Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Bwings Us Togetow Towday.

DADvocate bout sums this up:

I'm rather neutral on this issue but would like to see the government get out of the "marriage" business altogether. Set up a governmental system where all unions are civil unions while various religions can sanction whatever types of marriages they wish.
True, true.

Simple, easy, and respecting civil rights.



Dante said...

There are two basic problems I see to this approach. One has been hammered to death but one has not.

The first issue is in the definition itself. If sex isn't important in the definition of civil union, then why is any other factor? Speficically, what about number of parties involved? Why can't 3 people or 4 or a whole town be considered a single civil union? As far as state-sanctioned benefits go, this could turn into quite the nightmare and you wouldn't really have a logical defense if you take away the source material behind the definition. Like I mentioned above though, this issue has been hammered to death.

What I don't see too much of is our societal personal views of "marriage" versus our societal views of "civil union." Marriage has a pretty significant social stigma behind it. While we're not much of a church-going nation these days, we're still a somewhat God-fearing one. Pulling the religious backing behind the state definition also removes the moral fears of entering into a marriage lightly. I guess my point is this: most people aren't going to feel nearly as guilty about entering into a civil union just for the perks as they would about entering into a marriage for the same reasons.

Now I don't particularly back any sort of mangling the Constitution to insert rules of marriage or some federal mandate to create a definition, but I don't see the problem with this particular custom having the same Judeo-Christian roots as many of our nation's other laws and traditions.

My personal opinion is that the state either needs to leave the definition alone or get out of the business of recognizing any sort of marriage/civil union/etc.

patsbrother said...

My vote is to legislatively change the legal definition of marriage to two consenting, competent, non-related adults. If you think this is confusing, this essentially is the definition we got now, only it doesn't include the words "of opposite genders."

Really, that's the simplest change to make, and the only one that doesn't get all looney.

One misconception a disturbing number of people have about the concept of amending the definition of marriage is this: they think that if we change the definition of marriage that it will force churches to marry gay people when they don't want to do it. To which I ask: when was the last time you saw a Baptist wedding performed by a Catholic priest? Never? I wonder why. Maybe (just maybe) it's because churches are not required to marry any two people who have signed a marriage license.

In the Vinn diagram of marriages, changing the definition does not increase the size of the marriages performed by churches who disapprove of homosexuality; changing the definition merely allows the circle of total marriages to grow.

A comment on DADvocate's thought:
A "civil union" is just a marriage by a different name, and thus the government can't get out of the marriage business simply by renaming them "civil unions." Call a spade a spade, and let's go with what we got.

A comment on dante's thought:
Though this is not precisely the point you raise, should people redefine marriage through the courts, there really is no logical endpoint to marriage. If "equal protection" demands that two people who love each other should be allowed to wed (as some have argued), there is nothing stopping that rule from applying to groups of three or more people or to currently-barred pairs(such as siblings) who might want to wed. However, if we, as an electorate, either by special vote or through our representatives in our state houses, choose to extend marriage specifically to gay couples, the definition of marriage will not be some amorphous concept to be toyed with but a concrete institution with but three distinct variances: a man and a woman; two men; or two women.

liberalandproud said...

I wish everyone who voted for Prop 8 in CA would have read patsbrother's comment first.