King Francis: Marriage

FrancisI I’m on vacation this week, taking the little Curmudgeons to Disney World.   So I am lightening the blog load by posting some somewhat off-topic items that I wrote in advance.   Since I may literally be in Fantasyland when you read this, I am taking as my theme one of my favorite fantasies, that I am King of America and can rearrange things as I see fit.  Today, the topic is government recognition of marriage.

When I am king, there shall be no government sanctioned marriages.  Adults may have whatever domestic arrangements they like, blessed or not by the religious organization of their choice, but this will have no impact on their legal rights, the taxes they pay, or the benefits they receive from any government program.

Every time I see or read some impassioned friend or foe of same-sex marriage make their case I keep asking myself why so much energy goes into  something so entirely symbolic.   It is as if the concept of a marriage license was invented just so we could have something to fight over.  So I say  enough.  Do what you like.  It’s a free country.  (Except that it is ruled my me, your king.)

8 Comments

  • By stefanie, March 19, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

    You actually made the point of why people go crazy over marriage issues: because its not entirely symbolic in the US. Marriage instead is attached to many legal benefits that people who cannot get legally married do not have access to. i like your proclamation, and completely believe in it. I don’t believe in marriage of any kind; I do, however, support equal rights for all people. That is why I believe same-sex marriage should be legalized – there just is no such thing as “separate but equal” as we all should know by now.

  • By Thom, March 19, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    I’ve held something of a similar view for awhile now. I have nothing against giving people legal rights for things that are currently reserved for marriage, but I also fear that some would use the actual granting of marriage rights as a legal tool to force churches to perform marriages they are morally opposed to. It’s already been done with adoptions.

    Take the government out of the picture and everyone should be happy. Gays can marry if they like, but churches opposed to gay marriage can refuse to perform them.

  • By Amands, March 19, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

    Marriages are for churches to perform and are related to spirituality…Civil unions should be made available by government and should not be restricted by religious tenants. The mixing of Church and state (yet again) is the primary issue.
    The government rewarding people for participating in a religious ceremony is asinine. It needs to stop.

  • By GH, March 20, 2009 @ 12:16 am

    ‘Marriages are for churches to perform and are related to spirituality’

    Bullshit, marriage was first and foremost a civil act that was only later co-opted by various religions. Marriage needs to remain as it is.

    ‘The government rewarding people for participating in a religious ceremony is asinine. It needs to stop.’

    No what needs to stop is religious institutions barking about secular institutions. Just because they pretend they have a say in them doesn’t make it so.

  • By MLJ, March 20, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    “marriage was first and foremost a civil act that was only later co-opted by various religions.” I see it more as an evolution from pre-historic days where pairing off for mating purposes had rituals and tribal approvals attached to it. I think this was happening long before there was any distinction between the civil and the religous. GH, If you have any historical reference to back up your claim, let us know.

  • By GH, March 20, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

    I see it more as an evolution from pre-historic days where pairing off for mating purposes had rituals and tribal approvals attached to it.

    Generally agreed.

    I think this was happening long before there was any distinction between the civil and the religous. GH, If you have any historical reference to back up your claim, let us know.

    There are many, one needs only to research earliest marriage contracts(then as now marriage is/was a contract first and foremost) to see they are some of the first actual contract law instruments we have and generally involved one man contracting his daughter to another man.

    No mention of religion, no spirit filled concepts, just a simple contract the signing of which was often accompanied by a celebration or feast. Only later as various religions arose did they each add their own flavor to an already existing institution.

    They certainly don’t get to claim providence here.

  • By Frederick Maness, January 25, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    You are my breathing in, I possess few web logs and sometimes run out from post :) . “‘Tis the most tender part of love, each other to forgive.” by John Sheffield.

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