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Eva, Tony and many other couples will get married today, 7-7-07, possibly the most popular wedding date in history.  But what about the happy couples whose union wouldn't be recognized in most of these United States, just because their chosen partner is of the same sex?

I recently went to a "covenanting ceremony" where two people pledged their mutual commitment to each other -- but their covenant won't be recognized as a legal marriage.  It was, however, an expressly religious affair, officiated over by a pastor who made a point of saying that the couple did not seek approval of their union from the state.  It also was a conventional wedding in every other aspect, right down to lenghty toasts, fretting about napkin colors and the fear of giving too much money to the "wedding-industrial complex."  It was a ceremony viewed by the covenanting parties, and by their pastor, as establishing a sacred and permanent bond, but that bond is not recognized as such by the government and that ceremony was of no legal effect.

In contrast, my own wedding ceremony eight years ago did not bear the trappings of any organized religion, but was approved by the State of Colorado as establishing a legal marriage.  I see no reason why my and my spouse's choice to form a domestic partnership (because legally, that's all a marriage is) should be privileged over those who choose to partner with someone of the same sex.  I also don't think it matters whether sexual orientation is chosen or not -- I don't doubt that most people are born straight or gay, but why should the government be allowed effectively to coerce bisexual people to choose a partner of the opposite sex if they want to enjoy the many legal benefits of marriage?  

Count me as one who views all the twisting and turning to come up with a legal "domestic partnership" alternative for same sex couples that is "not marriage" as so much baloney.  Just stop discriminating against same sex couples.  I kept my mouth shut on this point during the Referendum I campaign here in Colorado last fall (the domestic partnership initiative that failed narrowly) because I don't want to second guess the strategies chosen by an oppressed group to liberate themselves, and I do recognize that the campaign's argument that domestic partnerships would not be the equivalent of marriage was true.  (For example, the partnerships would not have been treated as marriage for federal law purposes such as income tax.)  However, I do wonder how many people really would support separate-but-equal domestic partnership but not extending full marriage rights to same sex couples.  

The point is that marriage exists as a legal institution to help out those who have decided to establish a household together.  Picking and choosing which couples deserve the benefits of marriage, and which do not, is not a proper role of government.    

Originally posted to Colorado Luis on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 07:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agonized over writing this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, MJB, alrdouglas

    because I know the couple did not intend to make a political statement by getting married.  If either of you two reads this, please accept my apologies.  The political statement is all my own.

    I support Jared Polis for Congress (CO-02)

    by Colorado Luis on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 07:50:35 AM PDT

    •  well said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Colorado Luis

      i especially agree with you on the point that it should not matter whether sexual orientation is innate or chosen (or some combination of the two). people ought to be free to associate with, love, and marry whomever they damn well choose, it is nobody's business but their own, regardless of how they came to that decision.

      the state has no more business banning same sex marriages than it does interracial marriages, or interfaith marriages. marriage is a civil legal institution as far as the state goes, it lets us atheists get married with the same license as religious people, and it ought to treat same-sex couples with no less equanimity.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 09:04:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The point of marriage (0+ / 0-)

    Assuming for the moment that we are discussing marriage as a sociological event, and not a religious event, and that specifically we are discussing the special included government benefits that accrue to married folk that do not accrue to those who set up a private contract between themselves, and that we are not discussing the decisions by individuals (whether they be persons or corporations)on how to relate to persons who hold themselves up as married, but rather are wholly focused on the relationship between the married persons and the federal government (because States can and do establish their own laws on who gets to say they are married) where does the statement "The point is that marriage exists as a legal institution to help out those who have decided to establish a household together." get evidenced in law, particularly as differentiated from helping out households which beget and rear children? I seem to recall that the institution arose some 6000 years ago to ensure that the resources required to rear offspring came from those generating offspring, specifically to ensure that Daddy would be required to hang around and support the kiddies, so it wouldn't take a village...

    Or are we in fact urging that the State coerce individuals to participate in the redistribution of private assets against their will to support activities that they abhor? Like forcing folks to buy bonds to fund the war, or church schools that teach religion as part of the curriculum, or forcing  planned parenthood to provide information on the feelings of the fetus along with discussing abortion, or education on the 2nd amendment...

    Ban Intolerance Now!

    by brahma on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 08:44:21 AM PDT

    •  first, the origins of marriage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Colorado Luis, buddabelly

      mythical or historically substantiated, have very little to do with the current discussion over the laws of the united states.

      second, you don't seem to have a problem with the state allowing same sex citizens to enter into business contracts with each other, even though some bigots might abhor their existence. a marriage is as legal a contract as a business document, and is predicated on equal justice under law. excluding whole classes of citizens just because some citizens do not like them is patently unfair.

      a conservative catholic might abhor divorce, but they have no right to forbid their protestant neighbors from doing so. a racist might find the union os whites and non-whites together in marriage abhorrant, but we do not forbid those citizens from entering into marriage any mkore. some americans no doubt would rather that immigrants were forbidden from holding property (as they once were in california), but we do not heed their prejudicial desires. why is this one group acceptable to discriminate legally against?

      you don't have to like your fellow americans, but you do have to respect their equal rights under law to enter into legal arrangements, marital or otherwise. the law as currently enforced does not do that.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 09:15:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no problem (0+ / 0-)

        With two consenting adults doing anything they want. Really, I tend toward the libertarian perspective. I'd just as soon see government get out of the relationship business altogether. But the civil marriage contract, today, causes others to be drawn into the terms of it. I suggest that the governmental rights associated with marriage be dissolved. We probably do need laws associated with caring for children we as individuals generate. We don't need linkage between religious ceremony and government. We may need a capability to enable non-biologically related adults to commit immutably to the rearing of children, as via post birth marriage or adoption today, and I don't see any reason (not being a psychologist) why that capacity should exclude homosexuals. But I can see no reason why as a matter of policy special privileges should accrue to DINK couples (double income no kids). If we're going to have HIPPA privacy restrictions, you should be able to extend those by private, registered, contract to any one you want to.

        Ban Intolerance Now!

        by brahma on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 02:41:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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