PDA

View Full Version : Legal Marriage, Civil Unions, State, Religion


Jenson71
04-05-2009, 10:13 PM
Your position?

Right now, this is my preference:

Separate marriage from civil union. Marriage can be allowed to maintain its status as a religious/spiritual/even secular institution; for instance, two people can get married under an environmentalist protection agency. As a Catholic, I view marriage as a sacred institution between a man and a woman that has been blessed by a priest and has at its core a Catholic understanding of the sacrament. I view two guys getting married about as sacred as two Baptists or two Muslims getting married, which is to say neither are sacraments, neither are sacred. There is no priest to bless it, and there is no fundamental Catholic understanding. I'm fine knowing that the other groups are similarly biased for their own religion and against mine, and I respect that. I think we can all live with this particular respect for people's beliefs.

Why is this plan good? Because I think it maintains people's personal beliefs that marriage is sacred. The Baptist, the Muslim, the environmental protectionists may view their own union as sacred. They call it marriage or hodgepodge for all I care. I will call mine Marriage. But we all can attribute something to our union beyond a state function, a governmental procedure.
It also separates the religious from the secular (the government) by giving them each their own domains.

All people who want the government to recognize their union, in the form of legal issues like visiting partners at the hospital or tax breaks, would fill out not a marriage license, but a civil union license. I can certainly live with that and think this plan both respects equality of laws and religious beliefs.

Poll is forthcoming...

I not only appreciate criticism of this plan from all sides of the perspective but urge it.

petegz28
04-05-2009, 10:30 PM
Marriage needs to be removed from government and the tax code...PERIOD

Nightfyre
04-05-2009, 10:32 PM
Marriage needs to be removed from government and the tax code...PERIOD

This.

pikesome
04-05-2009, 10:34 PM
Marriage needs to be removed from government and the tax code...PERIOD

Insurance, survivor benefits, custody, there's a lot more at stake than taxes.

petegz28
04-05-2009, 10:35 PM
Insurance, survivor benefits, custody, there's a lot more at stake than taxes.

Ok, well my statement was general but the above would be covered.

alnorth
04-05-2009, 10:45 PM
Why is this plan good? Because I think it maintains people's personal beliefs that marriage is sacred. The Baptist, the Muslim, the environmental protectionists may view their own union as sacred. They call it marriage or hodgepodge for all I care. I will call mine Marriage. But we all can attribute something to our union beyond a state function, a governmental procedure.

It also separates the religious from the secular (the government) by giving them each their own domains.

Thats fine, except for the hundreds of federal, state, commercial, etc benefits are based on marriage. Even if you could painstakingly sort out each and every single case (why? So much work, just for a word?), the law is not supposed to care about religions or what is sacred. Marriage is a contract, and you can not legally (eventually, yes this will happen) tell one class of people that they are not eligible to enter into this contract just on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation.

pikesome
04-05-2009, 10:52 PM
Ok, well my statement was general but the above would be covered.

With the myriad ways a "marriage" ties in to the fabric of our civilization the idea of removing the government from the question is impossible. That's why the issue is so important to these couples. Goes far beyond a couple of tax breaks.

My mother receives 80% (I think) of my father's Navy retirement. If they weren't married in the eyes of the government, nada. Not to mention if it was a same sex relationship.

Better we, as a whole, come to an decision than leaving the question to a variety of actors. Yea or nay, these kind of questions are exactly why we form governments.

Jenson71
04-05-2009, 10:59 PM
Thats fine, except for the hundreds of federal, state, commercial, etc benefits are based on marriage. Even if you could painstakingly sort out each and every single case (why? So much work, just for a word?), the law is not supposed to care about religions or what is sacred. Marriage is a contract, and you can not legally (eventually, yes this will happen) tell one class of people that they are not eligible to enter into this contract just on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation.

alnorth, the hundreds of federal, state, commercial, etc benefits would, under my plan, be based on civil union. Yes, it's a switch of a word on paper. But at it's core is something much more meaningful, and the meaning of what marriage is, in my opinion, is where people derive their value of it which leads to the legitimate arguments surrounding the issue.

If people believe marriage allows them to be recognized as official partners, as many gays seem to, then the civil union will put them on equal grounding with all other peoples.

If people believe marriage is a sacred institution, then this separation allows for those beliefs to remain.

pikesome
04-05-2009, 11:15 PM
alnorth, the hundreds of federal, state, commercial, etc benefits would, under my plan, be based on civil union. Yes, it's a switch of a word on paper. But at it's core is something much more meaningful, and the meaning of what marriage is, in my opinion, is where people derive their value of it which leads to the legitimate arguments surrounding the issue.

If people believe marriage allows them to be recognized as official partners, as many gays seem to, then the civil union will put them on equal grounding with all other peoples.

If people believe marriage is a sacred institution, then this separation allows for those beliefs to remain.

People who have a civil union aren't going to say "we're civil unioned" they're going to say "we're married". Doesn't matter what the government calls it. We let two people who don't have 2 teeth or 3 brain cells between them call themselves married and recognize it as marriage. Having two different labels seems unworkable.

petegz28
04-05-2009, 11:26 PM
This is all really splitting hairs. To fight over "married" vs. "civil union" is bullshit, imo. This is where the religous view comes into play. And it is amazing how unbelievably intolerant those who claim to be religous can be.

Jenson71
04-05-2009, 11:28 PM
People who have a civil union aren't going to say "we're civil unioned" they're going to say "we're married". Doesn't matter what the government calls it. We let two people who don't have 2 teeth or 3 brain cells between them call themselves married and recognize it as marriage. Having two different labels seems unworkable.

That's a good point. I'm fine with people saying the word "married" to describe themselves, even if all they got was a civil union: If someone demands that they are peach, when their birth certificate says white, none of my values are intruded upon.

alnorth
04-05-2009, 11:51 PM
alnorth, the hundreds of federal, state, commercial, etc benefits would, under my plan, be based on civil union. Yes, it's a switch of a word on paper. But at it's core is something much more meaningful, and the meaning of what marriage is, in my opinion, is where people derive their value of it which leads to the legitimate arguments surrounding the issue.

If people believe marriage allows them to be recognized as official partners, as many gays seem to, then the civil union will put them on equal grounding with all other peoples.

If people believe marriage is a sacred institution, then this separation allows for those beliefs to remain.

If your talking about removing the word "married" from government so that everyone has a civil union and people just privately call it whatever they want, then thats fine.

pikesome
04-06-2009, 12:03 AM
If your talking about removing the word "married" from government so that everyone has a civil union and people just privately call it whatever they want, then thats fine.

Unless I misunderstand how marriages work, in a legal sense, that's what we already have. You're not married in a legal sense when Father So-and-So says you are but when our legal system recognizes the religious ceremony.

Jenson71
04-06-2009, 12:08 AM
Unless I misunderstand how marriages work, in a legal sense, that's what we already have. You're not married in a legal sense when Father So-and-So says you are but when our legal system recognizes the religious ceremony.

Correct; right now, you sign a license at the county courthouse to make it official in the legal, binding, contractual sense. But the license is a marriage license, and the argument is about who does and does not get a marriage license. If the one side of the argument actually believes marriage is sacred, as, at least, I do, then make this marriage license a civil union license. As alnorth said, the word marriage, and all the meanings it invokes for various peoples, will never be mentioned by the state. That becomes a non-legal, a religious, philosophical difference for people to determine by their beliefs and preferences.

alnorth
04-06-2009, 12:26 AM
Unless I misunderstand how marriages work, in a legal sense, that's what we already have. You're not married in a legal sense when Father So-and-So says you are but when our legal system recognizes the religious ceremony.

In that case, options 1 and 3 are essentially the same.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 05:43 AM
With the myriad ways a "marriage" ties in to the fabric of our civilization the idea of removing the government from the question is impossible. That's why the issue is so important to these couples. Goes far beyond a couple of tax breaks.

People have up and married for thousands of years with no state involvement. It was always private. It was a religious matter for a long time too. But it's been a relatively modern concept to issue licenses for marriage by states. In the US it wasn't until sometime in the other half of the 19th century when there was a marriage movement. Some claim it was to prevent intermarriage of the races. Others say it had to do with regulating divorce regarding property. Whatever reason it was for, the state wasn't involved.



Better we, as a whole, come to an decision than leaving the question to a variety of actors. Yea or nay, these kind of questions are exactly why we form governments.
See above again. Govts get formed to protect life first. They're nothing more than some individuals getting together for the purpose of defending their lives from bullies and other attackers for collective defense.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 05:46 AM
I chose other. No state involvement except to enforce what contract the pair have.
Regarding govt workers who get govt pensions HC benefits that can be determined by the people. No one wants to pay for multiple partners should that be in one union.

Garcia Bronco
04-06-2009, 08:06 AM
Insurance, survivor benefits, custody, there's a lot more at stake than taxes.

You can designate all those things right now. It's barely an issue. Insurance you can designate a sole beneficiary. Custody is different. I would imagine this is typically an issue with women and it really needs to be worked out amongst the families. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

Hydrae
04-06-2009, 10:19 AM
Basically you are saying the whole gay marriage argument is a matter of semantics. It is a matter of how a person defines the word marriage. I agree completely and think you approach takes most of the sting out. Simply seperate the ceremony from the legal and most agruments will die.

Saulbadguy
04-06-2009, 10:30 AM
Just allow it w/o any of the bullshit that idiots keep spouting about.

Jenson71
04-06-2009, 11:20 AM
People have up and married for thousands of years with no state involvement. It was always private. It was a religious matter for a long time too. But it's been a relatively modern concept to issue licenses for marriage by states. In the US it wasn't until sometime in the other half of the 19th century when there was a marriage movement. Some claim it was to prevent intermarriage of the races. Others say it had to do with regulating divorce regarding property. Whatever reason it was for, the state wasn't involved.

The Romans had marriage licenses from the state, making it a contract.

htismaqe
04-06-2009, 11:30 AM
The Romans had marriage licenses from the state, making it a contract.

Yeah, and what happened to them? ;)

Katipan
04-06-2009, 12:45 PM
My wedding ceremony was about as holy as galvanized steel and we had a whole churchy segment to it.

Yet, the churchy part wasn't for us. It was for those in the family that liked to hear that stuff.

So if the trade off is gay people can get married so that church people can be holier than I, I'm cool with it.

In a perfect world no one would give a flying fuck.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 05:41 PM
The Romans had marriage licenses from the state, making it a contract.

I'm gonna have to see some back up on that. Because I read otherwise. You might add that they did not have gay marriage eventhough homosexuality was practiced. They did draw a line. Marriage was an economic union more than anything throughout history with marriages being arranged and alliances between families in order to keep wealth. Also, during the Christian eras it wasn't by the state; but by the church. That was a long time.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 05:55 PM
http://www.classicsunveiled.com/romel/html/marrcustwom.html


Roman marriage required no license or state officials. The essential consent had to be shown by some act of personal union between the parties.

Jenson71
04-06-2009, 05:57 PM
I'm gonna have to see some back up on that. Because I read otherwise.

Where do you read otherwise?

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 06:48 PM
Where do you read otherwise?
Actually, one source was a devout Roman Catholic history teacher who knows a lot of church history too. It was that people up and married and it was handled by churches...even in Rome. ( although that wouldn't be a church per se). If you had relations with someone you were considered married too. In some eras even if you were caught kissing.

I just googled it and found that above link.

As far as I've also read, that state was not involved in marriage here either until around the middle of the 19th century due to a marriage movement.

Jenson71
04-06-2009, 08:01 PM
They still had separate, non-state marriage ceremonies, but those meant nothing legally. There's a lot of evidence in writings about the legal status of marriage and divorce in Roman law. I don't know why your site says there was no license. There was certainly a marriage contract the parties would sign that was handled on the state level, not religious. Are those not the same thing?

keg in kc
04-06-2009, 08:07 PM
My wedding ceremony was about as holy as galvanized steel and we had a whole churchy segment to it.

Yet, the churchy part wasn't for us. It was for those in the family that liked to hear that stuff.I got married in my living room.

I win.In a perfect world no one would give a flying ****.Yeah..

In a perfect world, people would worry about living their own lives instead of trying to live everybody else's, and maybe lose enough of that self-centrism that they finally realize that things other people do aren't actually a reflection on them.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 08:13 PM
They still had separate, non-state marriage ceremonies, but those meant nothing legally. There's a lot of evidence in writings about the legal status of marriage and divorce in Roman law. I don't know why your site says there was no license. There was certainly a marriage contract the parties would sign that was handled on the state level, not religious. Are those not the same thing?

A marriage contract, like any contract, is just an agreement between parties. You have to have some force behind them...since the state is force that's who enforces it. But we have freedom to make contracts....( not as much as before though)

Even those who advocate that the state stay out of marriage today, like libertarians, still support the state upholding all contracts. That doesn't make it a state institution per se. It just means the state will recognize it as any agreement or contract and enforce it. That's not the same as giving permission to marry. I license is permission to do something. If it were a natural right you'd not need permission to do it from the state.

Divorce is another matter. Again, if someone breaks the marriage contract then someone sues for damages. Or if property was agree to be dealt with in advance in the contract upon dissolution then that's how the state deals with it when they enforce the contract.

Marriage in Roman times began as a sacred institution. It had consent of the gods. That was also in the link. I'd have to see your evidence.

Jenson71
04-06-2009, 08:32 PM
Well, I guess I don't know then if there were licenses. There were definitely marriage laws and legally binding contracts though, so the claim that there was no state involvement is only true if you mean marriage ceremonies.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 08:35 PM
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/marriage/a/RomanMarriage.htm

Interesting that the derivation of the word comes from:
Matrimonium comes from the root mater ( mother) which shows that it's about the creation of children.

The Legal Status of Marriage
Marriage was not a state affair -- at least until Augustus made it his business. It was private, between husband and wife, their families, and between parents and their children. Nonetheless there were legal requirements. It wasn't automatic. People getting married had to have the right to marry, the connubium.

Who Had the Right to Marry?
Generally, all Roman citizens and some non-citizen Latins had connubium. However, there was no connubium between patricians and plebians until the Lex Canuleia (445 B.C.). The consent of both patres familias was required. Bride and groom must have reached puberty. Over time, examination to determine puberty gave way to standardization at age 12 for girls and 14 for boys. Eunuchs, who would never reach puberty, were not permitted to marry. Monogamy was the rule, so an existing marriage precluded connubium as did certain blood and legal relationships. [ sounds like there were existing marriages even without connubium.]

BucEyedPea
04-06-2009, 08:38 PM
Well, I guess I don't know then if there were licenses. There were definitely marriage laws and legally binding contracts though, so the claim that there was no state involvement is only true if you mean marriage ceremonies.

He said people "just up and married" without the state. He didn't clarify about if it meant ceremonies. The only laws I have been able to find applies to plebes and partricians mainly. I see age requirements and blood relatives even if the state wouldn't be involved and it was kept private. It's not private in America. It's very much a public institution. You need a license to marry.

patteeu
04-07-2009, 08:39 AM
In that case, options 1 and 3 are essentially the same.

This is pretty much how I see it. I voted for #1 because I don't personally have any problem with letting the word "marriage" mean two different things, a civil marriage and a religious marriage, as it effectively does today. Afterall, we have lots of English words that have multiple meanings.

But, if using a different term, "civil union" in this case, generated significantly more acceptance, then I'd be OK with that option too.

Either way, I think it would be good for the country to extend marriage to gay couples.

patteeu
04-07-2009, 08:40 AM
Marriage needs to be removed from government and the tax code...PERIOD

One way to remove it from the tax code would be to get rid of progressivity. Under a truly flat tax, there would be no reason for a "married" rate table.

FishingRod
04-07-2009, 10:20 AM
I have said this before but hey how about one more time. My position has evolved from my core belief that the Government is inherently incompetent and amoral. Therefore the less involvement in our lives the better. For the most part I think the Government should stay completely out of the marriage/civil union business but since removing all of the benefits now associated with one man and one woman joining as one is not realistic...
I think that any two people should be allowed under law to form a civil partnership. It would allow all those things that are now covered by being married to be enjoyed by any two adult people. It doesn't matter if they are the same sex, different sex or related, just friends what ever. If more than two people want to do it just split the benefits accordingly and or raise the costs accordingly. To make the religious folks happy the term marriage would then be a personal, spiritual or religious thing. The government would have no business telling a church,temple, mosque, shaman, or two hippies on the side of the mountain who can or can't be married. If chugging a beer bong full of natty lite with my soul mate constitutes a married ceremony to us then so be it. If the a church doesn't choose to recognize you and him her as legitimate that is just too bad that is their business. Second marriages or marriages in various instances are not recognized by various organizations right now. So what's the difference? Either live with it or find a different group that you agree with. I see the partnership as an issue of legal fairness and the issue of what you call your relationship as a matter of personal belief.

Jilly
04-07-2009, 11:58 AM
I don't know. How's that for an answer?

As a pastor it poses some issues all together...separating civil union from marriage.

BucEyedPea
04-07-2009, 12:40 PM
I think that any two people should be allowed under law to form a civil partnership.

I support some rules for civil partnerships because I don't want to see heterosexuals teaming up casually just for benefits or just living together with no committment and getting benefits. I think THAT could destroy the idea of marriage altogether. I'm open to ideas on it but it's got to be more than just a business arrangement.

Katipan
04-07-2009, 01:21 PM
I support some rules for civil partnerships because I don't want to see heterosexuals teaming up casually just for benefits or just living together with no committment and getting benefits.

What stops them from doing that now?

BucEyedPea
04-07-2009, 01:29 PM
What stops them from doing that now?

I'm not saying they can't live together. I've done that. I'm talking about getting the full legal protections and benefits of marriage. They can get married.

Katipan
04-07-2009, 01:38 PM
I'm not saying they can't live together. I've done that. I'm talking about getting the full legal protections and benefits of marriage. They can get married.

Your concern is that there will be a wave of this which will ultimately corrupt what really is a global idea of marriage...?

I just don't know why there would be a sudden surge when any two weirdos already can hop a plane and do the deed in Vegas with no more than $50 and a midget maid of honor.

The consequences of divorce and being financially tied to some wreck of humanity still makes the whole marriage process too daunting for only the most intrepid and foolish (that was for keg) of people.

BucEyedPea
04-07-2009, 01:44 PM
Your concern is that there will be a wave of this which will ultimately corrupt what really is a global idea of marriage...?

I just don't know why there would be a sudden surge when any two weirdos already can hop a plane and do the deed in Vegas with no more than $50 and a midget maid of honor.

The consequences of divorce and being financially tied to some wreck of humanity still makes the whole marriage process too daunting for only the most intrepid and foolish (that was for keg) of people.

I'm not talking about that either. I am talking about things like survivor benefits from social security etc. Things like that for married couples as opposed to just living together. Rules like that.

Katipan
04-07-2009, 01:48 PM
I'm not talking about that either. I am talking about things like survivor benefits from social security etc. Things like that for married couples as opposed to just living together. Rules like that.

I love reading your debates with the boys so I'm just going to accept that we aren't seeing eye to eye. :)

I'm trying to say that I don't see anything currently stopping two people who are getting married solely for survivor benefits from already getting married. If that's their reasoning, they can go do it now. The social upheaval of gay marriage or civil unions is irrelevent to their situation.

FishingRod
04-07-2009, 01:53 PM
What stops them from doing that now?

Actually the only things they can't do now would deal with social security benefits, Tax advantages to marriage and medical benefits. Pretty much anything else can taken care of with a bunch of paperwork and a good lawyer.

From what I can tell the objection most people have to a marriage that is not traditional has to do with Religious beliefs. Conversely I believe the non traditional couples object more to the lack of access to the full range of benefits that married couples are allowed. I just think separating the religion and the government will accomplish most of what people want. A marriage certificate currently cuts through a great deal of legal red tape for heterosexual couples and could see a legal partnership doing the same for others. I refer to it as a partnership instead of a civil union because I don't see where the presumption of sexual activity really should play a part in it. My x-wife certainly didn't think it had anything to do with marriage.