For thousands of years, marriage has existed in nearly every society for the purpose of ensuring that a child is raised by his mother and father. Far from simply blessing a private relationship between consenting adults, marriage has aimed to promote stable sexual unions between men and women whose public commitment creates a suitable context for childrearing. Colleen Carroll Campbell
Marriage in societies has existed for economic and power reasons before having anything to do with child-rearing. The reason for children in a sanctioned union between two people was to ensure that the legacy, fortunes, and power of a family name would continue. Children were a useful by-product of the union.
In ancient Rome, if a marriage produced no children, or in fact produced children that the pater familias deemed unworthy, disrespectful, degenerate or any other device he could use, simply adopted any one he chose, even if the person was older than himself.
In Victorian England, the children were neither seen nor heard. They were given off to nannies, governess' and tutors. They would be pranced out at appropriate times as if to say, "See, we've done our duty to continue the Empire."
If one argues that these examples are of the privileged classes, think about the serfs in medieval times. The purpose of children was to make sure that there were enough bodies to do the work mandated by the lord or father, if they happened to not be indentured. The more children, the better the chance of survival not only of the family, but of the people themselves.
As far as the argument about stable sexual unions, just look at the Roman and Victorian history on sex. The Romans were openly multi-sexual and the Victorians, well, they gave an entirely different meaning to the word Victorian itself when it came to matters on sex.
Also, in all marriage unions of any type over the centuries there was one word that was consistently used to describe them in general - contract. Again, it is purely an economic and power term. There was an agreement between two people to continue the line.
Finally, the present state of marriage, as admonished by the conservative establishment and right wing, has been a long time evolving. Same-sex, multi-faceted and alternative unions came about because of the dissatisfaction with traditional marriage and what it was becoming. Not the other way around.
Any one who can give stability to children should be applauded and supported by everyone. Not derided. And those who commit to someone else improve the stability of society insuring its continued success. Otherwise, anarchy might have a completely different meaning.
Our democracy was ordered to give everyone equal rights. Why are we still fighting for something that was supposedly decided over 200 years ago?