marriage, gay marriage, civil unions

On goes the debate as to whether we allow gay couples to marry. The debate is often framed “should we allow for gay marriage or not?”. To me, the discussion we are having is not what we ought to be discussing.

License definition per Webster’s: “a permission granted by competent authority to engage in a business or occupation or in an activity otherwise unlawful”

New York State is the “competent authority” that authorizes two consenting adults to enter into the “business” of marriage. In the eyes of the State the “marriage license” shows that each of those consenting adults agree to the terms of “marriage” which affords some protections and benefits to said consenting adults.

While taking my real estate course and exam it goes through NYS Civil Rights Law which lays out the numerous reasons one cannot discriminate against another based on race, sex, religion, familial status, disability, marital status, age, national origin, or color.

So if I as a Realtor, someone selling a piece of property, or someone renting an apartment cannot tell someone that they cannot enter into an agreement based on any of the criteria above, how can NY State tell one of said consenting adults that they cannot enter into “business of marriage” based on the criteria above? If the State is telling two men or two women that they cannot enter into the agreement, then one of the two is being discriminated against based solely on their sex which is not allowed.

Something else we hear much of is that of “Civil Unions”. We are told that gays should just go with the Civil Union because it is essentially the same thing as marriage. So here is my thought, If a Civil Union offers the same protections and benefits as marriage to two consenting adults then why isn’t NY State, or any state for that matter, in the business of issuing Civil Union Licenses? Thus, leaving marriage to remain where it should remain, between the two consenting adults and whatever religion they practice?

It just seems to me that maybe we started off on the wrong foot allowing the state to get involved in marriage. As I happily prepare to enter into a marriage this weekend here in the States, and then another ceremony the following week in my fiance’s home country of Thailand it has brought these questions to mind. Here we will be married by a Reverend and in Thailand the ceremony is not really religious at all. So marriage, the act of joining of two consenting adults lives has nothing to do with the state, county, or country at all.

If I wish to gain the benefits and protections in my state I can understand the need for the civil union and am happy to comply.

So let us change the dialogue. Civil Unions for all couples and Marriage can remain between you, your partner, and the God of your choosing. The State should get out of the business of marriage.

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6 Responses to marriage, gay marriage, civil unions

  1. Mike Kloppel says:

    I absolutely agree. The state has no legitimate purpose interceding between activities which do no harm against those participating or those around them. A marriage is a contract, if arbitration is neccessary or one party wants to break free of that contract then the state has a legitimate role.

    But the idea that you need to ask the state for permission is disgusting. And I can’t really understand why people are shocked by this view.

  2. Eric Carlston says:

    The objection to ‘gay marriage’ is not from a business or state licensing perspective, but rather a religious one. For centuries, and in most cultures around the world, marriage has been considered a sacred ceremony to recognize the union of a man and woman before man and God. While there are cultures around the world that permit a man to have more than one wife, there are no religions that condone same sex marriage, sex, or coupling except more recently the Episcopalian Church.

    Although President Barack Hussein Obama has declared that America is not a Christian nation, it was founded on Christian values. The Bible is clear to identify homosexuality as a sin, and as such, same sex marriage also goes against the will of God. Therein is the problem, and a conundrum for those that wish to normalize what is otherwise unnatural and deviant behavior.

    If there are those that decide to participate in an alternative lifestyle without regard to the values and commandments of religion, why then would they insist that they be recognized in a ceremony of the same? What is the the point of seeking a blessing from God for a relationship that cannot be?

    Persons may be willing to change state or federal law to grant civil unions the same”rights” afforded to married couples, as this would address any injustice claimed as discriminatory by same sex couples. Though this would deliver the benefits and protections of married couples, the LGBT community rejects this option as not good enough. The insistence on legalizing gay marriage is not about equal rights then, so much as an agenda to normalize conduct that the majority of people consider unnatural and unholy.

  3. Matt Marquardt says:

    I think it’s important to look at the origins of marriage. Allowing people, no matter what gender they are, to marry harms nobody. It is however seen as a threat to the Christian conservatives in this country—as evident by the Bush administration’s election backed by a huge Christian religious base. That is why this issue is so politicized. Conservatives look at gay marriage as a liberal idea, and therefore are against it. I am Irish and Catholic, and according to my religion, gay marriage is wrong. This is where I disagree with the church I am a part of. You are right, we need to take the regulation out of this and let people be happy with whomever they want. Everyone has a right to marriage, no matter if you are gay, heterosexual, or bi.

  4. Tommy Davis says:

    As you probably know, I am a sharp opponent of gay marriage. There is no way I can reconcile that with historical Christianity. I do understand that as fellow Americans, the homosexuals have the same rights as other citizens but I do disagree that health BENEFITS should be extended in this area given that such sexual activity incurs a high cost. Also, same se marriage will fundamentally alter our entire living structure. Inmates will begin to sue because they cannot marry another inmate nor have conjugal visits. Americans should not be forced to recognize unions that harshly misrepresent shared values or levels of historical morality. Homosexual marriage brother is a total departure from the natural use of another human being as well as oneself. That’s the position I must maintain brother.

  5. Mike Kloppel says:

    First I don’t just dispute, I absolutely deny the assertion that we are fundamentally a “Christian nation”. Unless of course you mean “the religion of choice for most is Christian.”

    The argument which follows is far from the only reason why I would say this but is one of the most easily understood for written discussion. I find it necessary to bring this up only since its opposite asserting is being used as the basis of an argument against individual rights (to freely enter into agreements with other men).

    Anyways…on with it:
    Would it interest you if there was a supreme law of the land (virtually a constitutional amendment) that stated we were not in any way founded on the christian religion? Agreed upon unanimously by congress and signed into law by John Adams?

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli#Article_11 )Treaty of tripoli (article 11) which states:

    Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries”"

    What makes this so supreme?

    The (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_clause) “supremacy clause” Of the unitted states constitution which reads:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”"

    But I understand why a Christian would have a problem with homosexuality, it is explicity forbidden in at least (that I know) one passage, probably more.

    But governments are not established to restrict activity which is not harmful towards others which one might be willing to risk with themselves. Just like no law ought to be passed which places a burden against the principles of those whom practice a benign and harmless religion none should be passed which restricts the entering of legal contracts.

    As for bestowed benefits? That is the state putting it’s dirty hands on the throat of business, the problem isn’t that a gay might get benefits, it’s that the state can dictate to a private entity the terms of lawful business dealings.

    I cannot, for the life of me, see why prisoners get “visits”. No prison inmate should, and neither should gay couples be allowed to do this. Heck, if they get “married” in jail they should be separated as much as is possible. Prison is not a place for fun, but for reflection and punishment.

    Also, in my judgement morality is about as subject to history as gravity. What was necessary for survival and to achieve happiness may have changed in substance over the years but the fundamental means of doing so hasn’t.

    In essence morality is that which man must do to sustain his life and to achieve what is right for that life, if you have a desire to seek happiness with someone of the same sex and it harms no one including yourself, then it is moral. If on the other hand you seek love with someone who has aids, you are immoral. But the choice is yours since all parties would be consenting adults who own their lives and are harming no one else.

    I advocate contracts, not civil unions (but thats one degree better than why we have now) if you can get a priest to give it ceremony and blessing fine, but if they refuse on religious grounds they are justified. And for special privleges of marriage? Why? Why should people be rewarded for doing that which is right EI seeking out a person which shares their values and desires a happy life.

    Ps. Sorry for typos and grammar this was on done on my iPhone…I’m sure I missed some mistakes.

  6. Dan O'Neill says:

    Rich,

    First of all, very concise analysis. I had an interesting debate with my daughter on this topic recently, and I think your argument would have weighed heavily in her favor. For my perspective, marriage is more of religious and spiritual covenant, rather than something that should be controlled by the state. My religion is opposed to gay marriages and no state should mandate that they should be allowed in my church. That being said, if their are organized religions that allow gay marriages, then the state should have no rite barring such unions.

    Secondly, drop me a line one of these days. Interested in hearing how things are going with you.

    Finally, congratulations on your recent nuptials.

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