Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Meaning of the Iowa Gay Marriage Decision

I recommend reading Time's The Meaning of the Iowa Gay Marriage Decision though I know some of you who read here are not in support of gay marriage.

I personally feel that the state should not be involved in marriage "the religious ceremony" at all, that should be something that couples do within whatever rules their particular religion dictates. That civil unions should exist if there is going to be a scenario where unions are recognized by the government and it should be open to both same and heterosexual couples for the legal and other civil benefits to a contractual union. That would eliminate all of the religious aspect to gay marriage and it would also ensure that there was a separation of church and state, since I have always found it ironic that government and religion meddle in each others affairs all too often.

Marriage would still exist for those that want it, you'd get a civil marriage license, then have your service performed by a minister, or whoever your state gave the power vested to perform the service. You could have as big or as small of a marriage ceremony as you wanted, or if you opted for none? You didn't have to, the act of purchasing your civil union certificate and taking a quick oath would be enough. Divorce would still exist, since there would need to be a process in place as in any form of contract law to dissolve a contract...

Yet, my way would create common sense, and eliminate the division that people have on this issue from a governmental standpoint. Instead? We will have many more court decisions where:
"This class of people asks a simple and direct question: How can a state premised on the constitutional principle of equal protection justify exclusion of a class of Iowans from civil marriage?" Justice Mark S. Cady asked.

The answer? It can't.



The News Writer said...

But isn't that how it already is? I mean, except for being open to same sex couples in most states. In my state, a "religious" wedding is not required. You get your marriage license and then you have the service performed by whoever is legally allowed to do it -- minister, jp, mayor, whoever. You can just walk down the hall and get "married" after you buy the license.

The actual license has nothing to do with religion -- the choice of service does, and only if you choose a religious service.

Your way eliminates the service and decrees the marriage by oath. I'd suggest that you drop the idea of having any kind of legal "marriage" at all then -- once you get the contract, that's it. No requirement if you want to hold some kind of ceremony for any other document. You just do it.

But that's not it anyway. The opponents of same sex marriage are by and large just as opposed to same sex unions of any stripe and would much prefer that we go back into the closet where we belong and get some help getting out of this degenerate lifestyle and become normal and heterosexual like we're supposed to be.

Kinda like how most abortion opponents also oppose birth control. And "pre-marital" sex. Because you can only have sex to someone you're married to, and, of course, since sex is only supposed to be for creating progeny, is only open to heterosexual couples.

That, of course, leaves it open to question about couples who physically cannot have children, or elderly couples ....

Lisa Renee said...

Yes and no, the actual term "marriage" is where the problem comes in. It creates the attempt at at definition that "marriage" is only for a man and a woman, which does have biblical implications (though of course few mention the history of men marrying more than one woman).

People can have a civil ceremony but it's still considered marriage. My idea, not that it would ever happen, but if it did? It would create contract law for a civil union which is what is at the very basic of the benefits/protections given those who are allowed to marry have.

I've felt this way for quite some time, before any of the states decided to change their laws to allow same sex marriage. Rather than create a "second class" scenario of allowing same sex unions to be civil unions and letting the heterosexual couples have marriage - this would equalize the contract protection aspect of what both want.

The News Writer said...

I just think that the problem is same sex couples being together -- heck, being -- at all. It's not about the fact of "marriage" -- it is about all those benefits that come with marriage. They're OK with "civil unions" because "civil unions" don't bring any benefit other than being able to say you have a civil union.

Marriage is a contract already -- at least I've always heard of the "marriage contract." Really, though, these folks don't have much of a clue about what "marriage" is. They think what we call marriage today is what marriage has always been.

I suppose. If they still consider women to be a piece of property to be handed off from her father to her husband, maybe they're right. But I've actually run across same-sex marriage opponents who will argue with you that women were never considered property, that was never a consideration for marriage.

Those same folks will also argue that there was never a fight to allow interracial marriage in this country. They have no clue about Loving v. Virginia.

Your way would work fine, LisaRenee, but you're right that it would never be adopted. First, that a same sex couple could still have a marriage ceremony would be anathema. Next, that a same-sex contracted union would have the same rights, privileges and benefits as a heterosexual couple would be anathema.

And I really do have to laugh at those who think that having civil unions for the gays and reserving marriage for the straights would be the best solution. We know how well that "separate but equal" stuff works out.

Lisa Renee said...

That's my problem with the creation of a two tiered solution. Those that are against same sex unions whether marriage or civil unions are not going to change their position. All this would do is take away their argument that marriage is based on a religious/cultural history of a man and a woman.

Would that be enough? Probably not for some but it would make it easier for those who wanted to be able to have the same legal protections of a union.

kateb said...

Well, it's really for religious reasons that people balk at the idea of same sex marriages.

And in this country predominantly Christians who fight this - which to me (a Christian), seems to be somewhat hypocritical in that this is in no way the way that Jesus would handle the situation.

He'd sit everybody down and tell them a story of some sort and then tell them to go out and live by their own conscious. While Jesus would say that people have to make their own decisions and live by their own moral code and have an individual relationship with him - many religious people feel that morals (theirs), can be legislated to every one.

Ok, I'm done. :-)

kateb said...

conscience....conscience. Dangit.

Anonymous said...

Would it be OK in your world for a guy to marry his dog too?

Lisa Renee said...

Let's see anonymous...last I checked not only were dogs not human but they can't give informed consent.


The News Writer said...

I love it when the ill-informed say things like that, LisaRenee. Essentially, anonymous here is equating a gay human being with a dog, which -- as wonderful as they are as companions -- cannot give consent and are not human, as you so aptly pointed out. That's about right.

In my world, human beings can marry who they want to spend their lives with. And despite the opinions of people like anonymous, gay men and lesbians are, indeed, human beings.

Alex said...

"Anonymous'" problem isn't the fact that a dog isn't human, that's morally irrelevant. But as you've argued: dog's aren't moral agents and cannot give consent. The situation is analogous to an adult marrying a child.