A Gay-Marriage Solution: End Marriage?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2009 5:39 PM GMT
    "When a Jewish boy turns 13, he heads to a temple for a deeply meaningful rite of passage, his bar mitzvah. When a Catholic girl reaches about the same age, she stands in front of the local bishop, who touches her forehead with holy oil as she is confirmed into a 2,000-year-old faith tradition. But missing altogether in each of those cases — and in countless others of equal religious importance — is any role at all for government. There is no baptism certificate issued by the local courthouse, and no federal tax benefits attached to the confessional booth, the into-the-water-and-out born-again ceremony or any of the other sacraments that believers hold sacred.

    Only marriage gets that treatment, and it's a tradition that some legal scholars have been arguing should be abandoned. Two law professors from Pepperdine University issued a call to re-examine the role the government plays in marriage in a paper published March 2 in the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors — one of who voted for and one against Prop 8, which successfully ended gay marriage in California — say the best way out of the intractable legal wars over gay marriage is to take marriage out of the hands of the government altogether. ... "

    "Their idea got a big boost three days later, during the March 5 oral arguments before the California Supreme Court, which is expected to issue a ruling soon in the case brought by gay couples and others who argue the constitutional amendment passed by voters last fall is invalid. Justice Ming Chin asked attorneys for each side whether the idea would solve the legal issues connected to gay marriage — issues that at their core revolve around the question of whether some couples could marry but not others violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. (Check out a story about the state of marriage — and divorce — in America.)

    Both sets of lawyers agreed that the idea would resolve the equal protection issue. Take the state out of the marriage business, and then both kinds of couples — straight and gay — would be treated the same. Even Ken Starr, the Pepperdine law dean and former Whitewater independent counsel who argued in favor of Prop 8, agreed that the idea would solve the legal issues, though he said it was a solution that lies outside the legal authority of the court. An attorney for the other side, Michael Maroko, didn't expressly endorse the idea, but he told Chin, "If you're in the marriage business, do it equally. And if you're not going to do it equally, get out of the business." "


    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1885190,00.html?iid=tsmodule
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2009 6:16 PM GMT
    I read this as well and feel is is one solution to a very complicated issue. I would be all for call all marriages civil unions or domestic partnerships and leaving the word "marriage" to the churches to use on thier paper.

    However I doubt this will solve the problem. Because many churches are happy to perform a gay marriage. Im sure somehow they would seak to have these churches bared from using the word and trying to claim it only for thier religion.
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    Mar 16, 2009 6:57 PM GMT
    I disagree with this logic. Marriage needs to remain an official & binding legal contract at its heart.

    I agree that religious ceremonies are really supplementary rituals, which do not on their own make the marriage legitimate under law. They merely satisfy denominational religious requirements, but themselves have no legal standing, which only the state confers.

    Without a legal contract between 2 people, whether opposite or same sex, both parties lack myriad legal benefits & protections. The argument presented here seems to suggest some kind of "common law" situation, which would be difficult to define and nearly impossible to adjudicate. I live with a guy for 2 months; are we therefore "married" and does he have rights to my estate?

    Under law marriage is a contract, to which both parties must voluntarily agree. Our argument should be against limiting that contract to only opposite-sex couples, and not about throwing the baby out with the bath water, so that we have no marriage at all.
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    Mar 16, 2009 7:39 PM GMT
    So long as one would be able to we my two husbands, and one day maybe 3. Until then, I will have to reject all other offers. So it may as well stay the way it is; until then.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Mar 16, 2009 7:56 PM GMT
    I still just don't get it.

    I married a woman way back when in a civil ceremony in Reno, NV. Legal, binding, paid the marriage license fee, etc. - and have a wedding certificate But it was a civil ceremony, presided at by a justice of the peace, not a church ceremony (which we initially planned to do AFTER the civil ceremony held out of state, to quell the family members disappointment and who wanted the whole shebang; but we abandoned that and just had a reception later back home in San Francisco)

    So if the term "marriage" were to be replaced by "civil union", if state laws allow for civil unions between two same-sex people, and all the state and federal laws, regulations, etc. were revised eventually to change all references to "marriage/married" to read " in civil union" instead (or including both marriages and civil unions in the definition of "couple or spouses") -- and all the 1000+ privileges, benefits, rights, access authorities, inheritance rules, responsibilities, laws and regulations currently only applied to hetero couples were available to anyone in a civil union, what is the reason to keep fighting for "marriage" and religious sactions, unless you want to find a church that will also marry you (or not - then you'll have to go on down the street to the next steepled building and try there) [I couldn't think quickly of typical architectural details for mosques, temples, and other religions' places of worship]

    If everything's equal, what's not equal? And I can't see how everyone having civil unions in a state or regarding federal laws and benefits would be unequal protections.

    Let those with religious reservations continue to "get married" in a willing church. Let the more secular-minded get into a "civil union" and get government out of marriage, please!
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    Mar 16, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
    I have thought of this before but as conservative as our country is, the back woods closed minded, put your foot in your mouth bible thumpers would never hear of it. They think the world is ending now because a couple of states offer same sex marriage/civil unions. "the sky is falling, the sky is falling"!!!!!
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    Mar 16, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    are we quibbling over the term itself or the fact that the civil unions do not confer the same rights to same sex couples as marriage does to hetero couples?
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Mar 16, 2009 10:12 PM GMT
    Civil marriage doesn't mean religious marriage though. What needs to happen is that the religious people need to stop associating their religious marriages to that of government recognized civil marriages. Also, the government should stop recognizing marriages solemnized by religious organizations.

    Why are they being allowed to officiate a state function to being with? Separation of church and state right?

    Until that happens I can see the validity in arguments of people being able to sue religious institutions that don't perform their marriages. If they are serving a function of the state, solemnizing marriages, then how can they be allowed to discriminate?
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    Mar 16, 2009 10:14 PM GMT
    Blackguy4you saidare we quibbling over the term itself or the fact that the civil unions do not confer the same rights to same sex couples as marriage does to hetero couples?


    Simply... both. Having something that is the "same" but "equal" did not work the first time around. It will not work with gays either.

    As for the main topic, I can see the point; however, I do not think that the government will ever give up its stake in the marriage business. (On a similar note though, I think that marriage needs to be redefined. The licenses issued should have term limits - like drivers licenses. It would cut down on divorce if marriage licenses were to expire every five years. It would also create revenue from those who wanted to renew their marriages. Just an idea.)
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Mar 16, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    Blackguy4you,
    I believe there's some of each in the discussions for and against.

    And what specific rights did I leave out in my example of civil unions having equal protections and responsibilities? I'd like to know so I can include them next time I'm advocating for "civil unions" to have the equality of what "marriages" now confer. Are they part of the "1000+ rights and benefits" people talk about? Why wouldn't erasing "marriage" and changing the wording to "civil union" or whatever a state and federally legally recognized domestic couple is defined as not be sufficient?
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    Mar 16, 2009 10:17 PM GMT
    redbull saidI have thought of this before but as conservative as our country is, the back woods closed minded, put your foot in your mouth bible thumpers would never hear of it. They think the world is ending now because a couple of states offer same sex marriage/civil unions. "the sky is falling, the sky is falling"!!!!!


    He's right. There is this mentality that we are the root cause of all the problems, yet inner city 15 year old girls who already have two kids, living in Section 8 housing, sleeping with 3 time convicted felons, etc., hey, no problem. But gay men who are educated, pay for their own stuff, aren't sucking the country dry in terms of welfare and food stamps? We have to get rid of them! There are two schools of thought I have on this - traditionally people of color or low income people in America are a burden on society, therefore we can not treat them badly. They can't help it. They need to be controlled via welfare, public housing; somehow they need to be ghettoized and kept away from us. Through this, white kids idolize the 'life' because they don't have to see it except for MTV and rap music - therefore it's cool, until their sister gets pregnant by one of them or he gets cornered beaten up and robbed downtown by a group of them. Then it's not fun anymore.

    With gay men it has to do not with sex and the ick factor, but ENVY - what we HAVE is a threat - we are not a burden. We are seen as rich, overly educated, having too much of everything - too much free time, no kids, no worries, all the time in the world to pursue that masters degree or New Years in Sydney; lifestyles that straight people can't even begin to dream of. And they hate us for it. Weighing the two, envy is much more dangerous. When it's perceived that someone has something that you want, and you don't think they deserve it, the desire to go after them is much higher.

    If that made no sense to this topic, then this should: the majority of gay men have learned how to perfect almost everything that is superficial and imagery. We have not learned to develop much of anything that involves substance, stability or even telling the truth to other gay men about dating, relationships, navigating sex; things that most heterosexual kids learn at 15. We are still figuring out the basics at 20-45. Civil unions, marriage, whatever - you can slap any label or your right to visit your partner in the event of an emergency blah blah blah but 90% of us won't be in the relationship long enough to see those moments. Instead of worrying so much about what to call our relationships or ending marriage - why not work on the problem that has plagued gay men for over 40 years - how to have a relationship that is honest, (for many) how to even find a guy to date who would be willing to go on a second date, how to choose a guy to date rather than just throwing two gay men together and figuring that's all it takes - we have a LOT to learn about other gay people in the dating arena before we start getting serious about gay marriage. And I don't mean to punish those who have been in relationships for many years - I know a lot of you and think you deserve all the same rights as anyone else. I'm talking to the majority of the gay community that nobody wants to talk about - because we are too embarrassed to admit that most of us missed out on the lessons on how to date someone based on qualities that would, in fact, lead to potential marriage rather than lead to easy drugs, one time sex, or other instant gratifications. Until that has been dealt with this gay marriage thing is never going to work. You will never get society to believe in it if you can't even get the gay community as a whole to believe in it.
  • dick_mow

    Posts: 26

    Mar 16, 2009 10:23 PM GMT
    a lot of a letters icon_biggrin.gif
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 16, 2009 10:30 PM GMT
    The point behind the government's role in marriage is not to unite two people, but to unite two people's assets.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Mar 16, 2009 10:31 PM GMT
    Yep, thank you for that clarification!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2009 10:35 PM GMT
    I don't see how the state can get out of the business if it is a contract and benefits are conferred on its basis (from taxes to health benefits).

    If the idea is that the state issue "Civil Unions" and Churches issue "Marriages", that seems like a very expensive way to change "Marriage" to "Union" in legal statutes and other contracts across 50 states.

    Since marriage is left to each State, I don't think this solution can be applied at the Federal Level, anyhow.

    That actually brings up an interesting Trojan-horse trick i this. If California (or any one other state) goes this route, the Federal Government will have to change all regulations to say "married or joined in civil union" (Would DOMA allow that?). At that point the genie is out of the bottle: thereafter any state which passes as little as civil union would be treated by the Feds as if it had passed gay marriage.


    All in all, though, I think this is silly. A similar solution to the problem is to kill all humans (then there's no one left to get married).

    Seriously. What's the big deal? I know some people get "confirmed" at Church and this has meaning... but I just "confirmed" an airline flight. No one gets bent out of shape that the word "confirmation" is used both for a holy ritual and for something totally simple.

    So what's the big deal if we have both "religious marriage" and "civil marriage"?

    Other than a word (and creating separate is not equal classes), what would be the difference between a "civil marriage" and a "civil union"?
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 16, 2009 10:44 PM GMT
    Concerning gay marrage, arguments over the semantics of what has always been done and what should be done is a complete distracton from the fact that the institution itself has always been a societal norm of unequal rights.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Mar 16, 2009 10:46 PM GMT
    Hell, call 'em all "nuptials" for all I care! lol! (Except that's really just the ceremony, not the status..... it can get strange and strained grammatically, I guess)
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Mar 16, 2009 10:47 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidConcerning gay marrage, arguments over the semantics of what has always been done and what should be done is a complete distracton from the fact that the institution itself has always been a societal norm of unequal rights.



    In so many ways, especially from the woman's standpoint in many societies, including our own even recently.
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:01 PM GMT



    Just north of your country, there is gay and straight marriage. Listen:......the silence is from everyone getting along with life after it was discovered that nothing changed except greater acceptance and recognized equality.

    Does anyone think that the 'religious right' in your country is going to allow for those godless 'civil unions' the same rights as they perceive as particulars for marriage? Do you think they're just going to lie down as the word marriage on ALL legal documents is changed to 'civil union'?

    To this day there are Pagan marriages. There are Satanist marriages.
    There are strictly city-hall-then-justice-of-the-peace marriages as well. As long as you're straight (in the US) the above marriages are just fine.

    Interesting, eh?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
    End marriage? Please! icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:35 PM GMT
    BMG-

    I agree end marriage PLEASE! God help us!icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:41 PM GMT
    Trying to end 'marriage' will go over like a fart in church. Irrational people truly believe that their unions, though, tenuous at best, are divinely inspired. Those that don't truly believe use that kind of rhetoric to keep the gays out of it. Though the gov't should not be in the business of recognizing religious designations (holy matrimony, first communion, bris, bah or bat mitzvah, etc.), it is in the business when it comes to marriage. Why? Follow the $$$$.
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:49 PM GMT
    I don't think we should try to ruin lives for everyone else just because we're not getting the exact version of something we want. I know this is a simplified analysis of the gay marriage problem, but forgive me for viewing it that way. While gay marriage is, perhaps, a worthy end to pursue, ending marriage is not the answer. In fact, I will now go on record to say that I will oppose any measures aimed at ending marriage.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:51 PM GMT
    What do you think would happen if the word marriage was suddenly dropped from legal paperwork, if the word 'spouse' was used instead of 'husband' and 'wife' or 'man' and 'woman'? I'm betting that not much would change at all. Divorce would end and we would simply move into contract disputes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    BMG said:

    "I don't think we should try to ruin lives for everyone else just because we're not getting the exact version of something we want. I know this is a simplified analysis of the gay marriage problem, but forgive me for viewing it that way. While gay marriage is, perhaps, a worthy end to pursue, ending marriage is not the answer. In fact, I will now go on record to say that I will oppose any measures aimed at ending marriage."


    APPLAUSE ,APPLAUSE ,APPLAUSE.