The United States Supreme Court ruling last week has been headline news ever since. It is, of course, the SCOTUS that stipulates what the Constitution of the US means. Personally, I have always been confused by the debate. There seems to be ambiguity built right into the notion of marriage. From the religious point-of-view it is a contract with some higher being signed and witnessed in front of a community. From the secular p-of-v it is a matter of legal standing of the two partners of the contract. But, it is clear that religion (whatever flavour) and the law do not and should not in a modern state reign over the same territory.
So, my confusion? Why was this matter such a difficult one? Why not have civil unions (the law) and marriages (religion)? What do you think of the argument below?
To be clear, I am all in favor of simply allowing gay marriages, however …
This could have been resolved easily. Simply have states leave the marriage business. The civil rights can instead be conferred by expanding civil unions to include any two consenting adults, and marriage ceremonies can be conducted through separate institutions as desired by the couple. Ministers then have the license granted by the state to officiate over civil unions while performing a marriage, and anyone else may obtain a license if desired. I’m not promoting civil unions to be some weak-ass marriage substitute; the civil union will have all the benefits typically accorded to straight couples, and if a marriage ceremony is desired, then there are churches and institutions that will happily oblige. It’s just that the state isn’t conferring legal benefits through marriage anymore.
This didn’t happen, however, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not about protecting any idea of an institution of marriage – it’s about continuing persecution of a maligned minority. So don’t delude yourselves.
And from the UK: a warning (or two) here.