Hypothetical Scenario Regarding Gay Marriage.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by atszyman, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #1
    I know there have been a plethora of threads on this but an interesting scenario has popped into my head and I can't shake it so I thought I would post it here.

    If a government recognized religion were to suddenly decide that gay marriage is OK and start marrying homosexual members of their congregation, would a couple be able to sue their state on the grounds of religious freedom?

    It seems many people here agree that there is a vast difference between legal marriage and religious marriage that many opponents of gay marriage tend to overlook. This could bring all of this confusion right to the front of the issue.

    Has this been tried before? Is there a reason that this would definitely fail? Though someone here would be able to tell me why this would or wouldn't work.
     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #2
    I don't know that your scheme would pay off legally, but it certainly would cut straight to the heart of the matter, which for me has always been equal protection under the law. Any number of churches are fully prepared to marry gay members, but they are forced to call them something other than marriage ceremonies because the laws don't permit the gay couple to enter into the civil contract. If a national church (and I'm thinking specifically of the Unitarian Universalist church as a likely suspect) decided to grab the bit and start talking about their commitment ceremonies as marriage in every way but before the law, then I think some people might be persuaded to see the injustice that is currently being perpetrated.
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #3
    That's the best idea I've heard all morning.

    Wow. Optimism. What a way to start a day!
     
  4. mpw Guest

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    #4
    I get the idea behind it but I wouldn't say it was the best idea.

    Surely the best idea would be that governments actually treated people equally and gave the same rights that come with a 'traditional' male/female marriage to a same sex marriage.

    I'd remove religion from the argument entirely, if two people want to marry then legally there should be no difference based on gender. If those two people want to subsequently have a religious ceremony fine but nothing about it should be part of the legal recognition.

    I recently contact some of my political representatives on this subject and those that have been bothered to reply have (in all but one case) given me no reason to think they have any real intention to legislate equality on this matter. The one who was most definate simply stated that he would not legalise gay marriage 'cause he was a Roman Catholic.

    The RC also said that he'll be voting in an upcoming debate to retain the inequality of age of consent for gay couples and to maintain the current status keeping anal sex illegal between married couples (but not unmarried gay couples?)

    I'm sure it the same everywhere but I truely am saddened by the quality (or lack of it) of most of my politicians.
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    Sure, but I do enjoy the idea of stringing up "religious" types by their own petards.

    What the hell is a petard anyway? Let's check Wikipedia...

    "A petard was a medieval term for a small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching fortifications.

    Also: a petard was a 19th Century animal trap, consisting of a rope and a bent branch that caught the desired beast by one leg as it stepped into a loop in the rope and pulled it up into the air."


    Sorry. Tangent.
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    Actually, it's a fart. Difficult stringing job. The term was used (figuratively) to describe the early explosive grenades used in mediaeval times. The saying "Hoist by his own petard" meant "blown into the air by his own grenade".
     
  7. mpw Guest

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    #7
    Oh if it's just to piss off the God bothers then yeah it’s a great idea I’m all for it.:p

    That's obviously tongue in cheek and not meant to offend anybody………..much.
     
  8. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #8
    There are two parts to a marriage ceremony in the church:

    One is the civil ceremony which takes place at the beginning of the service. The priest/pastor/minister is authorized to act as a warden of the state.

    The second part is the blessing of the civil marriage.

    So it would seem that your theory is flawed based on the fact that a marriage in a church is done legally according to the state's requirements, and the blessing is simply by the couple's choice to get married by a priest/pastor/minister.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    Gays have been having "unions" in certain churches for years. I fail to see how this could help. After all, polygamy for Mormons isn't legal either. Freedom of religion hasn't helped that cause at all. If I'm not mistaken, there have been several court cases regarding it.
     
  10. mpw Guest

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    #10
    Not sure if you reffering to my theory but if you are and in reply;
    It's not a theory it's an idea. I'm well aware that a church marriage ceremony fulfils the legal requirements and that a priest acts as a registrar or whatever your counrty refers to and that's fine, it is actually what I proposed making my idea even easier to adopt in full.

    However the church does this not through choice they don't actually care about the legal portion of procedings.

    And it's not really a choice to be married by a priest/pastor/minister as they won't marry anybody.

    Try going to a church (in the UK for example) and asking the, perfectly qualified in the eye's of the law, priest/pastor/minister/warden of the state to marry you and your same sex partner. Now legally they can but would they perform the legal requirements in their church? I'll bet not.

    I'd like to hear a legal argument as to why someone should be given the legal authority to marry people but is also given the right not to marry people they don't agree with.

    What if the same rules were applied to other government officials?
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    Not to be mean, but that post is really confusing. No church has to marry anyone they don't want to marry- and that is as it should be. Are you trying to say the government is the same as the church and vice versa? Please clarify.
     
  12. mpw Guest

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    #12
    That's not the first garble-arsed post from me today, perhaps it's the holiday left-overs, I've been literally going cold-turkey for four days!

    My first post tried to make the point that the OP's idea, of having a state recognised religion recognise same sex marriage and therefore forcing the states hand to itself recognise the same sex marriage because it couldn't impinge on the same sex couple's religious freedom, was OK but wouldn't it be better if the state did the decent thing and recognised the same sex couple's right of equality to marry regardless of religious considerations.

    My second post was frivolous banter regarding exploding medieval farts.

    My third post seemingly failed to make the point that the idea of separating the legal and religious marriages is already done so there would need to be no real change, indeed I’m sure everyone already gets that as there are plenty of religion free ‘traditional’ marriages anyway. I also tried to make the point that I was aware that in most places the person presiding over a religious ceremony also was empowered by the state to complete the legal marriage making it possible for many religiously married couples to be also legally married in a one-stop-shop of matrimonial bliss. I then went off on a bit of a rant to make the point that the state empowers these religious officials to be able to perform legal marriages but does not compel them to exercise these official state powers with any kind of equality which seems unfair to me. I can’t think of any other state official who would be granted powers and be allowed to refuse using them based on either his, or the person over whom he has these powers, religious beliefs.

    This is my fourth post which clears all that up.…………possibly. Pass the cranberry sauce darling.
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #13
    My thought exactly. A quick google search turns up these churches and synagogues that perform marriages of same sex couples.


    wikipedia
     
  14. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Freedom of religion is pretty weak. Ask any rastafarian - for them smoking marijuana is part of their religion. Think that gives them any special rights to use marijuana in this country? Nope.
     
  15. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #15
    I doubt you could have a legal marriage in any sense in the US without a marriage license, which you must get from the government. So, before you can actually get to the point for a lawsuit for freedom of religion, the government would block the marriage from a legal standpoint.
     
  16. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #16
    Some churches already allow gay marrige. The Church part is just ceremonial. That's why you can get married without a Pastor or Rev. or whatever. That's what's so funny about the whole "religious" thing. Marrige has little, if anything, to do with Church or religion other than making it acceptable to shack up.
     
  17. atszyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #17
    Thanks for the replies. I had not put too much thought into this scenario other than that it could open up an interesting loophole. It was just one of those random thoughts that popped into my head at one point and has been rattling around for about a week wondering if it could work.

    I am and have been in agreement with IJ for quite a while on the whole marriage issue. That the government should abolish marriage. If they want to have the legal protections/benefits that marriage provides they should provide them to any two consenting non-related adults and re-name the institution/contract, leaving "marriage" to the churches.

    One of the biggest problems I have seen in the debate around gay marriage is the people who don't see the difference between the legal definition and the religious definition of "marriage." In a high enough profile case like the scenario outlined this might finally force people to see the distinction. However it would probably require more than just any state recognized religion, it would probably require the Pope to endorse gay marriage, which I don't see happening anytime soon.
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    I saw a bumper sticker today that gave me a laugh:

    "If You Don't Like Gay Marriage, Then Don't Marry a Gay Person."
     
  19. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #19
    Mormons no longer practice plural marriage, so that's not a very good example.
     
  20. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #20
    Actually, it seems only certain "prophets", such as Joseph Smith, within the church are allowed to do so.
     
  21. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #21
    That kind of depends on who you mean when you use the word "Mormons," doesn't it? While the Latter Day Saints church no longer pushes this practice, there are quite a few, small, splinter sects that still promote "patriarchal polygamy" (e.g. Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.)
     
  22. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #22
    Thanks for that. ;)
     
  23. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #23
    No, the FLDS and other splinter sects are not Mormons. The Mormon name refers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which no longer practices nor condones polygamy.
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Oh really? According to that site these folks definitely consider themselves to be Mormons:

    "There is an estimated 6,000 to 11,000 thousand members of the FLDS in the U.S. The group also has a single colony of about 1,000 members in Canada. Together, they form a significant percentage of the estimated 30,000 Mormon polygynists in Utah, and the estimated 60,000 in the U.S. 2 They call themselves "Ooriginal Mormons" or "Fundamentalist Mormons."

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/flds.htm
     
  25. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #25
    I think you betray a certain bias with that statement. I don't think anyone is saying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints promotes or practices polygamy. Only that there are still many people in the US who do, and many of those think of themselves as Mormons. If the use of the term offends you or you think these folk have no right to call themselves "Mormons" I suggest you take it up with them. As an outsider I care very little for "turf" battles over the use or ownership of words.

    The real point is that whatever these folks who call themselves "Mormons" are, their religious practice of polygamy is not a compelling argument to overrule the state ban on such marriages. As such it is not of much use as an example of how to bring about acceptance of gay marriages.
     

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