Now that we can remake humanity’s most basic institution at will, or so we think, we can come up with all kinds of improvements. Mexico City is considering marriage licenses that have an expiration date.
Leftists in the city’s assembly – who have already riled conservatives by legalising gay marriage – proposed a reform to the civil code this week that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime.
The minimum marriage contract would be for two years and could be renewed if the couple stays happy. The contracts would include provisions on how children and property would be handled if the couple splits.
“The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” said Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill.
“You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce,” said Mr Luna, from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, which has the most seats in the 66-member chamber.
Mr Luna says the proposed law is gaining support and he expects a vote by the end of this year.
This in one of the most Roman Catholic countries in the world, though with a government tradition of anti-clericalism. If this passes and catches on, it would mean that marriage need not be between a man and a woman but that it is no longer, even in principle, a permanent relationship. Cohabitation would replace marriage.