Small government; so small it can fit in a uterus and demand that you give birth.
Yes indeed Kara. Bob I imagine most are just looking for a "civil marriage", justice of the peace, though I thought there are a few denominations that do accept same sex couples.
Right Jeremy. Most gay and lesbian people I know want a marriage in the legal sense, not necessarily "holy matrimony" in the religious one. Of course a few do actually want some sort of religious ceremony. I personallly don't get that, and believe the religious side is a matter for the churches to decide. If you happen to be a member of a church which condemns LGBT people, then vote with your feet (and your tithe).
The only real difference between civil unions and marriages is that all states recognize marriages but not civil unions. Because of that, couples engaged in civil unions don't receive any federal benefits that marriages would (whatever those may be). Basically it's laid out in the Defense of Marriage Act signed in 1996 by Clinton that prohibits same sex couples from receiving federal marriage rights and benefits.
I'll admit I had to look it up because I had no idea either. Here's the source for a little more information: http://www.factcheck.org/what_is_a_civil_union.html
I have made the same argument myself may times its just Jim Crow all over again separate but equal is never equal and never will be its just cover for discrimination.
The terms marriage and union as English words mean the same thing, in essence.
As for their legal meaning in the U.S., I believe its fine for a religious group to not consider gays as being "married" because the view of a religious group have nothing to do with the law. The secular state cannot recognize a religious definition of anything and cannot discriminate against practices or people for any reason which is based on a religious view. If the state is going to consider gay "unions" or heterosexual "marriages" somehow legally different, it must have a justification to do so which can withstand reason.
I'm not sure it's only Christians who will say that. Even some atheists might feel that, in some heavily Christian locales, even that little is so much of an advance that little more can be expected anytime soon.
Christians think tanks, such as those at the Family Research Council, use the child bearing one a lot. I don't think its a very good argument.
The FRC version of it reasons that:
1. It is the only relevant factor, i.e. ignoring property rights and more in regards to marriage because "unions" and other legal statuses can deal with that
2. The fact that many couples choose not to or are incapable of having children does not put a damper in their stance because those who don't intend to have children might change their minds, and those incapable might be surprised and have one
The idea that the couple can use an alternate legal method to attain couples rights sounds exactly like Sophie's picture, to me.
The 2nd justification is just plain silly. Many couples who choose not to have children simply will not change their minds, and there are ways to reduce the chances of childbearing to close to 0 that we can safely say they won't have any accidents. Some people marry at very old ages, or who are missing the means to reproduce, for whatever reason, such that they definitely won't be surprised with a child... we don't discriminate against these people for wanting to have a marriage even if it definitely won't involve having a child.
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