Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why "civil unions" don't cut it

The majority of those who oppose same sex marriage offer civil unions as a substitute, saying that this negates the equality argument. The problem with that solution is that laws are enforced as written. There are literally tens of thousands of situations in civil law and common custom that involve marriage, from those of crucial import down to simple common courtesy, such as this story: Same sex couple, kids denied family rate at pool .

The only way civil unions can be equal is if they are declared legally to be identical to marriage in all circumstances, criminal and civil, and enforced... which would then put us in the untenable position of claiming that a union that is identical to marriage, was called a marriage by the church that married them, and was registered by the same county clerk as a marriage, is not in fact a marriage. Anyone who can do that has a promising career in theology or political science in front of them!


Diggitt said...

I totally agree. Here's a solution: get religious groups out of the business of marriage. Marriage to be a civil right conducted by appointees of the state. Marriage in church a separate thing.

"Appointees of the state" is no big deal. In New York State, a municipality can appoint marriage officers. The mayor or supervisor by law already can marry within the jurisdiction. In some communities, boards or councils authorize all members to marry within the jurisdiction. Any individual in NYS can be authorized by the municipality.

In some states notaries can marry. Judges can everywhere, whether elected or appointed. Part of the problem is the religious aspect. Make the law that the religious service is not legally binding. I think that's how it works in France and Italy.

Chuck B. said...

Diggit, how would that solve the issue of so many state politicians opposing marriage? They would simply write laws that barred the appointees from performing the marriage.

I am guessing that last part about religious marriage being not binding is tongue in cheek on your part. Few serious polliticans would ever put that idea forward if they wished to get elected. What may work in France and Italy, sadly will not always work here.

Just like those people who say they support diveristy, but don't want outsiders of other ethninicties amongst them, the issue is not the surface arguement.

It is bigotry against LGBT people. Is is a foul desire to legislate them to less than whole status.

It is a red herring. As loathsome as state's rights advocates who really support segregation, but know better, or racists who prefer to be called "conservative".