Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Marriage, law, and complications
A Federal judge ruled today that California's Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, is un-Constitutional, and is therefore nullified.
Great. Now everyone opposed to gay marriage is going to get their panties in a wad about the ruling, and pontificate about how the courts are not respecting the will of the people, or demanding that legislators overrule the courts and preserve marriage in its historical context of a union between a man and a woman (leaving out, for the moment, those societies where polygyny and/or polyandry are accepted). On the other hand, those in favor of gay marriage are going to be celebrating (many of them in a flagrantly "in-your-face" manner, deliberately designed to irritate, if not outrage, those opposed to it). Here come more months of wrangling, dissent and division.
I'd much prefer it if the Government - Federal, State and local - would simply butt out of the marriage debate altogether. Let those who are guided by religious faith choose for themselves how they want to marry, and how they want to regard marriage. Let those of different beliefs make the same choice for themselves. That way, churches can recognize marriages that are in accordance with their doctrines, and those who don't share those doctrines can do their own thing. Why should the law have to play favorites, or take sides? Why should government have to recognize a relationship at all? Surely individual contracts could take care of the legal issues for each specific case, without needing a bureaucracy to control them?
I've got pretty strong opinions on what makes a marriage, but I don't see that my opinions and beliefs should be binding on those with different perspectives. I think life would be an awful lot simpler if we could all agree on that approach.