delirium happy

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Politics, sex and religion!
delirium happy
rho
I seem to be seeing this debate pop up every which way I turn recently, so I figured that I would offer my opinions on same sex marriages.

It will undoubtedly surprise many of you to find out that I do not support same sex marriages. Or rather, I think that it isn't up to me to determine whether same-sex marriages are a Good Thing or not, and I whole-heartedly support the powers that be who say that it isn't. See, to me, a marriage is a religious rite. It is a covenant before ones god or gods. It is a request for a blessing. It is whatever your religion says that it is.

And I'm all about religious freedom. If some wacko religion wants to define one of their rituals in terms of one man and one woman then that's their business, and who am I to argue? Of course, if i ever developed rhoism into a coherent, large-scale religion, then I'd either explicitly allow same sex partnerships, or I'd just make no mention of it, and let people do whatever they wanted. But I haven't. And a lot of religions seem to like the "one man one woman" thing, and it seems to work for them, so I'll let them have it.

The problem comes when you start trying to make these religious principles part of a secular law. Religion has no place in the law. Marriage is a religious rite. Therefore it clearly follows that marriage has no place in the law either. Of course, various couples would want to have certain protection from the law should they ever break up, for instance. And while it would be possible to deal with that sort of thing under standard contract law, it would seem that most contracts would be very similar, so it would make more sense to have a more generalised form of partnership law. This would, of course, apply equally to any gender and orientation of people.

So essentially, what I want is for the religious elements, the personal elements, and the legal elements to be separated. As things stand at the moment, everything is just an interconnected, messy jumble, and it's hardly surprising that what works for one element doesn't work for another.

So let's keep marriage as the sacred union between one man and one woman, but get it the hell out of the law.

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Just to throw a monkey wrench in....

I'm married, but my marriage is not a sacred union. I'm an atheist-- my religion didn't tell me my marriage was OK, or that it should happen. My heart did.

So..... does that mean the only people who can get married are theists?

I should think so, unless you consider marriage to have some other meaning, in which case call yourself married.

I think marriage is whatever you want it to be, and should be a personal matter and not that of the state. So, you're married if you claim you are, not if you don't, and either way makes no legal difference.

It's just like what religion you claim to be, entirely based on what you say and legally irrelevant.

I think that the problem here is more a linguistic one than anything else. I would imagine (though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that the important part of your marriage is what it represents, and not what it's called.

There are, as I see it, three different parts to a marriage. There's the religious elements, the personal elements and the legal elements. I'd see the personal elements as really nobody's business other than yours and your husband's. If you wanted to call it a furtlewamp, then it really wouldn't make a whole heap of difference. There are things like the promises that you made to each other, and the feelings that they represent -- and I do realise that I'm straying more into the realm of "how i see it" and not necessarily what you think here -- and they're the important bits. You could have done those on your own without anyone else present, and they could still carry the same weight. Then there's the legal element that goes along with it, which is separate. And then the wedding ceremony, which is, to my mind, a celebration of the love and commitment.

If there were to be a shift in language usage, such that furtlewamp meant a commitment on a personal level where two (or more) people share promises to each other, and then marriage meant wed in the eyes of the church, and legally-partnered meant that you were considered a couple in the eyes of the law, would you then have a problem in saying that you weren't married?

(And yes, I do realise that that isn't exactly likely, but the entire post was slightly tongue-in-cheek, while making a serious point. I don't think that it's that easy to just say "right! marriage only applies to church weddings" and have everybody accept that and move on, so I don't see this as a practical solution. On the other hand, I do see the general ideas behind what I say as appropriate ideas which I would see drive any sort of solution that I would be happy with.)

((And I hope this comment made some sort of vague semblance of sense. I'm starting to get tired.))

Oh, and I should state that I agree with you in the general principle that IF marriage is the purview of the church, then the state has no business saying who may or may not get married.

But then.... that monkey wrench.

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The problem is, this approach privileges certain religions--those that believe marriage is only heterosexual monogamy--over others. That is against both my principles, and the principles that the country I live in has had in law for more than two centuries.

I have no problem with, say, the Catholic church saying "in order to be married, you must be one man and one woman, and neither of you can have been divorced." My objection is when they try to enforce that, or part of it, in secular law. There is no justification I can see for letting Catholics, or Southern Baptists, or Orthodox Jews, tell Reform Jews, pagans, Unitarians, Muslims, or atheists that their marriages aren't valid because of the genders, previous marital status, or (yes) number of people being married.

The anti-gay-marriage people don't want their own, heterosexual, marriages to be legally changed to "civil unions" and have the rest of the law (taxes, inheritance, immigration, and many other things) changed to treat gay and straight civil unions equally. They want to keep marriage for themselves, and make the rest of us settle for something lesser.

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