Skip to comments.What Relationships Should Be Called Marriage: A Modest Proposal
Posted on 10/24/2012 11:24:21 AM PDT by rhema
The issue of whether Americans should approve "same-sex" marriage continues to be debated heatedly in the 2012 election cycle. President Obama has "evolved" on the issue to the place where he supports "same-sex" marriage, making no distinction between the time-honored institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman and a relationship between two people of the same sex.
The issue emerged recently in a September 20th debate in the U.S. senatorial contest in Virginia between George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D). Former Governor Kaine, when asked about the issue, couched his answer in terms of civil rights and equality, stating "that relationships should be treated equally."
Marriage has been defined in Western civilization for at least two millennia now as being a sexual relationship between one man and one woman. Christianity has defined it so historically, most often coupling it with life-long permanence and monogamy. As an Evangelical Christian, I certainly embrace that definition.
However, how do we deal with those who would choose to extend some of the legal privileges our society has accorded marriage to same-sex relationships without shattering the definition of marriage or discriminating against people outside the heterosexual definition of marriage? How do we protect society against those who would extend the special status of marriage to homosexual, lesbian or polygamous relationships? How do we protect time-honored titles, like "husband" and "wife," from being attacked as homophobic or sexist terms to be replaced by spouse #1 and spouse #2 or "Mom" and "Dad" from being reduced legally to caregiver #1 and caregiver #2? Such legal assaults on these time-honored family terms seem inevitable if "same-sex" marriage becomes equal with heterosexual marriage.
I propose that as Americans we declare heterosexual marriage as the only relationship in our society that is to be defined by its sexual nature and that it will continue to be defined as a legal relationship between one man and one woman consummated by sexual intercourse.
If two men or two women are living together in a relationship and they want to ask the state legislature in their state to grant some of the special legal privileges accorded marriage to their relationship the state legislature should respond in the following fashion: "We will consider your request, but the sexual nature of your relationship will be irrelevant to our discussions because marriage is the only relationship in our society that is defined by its sexual nature. Why should other people who are living in committed relationships that do not involve sexual activity be discriminated against or left out?"
In other words, the state legislature would not discriminate against two maiden or widowed sisters who were living together or a mother and a devoted son or daughter who were living together in a platonic relationship. Why should such households and relationships be left behind when legal privileges and recognition are being passed out just because they are not in a sexual relationship?
If the peoples' elected representatives in the various states were to undertake such legislation, it would certainly do much to protect marriage as the unique institution that it is in our society, while according all other relationships that equality that former Governor Kaine so desires.
Interesting points. But, we’re not allowed to have any such discussions. The liberal homosexual activists have decided that it has to be marriage for.their relationships legal status. Liberal judges agree, such as when the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that that state’s civil union law amounted to discrimination.
If homosexual activists weren’t trying to shove this down our throats through the courts, it would be possible to discuss some of these issues. But they have poisoned the well, labeled all who oppose homosexual marriage as haters, etc. The media does the same. Would be nice to have a civilized discussion of how marriage ought to be defined.
Why does the author put the quotes around “same-sex” instead of “marriage?”
“...In other words, the state legislature would not discriminate against two maiden or widowed sisters who were living together or a mother and a devoted son or daughter who were living together in a platonic relationship. Why should such households and relationships be left behind when legal privileges and recognition are being passed out just because they are not in a sexual relationship?...”
Impossible to refute this logic ~ stellar quote!
I have a somewhat different suggestion. I would like to see government stay completely out of the marriage business.
My personal view is that marriage is a social issue. For those who believe in God, as I do, marriage is also, and even more significantly, a religious issue.
If two people want to have some sort of personal contract which gives each other various financial and legal rights, that is fine and they can do that with or without marriage.
If two people want to be married in the religious sense, that should be a matter for the couple and their God.
If two people want to be married in the eyes of society, that should be a matter for the couple and their family and friends.
Aside from any legal contracts, the government should butt out.
I have often said that people should be allowed to define their own households. Traditionally people have always done this, grandparents raise grandkids, take in family members or close friends who then become a part of the family. You used to hear of families taking in orphans without a lot of fanfare and raising them as their own. Problems can arise though in the modern era when you are dealing with school issues, medical issues, and the so-forth. I’d be happy to see a legal space for people to define for themselves their own household.
But only marriage is marriage.
That is the pro-polygamy, pro-homosexual agenda position, end civilization's definition of marriage, and let it become whatever anyone wants to define it as.
What this would lead to is massive immigration fraud.
Marriage is defined, by the common law which predates the establishment of the US, and the states. Putting it to the states would be like putting Habeaus Corpus to the states. Letting people ‘choose their own’, would be a disaster.
We don’t negotiate away the essential components like trial by jury, so why are we negotiating marriage between one man and one woman just because some people don’t like it? When it comes to trial by jury, we tell people, “This is america. Don’t like it, leave it, and we should be telling them the same with respect to marriage.
Good Government requires that the two being married are not related or have certain infectious diseases thru a blood test.
Good Government doesn't pass no fault divorce laws.
Good Government recognizes and respects the unique and special nature of marriage by honoring laws of inheritance, property and custody.
Good Government understands that by protecting and upholding marriage and the family as the bedrock of society it reaps the rewards via good and prosperous citizens.
Bad Government tries to rewrite natural law which is called injustice.
Call it “Queeriage”.
Under the law, only certain financial and legal rights can be contracted. There are a number of preferences in the law that are only conveyed via marriage.
One example: the spousal exception for estate taxes. You can bequeath your spouse your entire part of the estate, with no tax consequences. You can't do that via contract.
Unfortunately this version if A Modest Proposal might play right into a power-loving governments hands: Ultimately if all relationships were considered special then all would be given special treatment (government favor, leading to being beholden to the gov) which is what the ultimate purpose (as in pandering to the Sodomites) has been all along, so as to get as many citizens dependant on gov as possible = job security for gov employees. (Meanwhile the gov goes broke but that has become less and less of a concern as time wears on, isnt it?) Thus, I am afraid the gov just might like his Modest Proposal and take it up as the next increment in (wrecklessly) empowering themselves!
Maybe that would be worth it? I don't know. Real questions.
Typo. I meant “undermine”.
The author is clueless.
This is just the left wing line.
This is government establishing what is or is not marriage via legislation. Marriage is a common law institution.
society rewards the institution not the individual.
All the contract stuff discussed is law now.
This article is a waste of time.
Good point. The government shouldn’t be in the business of deciding who does and doesn’t have to pay a death tax.
Government used to be intended to underscore simply what God had already stated and protect us from those who would force us against His almighty will. (What is an “unalienable right”, afterall?) It seems that today however, many think government’s role is to determine things which God hasn’t stated and then to force them upon us.
The left wants to end the definition of marriage, and let people define it as individuals.
The left wants to end the definition of marriage so that offspring belong to the state instead of the family.
The primary goal is to criminalize Christianity and substitute worship of the state as god, provider, and protector.
I agree. I've often suggested that states should have something like a "contractual household" status, with a standardized package of legal arrangements for inheritance, power of attorney, medical issues, real property ownership, and so on.
People can put together their own arrangements now, whether they're romantic couples or other associations such as siblings or parent-and-adult-child, but it could be made easier and more predictable for people, without reference to their motives for wishing to form a legal unit.
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