Gay Marriage, Briefly

I am not going to express my views on gay marriage today, I only want to make a quick note of something which has always bothered me.

I often hear people opposed to gay marriage saying they don’t want the government to award marriages to gay people because it threatens the sanctity of the religious institution of marriage. Alright, I can accept that. I wont say it’s a great way to win converts to your church, but faith is what it is. If marriage is a religious institution, and the religion offering it believes it should be between a man and a woman, then fine.

In that case, though, the government should stop awarding any marriages at all. Here’s why.

We have (should have) a strict divide between church and state, and for good reason. The state needs to represent the interests of everyone, while a church needs to represent the interests of just a portion of the population. To allow a church to dictate law is to oppress many to the beliefs of a few, and create laws founded not in in political theory but in faith based (non-rational) arguments.

So one of two things should happen. First choice, the sort of marriage you get from the government (a legal status conferring certain privileges) and the kind you get from a church (ordained by God) are different, in which case religious views on homosexuality shouldn’t matter to government policy. The government would make a decision based on how to run the state to produce the most benefit to the most people. (In our case, this would probably mean that anyone could marry anyone, since all people are afforded equal consideration under the law.) Second choice, marriage can be a purely religious rite, in which case the government can’t marry anyone. All government-only marriages are civil unions, and it’s up to individual couples to find a church to endorse their marriage.

Honestly, I don’t have much preference between these ideas. I would just like us to choose one of them, since our current policy is inconsistent with the way our government is organized. Frankly, trying to skirt the issue by offering “civil unions,” in essence second class marriages, to homosexual couples is just petty. Its effectively saying “We don’t want to admit it isn’t our business, so we’re letting you get legally married, but not really, and you sure can’t act like it.”

Hopefully the near future will bring a more reasonable policy one way or the other.

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One Response to “Gay Marriage, Briefly”

  1. doug Says:

    Don’t you know better?? you have no right to place any sane and rational thought into the topic of gay marriage.

    Your idea does seem to make for reasonable policy which I’m sure has no chance of being adopted.

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