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View Diary: Minnesota makes it a dozen: Gov. Mark Dayton signs marriage equality into law (88 comments)

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  •  The South and most of the West. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue May 14, 2013 at 03:31:41 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Mountain west. The coastal states are (15+ / 0-)

      trying hard.

      I feel somewhat slighted.  Colorado passed Civil Union legislation this term, and while that's not full "marriage" Colorado's citizens have been willing to vote to take away human rights from gays on multiple occasions.  Civil Unions are going to be a necessary first step for this state where "Marriage" is a step too far at this point.  We need to give Civil Unions a chance to show that the sky won't fall in and people aren't going to be forced to marry barn animals because "the gays" won this time.  Maybe the Supreme Court will overturn DOMA and legalize marriage for all, but I'll still be a few bucks Colorado will legalize same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court provides for national same-sex marriage as a human right.

      •  Colorado has often been the exception... (11+ / 0-)

        ...It was, for instance, in the '60s, one of the first states to loosen abortion restrictions. But it's surrounded by states that will be stubborn holdouts until (and unless) the Supreme Court rules for equality.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue May 14, 2013 at 03:40:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are those the same? (5+ / 0-)

        Maybe the Supreme Court will overturn DOMA and legalize marriage for all, but I'll still be a few bucks Colorado will legalize same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court provides for national same-sex marriage as a human right.

        My understanding is that the heart of DOMA is preventing federal recognition of same-sex marriages that states have legalized.  

        Certainly it would be most sensible to ALSO have a ruling that "full faith and credit" requires that ALL states must recognize the validity of marriages made in other states, to prevent chaos and contention.  

        But I think we'll get the former without the latter, in the near term.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue May 14, 2013 at 03:44:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  civil unions (5+ / 0-)

        the MN legislation refers to "civil marriages" - the law outlines what Caesar expects from state sanctioned marriages - churches can decide to sanctify the union in God's name or not.

        So in a sense all MN marriages are now "civil unions". There are no differences in rights and responsibilities of legally married same gender couples and mixed gender couples.  


        •  There is a difference between the two (6+ / 0-)

          The fact is that civil marriage is the only sort of marriage that matters. A church wedding is meaningful in the context of the sanctuary where it is conducted but it carries legal weight only when accompanied by a state-issued marriage license.

          A civil marriage should, in principle, be recognized anywhere.  A civil union has no legal consequences beyond the borders of the state where it was contracted unless another state affirmatively agrees to recognize it. Civil unions and domestic partnerships, regardless of how they're described by local statutes, will not be recognized at the federal level no matter how expansively the Supreme Court rules to overturn Section 3 of DOMA. Or at the very least such recognition is highly unlikely. While common-law marriages may be recognized at the federal level, it is debatable whether federal agencies would be willing to construe civil unions or domestic partnerships as they may do with common-law marriages. Creating a distinct and separate status provides cover for non-recognition of that status outside of the jurisdiction where the label has been affixed so I wouldn't count on success in the DOMA cases translating into federal recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships.

          •  I meant (0+ / 0-)

            there are no differences in the MN law

            •  I'm sorry but that still isn't correct (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              One thing that gets people riled up unduly is that, in the United States, the term "marriage" is used to refer to a relationship recognized by civil law AS WELL as something that religious institutions perform when those are in fact two different things.

              Laws regarding marriage in the US cannot EVER regulate anything except CIVIL marriages. Just like in DC and in the other 49 states, laws pertaining to civil marriage regulate civil marriage only and don't address church services. Laws pertaining to civil unions and domestic partnerships exist only so that such statuses can legally exist separate and distinct from civil marriages otherwise there'd be no reason to ever use those terms. By updating their law, Minnesota's laws pertaining to civil marriage have now expanded the universe of couples eligible to enter into civil marriages. But the law is not about "civil unions" it is about "marriages."

              Some nations (even some relatively democratic ones), have lists which define what religious organizations are "officially" recognized and therefore (in some cases but not all) a religious ceremony is all that's required to have a legally recognized marriage. Because of the Establishment Clause, neither the US nor any political subdivision within the US has or can have anything like that. Weddings conducted in churches, synagogues or mosques are only symbolic unless there is also a civil component to them.

              Other than the business aspects, some zoning things, public safety and, of course, things like not violating rules for tax exempt status, churches can do pretty much what they please because, as churches, they are not regulated by civil law at any level due to the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.  This includes which relationships churches can sanctify or refuse to sanctify. A religious service without the officiant simultaneously acting in a civil capacity (a power "vested in me by the state of..." is the expression normally invoked and that power is vested only during the time the ceremony is being performed; the state grants clergy the right to solemnize marriages as a matter of courtesy and the clergy person is technically acting very temporarily in a civil capacity rather than in a religious one) doesn't mean squat as far as the law is concerned and therefore a church could sanctify a relationship that the law would not recognize; it could even sanctify a relationship that would be considered criminal under some circumstances. Without the weight of the law such sanctification is merely symbolic.  Many churches and other religious institutions in states with no marriage equality hold ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples but those ceremonies, even if they are otherwise indistinguishable from a heterosexual wedding, lack the "by the power vested in me" part and also lack the legal recognition. Again, unlike the case in some nations where members of the clergy are legally forbidden to conduct such ceremonies, that isn't the case here for the reason that those ceremonies hold no legal weight.

              I have probably gone a bit overboard here. I apologize for that, but I wanted to emphasize that there is a difference between a marriage and a civil union and to also emphasize that Minnesota has not passed a law which in any way addresses civil unions.

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