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Michigan State Constitution Amendment: Marriage

Chacham (981) writes | more than 9 years ago

User Journal 6

Got my sample ballot for my precinct (19c-27). Here's the the second of the two state proposals.

PROPOSAL-2
A PROPOSAL TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO SPECIFY WHAT CAN BE RECOGNIZED AS A "MARRIAGE OR SIMILAR UNION" FOR ANY PURPOSE

The proposal would amend the state constitution to provide that the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose."

Should this proposal be adopted?

Got my sample ballot for my precinct (19c-27). Here's the the second of the two state proposals.

PROPOSAL-2
A PROPOSAL TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO SPECIFY WHAT CAN BE RECOGNIZED AS A "MARRIAGE OR SIMILAR UNION" FOR ANY PURPOSE

The proposal would amend the state constitution to provide that the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose."

Should this proposal be adopted?

I'm against the state defining marriage. Yet, since it is used, i'm for this.

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Limiting rights? (1)

rdewald (229443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10681512)

Can you grant the assertion that the only entity of humanity that has an opinion concerning what marriage is and isn't is religion? Name a single primary source of thought/literature/culture that concerns itself with the definition of marriage that is not of religious origin, i.e., who is it that originally decided that marriage was for a man and woman?

Those who think that the state should define it are advocating theocracy.

Would you like your state constitution to go on and define what a church is? What consitutes proper worship of God? If not, can you argue that adoption of this amendment wouldn't constitute a precedent for such meddling?

You know what would really be useful? An amendment that says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

Whoops! We have that one, don't we?

Reconcile that amendment with your marriage amendment for me. Explain how *marriage," and note that the text you cite uses that word, can possibly be defined by the state and not constitute a law "respecting the establishment of religion" since it is only religion that has an opinion about what marriage is and isn't. There is no scientific definition of marriage, in every culture, in every religion, the ceremony originally took place in a church and its form and purpose is directed by the precepts of a religion.

The mistake that our society has made, and the only constitutionally sounds way to resolve the issue, is to take the state out of marriage completely. Ministers should not be saying "by the Power invested in me by the State of _______" *at all.* There should be two ceremonies, one civil, one religious, and then people would be truly free to engage in the "free exercise" of religion as they best see fit. If some churches want to define marriage as between a man and a woman, fine. If we want to decide that only people married in a church can use the term "marriage" to refer to their union, fine, as long as the term is meaningless with regard to civil law.

Civil law would provide that two adults can do what they agree to do. If they want to establish a civil union, they can do so. If they want to get married too, then get a church involved. Keep it separate, keep America free.

Re:Limiting rights? (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 9 years ago | (#10682783)

I do not diasagree. Marriage is a religious thing. The state usurped it. Now challengers want to to change it.

Instead of changing it, or enforcing it, the state should simply not recognize it.

Re:Limiting rights? (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684005)

Can you grant the assertion that the only entity of humanity that has an opinion concerning what marriage is and isn't is religion?

No, it isn't even close to being true - see below. Or explain how you consider the MA Supreme Court to be a religion :-)

Name a single primary source of thought/literature/culture that concerns itself with the definition of marriage that is not of religious origin, i.e., who is it that originally decided that marriage was for a man and woman?

Tax, immigration and inheritance laws, all of which presently attach special meaning to marital status.

Those who think that the state should define it are advocating theocracy.

Quite the opposite: they are advocating using a legal definition of this legal status, removing any religious involvement.

Would you like your state constitution to go on and define what a church is?

Not in the constitution perhaps, but there will alteady be a legal definition of a church for tax and other purposes.

Reconcile that amendment with your marriage amendment for me. Explain how *marriage," and note that the text you cite uses that word, can possibly be defined by the state and not constitute a law "respecting the establishment of religion" since it is only religion that has an opinion about what marriage is and isn't.

False assumption, false deduction.

There is no scientific definition of marriage,

Correct: it's a legal question not a scientific one. That's why it's suggested that the definition be embedded in a legal document rather than a scientific one.

The mistake that our society has made, and the only constitutionally sounds way to resolve the issue, is to take the state out of marriage completely.

Maybe that's a good idea, but considering the extent of legal change needed to achieve that it isn't likely any time soon. In the mean time, marriage has real legal significance and must have a real legal definition: it is not a purely religious issue by any stretch of the truth.

Re:Limiting rights? (1)

rdewald (229443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10687752)

There are so many things wrong with your reasoning I don't know where to start.

Pointing back to common law as the basis for the assertion that marriage has been defined in a non-religious context is a tautology. This is something like saying that since "christmas" is mentioned in state holiday listings that it is thusly defined by the state. My discussion, it seems almost too obvious to say, went to the origins of the institution, not word counts in the code.

Bad laws are all over the books. This is why we have a legal system. Human beings have a natural propensity to want to codify their beliefs, it must be resisted if we want to progress. Look all throughout human history, whenever religious doctrine has dominated a society, the progress of that society slows When the enlightenment, in whatever form, begins to prevail and other epistemological systems arise, progress begins again.

Marriage has become a problem, the legal definitions of it are wrong-headed, they are adoptions of religious thought, and we will not be able to progress, to move beyond this human frailty of being fascinated by the details of with whom other people are having sex, until we do alot of things, one of them is fix this problem.

This amendment, in this JE, is decidedly a step in the wrong direction.

Re:Limiting rights? (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10688169)

There are so many things wrong with your reasoning I don't know where to start.

Funny, I was thinking exactly that as I read your original post...

This is something like saying that since "christmas" is mentioned in state holiday listings that it is thusly defined by the state.

Nope. More like pointing out the presence of a law regarding Christmas as evidence that Christmas has a meaning (and hence definition) beyond the purely religious: it is also defined in law. Trying to argue that there shouldn't be any definition of it in the first place seems stupid and pointless to me.

My discussion, it seems almost too obvious to say, went to the origins of the institution, not word counts in the code.

Which is presumably how it managed to miss the point so completely: you seem to have fixated on a completely irrelevant detail. Do you actually believe it's somehow impossible for atheists to marry (and thus file joint tax returns, obtain a green card or visa for the spouse, etc), because that would somehow be a religious matter?

Marriage has become a problem, the legal definitions of it are wrong-headed, they are adoptions of religious thought, and we will not be able to progress, to move beyond this human frailty of being fascinated by the details of with whom other people are having sex, until we do alot of things, one of them is fix this problem.

Maybe so - GMontag and I have both said this before - but it's not going to happen any time soon. For now, there is a legal definition of marriage, whatever its origins, and it isn't going away. The present legal system requires such a definition - before trying to remove it, you must remove all the laws depending on it.

Bleck (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 9 years ago | (#10682305)

Remind me not to move to Michigan, Washington state legislators are working on getting gay marriage acknowledged.

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