Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Simple Solution to the Gay Marriage Debate

The real question in the gay marriage debate is not whether the government should allow gay marriage, but whether the government should be in the marriage business at all.

Marriage is a sacred religious sacrament. Only the church should be allowed to determine who can and cannot be married. The principle of ‘separation of church and state’ forbids the state from commanding the church and forbids the church from using the state to enforce its rules.

Currently, state marriage laws are written to enforce the Church’s rules. Muslims and some Mormon sects allow for polygamist marriage, but such marriages are banned by the government. The ban on marriages between same-sex couples is just another example of the state being used by the church.

The government does, however, have a compelling interest in protecting a couple’s children and resolving property distribution issues at the end of the relationship.

The government could simply get out of the marriage business. The state should not issue marriage licenses, but civil-union licenses to all couples. The civil-union license must give couples the same rights and responsibilities, regardless of who they are. Marriage should only be sanctified by a church. The church can refuse to marry anyone they please without denying anyone their civil rights.

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1 comment:

RockStories said...

Or perhaps we could say, rather than the state being used by the church, the state intruding into something that was a religious matter and none of its business.

The state interest in protecting people's expectations and enforcing their agreements has nothing to do with the religious concept of marriage and should never have been tied to that institution in the first place.

The current system of state-controlled "marriage" is no different from a system in which the state set up a system of laws to define and control something it called "baptism" or "confirmation" and then proceeded to redefine a concept that had previously only existed within religion.