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February 24, 2005


Musing Michael

Are you sure the "Reverend" Moon isn't tied up in there somewhere? Sounds an awful lot like his type of gig.

Seriously, though, I think the best definition of "marriage" I've ever heard is that it's a "radical, permanent, public commitment." The ceremony is optional. As long as that commitment is there, it's a marriage--by whatever name it's called. Whether or not the anarcho-conservacons will agree to call it such is another kettle of rotten fish, but who cares what they think, anyway?


I am of the opinion, one that is not equally shared in the community, that the term is not important.

Take for example the stuff going on in Connecticut today. They are having a highly successful run at the same protections as marriage, but under the terms of "civil union."

I think this is where the argument needs to go.

If everyone is so hung up on marriage, well then let's just drop the term.

As long as I am guaranteed the same 1049 FEDERAL protections as everyone else, you can call it whatever makes you happy. I don't care!

I just want to be secure in the knowledge that my parter, our kids, my estate, our home, and everything else that involves the legal, civil, and total government protection of our family is guaranteed.

I deeply resent that fact that I need to spend thousands annually to create this safety net. A civil privelege that straight couples get for $20 in the way of a marriage license.

So call it whatever you want, just protect me and my partner!

FYI -- State level protections (CT civil union or MA Marriage) is not enough. I want FEDERAL protections like everyone else! State stuff is protection-lite!


Gary has the right idea. The federal government needs to stop marrying people and let the churches do it. The federal government needs to get out of the business of conveying religious sacraments upon us. The federal government needs to drop the term marriage entirely and replace it with civil unions for everyone.

Let the churches convey the religious blessings of marriage on their own members. Strip away the church's illegitimate power to convey legal priveledges of civil contracts on heterosexuals. By putting churches in the role of conveying legal rights on people we are allowing theocracy to dictate the public agenda.

Musing Michael

Sorry, Cheryl, but that's exactly ass-backwards. We need the government to take the power of marriage away from the churches altogether. They can still have religious ceremonies if they wish, but they will no longer be sufficient to create a marriage in the eyes of the law. That will be exclusively the power of the government, exactly as they do it in Europe. You must have a civil ceremony, which is what gives you legal standing as a married couple. If you wish, you may then (and only then) have a church ceremony, but it's not what creates the marriage.


I think that's the point Cheryl was trying to make--let's make marriage a purely religious term that has absolutely no governmental meaning, and make the tie that binds known as civil unions. And even though that's an eminently sensible compromise, the wingnuts will never go for it because it means you have to treat gays and lesbians as if they're, you know, human instead of scum.

Musing Michael

Incertus: That may have been Cheryl's point, but it isn't mine. I think we need to make marriage--or rather, turn it back into what it was up until 1215--an entirely civil notion. You're married when you have the civil contract drawn up and file it with the proper authorities. Whatever you do in addition to that (party, church wedding, breaking a glass, jumping a broomstick...) is fine and dandy and right and fitting. But it isn't "marriage." That's a term reserved for the state, and the state only. The wingnuts can still pretend that it's the religious ceremony that matters in the eyes of God (they're wrong about that, too, I suspect)--but if they want any of the gub'mint benefits that go along with the foofooraw, they'd better march their butts down to the courthouse and do the paperwork first.


Ah--we're after the same goal, I guess, but with different terminology. You want to secularize the term marriage, while Cheryl and I want to religiousize (is that a word?) it and make civil union the secular (and binding) term.

From what I understand, in Ireland, the way you describe it is pretty much the way it happens. There's actually a moment in the church wedding where the bride and groom leave the church, meet with the local equivalent of a JP, sign the marriage license in a civil ceremony (and are officially married then), and then go back inside to finish the religious part of the service. There's no requirement for the church part either. I'd be great with that compromise as well--as long as same-sex couples get the same rights as hetero couples get, I'm all good with it, no matter the terminology.

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