that his opinion matters.


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