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Protecting Traditional Divorce

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the you're-just-going-to-have-to-stay-gay-married-now dept.

The Courts 7

lee1 writes "The Texas Attorney General is determined to help protect the traditional definition of divorce, which is the dissolution of the union between a man and a woman. Therefore any gay married couples who find their way into his state had better stay married. From the article: 'Gay and lesbian couples who turn to the courts when they break up are getting mixed results across the nation. A Pennsylvania judge last month refused to divorce two women who married in Massachusetts, while New York grants such divorces even though the state doesn't allow same-sex marriage.'"

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7 comments

All civil "marriages" are misnamed (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 4 years ago | (#31931340)

In the 1400s and 1500s, some European countries did not recognize any marriage other than a Catholic church registry. This was a problem for Jews and other non-Catholics when it came to such things as inheritance. If "marriage" is defined by religious law, there should be NO reference to "marriage" in civil law. All such relationships defined under civil law should be called "civil union" or something along those lines. (I'm not arguing against the concept - I'm married and happy about it - I'm arguing about the terminology.)

Re:All civil "marriages" are misnamed (1)

Zot Quixote (548930) | about 4 years ago | (#31931552)

Yeah, I absolutely agree. Legal definitions that drift apart from the common usage of particular words cause confusion and unnecessary negative connotations. Calling it Civil Union avoids that problem.

A similar issue would seem to be statutory rape. When you have a 17 year old getting it on with an 18 year old, or even another 17 year old, that is not rape. And saying that a 17 year old can't consent is simply inaccurate to what is occurring. They might be being exploited, or not old enough to make the right choices, but to say they aren't consenting implies something other than what actually happened.

Re:All civil "marriages" are misnamed (1)

jandersen (462034) | about 4 years ago | (#31936752)

Marriage is a convenient legal framework for two people who have chosen to live their lives together. I am not ignoring the significant, emotional investment people make when they marry, but from society's point of view, that is all it is and all it should be. It is a contract that makes it easier to sort out things like inheritance, custody and a number of other matters. Divorce is the legal termination of this contract, simply.

I can't in all of this, see any reason to involve God or gods, or require that it is only valid between opposite genders; or for that matter, why it should be limited to 1 to 1 relations (it would be quite interesting to try to construct the legal framework necessary to accomodate marriages between x women and y men, actually). Again, I am fully aware that couples may wish to ask their gods to bless their relation, and that the customs of society may be against certain relationships, but there is no objective reason to be against it. If we were openminded, we wouldn't.

Re:All civil "marriages" are misnamed (2, Interesting)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 4 years ago | (#31937802)

No need to construct a new legal framework; we already have the concepts of partnerships among multiple people, and corporations that include yet live beyond the lives of individuals. The discussions aren't new; Robert Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" included such discussions (as a side note) all the way back in 1966, and he wasn't inventing the discussions from scratch then.

The biggest problem (that I don't see talked about) is financial. So many projections for insurance, benefits, retirement benefits, civil planning, etc. were based on existing percentages of people married, lifespans, and so forth. If you suddenly allow marriage contracts between any two people, can a young employee contract with their widowed grandparent and get them on the company health insurance at the discounted "married" rate? (Defer debate on health coverage!) All of the historical information would lose predictive power with such a massive shift in rules.

You are preaching to the choir (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 4 years ago | (#31958450)

The US was founded on the principle of separation of church and state. And yet, the legal and religious definitions of "marriage" were allowed to intertwine in a quite promiscuous manner. The solution you propose is absolutely correct: rewrite all the legal definitions to not use the term "marriage", and rewrite the laws such that a church wedding has no effect on your legal status and there is no connection between legal and religious "marriage". I realize some people object to allowing religions to continue to pretend that they own the word "marriage", but this sounds like a reasonable compromise to me.

picture is unrelated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31939358)

What does the picture of that dude have to do with the article?

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