Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mistake of Government Controlled Marriage

Today we have the issue of gay marriage that is creating division across American, and many places around the world. We have two sides, both are entrenched and unwilling to budge a fraction of an inch. There was national outrage by progressives when a pizza owner said she wouldn't cater gay weddings(doesn't cater any weddings), but would, and have, happily welcomed gays daily as a customer. There was a threat to burn down the eatery. The owners received death threats. They were harassed to the point they were forced to close until conservatives came to their aid.

People divide this issue along the lines of religion and discrimination. Both sides have valid points. I say we just need to solve the problem. The easiest way, or at least simplest sounding, is to remove marriage from government. We have couples of the same gender, and of opposite gender, that choose to make a lifetime commitment. Even heterosexual couples sometimes choose not to enter into a government devised contract. Because a couple chooses not to get married, or can't because of laws, they cannot take advantage of certain government benefits.

If one of the couple should die, the surviving partner cannot draw from the others Social Security. Unless they have made a will, the partner doesn't automatically receive their joint property. A family member can come forth and claim half of that property. If one was found unconscious and rushed to the hospital, that partner cannot sign for certain medical procedures, and sometimes not even be allowed to visit their loved one. You might say that the couple should make sure they complete all documents in the beginning of their partnership, but like all people, couples often procrastinate, sometimes until it's too late.

If we were an honest society, we would make civil unions legal tomorrow. This is not what many progressives want, but it does give protection to gay and straight couples that cannot, or don't want to be married under the current system. The name of the joining is unimportant as long as you get the necessary legal protections. There are too many areas where government enters our lives. With 1500 statutes and regulations that govern marriage. Something must be done quickly. Below are only a few of these regulations.

Christians say that marriage belongs to the church. At least legally, marriage belongs to government. Many people go to a government agent and exchange words that have nothing to do with any religion. If a minister marries a couple, they must sign and witness all the appropriate government documents. No matter if it's a bureaucrat or a minister that performs the wedding, 50% of the couples will end up before a judge for divorce. The government representative, the judge, decides the terms of separation.

There are those who argue that a majority vote was cast saying that marriage can be only between a man and a woman. Because laws and statutes are applied differently to married couples, such a vote is meaningless. What if a state decided to vote for a return to Jim Crow laws? We know that courts would never allow such inequalities. Citizens cannot vote to have the law applied unequally to citizens. This is why courts can strike down DOMA laws that prevent gay marriage. If certain laws and statutes didn't segregate married from non-married couples, then courts couldn’t intervene. If marriage is solely a religious entity, then government should never play any part. Because some people of religion nearly a century ago asked government to control marriage because of various prejudices, they therefore gave up control. If the church wishes to regain that control, they must remove government from the equation for all marriages, whether it's same or opposite sex. The only group correct on this issue are libertarians

Below are a few ways the law separates legally married couples from those who simply cohabitate for life. Although the commitment is the same, the law doesn't recognize that commitment in most states. The difference is a legal document called a marriage license. 

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