From my perspective, as long as the government gives benefits for marriage (which it does), it has a constitutional duty to equally protect all citizens in those partnerships, regardless of sex.
Why do we allow the government to tell us who we can and can’t marry, specifically marriage between those of the same sex. If we give the government the power to dictate marriage based on sex, they could also have the power to tell us we can’t marry someone of a different religion (this is current law in Lebanon and is not an Islamic country)?
Government should not be involved in marriage. We derive marriage from religion, and that’s where marriage should stay (in my opinion). But all together, the government should be out of marriage. Marriage shouldn’t be a tax incentive, it should be a bond between two people who love each other. And that is what marriage has been and always should be.
I found myself in a debate with a friend the other day over how important it should be for gay couples to be able to call their union a legal “marriage” if they still get all the same legal benefits as a straight couple.
I believe that the name is everything, and that by making same sex couples call their union something other than marriage, we are not awarding them equal rights, regardless of whatever tax benefits they may receive. I’m pretty sure we decided in 1954 that “separate but equal” is unconstitutional.
My friend thinks that the definition of marriage should remain between a man and a women, and that it is not discriminatory to give same-sex “marriages” a different name as long as there is no difference in their legal treatment.
What is your opinion?
@KellyMartin couldn’t have said it better. Marriage should not be a tax incentive, it should be a personal bond.
The personal should do its best to stay out of politics. Though I may not fully understand my empathy is with those in love of the same sex who have to feel that they are not accepted by the country that they belong to.
I dont like the idea of government having a say in it at all. At least at the federal level the biggest thing that is getting overlooked is their children. Not that homosexuals will be bad parents but how will they be treated by other kids other families? Im assuming the ripple affect will be pretty harsh for the kids, I could be wrong thought.
I think it is too easy to cast libertine logic on this topic. “The government shouldn’t be able to tell me to do nothing.” In the case of marriage. Marriage, by it’s pure definition is the contract between one man and one woman. Therefore, the government codifying this definition is simple stating the obvious. The definition itself is exclusionary.
The question then needs to be asked, who are we to change the definition of a word that has held for all of history and where it was redefined or repurposed, it had dramatically negative affects on the culture?
To liken this to a civil rights discussion then is moot. Can marrying different religions or different races fall under its definition? Yes. To refine the definition further to include those would be the same as opening it up to where the definition was worthless.
@nathanmartin marriage is defined differently by different religions, in the catholic church, my church it is one man and one woman, same goes for plenty others but in the unitarian church it can be one man and another man, or a woman and and a woman… why should the government be the one and only entity to define marriage? why cant it be our churches or consenting adults? and as far as negative effects on families and societies go, im pretty sure people tried to make that same argument when we wanted to redefine “property” so that it didnt include other human beings
@joeperticone Marriage isn’t defined by man and can’t be redefined by man. Even churches which can’t get the basic dogma of trinity correct. Again, government doesn’t define marriage. It just affirms its rightful definition.
@nathanmartin man invented marriage, not government, we can most certainly define it the way we see fit… what government does isnt affirming its true meaning, it subsidizes only one style of it, thus infringing on the liberty and religious freedom of others
No. Although I am a religious man myself, a Mormon to be exact, I do believe in gay rights. If anything, they could at least get some sort of civil union that has the same benefits that marriage does, but without the religious aspect of it. People just need to become more accepting of the idea, less homophobic, prejudiced, and loving of their neighbors.
I fully support taking the word marriage out of the law, which would be the clearest way for both sides to win the argument. History has shown the word marriage to always be between a man and a woman, and we should respect that it holds a value to one side, that the other has never known. As such, I believe the law should give these incentives as a ‘union’ at the most.
That’s fair, and it’s really about getting government out of defining anything that’s a religious or highly personal matter.
Further, because unity means coming together. Marriage has and always will mean man and woman…. Why the drive to take a word that means so much to one group, a word which they have historical claim to.
Words have meanings, every one of them, and you can’t just change that because it does not work with your view of the world. (not a pointed comment, general statement)
I could tell you all about my religious beliefs but they don’t matter here because Marriage in today’s world isn’t a religious issue and if you think it’s still a religious issue with the government involved you’re just kidding yourself. And honestly just because a society legalize gay marriage does it make “traditional marriage” any less special or “sacred”?
So long as there is a legal structure for “marriage” (i.e., one man one woman) that includes survivor rights, inheritance, visitation of offspring (whether natural or adoptive), access to health records, medical decision making, etc.; there should be a requisite legal equivalent for same gender partnerships. This is the essence of the 14th Amendment – equal protections under the law. If the State were to rely on “the Church’s definition of marriage”, then it must accept ALL church’s views on what constitutes a valid marriage without question or objection (Establishment Clause). This would include polygamy, polyandry, and even underaged arranged marriages that various religions view as acceptable.
The alternative is that there be a twofold solution to the issue. Those believing in “traditional marriage” would get married in the Church, but also need to have their “civil bonding contract” sanctioned by licensure and performed by a civil servant (or notarized by a notary, or witnessed by a lawyer/judge). Only unions sanctioned by the State would have legal protections as described above.
You’re right Sean, that it’s a very small minority that is affected. Which is why it’s a good thing we have a Republic instead of a Democracy!
Eric brings up a good point as well – when a spouse dies, the surviving spouse generally inherits property with no legal battles. A same-sex couple, however, would have to go through courts unless a will specifically names the inheritor of the property. But even then you have to go through estate tax issues.
Same-sex marriage is an issue I thought I had a firm opinion on (against) a year ago, but the more I look into it the more I realize it’s not a black-and-white issue.
I find my leanings are for goverment to stay COMPLETELY out of marriages.
It is just wrong on so many counts.
Laws,taxes are based on marriages so the government is not disinterested party.
If two individual are NOT married why should they be treated differently than two other people under the law or for tax purposes. That is REAL discrimination ,regardless of sex or religion.
Get Government out of our lives!
Let anyone marry who ever they like if they can find an entity ,church,circle of friends,frequent flyers,or whatever they personally believe confers the dignity their personal beliefs demand of their personal relationships.
Let people enter into a contract to bestow whatever legal agreements that will exist between the partners and let an impartial court decide any disagreements.
Let the laws apply equally to all without discrimination .
I’d not mind a world in which the government ‘stayed out of marriage’. Unfortunately, that’s not our world. Marriage is a special contract with an entire system of law built up around it, and that is not going to change.
If government is involved, gay marriage through the government (even “civil unions”) puts the government’s stamp of approval on those unions.
While I don’t care what people do in private (or really in public when you get down to it), I don’t approve of everything people do. I don’t want the government stamp of approval on stuff I don’t approve of, because then I’m forced to approve of it.
As a concrete example, in the case of gay marriage it’s being argued that gay marriage is a civil right, just like interracial marriage. Guess what happens to Christian (or Muslim, or Jewish) places of worship that don’t recognize the “civil right” to immorality and refuse to perform the ceremonies? That’s right. They will be forced to perform them. If you think that special exemptions for churches will survive, you haven’t been paying attention.
Gay marriage is an excellent case study in how politics works, because politics is downstream of culture. Advocates have been successful, through a decades-long campaign in the news media and TV shows, at depicting gay marriage as the normal, natural thing, a civil rights struggle. If they have won the cultural battle, and they probably have, the political victory is theirs.
We need a new “family license” to replace today’s marriage license. To the government, a “marriage” is a recognition of a contract between two people. You can be married in a church but without the license the government won’t recognize it, no matter who you are. But in arguing about marriage we are thinking too narrowly. We need to think completely outside of marriage and create a new “family license”.
If two or more consenting adults wish to bond as a family then they must get a family license. Marriage within a religious context is optional. The new family licenses would have a much broader context then simply including straight and gay couples. My grandmother and her sister lived together for years but my grandmother could never put her sister on her health care insurance as it was only for spouses and children. Yet these two old women were bonded together as a family unit and wouldn’t it have been nice if they could have made it official and legal?
Any thoughts about creating a new “family license”?
In response to Chris’ reply and to this post overall, there has been studies on children who are raised in homosexual environments in comparison to heterosexual differences, and there has not been that much of a difference in the way these children were treated.
I feel like, just as the Civil Rights movement was one to remember, the marriage issue will be one that will always be remembered too. I feel like our generation is becoming more open to who others can love, and I feel like the government should not have a say on what the definition of marriage is. This could be also for those who choose not to marry, but are in love and are cohabiting together. The government cannot monitor this action as well, and should not be the one to own the definition of what marriage is.
@daisy the last thing we need is another license or program. government should just get out and stay out. government has no place in families or individuals daily lives because all they do is limit personal choice and liberty
Government enforces the rules.
In this case, it is enforcing rules for licensed contract law.
The current requirements, beyond being human, are the inclusion of one of each gender, being the age of legal consent, and restrictions on the inclusion of immediate family.
Activists are currently lobbying for the right to exclude the gender of their choice from an institution that has historically required both be represented.
I currently have a problem with gender exclusion due to personal preference wedging its way into any form of law. This is simply due to the fact that it could open the door to legalizing other forms of yet unforeseen exclusions or inclusions due to yet undeclared personal preferences.
If this were a matter of race exclusion, this debate would be very different.
We must come to terms with the reality that there will always be scant minorities who fail to qualify for certain forms of state licensing.
As adults, we must make tough choices as to which doors we allow to be opened concerning the law. As we are seeing today, closing doors opened by bad legislation is a monumental task.
With changing times comes different understandings and meanings.
Aside from all religions- Marriage, as defined by humans and written into law by humans, was in a time where the common understanding was:
– Men worked
– Women did not
Therefore, the tax benefits were created in favor of such union.
The times have changed. Women are getting into the work force more and more every day. It is now not uncommon to see a stay-at-home Dad.
The simple solution to same-sex marriage, now, is not so simple.
It would mean recoding years of tax laws, create new coding, and changing laws.
Which would effect every CPA/Tax Attorney across the United States.
The reasons these topics just ‘spin their wheels’ and never get anywhere is due to the direct correlation between the costs of implementing and the possible money lost, all to the Government’s piggy bank of our tax money.
I believe the solution is to loosely define marriage as a unity between two persons and then you would have to write tax code that encompasses all forms marriages based on salaries of each person.
Then the question gets raised, what about children?
In my opinion, there should be added benefits for marriages between a man & woman due to the fact that they create, nurture, give birth, and raise children.
Adoptions and births should be separated as far as taxes because who is benefiting from the tax benefits? The parents, not the children.
(negating any separate but equal argument)
Government should stay out of everything (including marriage). We should only need government when we need them. They should have no say or ability to regulate any aspect of our lives. They do not know what is best for us as an individual.
@jacob-l They would not need to completely redo the tax code because many gay couples adopt children and would not both work, while at the same time many families have two working parents already like you said. There is no real way to justify that this is a government issue; it’s a social one. And if government steps out of it, I feel the people are leaning towards equality of marriage.
When this first arose as an issue, one solution would have been to enact a government approved designation giving same-sex couples the same rights as “married” couples. Call it a civil union or some other name. This may not have satisfied religious right or the LGBT, but it would have neutralized their arguments. I believe the issue of marriage is a states rights issue, not a federal government issue. As with the abortion issue, each side has become entrenched in their view.
I think the Governemt should have say. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s how it’s been and that’s how it should stay. It ticks me off how people can blatantly worship all the things that are wrong and expect that everyone else agrees with them. I don’t support gay marriage and I never will support it and it’s sad to think that a union between two men or two women may someday, have a strong chance of being legalized in all 50 states. This generation today is so messed up and so sinful. So quick to support all the things that are clearly wrong!
I have been thinking about how this could be resolved and I think I have come up with a possible solution. Is it perfect no, but maybe it’s workable. Let’s just say that we do “recognize” gay marriage. Now, everything I have heard from the gay community on the news and talk shows is that it’s all about love. So we allow their marriage to be recognized by the government and in return we get back some of our rights that have been taken away from us because of the gay movement.
1) We can refuse to rent homes, apartments, mobile homes, etc., with no legal backlash. If we do not agree with the lifestyle and do not want our families exposed to it, we should have this right.
2) If a non-government insurance company chooses not to insure them because they do not agree with the lifestyle, they can refuse them with no legal backlash.
3) In restaurants if a gay couple is seated at a table next to us, we can openly ask to be seated at a different table.
These are just a few of the things that we could get back if it negotiated. Because none of this stuff matter to the gay community. They say it’s all about “love”.
The reason government sanctions/forbids marriage is because it is a foundation to our society. In that respect I would support a change to polygamy far before a gay/lesbian sanctioned union. A homosexual union should not be given favorable treatment by government or society.
I am not in favor of “gay marriage” any more than I favor a union between people and animals. However, aside from the legal or societal aspect I think government should not prohibit the relationships of gays, just not offer formal recognition or societal benefits. I see no constitutional right to prohibit the affections of anyone, unless there is harm (I.e. pedophelia, siblings…) to someone.
Very interesting, Daisy. And all of you, thank you for a clean debate without name calling. I agree with many here that marriage is a man-woman proposition, the chief end of which being children and the furthering of society. That said, truly there are situations of life where the ability to tap into what are “marital rights” should be available, like family members, or even long-time roommates. It only makes sense that we not punish people who care about each other. But marriage, the word and the institution, is historical, foundational to strong societies, and cannot be re-defined to fit the changing mores of society.
Well, the government grants certain benefits to people who are married. So in that sense, they’ll always have a say as to who can be married to who else.
The question really is one of conflict. That is, where the government’s interest in regulating marriage conflicts with one (or multiple) constitutional bars, how should the result come out? And to me, the answer is simple:
In the pantheon of American values, equal protection will always be held to a higher regard than the government’s interest in tailoring its laws to fit its agendas (or lackthereof in the case of gay marriage).
But! Where constitutional protections are not meaningfully implicated, I do believe the government should be allowed to regulate marriage and its tangential benefits/consequences. For example, laws that prevent 4 year old kids from marrying. Example 2: polygamy. Without commenting on the merits of either rule, I definitely believe the government should at least have a say.
Just get government out of marriage entirely. There is no need for them to be involved in it. Removing government from marriage would resolve all of these marriage equality issues. It is the easiest and best solution.
@nathaliedacosta I like how you supported your statement about “Seperate but Equal” being unconstituional. I believe that some things are seperate, though they may be treated equal, they will remain seperate. For example, I am a man, you are a woman, we have sepearte genders, however we both have the right to be treated equally under government. I personally think government should stay out of people business, yet they do not, to me, as soon as they start making laws for or against certain groups of people, they are seperating them from the whole of society. We can argue marriage as a sacred thing between a man and woman, or we can look up the definition of marriage in websters dictionary. I think, if the government is involved, it must be about money… If a civil union offers the same right to same sex couples, as married heterosexual couples what is the problem? In reality the two sets of couples are very seperate when it comes to the family structure, sexual intercourse, tradition, and sacred ceremony. Old dictionaries tell one deffintition of marriage, new dictionaries now add a 4th definition as “homosexual marriage”. It seems to me that we are dishonoring acient (sacred) tradition of the family unit focused on procreation in attempt to create “equality”. To do so, we are creating new definitions for old words. My sister says who cares what they call it, marriage isnt that sacred. Sadly, nowadays most of us do not treat marriage as a sacred union, thus we are not honoring its orgin. I dont think it makes much sence to go changing the meaning of words.
From the start Government has been involved in Marriage. I think that government should not have to pass laws that allow gay marriage or any type of Marriage. I feel that the church should wish to do what ever it pleases as long as the church and government doesn’t interfere with each other.
@carlmcknight I agree with your argument which is a truly limited government argument. Conservatives tend to say that want limited government but then on the other hand they want to restrict liberty regarding social issues. As @irie-Brian said, its a slippery slope. Once government gets involved on any level to restrict our liberties, they can keep making more and more laws that interfere with our personal choices. Anything that is not mentioned in the constitution as a power that the government has to restrict, it does not have the power.
Nobody’s going to send the Gestapo police to breakup the homes of same-sex partners who commit a lifetime to each other, but the government ought to recognize marriage as the union of a man and a woman only to hold them accountable for their sexual procreative abilities (i.e. to reduce the likelihood of absentee parents and illegitimate children.)
The marriage culture already is wounded by certain social and legal developments such as The Sexual Revolution, radical feminism, No-Fault divorce, and subsidized abortion all which encouraged premarital sex, ridiculed traditional norms of sexual conduct, undermined the male’s role in the home, thereby, removing any social incentives husbands had to remain with their wives and children, and removed any obligations a male and female partner had towards each other or any resulting children.
If the state further revises marriage law to accommodate same-sex partners, then such a legislation will only further denigrate marriage’s social role from something objective (keeping biological families intact) to something subjective (whatever emotional bond we say it is.)
It is truthfully no ones business of interfering with a person’s private life. Marriage, for example, is about two people who have the respect and love to be together. Plus, a long-term relationship is also a big part of it. Absolutely, the government should not have any involvement in our lives–they have done enough as it is!!
I am a little late to this discussion.. I am new to Volkalize so forgive me but I wanted to add my opinion and also ask if anybody has any information about this.
From what I understand… A big portion of the fear associated with the gay movement gaining momentum is that they will overreach (which I hear many gay activists already talking about this).
By overreach I mean that they do not only seek legal justice/equal rights when it comes to marriage. They also seek the right to sue any establishments that refuse service.
Just a few examples: If a church refuses to marry them, they will sue. If a baker refuses to bake their cake, they will sue. If a wedding planning refuses to provide her services, they will sue. and so on…
Let me just say, that in my opinion I think its pretty lame that people would refuse to work for someone who is gay… thats just rude and judgmental in my opinion.
But I think legally… anyone has a right to refuse anyone. I dont HAVE to work for you. I dont have to take you on as a client. Forced labor is slavery. And churches definitely have the right to refuse people based off of what they perceive to not represent their religion. I am not very religious but I was baptized catholic. I am sure I wouldn’t be allowed to get married in a mosque. I don’t see what the difference is.
And on another point why in the hell would gays want to get married in a church? In an establishment that does not accept them? To me thats just a revenge thing or something. I dont want to go around people and businesses that don’t accept me. I avoid them. Why would they fight for these choices. I understand the marriage part but the rest seems overreaching to me.
What do you think?
@kevin-m-stone-3 @eladral @progressivevoice @carlosmcknight @awesomeberger @irie-brian @omeimaster @mamajay @ahkba @fhall16 @jlriggs57aol-com @hardriver @rollinbones @erica89 @chaseknuts @jacob-l @d-w-robinson @joeperticone @daisy @lheal @foaryan @smc635 @scubadogg @grand-vizier @theteddsickgnasty @unclesamiam @ogaman @nathanmartin @wakesurfr99 @sirtiba @ktmart1n3 @ninaanakar
and yes I took the time to tag all of you guys.. I am retired have a lot of time on my hands.
So I’m a little late to this topic, but it popped up on Facebook today so I figured I’d weigh in.
Disclaimer: This response is limited to the general question “should the government be involved in marriage?” I don’t touch on the propriety of gay marriage, but don’t worry, the response is long enough as it is.
As much as I love the idea of “getting the government out of marriage,” the government is in it for a reason. Additionally, it’s tied to tax breaks for a reason.
So, why is the government even involved in marriage in the first place? Simply put, its because the state has an interest in ensuring stable families. The interest lies in the reality that stable families are more likely to be self-sufficient families. When a family is self sufficient, it relies less on the government for the things its needs (i.e. food, housing, Supplemental Security Income [SSI], healthcare, education, to name a few). Everything in that parenthetical are things the government provides to qualifying citizens, and the costs add up quickly. Don’t get me wrong, stable two parent families are far from uniformly self-sufficient. Plenty receive government benefits. But this is the idea behind government participation in the definition of marriage.
So why tie participation in marriage to tax incentives? Well, the answer is basically the same. Tax breaks come from the idea that a private citizen (or group of citizens, business, charity, etc.) is doing something that the government would otherwise be charged with doing but for the private participation. Take, for example, the case of the tax-exempt charity. The charity may provide meals, healthcare, or temporary housing to a local indigent population. These are things that the government (under current law) would have to step in and do itself — probably less successfully — if the charity were not doing it. Thus, the charity is wholly or partially tax exempt because it is a private institution providing services that would otherwise need to be provided by the government in the charity’s absence.
Likewise, with marriage, the idea is that the government must incentivize couples and families to get together, and stay together. There’s an old quote you’re all probably familiar with from one of the most famous Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, John Marshall, that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” Conversely, the power to exempt from tax is the power to create — or, perhaps more accurately — the power to incentivize people to **choose** to create. When a family falls apart, and no one is there to take care of the children, and perhaps most importantly, provide them with the tools to eventually become productive/contributing members of society themselves, the burden falls to the state (and all the costs along with it). So, instead of accepting that burden outright, the state incentivizes the institution of marriage through things like tax breaks, and (usually) a static definition of the institution. In theory, this minimizes the need for the state to take care of children, as well as parents who are able to function better together than separately (at least in an economic sense).
It may seem counter-intuitive, but in many respects, state participation in the definition of marriage is ultimately a more libertarian idea than no state participation, because it’s based on the idea that families make more self-sufficient — and less government dependent — individuals.
Also, with respect to the slippery-slope question that started the topic (banning people from marrying those people of other religions): that is constitutionally prohibited under the first amendment of the US Constitution as well as its companion language in the state constitutions. Perhaps in a constitution-less America that has completely gone off its rocker, that could be the case, but thankfully, that’s not the one we live in.
I am 100% against homosexuality and gay marriage, but I am also against straight marriage, because the concept of marriage varies from individual to individual therefor can not be defined by a government unless everyone agrees which they obviously dont. They need to stop recognizing marriage in a court. Polygamy, gays, straight people, people who want to marry a chair, anything involving people 18+ should not be interfered with and also there should be no benefits from being married.
Theres so many ways to get around the government being in your marriage decisions. The most easiest is living with someone while receiving mail to the same house for 5 years you would be considered married in America. No papers needed signed or court.
2nd who actually needs papers or someone to tell them there married. If you want to be married to someone and both agree with seriousness and sincerity. Then that party with God as there witness is officially married.
PS. homo marriage is just wrong. You cant charge your iphone with two male end parts
Marriage is an intimate relationship between two individuals, it could be same sex or two straight couple. Let them choose their choice, but in legal and religious part, there are some constraints. Government shouldn’t involve in the intimacy of individuals, people have their constitutional rights such as .. Right to have a family, right of intimate association.
no, gov’t should not be involved in marriage issues. if gov’t get involved that’s simply means gov’t has fully authority on citizen private and public affairs and that is only posible in authoritarian state. therefore marriage should be decided by the two parties involved
@sanibabo I agree with you on this topic.
@yashwanth-kc I agree with you as well. If people want to get married in a church, I understand that religion plays a role in it. I dont think same sex couples should be able to force anyone to partake in their ceremony, or host their ceremony, I think religious freedom should protect people from having to do things they dont want to do. Like the photographer who did not want to take pictures of the gay wedding, or the baker who didn’t want to bake a gay wedding cake. I do think those people are lame, and I personally wouldn’t associate with anyone who refuses to be involved in a gay marriage, but whatever it is their right to be assholes.
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