Skip to comments.End Government Recognition of Marriage
Posted on 07/16/2004 8:09:37 AM PDT by Voice in your head
Government recognition of marriage has largely removed all meaning from the institution. A couple that is legally married does not need to enter into a union of holy matrimony. They only need to get the governments permission to marry and take the necessary steps to complete all formalities associated with the marriage. That there is greater outrage over the government recognition of same-sex marriage rather than over clergy members agreeing to conduct the ceremonies is an indication of how far the nation has sunk in its view of marriage as a union of holy matrimony versus a legal contract.
The government is an entity that serves the purpose of, among other things, enforcing contracts. Among the most common contract is the contract that is entered into by couples when they marry. By getting legally married, every couple in the same state enters into a similar contract. This should change. The assumption that any two people from any social and economic class can enter into the same legal contract is absurd. Each couple should have its own contract for its specific circumstances. Some couples already do this via pre-nuptial agreements.
As an action that is half corrective and half symbolic, I think that government should discontinue the issuing of one-size-fits-all, marriage contracts. Discontinuing this recognition would be corrective in that any contracts formed would need to be specifically tailored to each couple, because each couple would need to draft their own contract. Discontinuing the recognition of current marriage contracts would be symbolic, in that it would send the message that marriage is a religious union that is inappropriate for government to have any involvement in. I can think of no more effective way to pervert a religious ceremony than to taint it with a stamp of approval from the government. For those who marry for spiritual reasons love and commitment the marriage will take on greater meaning as a solely religious and spiritual endeavor. For those who seek to form a union for the purpose of shared benefits and legal protections, the marriage will be more of a legal arrangement.
From the perspective of the government, a contract should be just a contract, whether it applies to a man and a woman committing themselves to one another or between a bank and a customer agreeing to the terms of a loan. It is insane to use government as a tool to morally sanction a couples lust or love or as a moral compass for our society. There is nothing that so easily gets manipulated for the advancement of our vices as government. To let it continue to have a role in marriage will only further erode the bedrock institution of our society. The surest way to retain the sanctity of marriage is to emphasize the religious and spiritual aspects of it, by giving full responsibility for the recognition and ceremonial procedures to the church.
To take this approach would seem to have many unintended consequences. For example, does this allow same-sex marriages or bigamy or polygamy? If there are religions that recognize such unions and will carry out the ceremonies, then the answer is yes. However, the government would not recognize those unions as marriages, because there would be no such thing as a government-recognized marriage. Marriage would be between the family and the church. Would this encourage polygamy, bigamy or same-sex marriage? The answer is no, because people who choose those lifestyles already live them, but they do so without government recognition. Nothing would change, because government would still not recognize those arrangements as marriages. There would be no more government-recognized marriages; only religious institutions would recognize marriages. Will this encourage marriages between adults and children or people and animals? The answer is no, because those are already forbidden by laws regarding child abuse and animal abuse.
Some would say that my recommendation would further erode marriage, because it would expand the definition by opening it up to everyone. I say the exact opposite is true, because it would leave the definition of marriage up to the church. I have infinitely greater trust in the ability of religious institutions to make moral and ethical decisions than I do in the government. Some would also say that this issue needs to be fought and won as we currently debate it, because allowing same-sex couples to enjoy the same benefits as traditional couples would only be an entitlement money grab and/or a further encroachment of political correctness upon our society. I say that this point of view is incorrect, irrelevant and ignores the fundamental problems that underlie our society today. Most government entitlements (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, most notably) are nothing more than legally sanctioned thievery that people participate in, because they were forced to contribute to them. In simple terms, entitlement programs are government actions whereby your money is taken from you and given to other people who did not earn it, on the assumption that their need entitles them to the money. To accept this assumption and use it as the basis for opposing same-sex unions (the opposition being that those couples will share in the money grab) is yet another step towards surrendering to an increasingly statist society and it illustrates the point of view that worries not about the spiritual and religious aspects of marriage, but rather the bottom line: money and control. The future of marriage is too important to be weighed on the basis of money and politics.
To truly ensure the preservation of marriage we must rescue it from the political arena and place it under the watch of our religious institutions. As government and politics are further dominated by more extreme communist elements, we need to separate government from matters related to morality. Otherwise, morality will be redefined (legally) by the likes of the Klintons, the Kerrys, and the other Dasch-holes in congress.
That Oregon county announced it was not going to issue marriage licenses a couple weeks ago. Seems like we're pretty close to ending marriage as it is.
Someone needs to do a study to determine how much money will be shifted from gay couples onto other folks as a result of the extension of marriage to the gay community.
This debate is lost because the right side can't even muster the correct argument. The sanctity of marriage isn't the issue. Homosexuality is the issue.
Stripping the primary family unit of any legal protections would guarantee the end of our society as we know it.
Look to the Democratic National Convention coming soon in Boston (or a "Gay Pride" parade) for a concrete look at the society that would rise in its place.
I don't believe that, neither do most Americans.
But actually, it would harm the institution just as the left's adoption of "No Fault" divorce has done.
I prefer the traditional No Sex marriage.
Thank you for posting that statement.
You're right. Most Americans are quite tolerant, which is why we're sinking into a morass of immorality like the Romans, and we'll wind up in the same place too. In the history books.
So if homosexuality is A-OK, then why not let them get married? That's where the "sanctity of marriage" argument breaks down.
I don't think that gays should be 'married'. Civil unions are okay with me, though.
If you make that argument, you will lose the debate. Very few people agree with you on that matter.
Really, just look at where the black community has sadly ended up because of weak families and illegitimacy. State government should do everything it can reasonably do to strengthen the institution of the family. It's part of our tradition here in state government.
And yes, sodomy is a disgusting perversion that should be re-criminalized, but the argument on the family is important, too. To compare sexual perversion to normal family life--as though there were any comparison--is obscene.
The institution of marriage is terminally ill and not long for this world. You're trying to close the barn door after the horses escaped. I'm not trying to save a dead institution. I'm trying to fight the acceptance and legal sanction of this perversion.
We're missing the boat here. Homosexuals don't really care about marriage. The level of promiscuity is incredible among them and their marriages would be an ugly farce. What they're trying to do is get official government approval of their "lifestyle".
Nonsense. What homosexuals do to or with each other in no way influences the morality or immorality of the American people. In any event, the Roman comparison is silly. Rome lasted for a 1000 years. If America lasts that long, we should be so lucky.
So if homosexuality is A-OK, then why not let them get married? That's where the "sanctity of marriage" argument breaks down.
I'm fairly neutral on this subject, but I have to ask: How would allowing homosexuals to marry in any way influence heterosexual marriage?
If anything needs defining, it is sex itself.
I understand that. I never said that I have a mainstream position on this issue. Do I have to have one? Anyway, the argument is already lost. We'll never see a Marriage Amendment and state after state is passing gay marriage. What's left to debate about?
One of the reasons we lost this fight is because we picked the wrong argument. It's not really about marriage. It's about official approval of homosexuality, but our side lacked the courage to say it, or didn't believe it.
I will say now that if society deems that homosexuality is just fine then there is no rational argument against gay marriage. That's how we lost.
This debate already occured, and the gays won. Sodomy is not just gay sex, straight people can engage in it also. You can't make sodomy illegal for gay people only, nor should you.
I know several gay couples, and guess what? Their 'family life' is surprisingly similar to that of all the straight couples I know! They wake up, make coffee, walk the dog, go to work, come home, make dinner, watch tv, do the dishes, mow the lawn, etc...
This is the position of libertarians (generally extreme secularist cultural liberals) who don't have the guts to say they want sodomite marriage.
Marriage is a contract between two people and society. A contract between two people is just in a lawyer's office. A marriage is and has always been a very expensive public ceremony surrounded by elaborate ritual. Society no longer has the power to use tradition, family, religion, or fear of ostracism to protect marriage, to protect wives and children from the vagaries of male hormones and mid life crises so it employs the state to do so.
The same way that using an Easy-Bake oven could screw up a dinner party for fourteen guests.
It doesn't, which is the point I keep trying to make. Marriage isn't the real issue. It's a stalking horse. Homosexuality is the issue. Once you approve of one you have to approve of the other.
As for the Romans, they lasted 1,000 years because the pace of life back then was so much slower, without modern communications or transportation. It's probably equal to 200 years of today. It's widely understood that Rome collapsed because of moral decay. Just like us.
These days, a marriage contract is a far weaker legal instrument than any other contract. A marriage contract can be dissolved by either party for any or no reason. No lawyer would let a business sign such a meaningless contract.
They are still wrong, even if they did win. And I don't really care how much coffee they make, they continue to be wrong.
Government recognition of marriage makes no more sense than government regulation of the sacrament of baptism.
Many of the arguments for government recognition of marriage center on the need to legally protect the family from government intrusion. Do we really believe that a power hungry government will be stifled by its own regulatory institutions.
If we aren't living in a nation that dutifully respects the god given rights of each of its citizens then a government supplied contract is going to do little to help that.
That's debatable. During the last century or so of the Empire, Rome experienced a period of nearly puritanical moralism.
In any event, the morals of the average Roman (as opposed to the morals of their leaders) didn't change much throughout the span of the Empire.
I disagree. My "secular" understanding of "sanctity of marriage" agrees (I think) with the "sacred" understand of it, but I do not share the religious view of homosexual behavior as sin per se.
Naturally, I think the wildly promiscuous sexual behavior by many gays in our country is unfortunate. Plus, I heartily condemn the refusal of the gay community to respond to HIV crisis by adopting epidemiologically prescribed procedures to identify and isolate sexual partners. And I don't disagree that these goings-on in our midst has a generally bad effect on everyone. And I don't think it is appropriate for schools to be actively preaching anything about homosexual sex.
For all this, I am excoriated as a right-wing intolerant homophobe by my own family.
I do not subscribe to some mythical equality of heterosexuality and homosexuality, especially when it comes to marriage. Neither church nor state, in my view, is under any obligation to equalize them.
However, for homosexuals themselves, love and sex are what they are: love and sex. I do not see anything sinful or inherently wrong with homosexual activity.
[Little Boy] - Then we could make all sorts of crazy laws!
[Amendment] Now you're catching on!
[Little Boy] But what if they say you're not good enough to be in the constitution?
[Amendment] Then I'll crush all opposition to me!
And I'll make Ted Kennedy pay
If he fights back, I'll say that he's gay
On the other hand, having sex with another man, which historically gives you a 14,000% greater chance of getting AIDS, should be practiced, but safely.
... homosexuality is a filthy and evil perversion
I believe that is true.
It's Time to Privatize Marriage:
"Why is marriage declining?" the question buzzes in the news.
I believe one reason is because marriage has become a three-way contract between two people and the government, which is regulated by the state from wedding vows to divorce decrees.
Marriage should be privatized. Let people make their own marriage contracts according to their conscience, religion and common sense. Those contracts could be registered with the state, recognized as legal and arbitrated by the courts, but the terms would be determined by those involved.
*click the link for more*
The entire agenda of gay marriage is about destroying the traditional family, NOT about gays getting "married."
In places like the Netherlands and Scandinavia, marriage is in decline due to the pervasiveness of the socialist nanny-state which has eliminated the need for a stable two-parent family to provide for children.
"If we aren't living in a nation that dutifully respects the god given rights of each of its citizens then a government supplied contract is going to do little to help that."
Tell that to the kids receiving child support from fathers whose pay is being attached for failing to provide for his kids after a divorce. The point you are trying to dismiss is the reason the gov't keeps track of who marries who. It is fundamentally different than other religious rights, in which the gov't has no interest.
Just what is the difference between marriage and civil unions other than the name. For example, if Massachusetts passes an amendment that defines "marriage" as between a man and a womnan, yet constitutionalizes civil unions that are 100% equal to marriage, then what have they accomplished? What will be different?
Yup. When the right side can't even muster the faithfulness to defend the 10 commandments or the use of the bible in a public school or prayer, it has turned it's back on God as much as the left. Romans 1:24 and 1:26 shows that homosexuality is the punishment for turning from God and that is what we are reaping. We deserve it as a nation.
That's only part of it. The sociologists there are saying it has to do with gay marriage too.
You're wrong. As homosexuals submit to their perverted, deviant behavior, they have no self-control or discipline which eventually surfaces in other aspects of their lives. Those who aren't wise look at what is done now and convince themselves there are no immediate consequences, so they think they can continue to engage in risky behavior. They don't connect their long-term destruction as a result. Then, they errantly conclude there are no negative end results to OTHER behavioral issues.
It's no wonder many are or become drug abusers, pedophiles, exhibitionists, and the list continues. It is on that premise that what they do DOES impact society - every aspect.
For "straights" to be forced to accept them as "normal" only exacerbates the problem. No one can be corrected if they're never told they're wrong or can prevent hurt when they're not told that what they're doing is harmful to both them and those around them.
Communicable diseases are found to be more rampant and much harder to contain and cure among the homosexual community. Their health care cost alone, and its impact to society is enormous when they seek treatment and dangerously caustic to society if they remain undiagnosed..
"Marriage should be privatized. Let people make their own marriage contracts according to their conscience, religion and common sense. Those contracts could be registered with the state, recognized as legal and arbitrated by the courts, but the terms would be determined by those involved."
For those with the money and the interest, that can be done now. Gov't recognition of marriage is a least common denominator approach to providing legal protection to those being married and any children from the marriage.
So if a flasher has a family life simmilar to the one above, should his flashing be lawful? How about groups that do all of the above? Why legislate the term "couple" if a group of three can be a family? Especially if they like to watch tv and walk the dog together.
Paine was married a couple of times. His issue was with England and the Monarchy.
I have been saying for many years, follow the money, always follow the money.
I believe it.
Here are some others who agree with you.
This article ASSUMES that civil law has no deterant value which IMHO is incorrect.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
of the Communist Party
Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.
On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among proletarians, and in public prostitution.
The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.
Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.
But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.
And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, etc.? The Communists have not intended the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.
The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labor.
But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the bourgeoisie in chorus.
The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.
He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.
For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce free love; it has existed almost from time immemorial.
My,my...your ideas seem to have been espoused in 1848.
Government is the easiest tool for hedonists to use in destroying marriage, which is why we should get government out of the business of selling marriage certificates and, in the process, defining what a marriage is.