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Them Gays Are Comin' To Get You

pudge (3605) writes | more than 9 years ago

Politics 60

A lot of people have apparently presumed I am anti-gay-marriage.

This is true.

Sorta.

Read on if you care.

I believe homosexuality is a sin. Am I certain of it? Nah. Can I argue pretty convincingly why it is, from the Bible? Including the New Testament? Yeah. Can I also argue why I think many Christians make way too much of it? Sure. But this is not about my religious beliefs, and that's the point.

A lot of people have apparently presumed I am anti-gay-marriage.

This is true.

Sorta.

Read on if you care.

I believe homosexuality is a sin. Am I certain of it? Nah. Can I argue pretty convincingly why it is, from the Bible? Including the New Testament? Yeah. Can I also argue why I think many Christians make way too much of it? Sure. But this is not about my religious beliefs, and that's the point.

Marriage is a fundamentally religious establishment. That does not mean you cannot be married if you are not religious, it only means religion created the institution, evolved it, and made it a cornerstone of our society. The state did not create marriage, it recognized what the churches had already created. And in doing so, it created a whole set of laws that go above and beyond what the religious establishment offered. They ended up creating something else, something separate, though intimately related.

At the time, there was no reason to think we might want to use those same laws for something other establishment than the husband-wife marriage. But now we do. And this causes a lot of confusion and anger, because we don't think of these as two separate things, but as one: marriage.

There was no reason to call it anything other than marriage. It's like in programming: I write a method called saveUserKarma(). But wait, I need to save other things about the user too. I could create saveUserEmailAddress(), but if I change the method just slightly, I can use it to save the user's email address. But the name doesn't really allow for that.

As I said, marriage is a fundamentally religious establishment. And if I remember correctly, the Constitution says something about Congress making no laws respecting an establishment of religion.

The answer seems pretty simple to me. Marriage is religious, which is why we have the problem: many people believe homosexuality is sinful, and gay people should not enter into the religious institution of marriage. Marriage as a civil instituion is not religious, but we have treated them as one and the same thing, for historical reasons. But government cannot legislate religious institutions.

So change the name. Simple.

Civil marriages for none, civil unions for all.

A civil union would be purely legal, a marriage purely social. A civil union would not be bound by anything having to do with beliefs -- including the incidence of love itself -- but only the legal union of two people (for starters ... one step at a time) for the purposes of sharing resources over some extended period of time. Two good friends or siblings would be treated the same as any loving couple who decides not to get married, or one who does.

Obviously, this creates many legal complexities, in that a civil union is not intended to be necessarily permanent, and marriages are. But we already have a framework for this in divorce law, and this might actually end up improving the divorce process itself. Further, it very likely would tend toward making the married family unit less stable and less significant in society, but that is a social problem I believe can be addressed by society, without government.

Is this not an idea libertarian-conservatives and liberals can get behind?

On The West Wing this week, a Congressman wanted the White House to back a bill dissolving all civil marriages. The show treated it like a joke, but I believe it is the answer to the problem.

60 comments

I completely agree (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735523)

Civil union for everyone.
If I want to get married? I go to my religious establishment of choice, get married, and get my civil union document stapled to my marriage certificate.

There could be problems down the road, however. You say 'civil unions for all' meaning give gays 'union' rights, but now, other things that are currently illegal will want rights (pediphelia, beastiality, etc..). Of course, I'm against those things, and think they are fundamentally wrong, but wasn't that the stance of homosexuality a century ago? Would this be a stepping stone down the wrong path?

This being said, I want people to know I'm not against the gays. I don't believe homosexuality is right, but, as pudge said, I think people blow it outta control. I don't have a problem with homosexuals getting together and falling in love and such. I'm not gonna judge ya.

Re:I completely agree (1)

Zeriel (670422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735917)

There could be problems down the road, however. You say 'civil unions for all' meaning give gays 'union' rights, but now, other things that are currently illegal will want rights (pediphelia, beastiality, etc..). Of course, I'm against those things, and think they are fundamentally wrong, but wasn't that the stance of homosexuality a century ago? Would this be a stepping stone down the wrong path?

I don't think it will be, assuming you are smart and make sure civil union law is closely related to contract law.

This way, the only people able to participate in civil unions are "consenting adults of sound mind", which neatly sidesteps the issues of pedophilia and bestiality, because neither a minor nor a dog can give legal consent to any contract.

Re:I completely agree (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736979)

How about something less deranged... like polygamy?

Re:I completely agree (1)

pokeyburro (472024) | more than 9 years ago | (#10737327)

It seems to me polygamy would have to be honored. Isn't it already honored in parts of Utah? How does it tend to work there? Are polygamists going to other states and demanding recognition?

Re:I completely agree (1)

helix400 (558178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10740780)

Isn't it already honored in parts of Utah? How does it tend to work there? Are polygamists going to other states and demanding recognition?

We ignore it, unless child abuse or controlling husbands are involved. Then they are prosecuted. There are about 30,000 polygamists here...and 60,000 in the West overall. In fact, in Colorado City (population 8,000), polygamy is the norm. In another town, a lot of polygamists live without any problems under a gay mayor. No joke. Overall, most polygamists are good honest people, and only a fraction of them cause real problems.

It seems to me polygamy would have to be honored.

I agree, and I have never seen a clear argument why it should stay outlawed if civil unions are approved. The idea of extending marriage benefits to gays has *always* been sold as a fair, progressive thing. They are getting shortchanged, so it's only fair to let them have it. And if the nation is truly free, then let people have their own relationships. These arguments then MUST include polygamy. But the most common argument I hear against it is that marriage should only be two people, otherwise, it complicates things. What? You don't think gay marriages would already complicate things? Of course it would, but the fair and libertarian argument says you must deal with it.

Unfortuantely, many just wish away polygamists as too small to matter...hoping that if they're ignored, it's not a problem. I heard San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom do this exact thing as he was pressed on the issue. But how hypocritical is that? Many claim to fight for some minority of America, but won't fight for others?

In the end, this means marriages come down to at least 3 distinct types. Traditional, gay, and polygamous. The current tend nationwide is to seperate all three and give all three distinctly different rights. Somehow, we need a solution that deals with all three. There are certainly even more types of marriages, but finding a solution for three is a much better start than finding a solution for two and ignoring the rest of America.

Re:I completely agree (1)

Zeriel (670422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10737505)

I honestly don't see where it's a problem--see "Mike Hawk"'s comment about changing the basic unit of taxation to "household", where if you're living at the same address, you have the legal priviledges of a married couple or a family.

I know a lot of people living with good friends as roommates who would welcome that, and I don't see polygamy as being nearly the problem that pedophilia or bestiality is--it's closer to "normal" than homosexuality, I think.

Civil Union? (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735771)

I'd prefer "household". Most of the "rights" that the pro-gay marriage lobby want are already available. They don't want you to know that they are so that they can make it an issue about marriage. The State should recognize only "households" and these should be moderately easily changed. We should pay taxes by households, have "rights" by households, and be recognized by the State as households. A number of problems remain unresolved by saying a marriage or civil union is only between two people. Wasn't it a requirement for Utah's statehood to ban polygamy? Seems like a violation of Church and State right there. Households do away with that. Who's primary residence is what address?

Wooot. (1)

Zeriel (670422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735858)

I'm in complete agreement. As for the "bestiality" slippery slope, let's just explicitly limit civil unions to "consenting adult citizens" even though that's implied, since civil unions would be best served by being a branch of contract law.

Seriously, Pudge, this is the first time we've ever been in stone-cold 100% agreement on an issue of governance, and I like that, cause you strike me as a sensible guy and I have this forlorn hope that eventually all us sensible people will make sensible laws and it'll be great.

Unrepentent Anti-Gay Marriage Advocate. (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735930)

Tuesday I voted in Michigan for an overly broad amendment to the
Michigan constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I didn't
like the options I had, but to allow same sex couples to marry was the
option I disliked most. I will take responsibility for my choice too,
and defend it.

However, the pro-gay marriage groups need to take responsibility for the
11 states voting for amendments to their constitutions also. Had the
issue not been pressed, nor if I thought the issue would come to a head
in the next year or two, I would have been willing to allow civil unions
for all and remove marriage from a state issue.

What we have now because of the arrogance and impatience of the pro-gay
marriage groups is a bad set of laws that will now be harder to reverse
to their detriment. Had the movement been to replace marriage with
civil unions I think they would have been successful within a few short
years. Instead a vocal minority has only increased the animosity
between themselves and their opponents.

It reminds me of the squeaky wheel gets the grease, unless it becomes
too much of a hassle and gets replaced altogether.

Re:Unrepentent Anti-Gay Marriage Advocate. (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739685)

What we have now because of the arrogance and impatience of the pro-gay marriage groups is a bad set of laws that will now be harder to reverse to their detriment.

"Maybe you could limit yourself to fighting for interracial water fountains for now, Rev. King? Shouldn't push too hard for equal rights..."

Similar thoughts myself (1)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736038)

Even though I come from what is obviously the opposite side of the belief spectrum, I agree that we need to separate a civil union from a religious marriage. We'd have to come up with a term for the state of being in a civil union as opposed to being "married". Also, this would only work if all legal considerations of a person were based on the civil union - insurance, credit, taxes, etc. Those who chose marriage in a church would have to attain a civil union as well in order to qualify for such benefits since they are non-religious. Any civil document asking a person's marital status would have to use that new term.

There are two other implications I can't tell if you've considered:

There are religions that will provide marriages to homosexual people. To separate them as thoroughly as you've described, you would have to accept that other religions could offer them marriage.

Separating marriage as a solely religion-controlled option could open the door to polygamous marriages even though the civil union could be limited to two individuals. Only by allowing government to make rulings on marriage were non-Mormon religions able to have Utah's constitution include a prohibition of polygamy.

Re:Similar thoughts myself (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738261)

To separate them as thoroughly as you've described, you would have to accept that other religions could offer them marriage.

Religions can marry anyone now, and nothing would change in that respect.

Separating marriage as a solely religion-controlled option could open the door to polygamous marriages even though the civil union could be limited to two individuals.

You can do that now. Polygamy is only outlawed as a legal institution.

I agree but.... (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736047)

Marriage is NOT a religous thing. It is in fact a "very legal and very binding" contract to create a Marriage of wealth between two families. See also dowery.

The Cathlolic Church recognized this and made marriage forbidden to the priesthood specifically to prevent them from dying and leaving their "wealth" to some woman.

Re:I agree but.... (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736200)

Marriage predates both dowries and the Catholic church, by many years.

Re:I agree but.... (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736855)

well clearly then marriage as a contract is comlpetely wrong.

Marriage predates organized religion.

Those were examples pudge. We use examples to illustrate a point.

Re:I agree but.... (1)

thing12 (45050) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739025)

Actually no, it had nothing to do with women - but children. The Catholic Church explicitely forbade marriage because they didn't want clergy to have children. They wanted to prevent bishops and thus pope's from having "heirs to the throne" so to speak. There are lots of other reasons and plenty of biblical justification for celebacy of clergy -- but married clergy were a reality for quite a long time.

Hey pudge (1)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736072)

Interesting journal. I actually agree with the president that gays should never be able to have anything approximating marriage, I'm actually surprised to see you take John Kerry's stance on this. But that's ok. Here's what I wanted to ask you:

You stated that homosexuality is a sin. Do you think that people are born homosexual, or that it's a choice? I find this question fascinating because if they're born homosexual, that means that God creates some people in the image of sin, which I think might teach me more about how He works. On the other hand if homosexuality is a choice, why does it seem to be a choice that falls on people like a curse? If it is a choice it certainly seems to be one that sometimes goes against the very will of the person it affects. Almost like what possession is historically described as.

Anyway I'm curious to know what you think. Choice or nature?

Re:Hey pudge (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736185)

I'm actually surprised to see you take John Kerry's stance on this.

I'm surprised you think I do. John Kerry has the same basic view as Bush: no gay marriage, but perhaps gay unions.

I find this question fascinating because if they're born homosexual, that means that God creates some people in the image of sin, which I think might teach me more about how He works. On the other hand if homosexuality is a choice, why does it seem to be a choice that falls on people like a curse?

I don't find the question especially interesting. I was born with a hot temper. I got it from my mother. That doesn't mean it is OK to act on it, and I sure feel cursed by it sometimes. According to the Bible, we were all born with a sinful nature, due to original sin.

Re:Hey pudge (1)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736301)

They outlawed civil unions in Ohio, and to my knowledge Bush supported it. But that's hardly interesting, I am sure the nation will follow.

What's interesting is this concept of suppression of nature. I guess from what you said about your temper that you believe that people can be born with certain tendencies, and from that I can infer that you believe some people are born gay. Now, that to me sounds like you believe that people can be born with a curse, because surely desiring human contact and suppressing it your entire life sounds to me like a living hell. Why do you think God would create such people?

I personally do not believe that God would, but I do not want to lead the debate.

Re:Hey pudge (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736518)

I guess from what you said about your temper that you believe that people can be born with certain tendencies,

That's fact, as far as I am concerned. I've seen far too many examples of people who inherited traits for it to be mere coincidence.

and from that I can infer that you believe some people are born gay

Not at all. I have no idea. I am saying it doesn't matter.

Why do you think God would create such people?

DId you miss the part about original sin? I'm pretty sure I mentioned it.

Didn't mean to offend (1)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736609)

I'm familiar with original sin, I was born in it too. But wouldn't you argue that homosexuality goes beyond original sin? To be born homosexual is to be born with more sin. It is an abomination against God. Even if a homosexual is able to repress his or her nature successfully, the thoughts are still there, and the thoughts and urges are sinful. Imagine the torment of a life filled with sinful urges as powerful as the urge you or I feel towards our wives (unsure if you're married here, just guessing, but I'm sure you know of which I speak). These people would truly face the choice of living in abomination beyond the normal man or of suffering loneliness, lack of companionship, and sinful thoughts like a plague for their entire existence. No wonder their suicide rate is so high. And remember what God did to the city of Gomorrah. Imagine living your entire life fearing God's wrath and being powerless to stop sinning.

Now my question here is, if you believe that homosexuals are born with this higher degree of original sin, why do you think God would curse them so?

There is no rational explanation as to why God would curse a person to horrible suffering their entire lives before they even left the womb. Is God not good? Is God not merciful?

I believe there is an answer as to why this happens, but again I don't want to lead.

Re:Didn't mean to offend (1)

brevity (155464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736646)

please lead. For me anyway. This is fascinating.

I'll lead a little then (1)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736793)

People are born with all sorts of troubles. People are born with mutated limbs, with diminished thought capacity, with horrible genetic disorders, muscular distrophy, mental retardation, a gamut of horrors. But God loves them all. And we find our human strength by showing love for them.

But homosexuality is different. Homosexuals are born sinners. They cannot escape their sin. They are damned. This is a totally unique case. As Pudge acknowledges, their existence contains a greater amount of inescapable original sin that Jesus cannot forgive. But are not all God's children equal? Are they not all loved?

It's a paradox. And the only solution is that God would never do such a thing.

So who would?

Re:I'll lead a little then (1)

brevity (155464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736907)

could it be... SATAN?

That wouldn't make sense. (1)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10736983)

If Satan had the power to corrupt mankind at birth, then why wouldn't he corrupt all of us? Satan had to tempt Eve with the apple, he was unable to reach into her mind and corrupt her directly. Satan can only tempt to corrupt, but mankind must make the choice to sin. The Bible is consistent on the theme of choice and free will. But there is, now and then, rare cases in the Bible where the free will of man is overruled by evil. When is this?

Also, what accounts for the limited numbers of gay people? Why are there only a few, a minor percentage? What limits the power of this corrupting force?

I've spoken too much, but I await Pudge's answer. I think the rest of you are baiting fools, and I await the answer of another Christian.

Re:That wouldn't make sense. (1)

brevity (155464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10737161)

I honestly thought you were going for Satan there, and it didn't make sense to me either.

I'm running out of entities that have the ability to corrupt people at the genetic level, that aren't God.

Be coy if you like. Frankly, whenever I see descriptions of the universe as some moral obstacle course, I can't believe this is the plan of a deity.

So God's out there creating the galaxies and quasars and the supernovae, and suddenly thinks to himself ... hm, mental note, on planet #12230942-KLQ, new rule: if improper parts inserted into improper orifices, deny entry to eternal life.

This is so obviously a human rule that's gotten mixed up with divine laws. Well, I bear you no ill-will; come to Vancouver someday and I'll treat you to a lobster dinner.

Re:That wouldn't make sense. (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738328)

then why wouldn't he corrupt all of us?

We are all corrupt.

But there is, now and then, rare cases in the Bible where the free will of man is overruled by evil.

Rare? Read Romans 7.

Also, what accounts for the limited numbers of gay people?

What accounts for the limited number of people with hot tempers?

Re:I'll lead a little then (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738313)

But homosexuality is different. Homosexuals are born sinners. They cannot escape their sin. They are damned. This is a totally unique case.

I disagree entirely.

As Pudge acknowledges, their existence contains a greater amount of inescapable original sin that Jesus cannot forgive.

I acknowledged no such thing, not even remotely. First, I never said they have a greater amount of sin, and more importantly, I never gave the slightest hint that their sin cannot be forgiven. I don't know where you got any of that, but it isn't from me.

Re:I'll lead a little then (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738584)

As Pudge acknowledges, their existence contains a greater amount of inescapable original sin that Jesus cannot forgive.

I didn't see Pudge acknowledge that. On the contrary, he specifically disagreed with your assertion that it goes beyond original sin or means the person was born with more sin.

And, of course, I believe the Bible disagrees as well. There is only one kind of unforgiveable sin: the kind that is not brought to Christ.

Re:Didn't mean to offend (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738294)

But wouldn't you argue that homosexuality goes beyond original sin? To be born homosexual is to be born with more sin.

I disagree entirely.

Even if a homosexual is able to repress his or her nature successfully, the thoughts are still there, and the thoughts and urges are sinful.

Even if I can repress my temper, the thoughts and urges to lash out are still sinful.

As to how someone should live their life, I make no recommendations. That's between them and God.

Re:Didn't mean to offend (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738517)

But wouldn't you argue that homosexuality goes beyond original sin? To be born homosexual is to be born with more sin. It is an abomination against God.

That presupposes that homosexuality is a worse sin than others. I do not believe the Bible, at least, teaches that to be the case.

Just for fun, I don't believe the Bible teaches original sin [bible.ca]. (more [bible.ca], still more [bebaptized.org]).

Re:Didn't mean to offend (2, Informative)

yuri benjamin (222127) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739023)

the thoughts and urges are sinful

Thoughts and urges are not sinful.
The urge to do wrong is temptation.
To act on that urge is sin.

There are passages in the Bible that refer to thoughts as sin, but they are about entertaining wrong thoughts, as opposed to merely having them.

Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

macrealist (673411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10737345)

I agree totally. I have thought this for years and was both surprised that West Wing brought it up and disappointed that they treated it as a joke.

But to support this, it means legalizing gay marriage. You take all authority of blessing "marriage" from the government and replace it with the the authority of creating "civil unions". Now, only a church can create a "marriage". The very first thing that will happen is that there will be a new church created that blesses gay "marriage". Will you support this also, or is your support for this idea presuming that gay churches will be outlawed, or allowed to be outlawed?

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738357)

As I noted to another, nothing will change. Churches already perform gay marriages (without force of law) all across the country, and will continue to be able to do so. When you take the government out of it, you are necessarily saying that anyone can do anything with it that they choose.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

macrealist (673411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739053)

I commend that, but I think it is a hard sell to some of the more conservative and less open individuals.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738449)

Great. If the Church of Bruce declares Adam and Steve man and man, great. If I think that the Church of Bruce committed an abomination, I simply won't recognize it. Now, thier civil union is a different matter. It is a legal contract, to be honored to the full extent of the law. IOW, Adam and Steve get equality by not approval.

The beauty of this idea is that it breaks the legal and moral interconnection.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

macrealist (673411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739154)

Like I said, from my liberal point of view I think this is a good solution. It truly is a separation of church and state that also gets the government away from governing morality. But I have trouble understanding how a conservative can accept it.

Why would a conservative who is unwilling to allow gay civil marriages be ok with gay church marriages coupled with civil unions? What makes this acceptable, or at least "ignorable" (I simply won't recognize it), while the current situation requires a constitutional amendment or a special law specifically banning the practice? Yes, the connection broken in theory, but in practice it is still there, and the moral issue is even larger now, isn't it? I'm not trying to bait, just trying to understand why the change... And would such a change be acceptable to a wider audience[1]?

[1] - my belief is that ./ers are open to good ideas and discussion, but the population at large isn't.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739304)

I'm not trying to bait, just trying to understand why the change... And would such a change be acceptable to a wider audience[1]?

One word: Marriage. That WORD is linked to moral/ethical/religious acceptance[1] among tradional/religious people. Using a different word breaks to connection in theory, AND in a very real way for these people. It's just another unfortunate thing that we allow in the name of freedom in the US. If it's called marriage, however, it implies social approval. It's just that simple. Really. Yes, I do think it would be acceptable to a wider audience.

[1]Which is why so many insist on using it. They specifially want approval of thier relationships as "just as good as" straight marriages. Not equal treatment, equal social approbation.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

macrealist (673411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739506)

One word: Marriage.

Yeah, I understand that, but because it is not government sanctioned gay marriage it is OK? Is that the difference? I guarantee that if such an idea became law, there would be massive amounts of gay marriages in gay friendly places of worship. And they newly married couples would use "marriage" as the word to describe their relationship. The word "marriage" would not disappear for gay couples, but instead would be embraced. Now the couple would have civil rights as a couple and to have the right to be married in a church of God. And I bet that most of the gay friendly churches will be fundamentally identical to churches that are not gay friendly.

So how could that be just 'brushed' aside. What sort of twisted argument would someone use to justify that "that" church is not a "Christian" church. "Yes, it believes in everything we do, worships and loves God, but it allows gay marriage. Because of that it is evil and all of its members are too."? Such a small difference in opinion is why there is a Catholic church and a Episcopalian church. A Methodist and a Baptist. And which of us are to judge who's version of Christianity is correct?

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10740649)

Yeah, I understand that, but because it is not government sanctioned gay marriage it is OK? Is that the difference?

Yes. So my church won't sanction it, my government won't sanction it, and it therefore has nothing to do with me, and bothers me a lot less. That's how it will work for a great many people.

I guarantee that if such an idea became law, there would be massive amounts of gay marriages in gay friendly places of worship.

Of course. That happens now, too. It will increase, yes, that is a given. But it won't be "my" church sanctioning it.

And they newly married couples would use "marriage" as the word to describe their relationship.

They use it now, too. But frankly speaking, people that bothered by gay marriage don't hang out with gay people enough that they will hear it enough to be bothered by them calling themselves married ...

And I bet that most of the gay friendly churches will be fundamentally identical to churches that are not gay friendly.

No, they really are not. There's a clear distinction I see, between the traditional conservative churches and the progressive liberal ones, in terms of both form and content.

What sort of twisted argument would someone use to justify that "that" church is not a "Christian" church.

I think you're missing the point. There's already a significant difference between the many Christian churches in this country. People already think "that" church is either strange, or wrong in its theology, or even un- or non-Christian. These churches already marry gay couples, and everyone in the Christian churches is aware of it. Nothing would change.

And which of us are to judge who's version of Christianity is correct?

We all judge for ourselves which beliefs we think are most correct. That's how it works now. Nothing would change.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

macrealist (673411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10740957)

Makes sense. So if I understand this correctly, the problem that many conservatives have now is not that gays are married, it is that they are married by "their" government. The government sanctioning of gay marriage is seen as "my" government dishonoring "my" beliefs.

By removing from the government the sanctioning of marriage, any kind of couple (gay or straight) gaining a legal couple status is tolerable. In addition, the separation creates a loophole where you can honestly believe that it is not "my" church sanctioning the gay marriage, so "I" can tolerate it. The end result is the same, but the route is acceptable to those currently opposed to the concept.

This is a simple and elegant solution to a very thorny problem (as you said, but I really needed the other point of view explained to me -- thanks).

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10741605)

The government sanctioning of gay marriage is seen as "my" government dishonoring "my" beliefs.

Largely, yes.

By removing from the government the sanctioning of marriage, any kind of couple (gay or straight) gaining a legal couple status is tolerable.

For some, yes.

In addition, the separation creates a loophole where you can honestly believe that it is not "my" church sanctioning the gay marriage, so "I" can tolerate it.

Again, this "loophole" -- not a loophole really, since it is actually the point -- already exists.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10740932)

The word "marriage" would not disappear for gay couples, but instead would be embraced.

But that wouldn't MATTER. The people who are opposed to the pairing wouldn't HAVE TO call it marriage. And that would make the differnce.

couple and to have the right to be married in a church of God.

Totally beside the point. Churches can do that right now. It conveys nothing more than sanction WITHIN that church. legal marriages (using that word) convey sanction in society - the pairing needs to be acknowledged as a marriage.

It is that simple. Really.

So how could that be just 'brushed' aside.

Very easily. Watch this: "they are wrong to call that relationship a marriage. That is not a real marriage." Done. Brushed asside.

What sort of twisted argument would someone use to justify that "that" church is not a "Christian" church. "Yes, it believes in everything we do, worships and loves God, but it allows gay marriage. Because of that it is evil and all of its members are too."?

First, you are projecting here. Nobody is saying that anybody would say that "that" church is not a "Christian" church. Nobody is saying "because of that it is evil and all of its members are too." What I was saying is that they [those opposed to gay "marriage"] could just look, say "they're wrong", and go about thier business. Without feeling that thier belief system was under attack.

Such a small difference in opinion is why there is a Catholic church and a Episcopalian church. A Methodist and a Baptist.

Uhm... Precisely my point.

And which of us are to judge who's version of Christianity is correct?

Uhm...why do you think all those churches exist? They exist specifically because of such "small"[1] differences that they exist. Each sect has made the judgement that thier version is correct (or closer to correct). Else they would belong to another.

[1]They didn't think they were small - they were big enough to form new churches after all!

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

glitchvern (468940) | more than 9 years ago | (#10770970)

Another reason people found this unacceptable was the judicial activism of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The Massachusetts Supreme Court basically said in their decision an amendment to the Massachusett's state constittution would be required to ban gay marriage, so people in other states feared their state Supreme Court might say something similar and what do you know state constitutional amendments all round. Here [wikipedia.org] is the wikipedia entry on the court case. Note that 38 states have laws against gay marriage. That's 3/4th of the states legislatures, the number required for a U. S. Constitutional amendment. Hopefully, that is unnecessary now that Bush gets to appoint a few Supreme Court Justices who, fingures crossed, uphold the Federal Defense of Marriage Act signed by Clinton. I think judicial appointments is one of the things people meant by moral values and that judicial appointments was just not a choice in exit polls. I mean if it were, the number would be bigger and a lot more people in that category would have broken for Kerry. Surely some Kerry supporters think judicial appointments is the most important issue.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10771454)

I don't think the SCOTUS should uphold DOMA. I think the 14th Amendment trumps it in this regard. And certainly the 14th would trump state Constitutions if it trumps federal law.

Re:Agree, but it leads us down another path (1)

glitchvern (468940) | more than 9 years ago | (#10773336)

At first I didn't think Congress had any basis to create DOMA, but I was forgetting the second sentence of the Full Faith and Credit clause. [wikipedia.org] The equal protection clause [wikipedia.org] of the 14th Amendment may or may not apply to marriage even if gays are considered a "protected class." It wasn't applied to inter-racial marriage until Loving v. Virginia [wikipedia.org]. I'm not sure if SCOTUS would use similar reasoning on the matter of same-sex marriage or not. It goes without saying that U.S. constitution trumps state constitutions.

I said hopefully because an amendment to the constitution banning same-sex marriage would be ... unseemly to say the least.

I try to escape, but they keep drawing me back in! (1)

cascadefx (174894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10737561)

Damnit, Pudge.

I'm trying to take a breather and regroup here and then you not only bring up a topic that I am interested in, but YOU ESPOUSE THE EXACT SAME LOGIC THAT I USE WITH REGARD TO THIS SUBJECT. Bless you, man. We disagree a lot, and some of my friends wonder why I even hang out on here, but you just proved me right again. Damn. You look at problems and try to solve them honestly for most part (just as we all do, no one's perfect). That's what I appreciate.

My wife and I argue this with people all the time (we've been married 10 years and still don't have kids so we have had a lot of time to talk about esoteric stuff like this). To believe that marriage (lets forget the semantics for minute) is solely a religious ceremony for those that choose to marry in a church is a complete fallacy.

For those that take this route, they actually engage in two ceremonies at that time. One has deep religious and social ramifications. Not only are the couple bond together, but the church, congregation, and family are making at least an implicit if not explicit pledge to nurture and grow that union

At the same time, there is a legal document that is witnessed and signed and filed with the state that then confers legal status to that marriage. At that point a civil union (called marriage) has occured and the state (civil) recognizes that bond (union) with certain rights and responsibilities.

The funny thing about this is that most people don't realize this. "But I was married in a church?!?!" It is indemic in our culture (and part of the problem surrounding this debate). The "church wedding" as a cultural idea, for instance. People that are religious, but need to join their lives for legal ramifications many times engage in civil unions in the short term (perhaps one is heading to war and want's to quickly and easily establish rights and priveleges for their companion) and then address a religious ceremony at a later time. They effectively decouple the ceremonies and the meanings of those ceremonies.

I think your solution is great and effectively decouples the argument. Church is effectively removed from state and the rights and priveleges of ALL Americans are secured.

Now, to turn off Messaging in Slashdot...

I with you... (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738181)


I too think Civil Unions should be available to all as whatever a government can do to recognize a "love commitment".

However, I still think marriage deserves distinction and should be available and recognized by the government. A family is a political unit, a love commitment is not. Its more akin to a corporation.

As a political unit a family deserves recognition from the government as such. I think preserving marriage as a political unit helps preserve inididuality (an individual is a political unit).

Re:I with you... (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738397)

I understand the distinction. I just see no government interest in recognizing a love commitment. That's the very problem we are looking to avoid: government deciding which "love" is worth recognizing.

The government's real interest here is not in the love business, but in protecting the rights of individuals in a relationship -- whatever that relationship is -- and in encouraging such relationships, which helps our economy etc. (through the pooling of resources).

Is there some government interest I am overlooking? This is an important part of the discussion, because when civil unions are created, they should be based on furthering the interests the government has in those unions (which is why civil marriage was created in the first place).

Re:I with you... (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739395)


I just see no government interest in recognizing a love commitment.

My favorite bite on that...

"You need the government to recognize your feelings? Do you want them to send you a card every time you feel sad? Or do you want the government to start handing out Birthday cakes?"


But for Civil Unions, I'm not pushing them but I can tolerate them.

Speaking with a small l (1)

Red Warrior (637634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738252)

Yes. It is elegant in it's simplicity.

But it will never happen. The point is social approval. Not tolerance or acceptance or equality.

Amen! (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10740002)

I have been saying this for a while now. Get the government out of the marriage business. Let people get married in a church. Have the government set up its own institution (civil unions) that allows a person to have an exclusive reciprocal relationship with another that would give them the hospital visitation rights and rights to not have to testify against one another. If you wanted to prevent abuse you could include a cost for dissolution of the union and perhaps limiting the frequency with which someone might enter such a union and waiting periods for entering a new one.

The government would prevent minors from entering into civil unions and should probably not allow churches to marry minors (or pick an age other than 18 if you want) either so as to prevent various abusive situations.

Then let the various religions determine who they are willing to marry and who they are willing to give a religious divorce to.

This way you can get a civil union but not get married. You can get married without a civil union if the church will do that for you, which is probably a bad idea when the divorce comes. A church could require you to have a civil union in order to marry you.

The only people that get left out in this are polygamists (notice I said exclusive relationship), who have their own set of ugly problems which wander a bit from the topic of this JE.

why marriage? why civil unions? (1)

ExMember (212079) | more than 9 years ago | (#10742350)

As I said, marriage is a fundamentally religious establishment. And if I remember correctly, the Constitution says something about Congress making no laws respecting an establishment of religion.

You couldn't have expressed my sentiments more exactly. But changing the name does not solve the problem. You deftly pointed out why government should not be involved in marriage, but you didn't give any justification why they should be involved in civil unions.

The White House staffers on the West Wing treated the idea as a joke because politically it was a joke. No matter how reasonable the idea it would be political suicide to even hint at it.

Re:why marriage? why civil unions? (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10743019)

You couldn't have expressed my sentiments more exactly. But changing the name does not solve the problem. You deftly pointed out why government should not be involved in marriage, but you didn't give any justification why they should be involved in civil unions.

To protect the rights of those in the relationships, primarily.

Re:why marriage? why civil unions? (1)

ExMember (212079) | more than 9 years ago | (#10743148)

How does legal recognition of their relationship help protect their rights?

Re:why marriage? why civil unions? (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10743172)

Uh ... huh? That's what it means. There's rights and responsibilities associated with entering into the legal arrangement.
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