Wednesday, August 6, 2014

So what is a "marriage" anyway?

Edie Windsor
The purpose of, and for, marriage is to create a marital estate. Marriage discrimination activists define marriage, not to characterize the institution, but to delineate it in a way that disqualifies same-sex marriage.

If one peruses the amicus briefs in United States v. Windsor those who support marriage discrimination collectively assert that the purpose of  marriage is to crank out children. This “responsible procreation” argument took shape as a direct result of the marriage equality movement. They further assert that marriage is the way that the government encourages “responsible procreation,” whatever that means.

More than one jurist has challenged the procreation argument with the observation that we permit couples who cannot have children, or choose not to have children, to marry. The limp retort is that “God willing it is still a possibility.” Sure. For the “responsible procreation” argument (or definition) to have any traction one has to demonstrate that same-sex marriage has a mysterious and adverse effect on so-called “traditional marriage.” No one has been able to explain how that works. No one! If responsible procreation is the issue then they are claiming, by logical extension, that same-sex marriage has some effect on how  (as in method), how often and when opposite-sex couples are having sex?

Robert George, along with acolytes (or lackies) Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, even wrote a book full of the theoretical consequences of marriage equality. According to the authors the tome explains why defining civil marriage to accommodate same-sex couples is unnecessary, unreasonable, and contrary to the common good. Of course. An entire book written to describe marriage in a way that eliminates a class of potential participants. It was designed to influence the Supreme Court in Windsor. It didn't; at least not the majority opinion. 153 pages of pseudo-intellectual refutable rubbish in Thomistic style.These folks wonder why they cannot fix what they cannot honestly define.

At the core of the Christian definition of marriage is probably the passage from Mark 10:8; “… and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” That is a somewhat mystical religious definition of marriage. In spite of numerous refrains about what the founders of our country were thinking, “one flesh” mysticism is not on the Constitution. That is in spite of the fact that Christians were a 95.5% majority in the latter part of the 18th century.

Based on the opposition to same-sex marriage one would think that we are out to change the teachings of the Catholic Church or various Christian denominations. Churches can continue to marry only those couples who meet the qualifications of their religions. Not only can they not explain the consequences of same-sex marriage, they cannot even coherently explain why they are opposed to it.

Marriage equality is about civil marriage statutes.

Civil marriage creates a marital estate. It exists to provide for a surviving spouse or any children of the marriage in the event that one or both spouses die or the marriage is dissolved. Edie Windsor is a surviving spouse who wanted to be treated as a spouse for tax purposes. That is what the landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor is all about. Property has always been what marriage is about.

I don't want to throw cold water on romance. For sure, marriage is about the legal recognition of a loving relationship. It also creates an affinity between the couple, in-laws and extended family. Yet in civil law it is about income, assets and community property. It's about how property is redistributed in the event of death or dissolution.

Gay couples are raising children. That is a fact and that fact is not going to change. How could anyone object to the civil arrangement that is best for providing for those kids if one or both of the parents die? As couples, gays face the same economic and social challenges as opposite-sex couples. Creating a marital estate makes people more secure.

If Robert George and the rest of the Opus Dei cultists think that same-sex marriage is a sin they have every right not to enter into one. Moreover, the Church has every right not to consecrate a same-sex marriage. Most synagogues and many Christian denominations disagree with the Church (as well as fundamentalist Christians). So the question is not just to ask what their objection is. A second question is required to ask why they think that they have supremacy over other religions. Religious hubris should not be shaping our civil laws.

I often wonder if these people understand that, if we cannot marry our same-sex partners, we are not going to go out and get married to the opposite sex for the purpose of making babies. They do get that, right?

Just today I read a new and novel reason why gays should not enjoy marriage equality. Apparently, allowing gays to marry further distances us from natural law. They further claim that the United States Constitution is based upon natural law. Ergo the Constitution starts to fall apart. They claim:
As any student of our nation's history understands, our entire system of government is based on the understanding that natural law exists and that it governs our liberties.
No they don't. None of that is true!

You have to ask yourself whether any of these people actually believes what they are saying. They seem willing to attempt to misguide us all in order to appease their angry God (and their God is always pissed off)?

So who is it that seeks to "redefine" marriage?


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