Skip to main content

Last week, in What if there were only civil unions for everyone?, I diaried about "privatizing" marriage.

Last Sunday, the conservative Orange County Register took a similar position in an editorial condeming Proposition 22 and the proposed Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.  Prop 22, which passed in 2000 and was recently overturned by the CA Supreme Court, declares marriage as between one man and one woman.

Writing in Marriage shouldn't be government's concern, the editors say:

Our preference would be for the government not to be involved in marriage, the most fundamental of institutions in a civil society. Why two people who want to be married should be required to get a license from the state is something of a mystery. Marriage existed long before the California or U.S. governments came into being and will continue long after they have been consigned to history.

They make the same arguements that government has inserted itself into marriage through tax laws, court battles and other mechanisms, things which the state may legitamately regulate.  But doing so in the context of what many people see as a sacred relationship, puts the state in an impossible postion.

If we were to seperate these two aspects of marriage, as is done in many European countries, we would solve many of these problems.

The editorial goes on to say:

It is argued that allowing same-sex marriage will infringe on the religious freedom of people who have a religiously based objection to it. It is hard to see the validity. Church and state are correctly separate in this country, and the fact that the state recognizes a union as a marriage doesn't mean that a religious person or institution has to recognize it or approve of it. It's hard to imagine a minister, rabbi or imam who objects to same-sex marriages being forced to perform one, and we would be the first to object if anybody tried it.

And concludes:

The relatively smooth transition to allowing same-sex marriages may be the calm before the storm. Still, it's nice that it has been calm so far.

It's a well reasoned editorial from a source the other side of the debate is likely to pay attention to.

Originally posted to VA Classical Liberal on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:48 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Not entirely surprised (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, Heiuan, perky mcjuggs, MooseHB

    The Register isn't actually conservative per se--it's more libertarian.  Still, considering that this is the main paper for the most populous majority-Repub county in the nation ... let's just say that they'd better have their Inbox cleared out.

    The Repubs distort, but we will not abide.

    by Christian Dem in NC on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:52:46 AM PDT

  •  Marriage IS a civil institution (4+ / 0-)

    Religions have sanctioned marriages from time immemorial, but in this country it has never been mandatory that they do so.  The legal institution of marriage is a separate concept from the spiritual sacrament, and the use of the same word only confuses the two.

    I favor the use of the term "civil marriage" to refer to the legal state of marriage.  It would inevitably be shortened by dropping the adjective in use, but would preserve the distinction between civil and religious marriage.  It would be an useful way to distinguish between the concepts, which the opponents of gay marriage seem determined to blur.

    Hanoi didn't break John McCain, but Washington did.

    by Dallasdoc on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 05:53:57 AM PDT

    •  It's a Historical concept (2+ / 0-)

      If we look at the last 5,000 years of marriage, at least 4,500 of those years marriage sanctioned by the state was marriage confirmed in sacrament by the official chuch of the presiding state, so the distiction was unnecessary, if not irrelevant and incomprehensible.

      We have really only needed the distinction of "civil marriage" (which I like as a term, along with "civil union"; it seems a bit more specific) since the birth of the United States.  Even without same-sex marriages, the issue of the non-religious or non-believer getting married became a matter for the state, as there is no Church of the Non-Believer or Church of ???.

      "Civil union" tends to help on the confusion issue, but I like the stated "civil marriage" for reasons stated above (even if it is an oxymoron).  For the "sacrament of marriage" there is already a specific term (see it there?).

  •  To the State, marriage is a contract. (7+ / 0-)

    A contract between two people. That is all it is to the State. The State is not in the sacrament business.

    No one will ever try to force a church to do a same-sex marriage. It doesn't matter. All people want is the same legal rights.

    Their only arguement is "what will we tell the children!"

    If you are religious just tell them that you don't believe this is what god wants, but we we treat everyone with respect.

    What is so hard about that?

  •  Why should I suppo the State (0+ / 0-)

    deminishing my marriage?

  •  It failed to make the ballot here in Az (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    perky mcjuggs, MooseHB, KentuckyKat

    They tried again, even after we voted down the last one in '06. This time it failed in the State Senate. Lost by 2 votes.  More Dems this year to our state houses.

    " Every Thanksgiving, Bill Clinton stuffs a kitten inside a puppy inside a chimp inside a dolphin. It's like a turducken, only more evil. " balancedscales

    by buddabelly on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:12:36 AM PDT

  •  Ding ding ding ding we have a winner (4+ / 0-)

    and a wedge issue for conservatives eeeevil grin

    The argument that it is none of the government's damned business who you marry is about as conservative an argument as I can conceive.

    Paging Press to Digitate... Press to Digitate to the white courtesy phone, please...

    As a practical matter, we should probably push to have that license you pick up at the town hall or the courthouse relabelled a "civil union" license in ALL cases - straight, gay, everyone.  The government is barred by the Establishment Clause First Amendment from making any further rules about what counts as a marriage based on what are essentially religious grounds and no basis to deny those privileges to any 2 people under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. (Like you didn't know this already.)

    Then "marriage" happens in a church or other religious / spiritual setting of your constitutionally protected free choice.  "Marriage" also has no legal standing if not accompanied by that civil union license that you picked up at the town hall -- just like today.  

    We can then confine the debate and discussion about what counts as a "proper" marriage to Church synods and conventions, theologically speaking. For other values of "proper" and better over the top screaming and melodrama we'll have the wingnut fundamentalists, bridezillas and their mothers, plus a few drag queens in high camp to provide some real style.

    In the meantime, I'll be at my friends' wedding in October.  They got their civil union license in January just after it was legal, but the marriage isn't happening until the fall.  Our minister will officiate, and the Archbishop of Nigeria, who disapproves, can kindly fuck off.

    There ain't no such thing as a second class child of God.

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:43:32 AM PDT

    •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

      As a practical matter, we should probably push to have that license you pick up at the town hall or the courthouse relabelled a "civil union" license in ALL cases - straight, gay, everyone.  The government is barred by the Establishment Clause First Amendment from making any further rules about what counts as a marriage based on what are essentially religious grounds and no basis to deny those privileges to any 2 people under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

      Consider this scenario:

      Two same-sex individuals join a "Church of the Equality of Humanity" espousing the sanctity of same-sex marriage as equal to man-woman marriage, and choose to "marry" within the church.  By the establishment clause, the Federal government cannot deny this as a legitimate marriage, as it is sanctioned within the religious beliefs of the CEH church.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site