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.



Wraith said...

Peter, your approach makes complete sense and would put paid to the whole debacle once and for all.

Unfortunately, it requires people to mind their own business with regard to the affairs of freely consenting adults, and the American people don't have a really great track record in that regard.

Still, we can hope.

Stranger said...

Wait for the lawsuits to start when a same-sex couple hits on a preacher who is completely opposed to same-sex marriage.

Reading the lefty blogs, it seems some think that is a way to destroy Christianity.


Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait for the day when same sex married couples discover that they now get hit by the IRS marriage penalty on their taxes. And the joys of separation in a community property state. And alimony . . . Most states have ways in which a partner can have power of attorney, inheritance rights, insurance coverage et cetera, so I fail to see why homosexuals "need" marriage.

But then, we had a court case in this state two weeks ago where the poor judge had to sort out the following: A man died. His wife got the benefits. But the man's family sued for the benefits because the widow was/is a transsexual. The state does not recognize same-sex unions. Therefore, according to the family, it was a gay relationship and not a legal marriage and so Mom et al should get the insurance and death benefit settlement. I think the judge read the pre-brief on the case and wondered if he could get King Solomon to come out of retirement.

Anonymous said...


I agree that contract law should take care of inheritance and partnerships and all that rot. Most of these laws were put into place (in the US) to a. keep blacks and whites from marrying and b. to make money for the state.

William the Coroner

Shrimp said...

What Wraith said. Times a trillion billion million... + 1

My family (mostly Catholic) just doesn't get it when I tell them that it's not the state's job to dictate what is and is not a marriage between consenting adults. The Church can acknowledge or refuse to accept any marriage it wants to acknowledge or refuse to accept. But the state has no such business doing so.

Anonymous said...

My primary concern is how much further gay activists want to take this. Will they attempt to force pastors to marry them? If you declare a "right to marry", where does that stop?

We are already seeing a photographer get sued because they didn't want to photograph a gay wedding.


Anonymous said...

"We are already seeing a photographer get sued because they didn't want to photograph a gay wedding."

Which I find to be insane. It's akin to someone grabbing you, forcing you down, and yelling "Like me! Like me! Be my friend!"

If that business doesn't want to do business with you, do business somewhere else. If that church doesn't want to marry you, do it somewhere else.

Heck, my boyfriend and I know perfectly well most church's stance on our relationship. Why in the heck would we approach a church for marriage?


Anonymous said...

The truth will set you free. Sometimes it seems that "modern" society has collectively forgotten that? I don't care how much you deny physical laws are real, gravity will still kill you if you do not give it due regard. I don't care how much you deny spiritual laws are real. The death that results from not giving that due regard is forever and ever.

Anonymous said...

Peter, you're libertarian is showing.

Your idea is unliky to the extreme, and you know it.

Defending marriage is logical, the voters *have* spoken twice, and that *is* germane to this discussion. May the people's voice be heard.