The Newest in Marriage Degeneration: Wedleases


By Bart Gingerich, Juicy Ecumenism


Washington Post readers got quite an opinion in Sunday’s editorial section. Estate lawyer Paul Rampell recommended the creation of “wedleases.” He argues that, these days, marriages are perceived resemble lifetime estates—they are expected to last until death or else through a messy divorce. As an economical sort of chap, Rampell suggests, “Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes.”



Political theorists may see this as classical liberalism in full bloom: human relations have been reduced to the contractual. Nothing binds that is not consented to. For concerned social thinkers, wedleases would spell certain doom for the family in the political sphere, starting with the institution of marriage. This suggestion soars to the same radical levels as redefining marriage to allow for LGBT couples or polygamy.



Of course, for Rampell and his ilk idolize usefulness. “[W]hy doesn’t society make the legal structure of marriage more congruent to our behavior?” he wonders. While some would quibble about the didactic nature of jurisprudence, it would be better to focus on the attorney hopes to avoid.



“People, circumstances and all sorts of other things change. The compatibility of any two people over decades may decline with these changes to the point of extinction,” Rampell concludes, “But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.”



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