What is marriage?

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Everyone's talking about marriage these days. The debate rages from pulpits to the U.S. Senate. Most of the discussion centers on who can get married -- whether gays and lesbians should have that right. We wanted to back up a step and ask, What is marriage?

Listen to story Audio Three married couples
We talked to three married couples, all members of Chester Park United Methodist Church in Duluth.
Listen to story Audio Three gay couples
Gay men and lesbians don't speak with one voice on the subject of marriage. Some of them don't want to get married. And even those who do have different ideas about what marriage is.
Document Document Gay couple from Glenwood wanted to get married, not make history
After Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay couples to wed, same-sex partners from across the country flocked to the state to get married. One of the first couples to take advantage of the new Massachusetts law came from west central Minnesota. Cody Rogahn and Jonathan Yarbrough have returned to Glenwood, but they're not sure what to make of all the attention their wedding received.
Listen to story Audio What do single people think?
Some singles can't wait to get married, others aren't in a hurry. We hear various viewpoints from a group of singles in Duluth.
What does marriage mean to you?

What is marriage? What does the institution of marriage mean to you? From your personal perspective, what role does it play in society, in your community, in your life? Give us your thoughts.

More from Minnesota Public Radio

Document Marriage, Family and Divorce (Speaking of Faith, 5/8/04)

Document Gay marriage amidst national debate on same sex unions (2/26/04)

Audio Is the meaning of marriage changing? (Midmorning, 2/16/04)

Other voices

Document What Marriage is For, The Weekly Standard
Document Marriage: an overview, Legal Information Institute
Document The National Marriage Project, Rutgers University
Document Alternatives to Marriage Project