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