Gay Marriage

  • jk8man

    Posts: 52

    May 24, 2007 4:19 AM GMT
    Hey all - Lawerence, KS just passed a measure recognizing domestic partnerships.....I'm sure this is going to get interesting....

    I wanted to get some candid opinions on something that's troubled me with the whole issue of gay marriage. Please understand these are just my thoughts....I'm not trying to change the world here....

    Marriage is an institution with in roots based in religious texts. St. Paul (I think) is the one credited with inventing the modern definition (if you can call it that) we use, or think of, when someone says marriage.

    To me, this means the term marriage is only applicable within the church and as such Church bodies should therefore be able to decide who they will and will not marry based on the interpretation of their applicable religious text(s).

    That said, where we've gone wrong in my book is allowing the states to issue 'marriage licenses'. In the eyes of the state, or the federal government for that matter, the only pertinent issue they are involved with is the tax benefits/penalties/status associated with being 'married'. Thus, in reality it's nothing more than a 'civil union' since the state should not be actively involved in institutionalizing religious activities.

    So is there not a compromise on this issue? Can we not simply say the states issue 'civil union' papers and the churches 'marry' people? That way, when people talk about equal rights under the law we can have the debate about what this issue is truly rooted in, discrimination.

    Wheew - sorry for it being long...but this is something that been on my mind for a while and I thought this may be a good place to get some input….
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 24, 2007 4:36 AM GMT
    I agree. However, the right wing would bitch about how we are removing american traditions or pressing a gay agenda or whatever if anyone did propose a bull attempting to change the term marriage lisence to civil unions. Remember what happened when the companies changed christmas sales to holiday sales. It became the "attack on Christmas". Now imagine that on a much much larger scale.
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    May 24, 2007 4:55 AM GMT
    Marriage means different things to different people. I see your point but I think it’s too far-gone for every state to change their terminology. Also I think that would send a weird message kinda like 'let's not ruin marriage by letting gay people do it, lets just call it something else.'
    In addition there are some churches that gay people can be married in. I consider myself fortunate enough to be brought up in a Unitarian Universalist church that is very accepting of all creeds, religions and orientations. Gay marriage does hold a secular meaning in that church, so much that many have rainbow flags out front.
    Personally, I don't need a ceremony or a piece of paper to prove a commitment. Having said that, I am glad that if I do choose to, I could be married in my state and in my church (although I haven’t been since I was 12 and only go on X-mas now!)

    * one more note- a question to any others who grew up UU:
    Did you have to go through AYS !?!
    -If you did I want to hear your stories!
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    May 24, 2007 5:28 AM GMT
    To me, as an Episcopalian, I support gay marriage. I think that marriage is a lifelong, sexually exclusive relationship. I wonder what percentage of the gay community wants to stand before God, friends, and family and vow to stay together "forsaking all others, 'til death do us part." I don't see lifelong sexually exclusive relationships presented as the gay ideal anywhere--am I just missing that booth at the Pride rally?
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    May 24, 2007 5:32 AM GMT
    I don't think that marriage is necessarily based in religious creed, or at least entirely there has always been secular and religious elements, but then a separation of those two is, or of religion and state, is only a relatively recent development. To attribute modern marriage to Paul I think would be a little sketchy at best. The Western idea of marriage between a man and one women comes from Greco-Roman tradition and not out of the Near East milieu from which Christiany first arose -- polygammy was certainly not frowned upon in the Jewish tradition and many of the Biblical heroes had more than one wife. Or what about marriage after that where the wife for thousands of years was property of the husband -- something that is still marked in places in Latin America where the wife keeps her name and adds "de" and the husbands name where the de means of he the husband ie. Jane Miller "of" Smith. The idea of marriage is not something static. We change what marriage means to us. This has happened and is still happening, but definately in the last 50 yrs with the changes in gender roles and equality what we expect out of marriage has changed, or for example the condoning of mixed race marriages that were forbidden in many states.
    Well, I'm starting to ramble, but my point is that marriage is not the same in all places at all times, and not always between one man and one woman. Furthermore, it has always had both secular and religious aspects, but in the past those were not separated as they are now. Personally I think the state as a "secular" entity should issue licenses to whoever wants them regardless of sexual orientation. If you want those all called "civil unions" for everyone I have not problem with that, but that liklihood of that happening is probably minimal.
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    May 24, 2007 6:45 AM GMT
    This is a great topic. Just a few comments on some history. Apologies in advance for the length.

    Marriage has been a civil institution in America since the time of the Puritans. After being persecuted for their beliefs in England, the Puritans wanted to remove the power to marry from any single denomination, so the authority to marry was assigned to the religiously neutral secular government. Nowadays any church can perform a marriage, but it needs a license from the state for the union to be legal. When you hear a priest or minister say "by the power vested in me by the state of xyz, I now pronounce you etc" you’re hearing a bit of the Puritans’ legacy. The Puritans were the first Europeans to establish civil marriage ceremonies. The French Revolution established civil ceremonies in France, and Bismarck did the same for Germany about a century later.

    You can read more about this here http://www.common-place.org/vol-04/no-03/talk/

    Just looking at the Christian tradition: A lot of religious thinkers addressed the question of marriage since the time of St. Paul (who btw thought marriage was an inferior alternative to celibacy for people who could not control their lust---"it is better to marry than to burn" he thought...never having been married myself, I can't offer my own opinion on the matter); his ideas are important, but they have been developed since then.

    The church in Western Europe was not regularly involved in the celebration of marriages until the early 13th century, and a priest was not required until after the Council of Trent in the 16th century. Thomas Aquinas (also 13th Century) believed marriage was the worldly, visible expression of a spiritual union that had been forged by a divine power—for him, the man and woman conferred the sacrament of matrimony on each other. Church authorities served as a witness and conferred a blessing.

    Regine Pernoud and Georges Duby have written some interesting things on marriage in the Middle Ages.

    (My first post...and to think I signed up here to get tips on how to be a better swimmer!). :-)
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    May 24, 2007 8:05 AM GMT
    " Marriage is an institution with in roots based in religious texts."

    ???? Is that a univeral statement applying to all human civilization through out history...?

    Marriage existed in human history in every other nation and culture since ancient times.
    Marriage, in the anthropological sense, was a means to furhter survival, therefore, the states of various culture in human history has dictated the rules of union based on material/monetary possession before Christian churches ever existed.

    So I challenge you on your statement that marriage is an institution with its roots based in religious texts. Chinenese people have been married by states for thousands of years before Judeo-Christian faith ever existed...

    " St. Paul (I think) is the one credited with inventing the modern definition (if you can call it that) we use, or think of, when someone says marriage."

    How so...? What makes a marraige "modern?" Can you support this statement as it applies to marriages that applies to all of us, including thoes who do not have the perspective of Judeo-Christian faith...?

    WELL, Chinese people have been "marrying" by the governing states, not by churches or religeous institutions, for thousands of years, BEFORE the rise of Judeo-Christian faith.

    " That said, where we've gone wrong in my book is allowing the states to issue 'marriage licenses'."

    WELL that is based on your defination of marraige coming from the perspective on a person of Judeo-Christian faith... Since marriage is not an institution based on religeous faith, states that existed before Judeo-Christian faith have been giving various forms of marriage recognition independent from the Church (since churches did not even exist back then)... A legal document by the state is just a modern way to honor this human tradition we called marriage...

    So I do not get your argument at all....
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    May 24, 2007 8:09 AM GMT
    Wrerick, you said it so well...

    The statements made in the original post are niether valid or logical...
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    May 24, 2007 8:19 AM GMT
    So actually Churches marrying people is a rather new phenomenon when compared to human history overall... Judeo-Christian is a relatively young faith...
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 24, 2007 10:03 AM GMT
    I'll agree that marriage is a word that is melded in the minds of most Americans as a religious rite or institution and I think that's where the discrimination comes into play on their part
    and civil unions are an alternative if and only if they provide us with each and every benefit a married couple would get...and that's usually the legal sticking point - most civil unions have been crafted to give only some of the legal benefits a married couple would get in each of their states
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    May 24, 2007 1:38 PM GMT
    100% agree with GQjock..

    Civil union does not translate in to Federal and national recognition of the following:

    - Immigration naturalization of the partner.

    - Right to review and intervene the health care given to your partner, bypassing the HIPPA law nationally, not just state to state.

    - Entitlement to pensions and other benefits from all private and govenmental institutions such as the military.

    - Entitlement to inheretence of the deceased partner.

    - Child custody and support law that is equivilent to straight counter parts.

    - Fair divident of pocession after breaking of union from partner.

    This is just a small list...

  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    May 24, 2007 2:17 PM GMT
    NYCMusc4Musc said it very well from a global perspective. I would have said the same thing. People have been getting married long before religion came along.

    As a atheist, if I wanted to marry a woman, would I not be allowed based on your definition? even though it's a heterosexual relationship?? Is it a civil union then? even if it's between a man and a woman?

    Also, gay marriage has been legal in Canada for a few years now, and the sky hasn't fallen. Life goes on. Regular heterosexual couples' marriages have not be "degraded" by gay couples' marriages.
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    May 24, 2007 3:29 PM GMT
    Agreed!

    Let's look at the foundation of this argument:

    " To me, this means the term marriage is only applicable within the church and as such Church bodies should therefore be able to decide who they will and will not marry based on the interpretation of their applicable religious text(s)."

    Totally false!!

    As pointed out before, Judeo-Christian marraiges by the Church is a relatively young phenomenon. Marriages existed WAY before there were Churhes...

    If anything, the Roman Catholic Church was the one who hijaked "marriage" from a global tradition into a exclusively religeous union...
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    May 24, 2007 4:10 PM GMT
    With that being said, I would also liek to point this out:

    The majority of the US population is of the Judeo-Christian faith. However, our roots as Puritans leaving England to explore the New World had its motivations from escaping discrimination based on religeous believes.

    So the fundamental US as country is NOT of a THEOCRACY as that of many Middle Eastern states. The US is a democratic EGALITARIAN country, where EQUAL RIGHTS are honored to the majority AND the minority of it's citizens.

    And that minority of the US population can be atheists, agnostics, Islamic, Buddists, Taoists, Paganism, Wicca, various African traditional religions, the state NEEDS to ensure equal rights for all of them, and in this case, the union of marriage that is beyond the perspective of the Judeo-Christian faith, or any faith in that respect (for those who are atheists.)

    Many of the above mentioned faiths are much older than the Judeo-Christian faith and they have the equal right to exercise marriage union as they understand it before the existence of Catholic Churches.

    As a secular state, the US can only gurantee this by legalizing marriage for all citizens regardless of thier sexual orientation, age, religious faith, or none of.

    A 90 year old Jewish man can marry a 20 year old Buddist girl, and both can marry by the state and not by a church in any other modern and egalitarian country, so why shouldn't two gay man marry eachother in this country??
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    May 24, 2007 4:31 PM GMT
    So another argument:

    Those wish to be married by the Church is not LEGALLY married in the eye of the state...

    And the Church marraiges entiles you NO LEGAL RIGHTS as a couple what so ever, it is just the blessing from the Pope... You do not get tax benefits, no inheretence, no immigration rights, no hospital visit rights, you name it.

    The Pope does not make civil laws for this country or any other countries. So a church marraige is not recognized when the couple travels to other countries for vacation, because the state marriage is not Church marraige.

    How about that?

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    May 24, 2007 8:19 PM GMT
    Blah, blah, blah............

    Knowing the history is great........has nothing to do with the fight for equality we are having now. Until the word "marriage" is taken out of our fight we're going to be in for a long wait.
    We've become so stubborn it's killing our efforts.

    We can ask that all the benefits of "marriage" be included in "civil unions" and move on with our lives.

    For those who are against us "gays" getting married why give them why give them any amunition against us. Knowing the history is great...but reality is not always perception.
    It's all about semantics.
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    May 24, 2007 8:30 PM GMT
    If you don't know your history you are doomed to repeat it. duh.
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    May 24, 2007 9:24 PM GMT
    Blah Blah Blah..???

    There is a list above of the INEQUALITY in cilvil union and NOT in legal marriage.

    Choose just to Blah it off won't support your statment as worthwhile in any sense...

    Blah won't change the fact that you are GAY and you are the exluded population that is not getting EQUAL rights as the black citiznes of this country did in the past.

    Remember "Separate But Equal??"

    Should cilvil rigths for the Black also have been blah blah blah...??? You seem to think so....

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 24, 2007 9:38 PM GMT
    "There is a list above of the INEQUALITY in cilvil union and NOT in legal marriage."

    "Choose just to Blah it off won't support your statment as worthwhile in any sense..."

    Maybe it's you that needs to read just a bit better before going off on your high horse.

    You seemed to miss the part where I say we NEED TO ENSURE that the benefits that are included in "marriage" are the same rights and benefits that are included in "civil unions".


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 24, 2007 9:46 PM GMT
    NO

    What youare saying is we will not go anywhere if we want to introduce the word "marriage" into our eaulity of civil rights.

    That is NO different from someone saying "Seperate But Equal" about balck and white integration was good enough, and that it is a matter of time "Separate But Eqaul" will turn into full equality by itself.

    Civil union will not be recognized if you travel out of a certain state or the country.

    I have already stated all the rationale above, the question is, did YOU READ them?

    Your arguement is not any different from "Separate But Equal" and EVEN that did NOT go anywhere when The Supreme Court ruled "Separate is inherently Unequal." IT only went forward when the court used the miliatry to force southern schools to re-open and all the consequent violence.

    "Separate But Equal" is inherently unequal as proven by history.

    Brush up on your civil rights history!
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    May 24, 2007 9:49 PM GMT
    You missed the part about cilvil union is NOT nationally and internationally recognized. IT is only state by state recognized.

    So what if one has almost eqaul rights in one state but not another?

    Should have black & white integration been done the same way???

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    May 24, 2007 9:59 PM GMT
    Then we need to work on having a federal "civil union" law just like we would have a federal marriage law.

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    May 24, 2007 10:10 PM GMT
    Then that is "Separate But Equal" all over again...

    If indeed federal union law is IDENTICAL to federal marriage law, there would be no need for 2 laws of the same but different names to exist...

    Giving it 2 different names would just allow certain stated to insideously bypass it with all sorts of tricks...

    After the Supreme Court rule against "Separate But Equal" with "Separate is inherently unequal," the southern public schools just conspired to all close down at the same time so ony private schools, which did not have to comply to this ruling, were open. This was their way to block integration...

    History repeats itself if one does not remember...

    Civil union is not likely to be federally and internationally the same as marriage.. AND LEGAL marriage is state sanctioned, it has nothing to with being blessed by the Pope or has to take place in a church...
  • dhinkansas

    Posts: 764

    May 24, 2007 10:18 PM GMT
    Owl975 would be a hot husband :)
    If people choose to get married, they should have that right....and all the good and bad that can go along with it. True equality is equal benefits for all, but I'm not sure the religious right will lose it's clout in this matter. Too bad...isn't religion about tolerance and respect for fellow humans?
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    May 24, 2007 10:25 PM GMT
    I agree!

    This is not a theocractic country. Civil law is not religious law. And marriage has existed way before Judeo-Chritian church sanctioned marriages. Marriage is not a religious union but a state civil sanctioned union to be recognized by all states and other countries abroad. Marriage is an equal civil right regardless of your age (over legal age), sex, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, spoken language, or religious beleives.