Should the government be in the business of marriage at all?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ugahairydawgs, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #1
    With all of the talk about DOMA and Prop 8 this week it really has me thinking about what role the government should play in marriage. Their role, IMO, in this should only be legally bind families for financial purposes. It should be sterile and the traditional meanings of marriage (be it simply love or the religious aspect of it) should not be associated with anything government related. So, with that in mind, here's my suggestion on how to put everyone on equal ground so we can move on from this.

    1.) Get out of the marriage business completely and let the marriage ceremony itself become strictly a symbolic event. Churches would obviously perform them....but also anywhere else could too since there would be no legal ramifications behind them. No need for a justice of the peace to be present and everyone still gets to have their cake.

    2.) Let any 2 consenting adults enter into a civil union. No pomp and circumstance, no courthouse ceremony, no kissing of the bride.....fill out a document, have it notarized and we call it a day. Three conditions on this though:

    a.) There is a waiting period from application to execution....somewhere between 6 months and a year. During that waiting period if any side wants to back out they may do so penalty free.

    b.) Have the civil union contract specifically spell out ramifications of separation....basically a built in pre-nup. That way if things go sideways the split is clean and quick.

    c.) If you do terminate your civil union contract there is a 5 year waiting period before you can re-apply for a new one.

    Treat the civil union contract just like you would a business. If it is formed in state X it is valid in state x. If you move you need to re-register in your new state.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #2
    Seems to me your idea takes government out of the marriage business and puts them into the civil union business, in an even bigger way.
     
  3. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #3
    Marriage is inherently a religious institution. So here is my solution:

    Let marriage stay a religious institution and simply provide the same legal/government rights to same-sex couples who enter into a civil union. Every benefit a married couple gets, so does a civil-union couple get. Its simply a secular "marriage".

    This way, rights and benefits are equal and those religious people who seek to protect the institution of marriage are also appeased.

    I'm sure though this is much too simple a solution....
     
  4. ugahairydawgs thread starter macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #4
    And that's the aim. It seems to me that we have two sides to this issue.

    1.) The anti-gay marriage folks that want to preserve the sanctity of marriage and all of the other stuff that is used as a reason to oppose.

    2.) The pro-gay marriage folks that want to have equal rights as everyone else.

    Figure this solution would solve all ills.
     
  5. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #5
    I wouldn't be opposed to it, not likely to ever happen though.
     
  6. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #6
    There are certain rights/benefits afforded to married couples today that must be provided by the government. That's as much involvement as I think the government should have and I think that it should extend to civil-unions as well.

    I do not agree with same-sex marriage or homosexuality, but I don't believe its any of the government's business to deny visitation rights or tax benefits for any couples (though obviously a line is drawn somewhere - I don't want to get into that).

    Simply put, marriage began as a religious institution and was afforded government benefits and rights - those same rights and benefits should be extended to all civil-unions (and subsequently civil-unions should be allowed everywhere) - just don't call it a marriage. The word marriage brings a religious connotation with it - its about more than simply a wedding of two people.
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #7


    Simply put, you're wrong. Marriage predates religion and religion had no ownership of it.
     
  8. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #8
    Do you have any proof of this?

    Look - neither of us were alive before recorded history. As it stands now, marriage is seen as a religious institution.

    Is the goal here not to gain equal rights for same-sex couples? Or is the true motive to get everyone to agree with your point of view?

    I offer a compromise that solves the issue and appeases both sides. To be quite honest, my solution is likely better than whatever the SCOTUS will rule (some generic ruling only pertaining to CA or at best the 9 states who recognize civil unions as they currently are).
     
  9. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #9
    Ahh, the old "separate, but equal".....

    And you obviously have no knowledge of history, because marriage had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

    If you are a proponent of "traditional marriage" I might suggest stocking up on goats - because trading them may be the only way you'll find a suitable wife. :rolleyes:
     
  10. ugahairydawgs thread starter macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #10
    Sadly....you're probably right. There's too much money out there to be made in keeping the fight alive rather than working on a solution that actually can bring the country together. Its why we'll never see true tax reform or any changes to SS that do anything other than kick the can down the road.
     
  11. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #11
    I'm sorry, but it doesn't appease both sides. It may appease your side, but "separate, but equal" is not equality.
     
  12. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #12
    The incorporation of 2 people should fall under two party contract law, with all rights and responsibilities at local, state, and federal law.

    What someone calls it is up to them. If a church wants to then "bless" the union and call it marriage, so be it. But a church marriage not legally contracted by the state should have no recognition.
     
  13. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #13
    My wife didn't cost me any goats....though it would've been nice if a dowry had come with the deal ;)

    I ask what proof do you have that marriage was not started as a religious institution? As far as I know we don't have anyone on this board that pre-dates recorded history (as both religion and marriage likely do).

    Listen - as far as the government is concerned civil-unions, marriages whatever should be viewed the same way with the same rights and benefits. Calling them different things really only serves the purpose of appeasing those who want to "protect the sanctity of marriage".

    As I said - I do not agree with homosexuality. However, that doesn't mean I don't have friends that are homosexual and if he/she had a partner in the hospital and wasn't allowed to visit because the government of that state didn't recognize civil unions, that would suck and is wrong.

    As a married couple, my wife and I get tax breaks, are recognized by state and federal agencies as "related" and enjoy life together. I think same-sex couples should have the same opportunities and rights, and I offer a way to both give those rights while "protecting the sanctity of marriage". If you want to call it "separate but equal" go ahead - though the likening to segregation doesn't really fit the same way here.....all the rights under federal law would be the same. Churches already have the right to turn away a gay couple for marriage as its a private institution. There is no broken down water fountain or lesser facility/service here. If the government gives you the same tax break as me, that's all there is to it. If they were to give a different tax break under the guise of equality, then I could see your point - but that's not what I'm advocating.

    ----------

    Agreed - essentially we are arguing semantics. I simply put forth this idea to try and appease both sides. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't. And as far as I know, a church marriage without legal contract isn't recognized anyways.

    ----------

    What is "separate" about it? The name of the union? Is there any value to it if both a "marriage" and "civil union" become equal under the law?

    No. The only value lies in the religious undertones of a marriage ceremony - and that is only valuable to those of us who are religious.
     
  14. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

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    #14
    I love these lines. In other words...

    "Look - neither of us were alive before recorded history. So, I'm right and you're wrong."
     
  15. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #15
    Sure - marriage is a religious institution. I can provide evidence of such as ceremonies are done in churches.

    I've asked for evidence that marriage pre-dates religion and have no received any.

    Regardless, I understand that the law recognizes a contract between two people as "marriage" and this is what I want to change. It should simply be a union under law and as another poster said, if the couple wants to get married in a church and call it a marriage so be it.

    Unless of course, there's more to it than rights?
     
  16. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #16
    What proof do you have that it did? :rolleyes:

    Why do you get to determine what the "sanctity of marriage" is? If it was really about the "sanctity of marriage" why don't you start protesting divorce? It's about justifying why you think it's OK to deny equal rights to a group of people whose actions and lifestyle you don't agree with.

    How many of the millions and millions of dollars spent to deny my rights have been put towards the abolition of divorce? It's not about protecting the sanctity of marriage - and if you think it is, you're in complete denial.
     
  17. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #17
    I'm on my way to work. When I get there, I'll find that information for you. And there is a fair amount of it. Your stance has been argued many a time in this forum, so also prepare to be enlightened, and I remind you to look at it objectively.

    BL.
     
  18. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #18
    How did I all of the sudden become an advocate of divorce?

    I think divorce is awful and agree that the number of divorces is a tragedy. Its even worse that the divorce rate is higher among supposedly Christian families than secular ones.

    But that is not the point. I'm not protesting anything. I still ate at Chick-Fil-A during the whole "anti-gay" thing and I still drink Startbucks coffee now that they've come out as "pro-gay". Its not my business to MAKE someone believe something I do, just as its not YOUR business to make me believe something.

    As much as you want to believe all Christians/religious people are hateful and bigoted, that simply isn't the case. I could make offensive sweeping generalizations about gays, but of course that wouldn't be right either.

    Whether some are being truthful or not, the fact is marriage, to me as a Christian, is an extension of Jesus' relationship with the church. It is a deeply religious and spiritual thing and for those who feel as I do, it IS about the sanctity of marriage.

    So why should you HATE my beliefs and force me to change them? As I said, is this not about rights? Are we not campaigning to offer the same rights and benefits under law to same-sex couples as heterosexual couples?

    ----------

    I have Google.....

    My evidence (based on my beliefs) would be dismissed and belittled so I choose not to present it.

    See post above.
     
  19. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #19
    Where, in any of my posts, do I say I hate your beliefs? And where am I forcing you to change them? Believe anything you want. However, don't hide behind those beliefs in an effort to deny equal rights. As much as I may disagree with some of the beliefs, I would never advocate taking your rights away because of them. I ask for the same in return.

    I also don't believe that all Christians/religious people are hateful and bigoted - and nowhere have I ever written that. I live in Texas. Prior to attending kindergarten, my twins attended a mother's day out program at a church for 5 years. With the exception of a few incidents with one specific parent, they were amazing to my children.

    Maybe you don't understand my point about divorce or it has gone over your head. But how does gay marriage hurt the "sanctity of marriage" more than being able to divorce does? If the issue was truly about the "sanctity of marriage" than protesters should be going after everything that is a threat instead of picking and choosing based on their religious beliefs.
     
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #20
    the government should only be involved in civil unions.....civil unions for all, straight, gay, religious, non-religious, whatever......if a couple wants to do something in addition to a civil union, then that's up to them, but the government shouldn't be involved in anything beyond the civil union.

    government needs a divorce from marriage
     
  21. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    #21
    I don't being to understand protesters. Personally, I am against divorce as I've seen first hand what it can do to a family. I agree that divorce hurts the sanctity of marriage as well.

    I'm not "hiding" behind my beliefs. My beliefs are what drive my decision making. I am also FOR equal rights. I'll ask again, if both a "civil-union" and "marriage" are accompanied by the same rights, where is the value in calling them both "marriage" to someone who isn't religious? Why is this somehow akin to providing unequal schools for whites and blacks to attend separately.

    I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. Only offered my opinion. Personally, I think the battle will be much longer and harder-fought than what I've proposed.....

    To answer the simple question proposed by the OP - No. That's really where I want to leave it at this point.
     
  22. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #22
    You just don't get it.

    Why do the "religious" get to make the rules? Marriage is NOT a religious institution - in fact, there is a clear separation in our country between church and state. There are plenty of heterosexual couples who have chosen not to get "married" in a church. And who don't share your religious beliefs. Should we tell them they aren't "married" anymore? How about the people who have a religious ceremony in a church? But they don't get a license. They aren't really married, are they?

    Separate but equal is not equality. It's 2013 in the United States of America. Why is this such a hard concept?
     
  23. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #23
    if they're truly equal, then what's the value of calling them different things?

    If they're equal, then it also becomes a matter of religious freedom. If there are gays that want a marriage, the whole church thing, why should the religious beliefs of others be allowed to deny gays the right to the marriage ceremony of their religious beliefs?

    Can you really be for equal rights when you want to prevent gays from practicing their religion because it's counter to your own beliefs?
     
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #24
    I'm completely fine with this.

    My wife and I were married in a religious ceremony, and hold a marriage license from a government entity. If this change were ever to happen (not likely, I admit), and it were decided that my marriage license were to be voided and I would need a civil union to reclaim my marriage's "legal" status, I'd be one of the first in line.
     
  25. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Actually, there is no "separate" in ugahairydawgs's proposal. If a couple wants the legal and tax benefits of a cival union, they would have to get a civil union. Doesn't matter the gender, race or religion of the members of the couple - the same, not separate, law/institution would apply.
     

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