My wife and I have talked off-and-on about how the government issuing marriage licenses is one of those areas that the wall has been blurred between church and state. I speculate that really the best fix would be for the government to stop issuing marriage licenses, but instead issue a civil union license. The term marriage is so steeped in religion, but its so common-place that I'm sure people would continue to use it. A boosted side effect would be that theoretically this could eliminate the attempts at outlawing gay marriage, because it would just be a civil union. Anyway we've discussed various aspects and possible side-effects; but I was shocked to stumble across this today: an article in Time that says about the same thing! Its based on a paper published March 2 in the San Francisco Chronicle, by two law professors from Pepperdine University. In the paper they issued a call to re-examine the role the government plays in marriage.

The idea with a civil union would be for the government to issue a certificate or license, "confirming them as a family." Then if you want the church to play a role in that union, "the next stop after the courthouse could be the church, where they could bless their union with all the religious ceremony they wanted."

So what do you think?

Tags: civil-union, gay-marriage, marriage, same-sex-marriage

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I've had this conversation several times, and although many heterosexuals are willing to abandon the "marriage" tag because it is either meaningless to them or because they actually wish for equal rights, I find that many homosexuals want to keep the word "marriage" so that they are receiving truly equal rights.

Just a thought...
Get rid of it all. Child support or joint custody is the way to go. Otherwise, you're invitin' a really bad way of life.
I rather agree (and read the article as well)
For all the GLBT's that want to keep the name, you aren't doing anything but throwing a hissy fit.
The right to be married in a church is not the same as the right to be legally recognized as a married couple. You can get married in any "church" you want, but if it isn't approved by the state, you don't get state benefits. Likewise, being married by the state holds no ground to some if it isn't overseen by a priest, reverent, ect. dependent upon faith.
These are two different issues that need to be fought on two different grounds. Petition the government to be LEGALLY recognized, then petition your church to do away with bigotry.
A rose by any other name.......blah blah blah.
Do you mean to imply that you read the article and the rest of us didn't? Just curious.

As far as the petition your church to do away with bigotry, well unfortunately religion is a right in this country.
I will quote your own article..."Live and let live."
I agree and have put forth this idea several times in past conversations with people. The government should just handle the legal/civil rights aspect, whether they are called civil unions, joint arrangements, or whatever. Religions can have marriage ceremonies, and include or exclude anyone they like, in accordance with their beliefs and their freedom of religion. Anyone who wants a religious ceremony to go with their secular documentation will just need to find a church that is willing to perform the ceremony.

The government paperwork won't have anything to do with religious marriage, and religious ceremonies will have nothing to do with governmental/legal rights.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

[Jonathan Lindsey] said he believes the practice of a pastor, priest or rabbi signing a marriage license as an agent of the state is wrong. He said it serves as a perfect example of how Americans unconstitutionally mix civil and religious law when it comes to marriage.


The Iowa Supreme Court said last week that religious denominations have a constitutional right to set their own rules about marriage but that civil law should reflect equal protection for all citizens and not be anchored in religious dogma. The Constitution demands that church and state remain separate, and that wholesome concept extends to marriage just the same as it does to any other legal right.
The idea is quite old, quite good, and fought tooth and nail by those who want to keep their privileged spot, above the 'undesirables'.
Although I don't completely agree that the government should throw out marriage, I do believe that it should be reevaluated as a legal system rather than a religious system. If people want to get married with a religious ceremony they can, just as any one can have a birthday or party as a religious ceremony, but the basic marriage should be a legal issue. As a related fact, I have recently decided that as a form of protest of current marriage laws (anti-gay marriage laws specifically) I will refuse to marry until marriage is available to everyone. If I want to make this commitment to someone I will receive a Civil Union and refer to my significant other as my 'Life Partner' rather than my wife. This was an extremely important decision for me because I am a hopeless romantic who can't wait to have a big elaborate wedding, but it looks like I'll be waiting a while for that.
That's how it works in Italy. When I was in Rome I passed by a government complex where bride, groom and sometimes a small wedding party showed up at a civil ceremony on their way to the church to be blessed by the marriage rite. Two. Different. Things. In the rest of the EU many couples don't bother with civil ceremonies any more. Child support and division of property is all handled in the event of separation, not before.

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