Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Gay Marriage, Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, Marriage and Civil Rights

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What you’re about to read is NOT about religion.

For a brief moment – if you can – set aside a religious mindset (if you have one) about homosexuality.

As an ‘institution,’ marriage confers legal benefits to each spouse which are enforceable in courts of law in all 50 states.

For example, the following is a partial list of legal benefits automatically available to each spousal partner:
• Tax benefits
Insurance benefits
Estate benefits
Federal benefits
Employment benefits – such as FMLA
• Medical benefits – such as access to healthcare records & decision making
• Consumer discounts available to married couples
• Certain other legal rights, such as interested party, or survivorship

Of those benefits, none have anything to do with religion. They all have something to do, however, with civil rights. Which of those civil rights should be denied to same sex couples whom choose to live together as partners?

Recognizing that ‘marriage’ has historically been an exclusively religious estate, some states, and a few nations (including Israel) have foregone conferring ‘marriage’ in lieu of ‘civil partnerships’ – even among heterosexual couples – and those couples so joined, heterosexual & homosexual, have enjoyed legal benefit and responsibility as others.

UPDATE 4/1/2013

The following comments were made in response to the post. I find them equally compelling.

VAM
You have used a number of words here, all of which carry a certain meaning – or at least we hope they do if we are able to communicate. If I am to understand that all of the words that you used in this message, mean the exact opposite of what they have meant over the last several decades and centuries, then I can not possibly understand what you mean by them. For example, does “tax” mean a gift that the government gives to me? I would like that. Let’s redefine that word to mean what I want it to. Does “NOT” mean “IS”? So, I might want to say this IS about religion, (which I don’t for the sake of brevity).

Believe it or not, I completely support what I suspect you are suggesting. I believe that partners (whether they are homosexual or not – they might be siblings who have decided to live together, or celibate monks) should have access to the same legal rights as married people, but don’t call them “married” because by definition, they are not. (I can’t connect two bolts together; they aren’t made to fit together: I need a bolt and a nut to fit together). For centuries everyone has understood that marriage is what a man and a woman commit to. Even the Roman empire, who had no problem with homosexuality, ever conceived of re-defining what marriage is. Of course people deserve equal civil rights and equal benefits, but don’t throw the English language into chaos as a band-aid to inequality. You might say, “Come on, its just a word!” But words are the most powerful symbols and representations of reality that human beings have. . Wait, does that stop sign really mean “Go”? I want it to mean that, so here I go . . . (CRASH!)

PN
Well, I have always seen the conflict of calling what The Church Blesses and God joins together as having any resemblance to the conditional state of marital contract engaged in with US Legal contracts we call “Marriage”. They break up as quickly as they join in the contractual agreement that secures social and legal benefits.
Marriage is a Holy Institution created by God. It has many moral responsibilities but, no legal guarantees.
What the States call marriage is a contract (pure and simple).
We need to get social conventions out of Religion and put Theology back where it belongs.
“What God has joined – let No man separate!”

MR
I clearly understand all that. Like I said, I do NOT want to weigh in on whether it is yay or nay; I ONLY ask the question if all this hullabaloo NEGATES what the Bible says in those passages. What the Bible states is that it is consequential ONLY; therefore, it exists. Marriage by long standing definition and to me is between a man and a woman. Civil unions can be between same sex persons, a person and their dog, and all kinds of other arrangements, sane or insane. The benefits of those unions seems to be what is being thrashed out now. As I said a long time ago, when I can figure out whether a man who turns into a woman and marries a woman is in a lesbian relationship or a heterosexual relationship, When I can figure that out THEN I will feel appropriately knowledgeable of all these othernesses to weigh in with a comment. Meanwhile, I am just asking the question, does it make mute what the Bible says in Romans 1: 21-on to the end.

BB
Was this just for me or lots of folks? While I don’t make political Facebook stands on my public feed, I support marriage equality – for civil and religious reasons.

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4 Responses to “Gay Marriage, Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, Marriage and Civil Rights”

  1. […] Gay Marriage, Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, Marriage and Civil Rights (warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com) […]

  2. What you list above are not civil rights. Civil rights are rights that protect individual or political freedom.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts!

      A cursory search for the term “civil rights” yielded the following results:

      “The rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.”

      “…including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.”

      “A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. Various jurisdictions have enacted statutes to prevent discrimination based on a person’s race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, and in some instances sexual orientation.”

      “Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.”

      “…the nonpolitical rights of a citizen.”

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