Friday, May 11, 2012

What If . . .?


What if our government side-stepped the marriage question altogether?

What if a civil union between two consenting adults was required of any couple in order to qualify for all the civil benefits  now conferred by marriage? 

What if 'marriage' conferred no civil benefits and was optional -- with the rites and covenants of the couple's preferred belief system to be performed by the pastor, rabbi, minister, iman, priest, priestess, witch doctor, philosopher of their choice? 

Discuss.
 
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14 comments:

Bernie said...

Oh Vicki this could only work if everyone agreed. There are too many couples in today's society who need that piece of paper granted by clergy and only to a man and woman. This will never change but including everyone regardless of sexual orientation can and will change and be accepted. In my opinion there will always be a marriage just as there are births, deaths, funerals, graduations etc. but they all can and will evolve. In a perfect world we would be there already but I have no doubt if not in my life time then in my children's marriage for LGBT will be available and equal to marriage between heterosexuals.....:-) Hugs

Ms. A said...

I still don't understand why either is a matter for the government?

Amy said...

As a libertarian I think this sounds like the only reasonable choice.

Brian Miller said...

oy you are kicking the can...i personally thing this is enforced religeous values in many ways...in changing it, it wont remove the hate but it will remove legalized oppression...

Sue P said...

Hey, everyone!

Let's send Vicki to Washington!

Congresswoman Lane has a nice ring!

Great idea, Vicki!

Vicki Lane said...

Well, people could still have that piece of paper from the clergy -- but they'd have to have the civil paper in order to get the benefits -- tax, etc. And that's where the government comes in -- tax time, litigation related to divorce, etc.

Sue P - And what a nightmare that would be.

Elora said...

I'm going to jump off the cliff here:

Religion should always be optional. The Constitution not only guarantees freedom OF religion, it also guarantees freedom FROM religion. What if we turned this whole fiasco upside down and REQUIRED everyone to have and practice a "respectable" religion? And, tell me: just what does that mean? All the rights you mention, Vicki...the religious aspects should always be optional. Ms. A on your blog yesterday (and also today, I just noticed) questioned why we were voting on these types of issues at all! She is sooo right! These are PRIVATE matters. Do not forget the War on Women, too....just look at what old men in suits sitting on their bottoms in the halls of our so-called representative Congress are doing to women. It is shocking and disturbing. We should be working on issues like Single Payer healthcare--we have a RIGHT to be healthy; or how about the environment? Clean air, clean water AGAIN! ...did you know that making cement is one of the worst polluting industries in the entire world? There's got to be a better way....in every way! Yet we keep stalling out on these "wedge issues" which makes the Koch brothers gleeful as all get-out. As long as they can keep the discussion oblique to their odious goals, they've got the world by the tail on a downhill pull.
Elora

Susan M. Bell said...

That's what I've been saying for a while now. "Marriage" is actually a religious rite. They should just take that out of the legal aspect and let everyone, gay or straight, have civil unions. Wouldn't have bothered me one bit when the hubs and I got married at the court house if it had been called a civil union instead.

That being said, if they keep "marriage" as the legal ceremony, it should be there for everyone. If they say straight couples have legal marriage, then gay couples should too. None of this "marriage for us, civil unions for them" stuff. Separate but equal does not work.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Vicki, your proposal is exactly the same one proposed by former President Jimmy Carter several years ago, who, all will remember, was a dedicated Southern Baptist! I agree with both of you. Jim

Vicki Lane said...

There is this civil/religious separation with birth certificate (civil) and baptism or and the various other religious ceremonies that might be administered to a newborn.

JJM said...

Your elegant solution is exactly the way the law in the Netherlands works. There, only civil marriage, performed by a registrar of marriages, is legally acknowledged. If, afterwards, you wish to continue the occasion with a religious ceremony, you are free to do so, but a religious ceremony in and of itself will not be recognized as a marriage. Perfectly simple, perfectly workable. --Mario

Mel said...

What Amy said. I keep waiting for my country to make progress in the global spectrum of reason and humanity and freedom, but we seem to be stuck in a quagmire of religious based fear and ethnocentricity. I've been watching this strange polarization for years now, wondering how much more tension the republic can take before it breaks.

What if, indeed. We can only imagine for now.

I'm attending a wedding celebration in the states next weekend for my best friend, who moved 5 years ago to Canada, where she and her partner are legally married. Pity her own country won't grant her the same basic rights that Canada has. It makes me angry that there could not be a wedding in her home state, or mine, or most of the 50 in this county. I will try not to think about that while we celebrate love, commitment and family together.

Bouncin Barb said...

Whatever happened to separation of church and state? One has no business with the other. And no one...absolutely no one should be able to tell another human being who they can/can't marry and whether it's valid because it wasn't performed by a religious figure! That's telling me that my 23 year marriage to Rich was not recognized because we didn't get married in a church!

NCmountainwoman said...

Chiming in late but with enthusiastic support for your idea.