Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gay Marriage...

The Republican sabre rattling over gay marriage continues to get louder and louder. A gay rights group recently stated: if marriage is indeed about the family unit, heterosexual couples should all be required to have biological children. This argument makes an interesting point, but there really is a lot more to marriage than just having kids.

A marriage allows a couple to enjoy spousal rights.

Some examples:
* If a spouse in a horrible accident, marriage allows the partner to make medical decisions for them.
* If a spouse dies, marriage sets up an inheritance.
* If a spouse is sick, marriage means that health insurance will often cover them.
* If a spouse is asked to testify in court, marriage protects the partner against their testimony.
* Marriage affects banking (depends on state in what ways/how)
* Marriage provides a mechanism for seperation, divorce, and division of assets.

Most of these things can be done through a convoluted combination of legal paperwork. But even then, there are large portions of things today that require family ties. Basic things like visiting someone in the hospital.

The current definition of marriage is completely tied to a Christian basis. A marriage must be between a man and a woman. A man cannot marry more than one woman or another man, and women have a similar treatment. The argument against gay marriage is that a marriage is about providing a family unit for children. If that's true, why is a marriage not defined by a couple having children?

The current definition of marriage is an establishment of Christian theology in government.

Destructing marriage in order to remove this establishment would destroy spousal rights across heterosexual couples creating an enourmous outrage. The denial of gay marriage by conservatives represents an attempt to prevent strong homosexual relationships from forming. By denying marriage, a homosexual couple can not have the legal benefits of family.

The problem with this debate is that marriage is more religious than legal in the eyes of many people. The second you mention "gay marriage", a person shouts "that's not what the bible teaches". But marriage as a religious institution has no place in government.

In short, the protections and complications of a bonded relationship between people span more than the heterosexual couple. If the government is going to recognize that specific case, then it should recognize them all even if it does not use the term "marriage". And further, it should recognize them all equally.

That conservatives fight over this issue is further proof they are not in reality conservative. A conservative government would have only a bare minimal law for civil unions or marriages to provide for basic spousal rights and freedoms. Yet again, gay marriage shows to me that the difference between republicans and democrats is the space between my genitals and wallet.

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