I Propose…..

Regarding the national debate on gay marriage, I have a modest proposal.

Americans, particularly fundamentalists, have confused the religious sacrament of marriage, with the legal standings bestowed by marriage, and have done this on purpose as a means of depriving GLBT people of the legal benefits. GLBT activists have played into this by demanding passage of gay marriage laws, which caused a massive legal backlash that effectively has closed the door on GLBT rights laws in many conservative states.

So I propose the following:

Replace the legal term “marriage’, by state or Federal Constitutional amendment, with “civil union.”

Remember what I said about confusion? We confuse, as a government and society, the legal obligations, duties, and standing of marriage, with the moral and religious sacrament of marriage. It should be two separate things entirely, 2 separate terms to describe. The license you get from your county clerk should be known as a civil union, and should be considered contractually binding at the point when it is signed by both parties to the union, and a judge or licensed clergyman. Then , how or whether you are married or not will depend on what you do in church – the religious sacrament.

Reserving the term of ‘marriage’ to the status of a religious sacrament should defuse the arguments over gay marriage. Some denominations and religions will marry them, others won’t – that’s up to the individual church, which is a private club and can, legally, let in or not let in whomever they wish. However, government should have no such option: any 2 consenting adult should be able to enter into the contract known as a civil union, bestowing all legal rights and responsibilities.

There’s no valid argument against granting a legal standing to same-sex couples. The argument that “it would devalue existing marriages” is bullshit on its face. Only the couple themselves can devalue their marriage, by violating it, and that happens daily. But passage of this measure would take the loaded word “marriage” out of the equation, and allow gay couples to gain the legal rights they need in their relationships, and return the word “marriage” to the solemn religious sacramental meaning it should have, and allow individual churches to decide on the question of allowing gay marriage or not.

Of course, it has no chance. Gay couples want to go before a judge and be MARRIED, for some reason the term ‘civil union’ doesn’t mean what it should. Fundamentalists don’t want gay couples to exist, and definitely don’t want the term “marriage” to apply. It’s pure bigotry, but that’s nothing new for fundamentalists – they’re assholes by definition on most subjects. But my proposal is the right one for America at this time – it would render the various DOMA laws meaningless (at least, until they can be repealed), and would grant the rights many need.

And, if the Religious Reich would just go to hell, where they belong and are already headed, that would be so much better.

By the way, I’m in a traditional straight marriage, so check the accusation that this is what I want. But only my wife and I can devalue our marriage, by our own behavior, and not anyone else.

Oh, yes, and did I say that the RELIGIOUS RIGHT SHOULD GO TO HELL! There, I said it.

PB

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