Mexico City Trying To Introduce Expiring Marriage Contracts

There’s a bill in the Mexico City legislature that would require the signatories of a marriage contract include a prenup and give the marriage an expiration date — no less than two years. Why? Too many divorce battles are clogging up their legal system. (Mexico City is like Washington, D.C. — it’s not a Mexican state, but it has its own laws like a state would.) So in light of a 40% divorce rate, they figure it’s pointless to pretend that there’s even a good chance that death will do the bride and groom part, and rather than put off the legal question until the end of the marriage, why not treat it like the contract that it is?

It’s pretty routine for business contracts to have clauses for dissolution of the contract, where damages and so forth are spelled out. It’s also routine to specify the duration of the contract, e.g:

I will lease your house for 2 years and if I break the lease early, I’ll pay you two months rent. The lease can be renewed after the 2 years are up and I’ll pay damages for anything I break in the meantime.

Imagine if leases didn’t specify those things — small claims court would be filled with tenants and landlords. The Catholic church is of course mortified by this law, because they keep insisting that marriage is for life, as if they’re blind to the divorce rate. They’re also mortified that marriage is being treated like a commercial contract. Well, this is what happens when church and state are not properly separated: the state steps on the church’s toes — take note, Republicans.

Maybe it’s time the church jumps on the Libertarian bandwagon and declares that there’s a difference between marriages sanctioned by God for the purposes of sacraments, procreation and so on, and those sanctioned by the state for the purposes of taxation, visitation rights, and health insurance. That way the heathens can all marry whomever they want under the auspices of the state alone and write in a two-year expiration date to the contract, and the righteous can marry one person of the opposite sex for life, under the auspices of the church (and for taxes and other legal matters, under the auspices of the state also). To eliminate confusion, we could call the state-sanctioned ones “civil unions,” and keep the term “marriage” to its original, religious meaning. And everyone would live happily ever after, until the question of robotic civil unions comes up.

Futurama's Calculon and his would-be bride, Coilette of Robonia (a.k.a., transgendered Bender)

 

From NPR

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