Vows like “For as long as we continue to love each other,” “For as long as our love shall last” and “Until our time together is over” are increasingly replacing the traditional to-the-grave vow
When I was really young, one of my doubts with gospel was that it appeared to associate wickedness with some at-least notional “marrying and giving in marriage.” I just didn’t see how that could be. Over the last few years God has been taking care of that doubt pretty effectively. I only wish he’d done it on less broad a canvas.
I believe in marriage. I believe it should be nourished by custom and sustained in law. But the marriage that should be so nourished and so sustained is the marriage found in Western tradition and Mormon revelation–procreative, heterosexual, and lifelong. One response to the kind of “marrying and giving in marriage” found in these new vows is simply to refuse to give them legal effect. Use them, and you are married in your own eyes, for whatever meaning that has to you–not much, apparently–but you will not receive recognition in law. States that are serious about marriage, e.g., states that have enacted covenant marriage laws, should think hard about clarifying that marriages are only legal if the parties signal some intent to stay together for life.
Although these new vows are the logical conclusion of no-fault divorce laws, and should lead to a re-evaluation of the merits of those laws, even supporters of no fault divorce should be able to support only giving legal effect to marriages where the parties vow to stick the marriage out.