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.