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Here’s a Novel Idea: No More Marriage!

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I’m going to say it: I am so sick of all this gay marriage nonsense! In fact, I am sick of marriage in general!

Now before you get offended and pull out your lynching rope, hear me out. I strongly believe all people regardless of race, gender, or sexuality should have the same rights. There is no doubt in my mind that there should be equality for all.

I am a Christian. I have also long been a supporter of gay marriage. But I am not a supporter anymore. In fact, I am not a supporter of any governmental union that is called marriage.

Marriage is a religious word. And, from what I remember, in this country there is supposed to be separation between church and state. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this mean that religion should not influence our laws?

If marriage is a religious term, why does government control it? “By the power vested in me” should mean God and should not be followed with “and the state of (insert the name of your state here).” The state should have nothing to do with religious affairs. God should not be part of government and government should not be part of God.

For everyone out there who has supported the idea of eliminating marriage in a governmental sense, I am now on your team. As a Christian, I do believe marriage should exist, but I believe it should exist on a religious level, not on a governmental one.

I have a challenge for our lawmakers. It is simple. Do away with marriage. If you want to recognize unions between people, do it in a way that encompasses all citizens of this great nation. Come up with a term that allows for equal unions between anyone who chooses to spend their lives together, be it man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman. If this term is civil union, great. If you want to come up with something else, fine by me. Just give us all equal rights and do it without a religious undertone.

That being said, if someone wants to get married and can find a priest or minister or whomever to perform a ceremony, by all means go for it. If you are religious I think you should have the ceremony and have your union recognized by God. But keep marriage out of government and keep government out of marriage.

Besides, politics can be so dirty. If I get married, I’m keeping it between God, my husband and me. I don’t want politics having anything to do with my wedded bliss.

Do you agree or disagree?  Share your opinions in the comment section!

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About alohaitsaj

  • Paul

    I stopped reading after “correct me if I’m wrong”. Short answer yes.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Care to elaborate?

  • Paul

    Sure. The ‘seperation of church and state’ was intended to protect the church FROM THE STATE. It is one of the most twisted, misinterpreted, and misapplied statements in our nation’s history. I’m more sick of hearing it than you are of gay marraige It’s a good idea to read the orignal source, not the commentaries. I could elaborate more, but there’s not enough room in this box.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    But do you not think that it would make this whole gay marriage issue much simpler if governmental marriage was eliminated and replaced by something that demonstrates equality for all? And if I’m reading your explanation correctly, are you saying that it is the governments job to protect the church?

  • Paul

    sorry if this gets posted 3 times eventually, it doesn’t seem to be working. No you are not reading my explanation correctly. The framers of the constitution took great care to ensure, as best they could, that the government/state stayed out of the affairs of the church, NOT the other way around. Many of our original government buildings were also houses of worship.
    If I want to marry my 12 year old sister, since I love her and she loves me, can you explain to me why this is wrong? Please “do it without a religious undertone” Illustrative purpose only, I’m married and have three OLDER sisters.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    If the framers of the constitution worked to make sure the government/state stayed out of the affairs of the church and marriage is a religious affair, why does the government control marriage?
    I’m not totally sure what relevance marrying your twelve year old sister has with government controlling marriage. My whole argument here is that government should stay out of marriage. If they want to control unions between people, that’s fine. But the churches should determine who is allowed to get married especially if, as you said, “The framers of the constitution took great care to ensure, as best they could, that the government/state stayed out of the affairs of the church.”
    The bottom line is that, from what I can see, this is an equal rights issue and by having all unions be recognized/termed as the same thing legally, the issue goes away.

  • jamminsue

    The idea of civil unions being law of the land and adding a “religious sacament” ceremony as a separate option sounds pretty good to me. Getting past cultural taboos would be good, as long as the rules that pertain to genetic risks were maintained.

    Not only could this be a way to stop the gender issue, but also social engineering via Federal Income Tax that favors those who are married, have a home mortgage, and kids. Getting the Tax Code out of social engineering would be a step towards a more sane tax system.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    jamminsue, great point on the whole tax issue. I failed to mention that. Thank you for bringing it up. :)

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    I’m sorry, I mistyped what I meant to say in my response to Paul. I meant to say that I was not sure what marrying your twelve year old sister had to do with the argument I was making in regards to making marriage a religious affair and unions a government issue. Obviously marrying your twelve year old sister is a marriage issue. It is just a little off topic from the argument I was making in my article.

  • Paul

    I don’t think I was off-topic at all. I think I picked up on some major contradictions in the logic that you are using. I read your article on high school math curriculum after reading this one, and make some of the same mistakes in logic. You have a couple of good points but you overlook several more efficient solutions in favor of a drastic one. Ironically, I have strong opinions on both your articles. I’m a Christian and I teach high school mathematics: geometry, statistics, and AP statistics. There’ a personal finance classroom right next door to mine. The problems in our nation, our schools, our marriages, or in whatever area you can think of, have rarely been the result of a lack of solutions, but a rejection of God as Creator, and Law-Giver. Referring to the government, you said: “…just give us all equal rights.” The founders understood that God gives us our rights, not man.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Paul, it sounds like your solution to this problem is to have religion be part of our government. I see so many problems with this ranging from ignoring the diversity of cultures/other religions in the United States to forcing religion down people’s throats (which I’m sure you know does not go over well). Having any single form of religion be part of our government would constitute discrimination towards countless people. If my interpretation of your solution is wrong, please correct me and let me know what you would like to see happen with the issue of marriage.
    Are you sure you understand my argument? My argument is that government can control unions all they want. They can make all the laws about it that they want. But when it comes to marriage, that is the church’s domain. Government should not control something that God created and reigns over. “By the power vested in me” means God. Why you wouldn’t want marriages to be solely governed by God is a bit confusing to me. Not only would putting marriage back in the hands of churches/out of the hands of lawmakers give God complete jurisdiction over marriage but it would also enable lawmakers to create an equal type of union for all people. This seems like a logical solution to me. People fighting to have homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals would be happy because they would have equal rights and people who are religious would be happy because the institution of marriage would not be jeopardized by lawmakers or people voting to change it to encompass gay marriage.
    In regards to rights, yes I agree that God gives us our rights. But as I said earlier, our country is so diverse and I think the government should work to ensure that there is no discrimination in this diverse country. We have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, etc. living in this country and regardless of what you believe in, is the government’s responsibility to make sure your rights are the same as everybody elses. No, I am not saying that if you believe in murder your belief should be protected under the law, but if you want the right to do something that other people get to do, you should not be discriminated against. If no one can is allowed to marry/have a union with their 12 year old sister, there is no discrimination going on. In a culturally diverse nation, the government must step in and make sure everyone is treated equally and given the same rights as everybody else.

  • Christian Miller

    What would happen if government withdrew from the marriage business and the civil union business?

    Would people stop falling in love?

    Would people stop having beautiful weddings?

    Would churches stop marrying people?

    Would people stop living together in caring committed relationships?

    Would people stop forming families?

    Would people stop making babies?

    Would parents stop caring for their children?

    Would people stop doing the things that we associate with fulfilling marriages?

    Does the government policy of providing Social Security benefits to 65 year old spouses who would not otherwise qualify, weigh on the decision of a couple in their 20’s to marry?

    Are the bundle of default marriage laws, such as spousal inheritance, superior to specific legal documents such as wills?

    What percentage of married couples have a critical need for the government financial perks given to couples with government marriage licenses?

    What is the government’s definition of marriage? Not who can get married , but what marriage itself is? How can the government accuse the marriage of a Russian woman to a US citizen for the purpose of coming to the United States as being a “sham”? What about the brief Las Vegas marriage of Britney Spears?
    What vows of love do government marriage licenses require?

    Do marriage laws prevent multiple sex partners, disease, incest, or statutory rape?

    Should there be separation of church and state?

    Should single people get equal government benefits?

    How many times have you had to show your government marriage certificate?

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Hi Christian. I am not saying that the government should withdraw from both marriage and civil unions. I am saying they should withdraw from marriage and only control civil unions (or whatever equal form of union they come up with that encompasses homosexuals and heterosexuals without discrimination). People who were in love would be able to have a legally recognized union regardless of sexual orientation. People would still fall in love, people could still have beautiful weddings that are controlled by the church and reigned over by God, churches would continue marrying people, people would still live in committed relationships, people would have families and babies, parents would still care for their children, and people would still continue doing the things that are done in a caring committed marriage. None of that would go away just because the government comes up with a non-discriminatory type of union. As far as the legalities of it, chances are all the laws for this type of union would be similar to the current marriage laws (encompassing taxes, social security, financial perks, etc), it’s just these perks would be given to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. The government would be able to define their interpretation of “union” in a non-discriminatory way. Marriage would be left for the churches and God to govern. I hope that answers most of your questions. You asked a lot. :)

  • Christian Miller

    Ms. Jacobs,
    I am recommending that government withdraw from both marriage and civil unions. Life would go on.
    I am suggesting that exclusive government perks for married (heterosexual and single sex) couples be phased out or made available to single people. Government financial aid should be based on need rather than marital status.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Christian, sorry I misunderstood your comment. That is a really interesting concept. I like the idea of financial aid based on need instead of marital status. That is logical. However, I do think that people find some sort of satisfaction by having their unions recognized by government so I’m not entirely sure people would be happy with not having government recognize their unions.

  • Christian Miller

    Ms. Jacobs,
    I suspect that your statement is correct: “I do think that people find some sort of satisfaction by having their unions recognized by government…” During the Prop 8 trial, Ted Olsen argued that the status of government marriage should not be denied to homosexual couples. Judge Walker incorporated this argument in his ruling. My problem is that our government should not be in the business of granting “status” or “satisfaction”. We are not England giving people Knighthood. Also why should married people have greater government status than single people?
    Also a government marriage license is a hollow document because no vows are required. It is really only a voucher for some benefits that are denied single folks.

    We have lived next to our very nice neighbors for 30 years. We have never seen their government marriage certificate. We assume they are married because they act like they are married. They live together. Call themselves Mr. and Mrs., introduce themselves as husband and wife, have four children and seven grandchildren.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Christian, you have some good points. It is ridiculous that married people have a greater status than single people. They definitely get better tax breaks. It’s like saying that just because you haven’t found love you aren’t worthy of certain rights granted to those who have. But this is a whole new debate that we could start (oh the joys of politics, so much is wrong with our government).
    Very true that a government marriage license is hollow. Anyone can sign a piece of paper. Unless you have an emotional/spiritual agreement with the person beyond a simple signature, a government issued marriage license is hollow. This brings up another interesting point. All you have to do to get married is sign a piece of paper. No ceremony necessary. Doesn’t that completely contradict what a marriage should consist of? I could be wrong, but it seems to me that if you are getting married, there should be a ceremony. As far as I’m concerned, signing a piece of paper does not constitute a ceremony.

  • Clavos

    All you have to do to get married is sign a piece of paper. No ceremony necessary. Doesn’t that completely contradict what a marriage should consist of? I could be wrong, but it seems to me that if you are getting married, there should be a ceremony. As far as I’m concerned, signing a piece of paper does not constitute a ceremony.

    Maybe.

    My wife and I were married by a notary public in Miami (legal in Florida). No ceremony, no one in attendance, not even friends (the notary had to get the woman next door and her son to act as the law-required witnesses). We signed the papers, the witnesses signed and we were married — that was it.

    When she died last year, we had been happily and successfully married for 38 years.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos, may I ask why you both chose to forgo a ceremony? Are you religious? I don’t mean to pry, I’m just curious.

  • Clavos

    Mainly, we were interested in getting married without making a big deal of it.

    And no, neither of us is/was religious. My wife did not go to church or belong to a religion and I’m an atheist.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos, would you agree that marriage has a religious connotation and that a civil union or something more governmental without religious undertones would have been more fitting? Why or why not?

  • Christian Miller

    Ms. Jacobs, I like to think of marriage as an intensely personal commitment that two people make to each other to spend their lives together. A wedding ceremony that is “fitting and proper” can also be cause for great celebration with family and friends. “The tribe lives, life continues”. It can also be blessed by the church, but the government marriage seal is not a necessary part of this celebration. The couple will feel just as married. Witnesses, Family, friends and well wishers will rejoice and recognize the marriage. No government agent need officiate. No government involvement. Government involvement only detracts from the romantic nature of a wedding.

  • Clavos

    In terms of the end result (getting married), I don’t see any difference. Presumably, those who are religious would prefer a church-sponsored ceremony, while those who are secular would not.

    I do not agree that “a government marriage license is hollow.” Marriages are “hollow” or not because of the level of commitment (or lack thereof) of the parties getting married. In my opinion, that has much more to do with the character of the individuals than it does with religion or secularism, or even whether or not the couple are man/woman, man/man, or woman/woman.

    The success of any given marriage has far more to do with the love and commitment between the parties than it does with anything external.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Christian, I understand what you are saying. But I feel the big issue right now is that heterosexuals have long had the right of being able to marry and now homosexual couples want the same right. I think completely doing away with any form of a legally recognized union would cause quite a bit of an uproar from both homosexual and heterosexual couples. As ridiculous as it may sound, people need that validation from the government. Simply getting people on board with creating legally equal unions is going to be hard enough. Maybe once we take that step, the next step would be to completely eliminate government involvement in unions.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos, are you for or against having an equal form of union for homosexual and heterosexual couples? Something that is not termed marriage because of the religious implications but instead something that is more governmentally based that does not discriminate against people with certain sexual orientations?

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Ashley, where did you get the idea that the term “marriage” is religious? I’m under the impression that (at least in the US) it defines a legal commitment between two people. Those people may, as Clavos points out, choose to have that commitment recognized by their church or other religious body, but we don’t consider the couple married by the judge at city hall to be less married, do we? And why would you care what other people choose to call their relationship?

  • Clavos

    Clavos, are you for or against having an equal form of union for homosexual and heterosexual couples?

    For. Equality is the goal here.

    Something that is not termed marriage because of the religious implications but instead something that is more governmentally based that does not discriminate against people with certain sexual orientations?

    Here, you lose me. First, the term “marriage” has not been exclusively a religious concept; my wife and I were definitely married, even though we did not get married in a church.

    If you have two categories, “marriage” and “something else” (civil union or whatever), you inherently have created inequality (by virtue of the fact that one group cannot be “married,” whilst those who can be “married” can also, if they choose, be joined in a civil union, as my wife and I were.

    Thus, you have inequality — and for mere semantic reasons.

    The word “marriage” has not heretofore referred exclusively to unions formalized in a church, so why should we suddenly impose that concept?

  • Christian Miller

    Ms Jacobs, You are absolutely correct, “…completely doing away with any form of a legally recognized union would cause quite a bit of an uproar from both homosexual and heterosexual couples.” Witness the Prop 8 debate. Both sides desperately want government sanction of the marriage “club”. The proponents of gay marriage want into the “club”. The Christian Right wants to keep gay couples out of the “club”. Neither side, however, should want government involvement. The Christian Right should not want the government dictating issues related to the Sacrament of Marriage. The gay community should not want the government mucking around with such a intimately personal relationship. Single people should want equal rights.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Lisa- Marriage can be traced back to the book of Genesis 2:24. That is where I got that impression. And yes, it is now used as a legal term, but it has religious connotations.

    Clavos- Because marriage has not been an exclusively religious concept doesn’t mean it was not first a religious concept. I am not trying to create inequality by eliminating marriage, what I am trying to propose is the creation of a governmentally equal form of union. The reason why we would suddenly turn marriage back over to churches and other religious entities would be to create the separation between church and state. There would not be two categories governmentally, there would just be one, a civil union (or whatever you want to call it). It would not change the commitment level of a relationship, if you wanted to be with your partner you could be with your partner. Marriage would just be in the churches instead of a government legality. Seeing that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman (that is part of the definition), coming up with something all encompassing seems a logical solution for creating equality. I think that we should embrace this concept because as of right now, the laws governing marriage are simply not working. They are discriminating. If we changed the definition of marriage, a significant chunk of the population would be up in arms. If we leave things as they are, there will continue to be battles over who can marry and who can’t. This is a compromise.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Christian- All your points are valid. It’s all about recognition though. People like status, people like being recognized as something. It’s probably an innate desire that is virtually impossible to break. I don’t think that completely doing away with governmentally recognized unions is the solution. At least not for right now. That is an extremely radical solution that would probably have people on both sides up in arms. For now, I think the solution is to create an equal union. Then the next step would be to make sure single people are not jipped out of benefits just because they have not found someone to share their lives with. Then it might be possible to tackle completely keeping the government out of relationships. But one step at a time. Battles must be won before the war is won.

  • Clavos

    Sorry, AJ, but what you propose is a religious version of the old “separate but equal” concept from the Jim Crow playbook.

    It was unequal then, and it would be unequal now — there is no valid reasoin why, after 38 years, I should have to reclassify my marriage (for a marriage it was — and better than fully half of those performed in churches, since it lasted “until death did us part”, rather than ending in divorce as more than 50% of all US marriages do these days) just because you suddenly want to change what constitutes a marriage ex post facto (which is, in fact, unconstitutional).

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos-No, that is not at all what I am proposing. Actually, when you think about it, giving certain people marriage and others a civil union is a concept straight from the Jim Crow playbook.
    What I am proposing is ONE form of LEGALLY RECOGNIZED relationships. Marriage is gone, only in churches. If people want to get married, they can. All they have to do is find a minister, priest, or whomever to perform the ceremony. But it won’t be recognized by the government. It will be recognized by God, the church, family, and friends. If you needed the piece of paper, you could get the same piece of paper everyone else gets. That piece of paper would not discriminate between people of different sexual orientations.

  • Clavos

    No, AJ you’re saying that only religious institutions could perform marriages.

    That would leave all atheists unable to be married, they would only have the option of a government-sanctioned civil union (or whatever it came to be called). Unequal.

    Conversely, since the marriage “only in churches” would not be recognized by the government, religious believers would have to have two “weddings” or risk having all the current legally defined rights of married people become null and void.

    And yes, what you describe is a “separate but equal” situation, designed, it would appear, to deny the queers a union called a “marriage.”

    Discriminatory, unjust and most importantly, unconstitutional and illegal.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    If an atheist could find a priest or minister or whomever to perform the ceremony, they could still have the ceremony and get married.

    I don’t think signing a piece of paper (which legally recognizes a marriage) and having a witness sign a piece of paper constitutes a wedding at all. It’s a signature. A business transaction. A government defined contract. This would mean that believers do not have two weddings. My marriage and wedding will not be signing some piece of paper at a government building. My marriage and wedding will be when I stand before God, my family, and friends and make a commitment from my heart to the man I love. A commitment that far exceeds a signature on a piece of paper.

    I know for a fact that there are ministers, priests, etc. out there who would perform a wedding for homosexuals. Homosexuals would not be denied anything.

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Now you’ve added the term “wedding” to the mix. Are we talking about weddings or marriages? Are they the same (I don’t think they are)?

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos mentioned weddings. That is why the term was added to the mix. We are talking about marriage/civil unions/legally recognized relationships.

  • Christian Miller

    Ms Jacobs, Try considering the issue from a Constitutional perspective. Our First Amendment speaks to some of our fundamental rights. The Constitution, however, does not grant these rights. It only says that Congress shall not “prohibit or abridge” them. “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting …or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” The Constitution does not, however, provide us with a microphone or a printing press or a sympathetic audience.

    It could be argued, by extension, that, “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting …or abridging the freedom of people to marry.” That does not mean that Congress is obligated to provide citizens with a loving mate or a wedding ceremony.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Christian, are you simply arguing for elimination of marriage altogether and equal rights for single people?

  • Clavos

    My marriage and wedding will not be signing some piece of paper at a government building.

    And because the government wouldn’t (by your definition) recognize it as legal, it could, (and should) deny you and your husband the rights and privileges it currently grants to those it recognizes as legally married.

    Imagine that! Only the gays and atheists would have full legal rights!

  • Clavos

    One more thing, AJ. You say:

    If an atheist could find a priest or minister or whomever to perform the ceremony, they could still have the ceremony and get married.

    Why would I, an atheist, even entertain engaging the services of a person I consider to be deluded to marry me and my partner?

    That’s simply ridiculous.

    I know for a fact that there are ministers, priests, etc. out there who would perform a wedding for homosexuals.

    You’re still advocating a “separate but equal” scenario which, since the adoption of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, has been illegal and unconstitutional.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos- That does not mean I will not sign the paper for legal recognition. I think you misunderstood what my point was. You were saying that because I would get to have a ceremony in a church that I would have two weddings because I would have to sign the paper as well. My point was that signing a piece of paper does not in my book constitute a wedding therefore I will not have two weddings.
    Again I feel as though you missed my point. Everyone would have full legal rights. My argument is as follows:

    There needs to be a government form of legally recognizing all seriously committed relationships that people intend to stay in for the rest of their lives. Right now there are 2 different legal forms, which is a complete act of discrimination. Marriage needs to not be controlled by the government. If people want to get married, they can if they can find someone to perform the ceremony. But from a purely legal standpoint, all people need to be able to sign a piece of paper and have the same rights as other people who are in committed relationships that they intend to stay in for the rest of their lives.

    One thing you did say is that the government should deny me rights if I don’t sign the paper. They should not deny me rights. They simply will deny me rights. Were you insinuating that with my point of view, you feel I should be denied rights? I feel like your statement was an attack on me. I am simply trying to debate with you this new perspective that most people haven’t considered. I am open to your opinions and will never outwardly attack you or say that you shouldn’t have certain rights. You and your wife were married. That cannot and will not be taken away from you nor would I ever wish that be taken away from you. But please, if you are going to start getting offensive, take your attacks somewhere else.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos, I am in no way supporting a separate but equal scenario. My whole point is that things need to be not separate. They need to be equal. That is why I am asking for this new form of a union to be created.

    I would not know why you would want someone who you think to be deluded to marry you. I guess it would be because you want the title of married. But why would you want that title if the concept of marriage was based on religion especially if you could have a title that holds no religious background at all?

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    There needs to be a government form of legally recognizing all seriously committed relationships that people intend to stay in for the rest of their lives.

    We already have this. It’s called marriage. The only thing that needs to happen now is that this thing called marriage (which is a thing worthy of being called marriage whether it takes place in a church or in front of a justice of the peace) needs to be made available to all adults regardless of their sexual orientation. That solution is much simpler than yours, although it does deprive you of the ability to control what other people call their relationships.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Lisa, I am not trying to control what other people call their relationships. Do you see the problem with the change you are supporting? It will be a continuous battle from everyone who believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. This whole issue will go on forever which means the solution you have proposed and so many others are proposing is not much simpler than mine.
    This change needs to happen so that everyone gets what they want, those screaming for marriage get to have it stay what it is defined as, a union between a man and a woman, while those screaming for equal rights get exactly that, a union that encompasses all and provides equal rights. The politicians get to control it and that’s that.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    For the record Lisa, I was on the same page as you until I realized that the solution we were both supporting was just going to perpetuate the fight for and against gay marriage. I’d rather not see this issue show up on the ballet for the rest of my life. I can already forsee it going back and forth, propositions for gay marriage and (if it passes) propositions to make marriage between a man and a woman again. Instead of providing a solution that is just going to keep this issue alive and kicking, why not come up with a compromise?

  • Clavos

    It wasn’t an “attack,” AJ, it was the logical extension of your advocacy that the government shouldn’t be involved in “marriage,” which you assert is a religious concept. I was pointing out that if you were only “married,” by your definition, in a church, then the government would not recognize your “marriage,” (again, by your definition) in which case it logically follows that if the government doesn’t recognize the legality of your relationship, then it should not grant you rights and privileges associated with such a relationship.

    An example: If the government doesn’t recognize my citizenship, then it shouldn’t allow me to vote.

    You ask:

    But why would you want that title if the concept of marriage was based on religion…

    Humans have joined together as couples since prehistoric times — long before religion even existed, so I think it’s illogical to assert that it’s a religious concept. Why would I want it? Because “married” is the term currently used for all LEGAL relationships, whether as in my wife and my case, the union was formalized by a notary public, or whether it was formalized by a judge, or by a cleric of whatever religion, and I see it as discriminatory to suddenly change the rules and declare that only those who get married in a certain way are entitled to use the term.

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    I’m not in favor of a compromise for exactly the reasons Clavos has already stated so clearly. And I think the times are changing, whether or not the anti-gay marriage crowd likes it. I may not see a wholesale embrace of this change in my lifetime, but I’ll bet you’ll see it in yours.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Clavos- Ok, then I argue that if people want to have the government recognize their relationship, they have the right to go and sign a piece of paper that gives them the same rights that everyone else who signs that piece of paper has. And if people want a marriage, they should be able to have that too without government interference. People can have it all, governmentally equal rights as well as a marriage. Again, my whole argument is to create a compromising and appealing solution to this whole issue. If my solution doesn’t appeal to you, I respect your opinion. I could argue this with you until I am blue in the face, but at this point I am going to say that I have stated my case and respectfully agree to disagree with you. If you can come up with a solution that appeals to the masses, that doesn’t tick off those who are religious, and gives equal rights, I would love to hear it. Otherwise, debating this further is pointless as it is not creating a solution, which was all I was trying to offer.

    Lisa- I respectfully disagree. I don’t think there will ever be a complete embrace of the concept of gay marriage. But that is just my opinion.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I don’t think there will ever be a complete embrace of the concept of gay marriage.

    Gay marriage is legal in Canada, Belgium, Iceland, Mexico, Argentina, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and South Africa.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “complete embrance,” but I’m pretty sure total legality represents a step in the right direction.

    If we’re talking Biblically, it could be argued that those who’d “prohibit marriage” fit the description of the “false prophet” from 1 Timothy 4:1-3. (“They (those who’ve deserted the “faith”) will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”)

    There’s the problem with appealing to a literal understanding of scripture, though. It gets messy, really messy, in a hurry.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Complete embrace means people who are super hardcore religious accept it (the people who take the literal understanding path). There are a lot of people like that. Instead of seeing this issue show up on the ballot over and over, I’d rather just have a compromise that suits everyone.

  • Jordan Richardson

    By definition, a compromise is something that doesn’t suit everyone.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Ok then maybe compromise isn’t the best word to describe the solution I have proposed.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The solution you’re proposing seems, to me at least, like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    I respect your opinion but disagree. I’m not throwing out anything, I’m just proposing a change to who has jurisdiction over what. Legal rights are so huge and having a legally recognized union that has the same rights everyone else gets to have while allowing for marriage to exist in the church doesn’t mean anything is getting thrown out.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Marriage is a religious word.”

    No it isn’t. Murder can be traced back to Genesis as well but that doesn’t mean it has a religious connotation.

    “If we changed the definition of marriage, a significant chunk of the population would be up in arms.”

    Like when we changed the definition of marriage to allow people of different races to marry back in the ’60s? “So what” is my response. If equality upsets them and I don’t believe it would be a significant number, let them remain upset. Besides, some religions allow for multiple spouses so religions can’t even agree on a definition.

    If you want your union with another individual recognized in your church, why don’t you and the church elders come up with a new name for that bond? That would be a good compromise. Then everyone can get married and you can have your special designation within your church.

  • Jordan Richardson

    So by saying “No More Marriage!,” you don’t presume to be “throwing out anything?” You simply view this is a “readjustment?”

    Seems to me to be mere semantics then. Everyone can have the “same thing,” but let’s call it something else. That’s not a victory for anyone, it’s a change of the goalposts to mimic the concept of equality because the “real thing” couldn’t be achieved.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Ok, I’m not going to debate what is religious and what isn’t.

    I think people would be moreso up in arms over this because it completely changes the definition of marriage. Interracial marriages did not change the definition of marriage.

    I am sorry but I have not heard any solution from you in regards to the problem at hand. Yea, the church could have their own version of marriage but that does not solve the problem at hand. Even if we created our own form of marriage, the governmental battle over marriage would still exist.

    Talk to me when you have a solution that fixes the problem.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Jordan, I never said no more marriage. Please reread my proposal. It seems you have missed something.

  • Jordan Richardson

    If you want your union with another individual recognized in your church, why don’t you and the church elders come up with a new name for that bond? That would be a good compromise. Then everyone can get married and you can have your special designation within your church.

    This.

    The other way suggests that religion somehow trumps the rest of society, suggesting the notion that religious people get to have their “term” and the rest of us simply get to rebrand it. Sounds a little silly to me.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Jordan, please read my response to that comment and consider that my response to you with the addition of:

    I am not saying that religion trumps the rest of society so everyone else should have to rebrand. Again, I have come up with a solution that to me seems to be the best option to fix this issue. If you disagree, that’s fine. But until I hear of a better solution from someone, something I agree with that I think solves more problems than mine, I am sticking to my solution.

  • Jordan Richardson

    alohaitsaj, you wrote the article offering the “solution,” not me or anyone else.

    For the record, I’m Canadian. We had a referendum from our Conservative government asking us if we wanted to “revisit” the gay marriage issue legally and we said “no.” So there’s our solution, I guess.

    And what “governmental battle” over marriage? Is there one?

    And your title says “No More Marriage!” rather excitedly. Was that false advertising or a sensationalistic way to draw people to read your article? Hardly seems fair to allude to an idea that isn’t present in the piece.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Your “solution” is a cop-out, alohaitsaj. You may not be “saying” it, but it is an effective rebranding of marriage to prove more inclusive.

    The better solution, frankly, is to let people marry whoever they please.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    The governmental battle is the one raging over whether or not gay marriage should be approved. I am not from Canada and do not know what is going on there so maybe you should not have read this article as this has nothing to do with what is going on in Canada.

    I take full responsibliity for the solution I have offered. Again I say: I have come up with a solution that to me seems to be the best option to fix this issue. If you disagree, that’s fine. But until I hear of a better solution from someone, something I agree with that I think solves more problems than mine, I am sticking to my solution.

    Your solution does not solve any more issues than mine and could be classified as a cop out in and of itself. Get back to me when you come up with something better than my solution and the current solution you have proposed.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    AUTHOR’S NOTE:

    While I would like to respond to each and every comment left on this article, it has simply become too time consuming. I do not have the time to respond to all comments on this article, therefore I will not be responding to comments anymore. I respect all of your opinions and hope this article has been a vehicle to make you think of potential solutions to the issue of gay marriage. I hope for resolution on this issue and pray for a solution that grants equal relational statuses between all people, whatever that status may be.

    Thank you!

    -alohaitsaj

  • Jordan Richardson

    The governmental battle is the one raging over whether or not gay marriage should be approved.

    This is a deeply religious battleground, though, which is where the comments about the origin of marriage and the nature of what is religious come into play. You can’t just shuffle aside 2/3 of the argument and foist in on the “government.”

    There’s a reason there’s a “battle” over the definition of marriage. What you suggest skirts that issue by, yes, changing the definition of marriage to appease a group of people. You’re essentially saying “let them have marriage, the rest of us can have summer squash unions” or some other such “term” that lets the rest of us still “unite.”

    maybe you should not have read this article as this has nothing to do with what is going on in Canada.

    Ugh, this shit again? What is it with this crappy nationalistic bullshit on this site lately?

    I know you haven’t been following along, but there’s nothing here that forbids or disallows anyone from commenting on any article (or reading any article) based on their nationality. I’ve always been interested in America and I probably know more about the damn country than you do. I married an American, I live about five minutes away from the border, and I’m VERY interested in what happens in the U.S. because it impacts the whole world. Call it “sleeping next to an elephant.”

    But until I hear of a better solution from someone, something I agree with that I think solves more problems than mine, I am sticking to my solution.

    Apparently you believe your “solution” to be above criticism from those who disagree with what it solves and what it stands for.

    Your solution does not solve any more issues than mine and could be classified as a cop out in and of itself.

    I didn’t know it was a contest, but I’d love to hear how “my solution” (the one adopted by many countries around the world) is a “cop out in and of itself.” That is, of course, if you’re not above talking to a mere Canadian.

    Get back to me when you come up with something better than my solution and the current solution you have proposed.

    Get back to you? Come on, grow up. We’re discussing an issue, not having a career fair at elementary school. If you can’t handle the criticism of your ideas, maybe you shouldn’t be putting them out there with the presumption that they’re iron-clad.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I do not have the time to respond to all comments on this article, therefore I will not be responding to comments anymore.

    This sounds eerily like your gay marriage “solution.” Am I sensing a pattern?

  • Christian Miller

    Ms Jacobs, Yes, I am arguing for the elimination of GOVERNMENT marriage laws, programs and exclusive benefits. I am advocating equal rights and benefits for single people.

    Ms Jacobs and Ms McKay, It was said, “There needs to be a government form of legally recognizing all seriously committed relationships that people intend to stay in for the rest of their lives.” The problem is that the government now has the exactly the same legal recognition for all seriously committed relations as it does for uncommitted relationships and people who have no intention of staying together for the rest of their lives.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Jordan, please watch yourself. You are getting dangerously close to personal attacks which are not allowed on this site. I will not put up with that.

    I never said my solution was iron clad. I simply said my solution was the best one I had heard of (other people have proposed this before). I do not think that my solution is flawless or does not deserve some criticism. I am open to people’s criticism.

    There is no pattern here aside from my inability to keep up with the comments on this article while maintaining a life. I will not be responding to comments but if I see any comments left on this article that are malicious or constitute any form of a personal attack on me or anyone who has differing opinions from other commenters, they will be reported.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Nothing I said constitutes a personal attack, alohaitsaj. I was civil from you from the outset and have been criticizing your idea, not your person.

    With over 600 articles to my name on this site and thousands of comments, I’ve long understood when I’ve crossed the line and when I haven’t. And I haven’t crossed the line with you, so don’t start patronizing me with this nonsense.

    You’ve chosen to skirt the obvious problems with your solution, dumping the reality it would provide for millions of people off on “I didn’t say that” style answers while deflecting the rest on to others with this curt “come up with a better idea then” response that belongs in a playground.

    You only seem “open” to other criticism if the people doing the criticizing have an idea that you deem to be “better,” but that’s not going to happen because you believe your idea is the best. Your problem comes in convincing the rest of us of that, it seems.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Interracial marriages did not change the definition of marriage.”

    I know you are hypersensitive to criticism so I don’t mean this as an attack but you don’t appear to know the history of what you are talking about. At one time people of different races were not allowed to get married. At one time slaves were not allowed to get married. The definition of marriage has changed as society has.

    “Yea, the church could have their own version of marriage but that does not solve the problem at hand. Even if we created our own form of marriage, the governmental battle over marriage would still exist.”

    No, it wouldn’t. The only reason there is a govt battle is because of religious people forcing one. If you will still fight against gay marriage after you have your own church union, then what is there left to go on about? Besides, you seem unaware I have offered the same solution you have, but put the onus on you and your religion to come up with a new name. If you are unwilling to do that, why do you expect others to?

    “until I hear of a better solution from someone, something I agree with that I think solves more problems than mine, I am sticking to my solution.”

    Of course you haven’t offered a solution and have given no reason why what I proposed wouldn’t work.

    I understand you might not be responding anymore. Most people who have lost the argument and have little to support their position usually give up.

  • Christian Miller

    El Bicho,
    A fundamental problem. There does not seem to be a legal definition of the word “marriage”. Government legally defines WHO can get married, but does not legally define WHAT marriage is.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I just did a quick Google search, but according to the official version of U.S. Code used by the House of Representatives:

    In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

    Is that not a legal definition?

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    Jordan- I do not think my idea is the best. I believe someone could come up with a better idea. I just haven’t heard it yet. Please stop painting me as a closed-minded idiot. I have listened to your ideas with an open mind. We disagree. Let’s agree on that and move on.

    El Bicho- I am no longer responding because I have made my point, have argued my point, and now have no more time to waste on this topic. I have spent hours responding to everyone. Now it’s time for me to spend my time doing other things. The solution you offered doesn’t work unless the lawmakers pass a bill that enables gay couples to marry or have the same rights as heterosexuals. All your solution does is give the church another form of marriage. That solves nothing.

  • Jordan Richardson

    alohaitsaj,

    You said that my idea “could be considered a cop out.” When pressed for reasoning, you didn’t respond. To any of my criticisms on religious grounds, you didn’t respond. And to criticisms as relates to solutions other countries have found in light of “your solution,” still no response.

    So are you “listening?” Maybe.

    But, at the very least, my criticisms of your views have come backed with evidence and reasoning. Yours have been blanket statements that suggest no other ideas will work and through this course you’ve effectively closed down the argument.

    As to EB’s solution, the lawmakers would pass a bill allowing gay couples to marry and have the same rights. That’s the entire point. All your solution does is give the rest of us another form of marriage when the onus is on the church. The battleground over the “definition of marriage” is being fought largely by religious types expecting society to alter its progress to accommodate questionable theology.

    What EB is suggesting, if I take his meaning correctly, is that it shouldn’t be society that accommodates questionable theology but the church. “Marriage,” as many in this thread have suggested, is not any more religious in terminology than murder. So why do we have to capitulate to religious “logic” when religious “logic” ought to capitulate to us?

    The church should have another form of marriage because the church wants us to adopt its form of marriage, although it could be argued that some denominations have broader interpretations of marriage as it is. The church is effectively wanting to impose its standards on a secular society through legal avenues. Why we’re standing for that is one hell of a good question.

  • http://blog.greensherpa.com alohaitsaj

    I didn’t respond because I have spent HOURS responding to people who have taken the time to comment. To give you a thoughtful answer, it would take time which I am out of.

    I have only read the first paragraph of your most recent response and that is all I will read. I am glad to have at least gotten people thinking.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I am no longer responding because I have made my point, have argued my point, and now have no more time to waste on this topic”

    And yet here you are back again repeating yourself.

    “The solution you offered doesn’t work unless the lawmakers pass a bill that enables gay couples to marry or have the same rights as heterosexuals.”

    And states have already been doing that. It’s not difficult expect when people against gay marriage make it so. Lawmakers can write a bill and vote it into law. It’s rather simple and part of their job description.

    “All your solution does is give the church another form of marriage. That solves nothing.”

    All your solution does is give the govt. another form of marriage. Why are you unwilling to change yet asking others to? Of course you like your “solution”, it requires you to do nothing.

  • Jordan Richardson

    In fact, what you’re saying is even worse.

    As a Christian, I do believe marriage should exist, but I believe it should exist on a religious level, not on a governmental one.

    In other words, marriage is for religious people – not the secular world. It’s “our word, our thing,” basically. The problem here is that it isn’t, as has already been outlined in this thread.

    Yet you state in comment #57 “Ok, I’m not going to debate what is religious and what isn’t.”

    But that’s the entire point!

    You’ve said in your article that marriage is something that should exist on a “religious level,” so you really ought to participate in fleshing out what is and isn’t “religious” in order to give your argument and your solution some much-needed credibility. Culling one portion out of Genesis doesn’t make the argument work; it weakens it, as my post above citing 1 Timothy can attest to.

    See, I’ve seen this argument before. Now the religious types are summoning “separation of church and state” in this particular sector because it allows them to have what they believe to be their “word” back. Society’s progress can’t be stopped, so the idea now is to move the goalposts and change the way the game is played. Gays can’t get married anymore because, SURPRISE!, marriage doesn’t exist on a governmental level. That, my friend, is what’s called “pulling a fast one.”

    You say in your article “Just give us all equal rights” and do away with “marriage” on the governmental level, but what you’re not getting from that is that your proposal isn’t “equal rights.” It is, as has been outlined, “separate but equal.”

    Imagine how this would look practically. All of those people whose lives honoured marriage faithfully and with dignity are no longer able to call themselves “married;” they need another “term” to undo years and years of societal customs and traditions – not just religious ones.

    And this is done so that “religious people” can have their precious word back? That’s a solution? Sounds to me like yet another way to isolate and alienate.

  • Jordan Richardson

    alohaitsaj, things move fast at this site. You’re under no obligation to respond to anything, but I do wish you would at least attempt to give the appearance that you care about “getting people thinking.”

    You can take your time with responses too, of course. There’s no rush and you don’t need to spend hours digging through this.

    But you have to understand that an article on a contentious issue is going to be met with spirited debate, especially when you so readily discard the other solutions already in play as “lesser” to your core idea.

    In any event, when you find more time I’d appreciate a response to the core issues of this discussion. I know it’s a lot to keep up with, but hey, welcome to Blogcritics. :)

  • Christian Miller

    Let’s step back a moment. As citizens, our only decision is,”What is the appropriate role for government in marriage?” Legally churches can marry or not marry whomever they please in whatever way they please. Individual couples can characterize their relationships with any term they please, including the word “marriage”. The issue is what laws should we have regarding marriage and civil unions. No government involvement is a graceful way to end the gay marriage battle. It would also bring some equality to 90 million single people.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Christian,

    You seem very concerned with equality between single people and married people. Can you offer any specifics? Are we talking about benefits, tax breaks? Or is there something more to it in terms of this inequality you’ve alluded to in such a sideways fashion?

    In terms of benefits of being married, are you talking about husband/wife sponsorship benefits in terms of immigration? Or larger payments from Social Security, veteran’s disability, medicaid, property tax exemptions, income tax deductions and so forth? Should a single person be permitted to pass those benefits along to another single person if combined living expenses dictate?

    Or what about joint filing of things like bankruptcy or joint parenting rights? Visitation rights or custodial status? I could go on, but I’m really not overly sure what you think a single person lacks in terms of these sorts of “benefits.” This point is especially relevant when you consider the responsibilities of married people.

    Like the fact that spousal incomes are considered when applying for benefits of just about any kind, thus “levelling” the proverbial playing field between singles and marrieds.

    So your suggestion is scrapping the entire above apparatus to “level the playing field” between married people and single people? I’m presuming this reallocation of rights would also constitute an elimination of the legal responsibilities of marriage, which would mean that a “married” couple (now in name only) would no longer be permitted to file joint tax returns or any other such things. Nor would they be able to file for certain childcare benefits because they’d simply be two single people and there’d be no legal way to prove they were in a relationship. Immigration issues, too, would take on new connotations as the entire apparatus of spousal sponsorship (and common law sponsorship, presumably) would be stripped from its foundation.

    And then there’s the ideological aspect:

    “No government involvement” is NOT a “graceful” way to end the “gay marriage battle.” It is a way of changing the game, ideologically closing the shop down as soon as those blasted homosexuals got to have their turn. It says, in essence, that we can’t agree on the fact that homosexuals should have equal marital rights, so we’re going to simply do away with legal marriage entirely.

    I find it interesting, too, that you say “Legally churches can marry…” This is interesting because what the churches do in terms of “marriage” is effectively meaningless in any broad sense, as your proposal strips away any practical or tangible results of the marriage ceremony. Couples have no legal meaning, in other words, and are not united in a society in any other way but name and idea. And this, you say, brings equality?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m just going to jump ahead slightly to finish where I’m going with this.

    In my mind, this idea constitutes a removal of rights and benefits from marrieds with a stated intent of creating equality. Instead of giving rights to another group, we’ll take them away from everyone so that everyone’s “equal.”

    It’s a little like removing voting rights from everyone because women and blacks wanted in. The analogy isn’t perfect, I know, but I think the basic idea is the same. It’s little more than “addition” by subtraction.

  • Christian Miller

    Mr. Richardson,
    I recommend that all exclusive financial benefits the government now gives to married people be phased out or else be given to single people. These financial benefits not only discriminate against single people, they also greatly favor more affluent people. For example, my wife and I are paid an extra %9,000 per year by Social Security based solely on our having a government marriage certificate. My wife does not qualify on her own, but is entitled to 50% of my Social Security payments because she is married to me. A single senior person in the same circumstance would collect nothing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That does sound like a reasonable idea, Christian, provided it’s so limited. For indeed, the government does confer special privileges to the marital status, no doubt a vestige of religious thinking and the influence thereof.

  • Christian Miller

    Mr. Nowosielski,
    Take a look at post #12.
    Another question is: Why should single people subsidize married people?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I agree with you on that single point, Christian.

    As to the rest, I view the notion of state issuing the license as an extension of what was originally a religious ceremony. There was a need to accommodate those who wouldn’t go along with the latter idea. Henry VIII may have set the precedent but I’m not certain.

    And as part of that extension, the state’s view of marriage, I’d reckon, would be on analogy with a (legal) contract – which provides the with justification as to its own jurisdiction over the matter. It is thus that the concept has evolved, and it covers all marriages. Indeed, it’d seem one needs a license even if one plans on a religious ceremony.

    Anyway, I don’t really have a dog in this hunt, just remarked on one aspect of the subject which seemed reasonable to me.

  • Christian Miller

    Mr. Nowosielski,
    You say, “Indeed, it’d seem one needs a license even if one plans on a religious ceremony.” It is indeed an unholy alliance of church and state. Although there is no legal requirement, churches in the United States tend not to allow the Sacrament of Marriage if a couple does not have a government marriage license.

  • Christian Miller

    Ms Jacobs has proposed “Here’s a Novel Idea: No More Marriage!”, but she only has half the solution. Her “No More [government] Marriage” half cannot work, morally, without the “no more special government civil unions” half.

  • Paul Frank

    Brilliant!

  • alisha

    Commitment ceremonies are the way to go! I agree with you 100% (:

  • Legion

    It’s shouldnt be the government’s place to recognize ANY civil union. Whats wrong with a couple filing taxes seperately? The government could do away with a lot of administrative clutter if they did away with this antiquated practice.

  • Green

    I agree 100%, I had never thought about it that way before and this really opened up my mind to a different idea.

  • Tim

    How about an affadavit of household membership instead of marriage? That way families or friends can live together and share benefits like health insurance. For instance when one’s parents are older, grown children can provide for them by bringing them into their ‘household”.