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The Death of Marriage I
MensNewsDaily.com ^ | February 5, 2004 | Roger F. Gay

Posted on 02/05/2004 8:04:37 AM PST by RogerFGay



The Death of Marriage I

February 5, 2004
By Roger F. Gay

The decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court to extend all "protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage" on same-sex couples continues to be a subject of discussion and debate around the internet. Unfortunately, many liberals and conservatives alike have bought into the ideas suggested by partisan advocates. Much of the discussion is ill-informed and options are limited to those that will do the least good.

It can be quite difficult to move a debate from a state of superficial partisan bickering to clear and objective discussion, especially during an election year. Regardless of the fact that those who have focused attention on these issues for years know the answers, the average eligible voter will more likely grasp onto their preferred party's talking points and hold on for dear life.

One person who has focused a great deal on family issues for many years is ACFC president Stephen Baskerville. Regular readers of MensNewsDaily.com may be familiar with his recent article; The Father: A Family’s Weakest Link. Dr. Baskerville writes "Thanks to a recent court case in Massachusetts, issues of marriage and family now cover the front pages. But the family crisis is much larger than same-sex marriage or homosexuality."

In his first message as ACFC president (January 7, 2004), Dr. Baskerville writes "We stand at a critical point. Families today are under attack as never before. But this attack does not come primarily from pornography, television, rock music, drugs, or even homosexuality. The attack comes from government, and it targets the family's weakest and most vulnerable point: the father."

Liberals and conservatives need to be convinced that families are under attack, and understand who the aggressor is. Moreover, they need to understand what the problem really is, and begin focusing on objective evidence, analysis, and the consequences of family politics. To be blunt, many people need to start by recognizing that family is more important than partisan politics. Only then, I believe, can they begin the process of deprogramming that is necessary in order to look these issues in the eye and deal with them objectively.

Republicans blame "activist judges" for the redefinition of marriage. Perhaps the most astounding position I have read in a conservative discussion forum relates to the defense of this position. I have been told that government has always been involved in marriage and family. We should not be concerned that government, by acts of Congress and state legislatures, has become more involved in recent years. Only the courts, "activist judges," must be stopped from extending government involvement on their own.

I am astounded by the expression of this view in a conservative discussion forum because on its face it is obviously not a conservative view. I find it odd (but not particularly unusual) when Republicans support the ever-growing cancer of government intrusion into private life. I also find the argument weak and rather offensive. We might like to imagine that judges themselves are non-partisan, thus it would follow that political parties are not to blame for judicial activism. Although I believe that many judges do have strong party affiliations, and that in itself is a problem, that is not the worst of it. We apparently must also believe that judicial decisions are not effected by the laws written by Congress and state legislatures. Thus, enabling us to judge judicial activism as something entirely independent of legislative activism. Therefore, we should ignore the role of state legislators, congressmen, governors, and presidents in the destruction of marriage and family during the period when we are considering how to cast our votes. Pity the poor fool who falls for that one; the ultimate political dodge.

The argument has been put forth that the sudden finding of a constitutional requirement to recognize same-sex unions (regardless of what they are called) as equivalent to "marriage" did not in fact appear suddenly out of nowhere. There is a history of denial of marriage and family as fundamental institutions linked to fundamental rights. The road to the decision was paved with relatively recent federal reforms and billions and billions of dollars in federal funding. The problem has not been judicial activism so much as judicial inactivism; the refusal of the courts to overturn laws that are too intrusive and that have trampled family rights.

It has not been particularly surprising to me that some conservatives and liberals still do not understand that marriage as we knew it was effectively abolished before the Massachusetts decision. Unless someone has gone to a great personal effort to research and understand family law reforms over the past two decades, or regularly reads MensNewsDaily.com or information from another competent source, how would they know? Despite the fact that the fundamental social institution has undergone a complete legal transformation, so-called "mainstream media" has remained silent.

The recent intrusion of government into family life is not merely a matter of degree. If it was, reducing the rights of heterosexuals for the sake of expanding government control would not have led to the birth of new rights for homosexuals. The complete destruction of marriage and family (legally, as we knew it) was necessary before a constitutional right for same-sex marriage could rise as a phenix from the ashes.

For more than two centuries, family and the institution of marriage were "recognized by law" in the United States. There is a fundamental difference today, in that marriage and family issues are entirely "politically controlled." To be recognized by law is accepting of marriage and family as something created outside of government, so important that laws are needed to recognize it, but so established in the private domain that it must be respected and protected as involving fundamental rights. By the time the Massachusetts decision was made; "Simply put, the government creates civil marriage. ... In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State. ... Civil marriage is created and regulated through exercise of the police power."

I know that I will get arguments regarding the factual nature of such statements in reference to "civil marriage." In the eyes of the Massachusetts court, "civil marriage" must be seen as distinct from marriage perceived in relation to tradition and religious preference. Some social conservatives in fact argue on religious grounds, with that being their only objection. Marriage and family have been recognized and respected by tradition and by religions throughout the world - because of what they are. It is an false and entirely ridiculous argument that because marriage and family are widely recognized and respected, outside of civil law and process, that similar recognition and respect within civil law is unconstitutional.

The real basis of the new constitutional right for same-sex marriage is that marriage and family now exist only as civil institutions, created and controlled by political processes, defined by arbitrary government services and arbitrary politically determined privileges and restrictions. Anything that may be connected to tradition or religious practice and belief has been abolished regardless of its fundamental meaning, importance to society, and the effect abolishment will have on parents and children. Marriage and family now means whatever politicians define them to mean and only what they define them to mean. The nature of marriage and family has been abolished. But it was not a sudden death. The Massachusetts decision was only a pronouncement that was finally so obvious that it could not be avoided in "mainstream" public discussion.

As bad as the situation is for marriage and family, the overall situation is worse. The transformation of marriage and family from established, legally recognized institutions to politically controlled services, privileges, and restrictions marks a fundamental change in the relationship between government and the people. It is not so much through judicial activism, but judicial inactivism that has allowed this to occur.

Courts have been more engaged in partisan politics (i.e. on the side of parties rather than in opposition) than in performing their duty to defend fundamental rights. As a result, marriage and family are no longer fundamentally protected, but have been reduced to mere creations of civil law controlled entirely and arbitrarily by political decisions. As such, (phenix from the fire) the equal protection clause has a broader and much more arbitrary reach. That is why the Massachusetts decision came now, when no such decision was given by any court for more than two centuries. Homosexuals have the same access to arbitrary, politically defined statutory rights and obligations as everyone else. It was congressional and legislative activism that led to the decision.



Roger F. Gay


Roger F. Gay is a professional analyst, international correspondent and regular contributor to MensNewsDaily.com, as well as a contributing editor for Fathering Magazine.




TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; mariage; prisoners; socialregression
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1 posted on 02/05/2004 8:04:38 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: JimKalb; Free the USA; EdReform; realwoman; Orangedog; Lorianne; Outlaw76; balrog666; DNA Rules; ...
ping
2 posted on 02/05/2004 8:05:18 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: RogerFGay
"death of marriage"

defense of marriage"

"protection of marriage"

"save marriage"

Propaganda never sleeps.

3 posted on 02/05/2004 8:07:28 AM PST by breakem
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To: JudgemAll; TheSpottedOwl; marktwain; Capitalism2003; inquest; King Black Robe; Unam Sanctam; ...
ping
4 posted on 02/05/2004 8:10:40 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: RogerFGay
This should be a fun thread.
5 posted on 02/05/2004 8:11:27 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: breakem
We never seem to run out of people who comment on articles without reading them either.
6 posted on 02/05/2004 8:11:43 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: Modernman
Hope it stimulates serious discussion.
7 posted on 02/05/2004 8:12:19 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: RogerFGay
Hope it stimulates serious discussion

That would be nice. We've had a lot of flame wars on this subject lately.

8 posted on 02/05/2004 8:15:48 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: breakem
It certainly doesn't. Assaults on marriage are assaults on authentic anthropology.
9 posted on 02/05/2004 8:16:38 AM PST by Romulus (Nothing really good ever happened after 1789.)
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To: Modernman
I hope people at least read the article first, before responding to the subject generally.
10 posted on 02/05/2004 8:18:11 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: RogerFGay
The homosexual agenda seems to be to get all the rights heterosexual couples now have. They should be careful for what they wish for.

Much of the excitement of homosexual life was being different, operating on the cutting edge, being risky, laughing at the disapproval of the majority, having many encounters with new sex partners. Are they going to give that up in their drive to be just like the rest of us?

Are homosexuals ready for the realities of most marriages that go into middle age and beyond? Will they enjoy the flabby bodies, the snoring, the burps after spicy foods, the separate bedrooms, semi annual sex, having kids who despise you but want their hands in your pocketbook, the mailings from AARP?

A good dose of the lifestyle of the majority may just convince them to go back into the closet.
11 posted on 02/05/2004 8:19:23 AM PST by RicocheT
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To: *Homosexual Agenda; EdReform; scripter; GrandMoM; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; ...
Homosexual Agenda Alert Ping - Just got up, haven't read this article yet... Gotta get more organized. Breakem doesn't like it so it must have some worth.

Let me know if you want to be added to or subtracted from this highly worthy ping list.
12 posted on 02/05/2004 8:19:37 AM PST by little jeremiah
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To: Modernman
excellent report by Dr. Baskerville


it's pathetic that few have the courage to stand up for men,& families,instead bending over for sodomites and lesbo deviants posing as morally superior!!

Lesbo ellen degeneres now has a morning tv show, as seen by rock & pop icons street whore behavior!
13 posted on 02/05/2004 8:20:14 AM PST by wiseone
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To: RogerFGay
In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State. ... Civil marriage is created and regulated through exercise of the police power.

Interesting point. I'm starting to lean towards the view that government should simply get out of the marriage business. Allow consenting adults to enter into any contract they desire (excluding contracts that would be illegal on other grounds: slavery contracts, etc.), in any combination of consenting adults they desire (1 man plus 1 woman, 2 homosexuals, 3 men and 1 woman, 4 heterosexual roommates). The government should take no view as to what defines a "marriage" or "civil-union" or whatever. If a religion wants to recognize such a contract as a marriage, great.

14 posted on 02/05/2004 8:23:20 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: RicocheT
Just for you - a few statements by noted homosexual spokespeople and so on, admitting that their REAL reasons for pushing for "gay" marriage are to change the morality of society in general, and the meaning of marriage and family in particular:


An excerpt from: In Their Own Words: The Homosexual Agenda:
"Homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorile, who writes periodically for The New York Times, summarizes the agenda in OUT magazine:

...to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society's moral codes, but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution... The most subversive action lesbian and gay men can undertake --and one that would perhaps benefit all of society--is to transform the notion of family entirely." "Its the final tool with which to dismantle all sodomy statues, get education about homosexuality and AIDS into the public schools and in short to usher in a sea change in how society views and treats us."


"A middle ground might be to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society's moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution." Michenlangelo Signorile in OUT magazine (Dec/Jan 1994.)

Chris Crain, the editor of the Washington Blade has stated that all homosexual activists should fight for the legalization of same-sex marriage as a way of gaining passage of federal anti-discrimination laws that will provide homosexuals with federal protection for their chosen lifestyle.
Crain writes: "...any leader of any gay rights organization who is not prepared to throw the bulk of their efforts right now into the fight for marriage is squandering resources and doesn't deserve the position." (Washington Blade, August, 2003).

Andrew Sullivan, a homosexual activist writing in his book, Virtually Normal, says that once same-sex marriage is legalized, heterosexuals will have to develop a greater "understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman." He notes: "The truth is, homosexuals are not entirely normal; and to flatten their varied and complicated lives into a single, moralistic model is to miss what is essential and exhilarating about their otherness." (Sullivan, Virtually Normal, pp. 202-203)

Paula Ettelbrick, a law professor and homosexual activist has said: "Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. . Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family; and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society. . We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society's view of reality." (partially quoted in "Beyond Gay Marriage," Stanley Kurtz, The Weekly Standard, August 4, 2003)

Evan Wolfson has stated: "Isn't having the law pretend that there is only one family model that works (let alone exists) a lie? . marriage is not just about procreation-indeed is not necessarily about procreation at all. "(quoted in "What Marriage Is For," by Maggie Gallagher, The Weekly Standard, August 11, 2003)

Mitchel Raphael, editor of the Canadian homosexual magazine Fab, says: "Ambiguity is a good word for the feeling among gays about marriage. I'd be for marriage if I thought gay people would challenge and change the institution and not buy into the traditional meaning of 'till death do us part' and monogamy forever. We should be Oscar Wildes and not like everyone else watching the play." (quoted in "Now Free To Marry, Canada's Gays Say, 'Do I?'" by Clifford Krauss, The New York Times, August 31, 2003)

1972 Gay Rights Platform Demands: "Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit."
15 posted on 02/05/2004 8:25:42 AM PST by little jeremiah
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To: RicocheT
As mentioned in the article, heterosexual couples have been denied constitutional rights entirely in matters related to marriage and family. The decision was odd for that reason alone; applying the constitution in favor of same-sex marriage when it's been completely shut out of (heterosexual) family law for more than a decade.
16 posted on 02/05/2004 8:26:20 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: Modernman
Next step: decriminalize bigamy.
17 posted on 02/05/2004 8:27:26 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: RogerFGay
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1071650/posts
18 posted on 02/05/2004 8:28:10 AM PST by AreaMan
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To: Modernman
Interesting point. I'm starting to lean towards the view that government should simply get out of the marriage business. Allow consenting adults to enter into any contract they desire

That's kind of the way it was before the federal reforms, given to us by Congress. The details of the marriage "contract" had been worked out through many generations of limited government involvement in private family issues; ie. when one spouse sued another in civil court. Basic civil rights were applied to each, circumstances were taken into consideration, rights and obligations divied up --- generally what was worked out was at least in theory minimum government intrusion (all that other stuff had something to do with reality -- the courts simply doing the job of settling disputes.)
19 posted on 02/05/2004 8:30:35 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: RicocheT
Much of the excitement of homosexual life was being different, operating on the cutting edge, being risky, laughing at the disapproval of the majority, having many encounters with new sex partners. Are they going to give that up in their drive to be just like the rest of us?

I think homosexual marriage, if legalized, will be pretty rare, at least for gay men. I can see a lot of lesbians getting married and staying married for a long time since lesbian relationships tend to be pretty stable. For the average gay man, however, I don't see marriage and monogamy being particularly attractive.

What if we legalize gay marriage and nobody gets married. Could we be making a mountain out of a mole hill?

20 posted on 02/05/2004 8:31:35 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: AreaMan
uh-huh
21 posted on 02/05/2004 8:32:12 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: Mamzelle
Exactly.

Incidentally, I didn't see it but I heard that yesterday "Law & Order" put in a plug for homosexual/lesbian marriage and adoption.

22 posted on 02/05/2004 8:33:09 AM PST by Dante3
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To: RogerFGay
If yall aren't gonna post some funny pictures, I'm leaving.
23 posted on 02/05/2004 8:39:11 AM PST by GigaDittos (Bumper sticker: "Vote Democrat, it's easier than getting a job.")
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To: RogerFGay
The details of the marriage "contract" had been worked out through many generations of limited government involvement in private family issues; ie. when one spouse sued another in civil court.

Imagine a marriage regime where there is a generic statutory marriage contract that any consenting adults can enter into. Call it a "Personal Relationship Contract" (PRC). The generic PRC would lay out rules as to how assets of the relationship would be distributed upon dissolution of the PRC, how things like power-of-attorney would be handled if one member of the PRC fell sick etc. People entering into a contract could alter the terms of these provisions as they saw fit. This regime would be very similar to how business partnerships work under state law- there is a generic set of statutory rules that govern how a partnership works, but the partners are able to alter those rules (within limits) by execution of a written partnership document.

24 posted on 02/05/2004 8:39:47 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: Modernman
I can imagine it, but unfortunately, it's all politically controlled now. As a members of the village, people don't get to make individual personal choices, or even rely on reality if they have to argue through what makes sense. "Society" (politicians in Congress who abuse power -- the two parties) controls all of it.
25 posted on 02/05/2004 8:44:11 AM PST by RogerFGay
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To: RogerFGay
For more than two centuries, family and the institution of marriage were "recognized by law" in the United States. There is a fundamental difference today, in that marriage and family issues are entirely "politically controlled." To be recognized by law is accepting of marriage and family as something created outside of government, so important that laws are needed to recognize it, but so established in the private domain that it must be respected and protected as involving fundamental rights. By the time the Massachusetts decision was made; "Simply put, the government creates civil marriage. ... In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State. ... Civil marriage is created and regulated through exercise of the police power." [...]

The real basis of the new constitutional right for same-sex marriage is that marriage and family now exist only as civil institutions, created and controlled by political processes, defined by arbitrary government services and arbitrary politically determined privileges and restrictions. Anything that may be connected to tradition or religious practice and belief has been abolished regardless of its fundamental meaning, importance to society, and the effect abolishment will have on parents and children. Marriage and family now means whatever politicians define them to mean and only what they define them to mean. The nature of marriage and family has been abolished.

Precisely.

26 posted on 02/05/2004 8:49:46 AM PST by Deliberator
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To: RogerFGay
That's kind of the way it was before the federal reforms, given to us by Congress.

Unfortunaltley, we are well past the point of no return on this issue (gov't encroaching on our private lives). That being said, is it even possible to stop it? Me thinks not.

27 posted on 02/05/2004 8:56:12 AM PST by leadpencil1 (GWB - President of ALL Americans)
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To: RogerFGay
The notion of fathers as the weakest link is amusing but wrong. Weak does not define a man who gets up at 6 am to go to work to earn the money to improve the lives of his children. Weak does not define a man who makes certain they children have a roof over their head and food on the table even if he has to do without something.

It may only be an analogy but it is the wrong analogy.

The rest of the family is dependent on the father. Remove the father (as the judicial and legislative activists designed in the article) and presto the destabalized memebers have to find a new place to rest their needs. The governemnt.

Perhaps a better analogy would have been steel beam. Remove a steel beam support and the structure will either collapse or need a replacement support.

it may just be tomato tomahto. One thing is certain, yesterday's ruling has kicked up the stakes a notch. The reporters are in full propaganda mode with anecdotal fluffy stories about homosexuals who raise children (as aopposed to produce them) and John Kerry's "personaly" opposition to homosexual marriage. (it however did not make him "personally" vote for doma. There are just to many kerry jokes than i can "personally" make.)

Have you ever considered the pool of judicial candidates? not just the federal judges but the ordinary working judges. Interest groups like the ABA don't have to fret because law schools work very hard to indoctrinate their law students. The odds alone do not favor finding a conservative judicial candidate.
28 posted on 02/05/2004 9:15:31 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: RogerFGay
Roger you are right, there is attack on Fatherhood, but the enemy is at the gate and if we do not defend now we will lose the family as well.

There is only one solution for the folks in MA and that is to impeach the MA Supremes who voted for this.

The cry for the Marraige Amendment must be imperative. For the barbarians are at the gate and the battering rams are coming.

I lament over Fatherhood in america, pray that the Lord would interviene for our fathers and our families in America. Pray for those who are pushing this liberal agenda - "that sin would be sin utterly" and for "God's severest mercy", else our nation will go the path of the Greeks and Romans and be no more.

29 posted on 02/05/2004 9:18:45 AM PST by sr4402
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To: Modernman
What are the moral issues in the institution of marriage?
30 posted on 02/05/2004 9:20:21 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RogerFGay
Also weep for the children, for the target of the MA Supreme Court ruling is them. How many children will loose their fathers? How many children will be raped and abused by this ruling? One child is too many.
31 posted on 02/05/2004 9:21:23 AM PST by sr4402
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To: RightWhale
What are the moral issues in the institution of marriage?

I'm not sure I understand the question.

32 posted on 02/05/2004 9:25:50 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: RightWhale
What are the moral issues in the institution of marriage?

How about whether you will keep your promises? How about whether you really love your wife? How about whether you will love your children? Respect and Honor? Just little things like that.

It is the institution first created by God in Genesis. It preserves mankind from mayhem. All nations that tinker with marriage are in the dust.

Do you really need to ask the question? The moral issues in marriage go to whether we have a civilization or are even civilized. The cries of the fatherless and raped children cry out against what is taking place.

33 posted on 02/05/2004 9:28:16 AM PST by sr4402
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To: Modernman
I like your post. I have a similar take on the matter. Marriage, as my Church teaches it, is a contract between a man & a woman. It is a sacrament in my faith (Roman Catholic).
However, on a daily basis we see not "till death do we part" but rather, "when something better comes along, I am totally out of here."

I am not in favor of ANY law that forces the Roman Catholic faith to extend the sacrament of marriage to homosexual couples.
But, if the law wants to recognize such unions - then I have no problem with that. Along with that, they get the marriage penalty tax, alimony, child custody battles, child support, etc.

34 posted on 02/05/2004 9:28:17 AM PST by Volunteer (Just so you know, I am ashamed the Dixie Chicks make records in Nashville.)
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To: breakem
Do us a favor and get back in the closet.
35 posted on 02/05/2004 9:29:24 AM PST by ohioman
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To: Mamzelle
Next step: decriminalize bigamy.

Then, lower the age of consent to 14.

Then, lower the age of consent to 12.

Then, lower the age of consent to 8.

36 posted on 02/05/2004 9:34:18 AM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: RogerFGay
I am not surewhat point you are making in this.
37 posted on 02/05/2004 9:37:21 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: sr4402
Do you really need to ask the question?

Yes. Your response indicates that you favor a virtues-based ethics. However, most of the virtues mentioned are not high on the Aristotlean list. The institution of marriage is currently under fire and the attacks are not just the nonchalant use of divorce and shacking up anymore. If we can't come to an agreement of the need for the institution, it will die away and be abolished just as King Hamekameha abolished taboos once no one remembered the basis for the taboos.

38 posted on 02/05/2004 9:38:03 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: Volunteer
I am not in favor of ANY law that forces the Roman Catholic faith to extend the sacrament of marriage to homosexual couples.

Such a law would be completely unconstitutional and I would be incredibly opposed to government meddling in the religious institution of marriage.

But, if the law wants to recognize such unions - then I have no problem with that. Along with that, they get the marriage penalty tax, alimony, child custody battles, child support, etc

The old adage comes to mind-"Be careful what you wish for."

39 posted on 02/05/2004 9:38:36 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: Modernman
I'm not sure I understand the question.

Another question then: what is the need for marriage?

40 posted on 02/05/2004 9:39:07 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: Modernman
I would be incredibly opposed to government meddling in the religious institution of marriage.

Rightly so. How about government meddling in the secular institution of marriage?

41 posted on 02/05/2004 9:41:04 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RightWhale
Another question then: what is the need for marriage?

I would say, historically, they served for one of two reasons:

1) To tie two families together and thereby increase the political or material assets of the families;

2) To establish a clear way for property to be passed down from generation to generation. Theoretically, all sons borne in wedlock were fathered by the husband.

Today, I think those two reasons don't really apply. Marriage serves as a form of social stability. Married couples are able to pool their various resources to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

42 posted on 02/05/2004 9:44:25 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: RightWhale
Rightly so. How about government meddling in the secular institution of marriage?

The only way government won't meddle in the secular institution of marriage is if government is removed from the equation and marriage becomes essentially an issue of contract law. By its nature, when government gets involved in something, it'll meddle as much as it possibly can.

43 posted on 02/05/2004 9:46:52 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: Modernman
Good points. There would be more than one way to administer such institutions. For example, in America a system of patriarchy was superimposed over an existing system of matriarchy when the Euros arrived. The matriarchy still exists although it is not recognized by the state.
44 posted on 02/05/2004 9:51:19 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: Modernman
Okay. When the matter becomes law as in contract law, the state becomes the administrative agent. It is possible in this country for sectarian institutions to continue independently of the state administered institutions. For this reason, I believe we are talking about at least two forms of marriage that are at core unrelated although superficially they appear similar.
45 posted on 02/05/2004 9:55:41 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RightWhale
For example, in America a system of patriarchy was superimposed over an existing system of matriarchy when the Euros arrived. The matriarchy still exists although it is not recognized by the state.

One quibble here- I think you mean matrilineal rather than matriarchal. Matrilineal inheritance of property is a logical system since it is always clear who the mother of a child is, but up until recently it wasn't always, ahem, certain who the father was. Of course, a matrilineal system only works if a woman was able to independently own property, which was generally not the case in a lot of Western history.

46 posted on 02/05/2004 9:56:47 AM PST by Modernman ("The details of my life are quite inconsequential...." - Dr. Evil)
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To: ohioman
Us? Are you pregnant?
47 posted on 02/05/2004 9:58:28 AM PST by breakem
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To: Romulus
"Assaults" more propaganda. How about describing your ideas without the emotional garbage.
48 posted on 02/05/2004 9:59:24 AM PST by breakem
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To: RogerFGay
I think I'll make that my New Years Resolution for 2005. I've been here 5.5 years and have yet to read the post at the beginning of the thread.
49 posted on 02/05/2004 10:00:39 AM PST by breakem
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To: Modernman
I shall have to check with the nearest authority, who happens to be not far from here.
50 posted on 02/05/2004 10:01:20 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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