||[Feb. 19th, 2004|07:52 pm]
Are you in favor of gay couples being able to get married, with all the full benefits and the name of such a union?
Are you in favor of gay couples being able to get "civil unions", with all of the legal properties of marriage (i.e. taxes, insurance, etc) but without it being called "marriage"?
Here's where (what I think is) a new idea comes in. Would you be in favor of the legal aspects of marriage being renamed as "civil unions" for both gay and straight couples, and make "marriage" (in name) a purely religious title with no legal bearing?
Enter (if you like) explanations or reasonings behind your choices, and/or leave a comment to that effect.
I was thinking about the recent decision to allow gay couples the full benefits of marriage under the law, only renaming it to be "civil unions" in that case, and thinking about the arguments that arose. It seems the primary argument from the gay rights side is that this is a "separate but equal" type of situation, in that gays don't get "marriage", they just get "civil unions". I also saw a news story indicating that a lot of people have problems with gay couples getting "married" because of the name of it and the religious significance (q.v. "sanctity of marriage") that is attached to it. So I thought, our government at the moment is endorsing what is really a religious institution, and applying religious rules to it - rules that apparently don't apply to the concept of "civil unions". So why not remove the religious designation behind the legal aspects - make the governmental institution named "civil union" in all cases, and apply it equally to all couples - and reserve "marriage" as a religious term, with which the government should have no interaction (apart from granting "civil union" status to "married" couples, etc and so forth). That was the thinking behind that third question... I'm not sure if anyone's considered that yet.
Feel free to link to this poll in journals, etc...
I hate to break it to you, but you're far from the first to come up with the idea that marriage shouldn't be a federal institution at all. ^_- I personally *would* like to see it turned back into a purely religious (i.e. by choice and with no legal repercussions) phenomenon, and have household-sharing and joint bank accounts and child guardianship and all that other lovely stuff be administered in a purely secular manner by the government. It'd cut the divorce rate tremendously, because people wouldn't have this burning desire to get married to provide a home for impending children, or for tax cuts, or whatever stupid not-even-remotely-related-to-love reasons people get married all the bloody time these days. I'd love it if the people who truly want their union to be recognized in the eyes of God (or whoever) could do so of their own free will, and have that be a separate event from the legal affordances that a long-term secular partnership contract would provide.
It'll never happen, though, not in this country and not in this lifetime. So, failing that, my text box entry sums up my feelings pretty well. ^_-
I doubted it, but oddly enough I haven't heard anything from that point of view in the gay marriage debate. *shrug*. Maybe all the rational people just aren't loud enough, or I haven't been reading the right things, or something.
*nods* I don't know how political your LJ friends list is...mine is full of loudmouth, heavily-opinionated (and almost all way-left-wing-liberal) people like myself, so the topic's come up on mine quite a bit. :D I'm not finding any good examples to link you to right now, sadly, but I know the idea of separating 'marriage' and 'government' has come up and found strong support both there and in my research lab, where I apparently spend 10 hours a day corrupting young minds.
*idly wonders if anyone's actually going to say "no" in your poll*
Looks like I brought in his first "no" vote, a reader of my comic who keeps up with my LJ. Which tells me I need to speed up my "homophobia is funny" storyline to get to the semi-educational denouement.
You might recognize me beyond that; I was Vincent Valentine on the KS Avalon board. Still am, I suppose.
There were a few articles in Slate about this very topic awhile ago. The usual snide way of putting it is "ban straight marriage."
I dont think the rational people are loud enough. And I think that all those married couples would probably go about feeling slighted at having the "name" taken away and put into purely a religious context, but I think your option has been the most sensible one I've heard yet.
It basically says, "get over yourselves, and compromise already"; and i appreciate that alot. especially since it says that to all parites, and I think they all need to hear it.
I'm going to link this to my journal to get my other friends in on it....hope that's okay
I have to admit I find the thought of homosexual marriage and/or civil unions a bit weird and uncomfortable; about as uncomfortable as, say, two heterosexual people being married by an Elvis impersonator. That said, I see no compelling reason for the government to restrict marriage in this manner.
I would be all for having marriage be a strictly religious activity except for two things:
1. Having official marriage records have helped us trace ancestry over the centuries. Aside from the Mormon church, the recording of marriages by religious groups is sketchy, at best.
2. Property ownership and issues involving next-of-kin would be thorny.
Both of these would be solved by having the government recognize civil unions.
Fair enough. But the "In God We Trust" thing is ceremonial at best, whereas marriage has real-world implications which ought not to be messed with by the government. The point is valid, though.