The issue of divorce promises to be a heated one following the RH bill debate. Once again, the matter has been left to the state to decide, even though it is actually an unnecessary entity when it comes to the association of two people with one another.
Anywhere in the world, the concept of marriage is referred to as “making it legal.” In the Philippines, couples have to jump hoops through the bureaucracy just to obtain a marriage license. They have to attend a bunch of inane, condescending lectures designed to ensure they have a mature outlook of the situation. And if a couple no longer wants to be married, they could use their influence, if any, to pull strings and get their marriage annulled, which is really divorce by another name.
In the first place, why is the state involved? It is precisely this idea of being part of an ambiguous collective, that makes for conflicting notions as to the rules of couples associating with each other. People take for granted that the marriage process, and the dissolution of such, is the way it is, without reference to institutions that the marrying individuals voluntarily joined.
Where there are no prior choices, when it is left to the government to decide, there will of course be disagreement, between a government and its purported constituents, and between constituents themselves.
Marriages should be legitimate on the say-so of the church or churches to which the marrying entities are affiliated. These voluntary institutions have their terms of marriage to which couples agree.
In the Roman Catholic Church for instance, the “Let no man tear asunder” verse in the bible dictates its policy. In another church, a procedure for annulment or divorce might be provided. Would this mean that all Catholics would flock to the other church, because of the increased options available to them? Not if their convictions are strong. And in the event that a Catholic married couple decides to call it quits, contrary to their previous convictions, it is up to the Catholic Church to continue recognizing their membership.
Marriage need not be the sole purview of religious denominations either. Private agencies handling marriages can spring up, and the general rules will depend on market demand, i.e. people’s moral convictions.
The issue of divorce thus becomes a non-issue, when freedom of association is given paramount importance. Other potential landmines such as same-sex or interspecies marriages, the recognition and legitimacy of which would be determined by social sensibilities, are likewise dealt with sufficiently.
What do you think?