This is a hot button topic that has been used to divert attention from real issues!
I know that just pissed some of you off and that is just fine as far as I am concerned.
There have been battles fought across the nation for the right to persons involved in same-sex romantic relations to get married and enjoy the ‘legal’ benefits that are reserved for spouses.
I think this is a bad solution to a complex issue. Marriage should not be a legal issue, it should be a religious/spiritual ceremony, thus it should be up to each religious organization whom they determine to be eligible for marriage. This religious ceremony should have no more legal status than baptism or confirmation!
The legal counter-part that should give the desired benefits should be a Civil Union Declaration. This declaration should be made to the courts and should declare that 2 persons, regardless of their biological or religious relationship, wish to be seen as a union in the eyes of the law. This would give them all benefits that are now reserved only for spouses. This would also declare that the partner in the union can be supported by the other member in the union and gives the persons special status that is currently reserved for spouses, such as ‘spousal privilege’ and survivorship status if one of the union dies.
Why should we have 2 different statuses? There are several reasons for this solution. The first is that defining marriage, a religious union, by law violates not only the First Amendment, but also blurs the line between Church and State. Another reason is that ‘family’ comes in many different fashions and types and styles. Whom we love and how we love should NEVER be limited to the definitions of religious organizations or the whims of government.
Just because 2 people are involved in a romantic relationship regardless of any other factors, they should not have to ‘be married’ to be considered legitimate. Our divorce rate proves that a ‘marriage certificate’ does not improve relations or commitments. Also, sometimes siblings, cousins, or best friends have become life-long companions, AND that is okay and should not be discriminated against or judged, nor should it be considered less of a commitment to another person than any marriage.
It should not be the right of the government to determine the rightness of any relationship between 2 consenting adults. If people were allowed to identify their relationships as they fit their lives we would find less broken homes and lower divorce rates as well. Yes, there would have to be provisions for the dissolution of Civil Unions and yes, a husband and wife can also be parties of a Civil Union, but by allowing Civil Unions between any 2 adults you would recognize the importance of social contact and relations to the health and well-being of society as a whole.