Solution to the gay marriage “question”

In a departure from my usual library related postings, I have a solution that few people seem to consider. Take government out the marriage license business. Just let people get married in whatever church or organization supports their way of life and be done with it. State marriage simply replaces a church’s authority with that of the state. This quote from the Ohio Bar Association (found via this post at Homeland Stupidity) spells it out pretty clearly:

“Marriage is a legal as well as a spiritual and personal relationship. When you repeat your marriage vows, you enter into a legal contract. There are three parties to that legal contract: 1) you; 2) your spouse; and 3) the state of Ohio. The state is a party to the contract because under its laws, you have certain obligations and responsibilities to each other, to any children you may have, and to Ohio.”

The first amendment of the Constitution states,”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This can be interpreted in many ways and Findlaw has some history and background. The phrase “separation of church and state” comes from a letter written in 1802 by then President Thomas Jefferson.

A prohibition against same sex marriage does not belong in the Constitution. It is an endorsement of one particular religious view, which seems if not directly in opposition to the First Amendment, at least in conflict with it.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has more commentary and a form where you can email your Representative and Senators.

7 Replies to “Solution to the gay marriage “question””

  1. When I linked the state was being odd, at least for me, and the post wasn’t showing up on the site but it was in RSS. The link has been fixed.

  2. I’ve been finding that government has a better ability to enforce recognition of legality than any organization [particularly churches]–they are simply being a bit stupid right now about who gets that recognition. I mean, you can’t leave things like a Last Will and Testament purely up to Jimmy’s Drive-Thru Episcopalian Church to enforce. Where’s the authority behind it? Luckily, reform happens every day, just at maybe a slower pace than some of us would like.

    Still, I find it disappointing to basically wake up and find that forty-odd states have banned same-sex marriages. When did this happen? Folks I know in states with the ban, like Virginia, say they never saw “Ban Gay Marriage” on the ballot, and nobody ever seems to say, “–and Massachussetts has signed into law a ban on gay marriage, bringing the total count to forty states with such a ban.” Luckily, Maryland is sane and says, “We don’t care who you marry,” but for some reason there’s this idea put out there that there can’t be even ONE state with such a law that these bigots can simply choose to avoid. Madness!

  3. Holy fanoli! On double-checking, I’m getting conflicting information, that Maryland has a law against it, according to CNN and the MD website. That’s funny, because no one I know AT ALL has seen this “Ban Gay Marriage” stuff on the ballot, ever.

    Ugh, time to get letter-writing 😕

  4. I would leave wills and such up to the state, and marriage would have no legal standing. That way everybody is on a level playing field, no tax breaks etc. Let marriage me a personal choice that has no legal benefits and you might see a decline in divorce rates etc.

    That said, change like that would require serious level reform that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

  5. I kept trying to think of a clever joke in there but failed 🙁

    That said, taking all legal standing out of marriage would do EXACTLY what the anti-gay proponents are afraid of happening with legalization of same-sex marriage–render marriage meaningless [if there’s no LEGAL repercussions from getting married or not, what’s to encourage people to get married at ALL, much less through the church–proportedly the “upstanding” way to get married?].

    I mean, world’s tiniest fiddle there 😉 but I still don’t get why “gay marriage” is wrong but “civil unions” are okay, except that it means they can by virtue of terminology shove “civil unions” over into a second-class standing 😕

  6. Well I guess I’m of the opinion that marriage doesn’t need to be encouraged or supported by the state. I guess I’m one of the few people who got married for “spiritual” reasons, I didn’t get married for the tax breaks and legal standing.

    I don’t think that marriage is the cornerstone of American society in the way that Republicans do. In my mind I guess its about family in the broadest sense, and people caring about each other. Male, Female, whatever….

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