Thursday, February 07, 2013

Eighty years married

Whatever you think about it and whatever the cause, there is a move to destroy  marriage. (Dr Dave Landrum of the Evangelical Alliance said yesterday the Government wants to "reduce marriage to a lifestyle choice - like fashion or joining a club," with minority groups defining marriage for themselves.)

So time to mention a few positive things about marriage.

Today is the first day of National Marriage Week - seven days leading up to Valentine's Day. It will be launched with a meeting at Westminster today, with local events, like marriage courses and Valentine's Day meals, during the week.

In Canada, same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005, and strange things happen there. In one primary school, I'm told, eight-year-olds "married" their (same-sex) best friends, with cake and ice cream to follow.

But Canada's Supreme Court has decided that couples who live together outside of marriage should not have the same privileges as married couples. Couples who choose to marry, it said, choose the responsibilities and the protections associated with it. Couples who choose not to marry avoid the responsibilities and the protections.

In the United States, this week is a special time for John and Ann Betar, who have been married for 80 years.

They lived across the street from each other, and John used to drive Ann to school in his Ford Roadster. Ann was supposed to marry someone in a wedding arranged by her father, but John and Ann eloped to New York State and were married on November 25, 1932. "Some people said it would never last," John is reported to have said. "We showed them."

Ron and Judy Pekny, of an organisation called Worldwide Marriage Encounter, are travelling to John and Ann's home town of Fairfield, Connecticut, for a ceremony in their honour this week.

Nice to honour people who have been faithful to each other for so long. Don't you think?