It’s always a delight when my dissertation research overlaps with issues in the news. And this morning, as I finished up my research for the last entirely myth-based chapter in my paper, I read this in Carl Kerényi’s The Heroes of the Greeks:
We are told that [Kekrops] discovered, as it were, the double descent of human beings, that they come not only from a mother but also from a father. He founded the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, which was to be under the protection of the goddess Athene.
Legend held Kekrops to be the first king of Attica (Athens).
Further evidence that marriage is an institution based on sex difference. This is not to say that it always must remain so, but a reminder that sex difference, to borrow an expression, is at the “historical core” of the ancient (and honorable) institution.
If we seek to expand its definition so that it encompasses same-sex relationships, let’s not tinker with the cultural record by pretending that it has always been a mere union of loving individuals. State recognition of same-sex marriage represents a real social change. And that change should not be treated lightly nor dismissed casually as some judges have been wont to do.