The Supreme Court of the US will soon decide on whether persons attracted to the same sex can legally wed. Well that’s a good one, what gives them the right to be supreme in the first place? Long lauded as a rational body of intelligent, reasonable jurists capable of making important distinctions in the laws of the most powerful nation in the world, one has to wonder about the wisdom of a governing body that arrives at the conclusion that A: a corporation is a person; B: said corporation has a conscience; and C: Corporations can do as they please. (Damn corporations anyway. They are not persons, they are entities allowed to do business under permission of the populace and if they truly were persons we should revoke their charters and send a few to the electric chair for the crimes they commit.) But research indicates that the Supreme Court has historically arrived at generally rational decisions and so we should give them the benefit of a doubt.
Specifically the court will decide on whether the marriage contract can be valid for individuals of the same sex. Omit the arguments that may extend the contract of marriage to man and beast, cats and dogs, aficionado and automobile, corporation and politician or between the devil and whoever, and the argument boils down to the basics of contractual law. There are five basic components of a valid, binding contract.
- A contract is valid only under certain conditions. Persons must be in their right minds when arriving at the agreement. They can’t be drunk, drugged, half-witted, under duress or having recently licked a toad. Again, persons must be in their right minds when arriving at the agreement, love by itself, let alone all those previously mentioned conditions nullifies almost every marriage ever entered into.
- There must be a definite, clearly stated offer to do something. Love, honor, obey, well take your pick. And wait, there’s more! To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. Man, with all those mitigating factors somethings just bound to go awry before the death part.
- Only what is offered can be accepted. This means that the offer must be accepted exactly as offered without conditions. If any new terms are suggested this is regarded as a counter offer which can be accepted or rejected. Ever heard that communication is only about half efficient? In every verbal contract someone is hearing something differently than the other.
- A contract requires that the parties enter into a legally binding agreement. That is, the parties entering into the contract must understand that the agreement can be enforced by law. Hello, 911? My spouse is not living up to the better or worse part of our contract.
- And there has to be some form of consideration, not the kind where one puts the newspaper down and listens to the other over the breakfast table. The law defines consideration as a payment, or something of value. (Whatever did happen to the dowry, and why was it only women were paying off the men?)
Regardless of the individual feelings on the matter we wish the Supreme Court the best of luck in deciding the matter, it’s well beyond our intellect.