We Calvinists have a mixed view on the Governmental issue, but are in absolute agreement on the Moral issue of Homosexuality, and Homosexual unions. So the above statement is correct, but it is not complete.
OrthodoxPresbyterian, CCWoody, and i represent the Libertarian wing of the Reforned faith...put your visions of hedonism and Ayn Rand aside for a minute.... Our wing of Calvinism holds that the State has no business at all regulating marriage, or relationships between conscenting ADULTS. The institution of marriage is a matter that should be exclusively within the sphere of the Church. As such, it is the Church that recognises or refuses to recoginse any given 'relationship' as a marriage. Before one can discuss the legalisation of any relationship as a marriage, the issue of unwarrented state interference into the realm of the Church must be considered...that would even include the issuance of "Marriage Liscenses", which is nothing more than getting state permission to marry!
Although i may be mistaken on the details, i believe that the "Common Law" marriage was an innovation brought about by American Catholics. At a certain time in our history, there was a shortage of Catholic Priests, and Catholic couples who desired Church Marriage could not be accomodated. The result was the declaration of the Common Law marriage, which offered all the legal protections of marriage, until such a time that a circuit Priest could perform the Sacrament...usually with the couple's children in attendance.
You are mistaken on the details and on the larger picture. Common law marriage is a feature of British common law and has existed in America from colonial days. One could argue that it is a Protestant phenomenon in its beginnings, because according to English law only the Church of England could solemnize marriages. A marriage witnessed by a Separatist preacher (i.e. a marriage between Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, etc.) would be a common law marriage because the C of E wouldn't recognize it prior to Cromwell.
Catholics did not introduce it to America, nor did the Church sanction it.
The Catholic Church provided the Catholic community of the US with traveling priests who were able to witness marriages, hear confessions and celebrate the Eucharist with great regularity, several times a year. The Southern and Western United States received ministration from Mexican and French priests in cases of need and the Eastern US had access to priests from Quebec and Ireland.
Common law marriage was never a regular or accepted feature of life in Catholic America.
I do agree with that statement , it is not the states business. But practically speaking the state will make its decisions relevant..no matter what personal beliefs we hold