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Isn't marriage a separation of church and state issue?

Old 02-17-08, 01:49 AM
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Isn't marriage a separation of church and state issue?

I am confused (and I apologize if this has been discussed before...I did a search and came up with nothing on it) as to why marriage is even a political hot topic. Granted, not everybody who gets married out there holds religious beliefs, but let's face it: for the large majority of American's it is usually a religious ceremony that's held to join two people in "Holy Matrimony."

So why the heck fire are we electing people into office and empowering them with the right to say who should be able join in holy matrimony? Why isn't this part of separation of church and state?

I say let marriage be private between the two parties involved, and if the pastor doesn't want to marry them and has objections, then that's his right, they can find another pastor.

So I guess my POV is that the government shouldn't be issuing decrees on if gays can marry or not, but on the same token, I don't believe they should be issuing decrees on ANY stance on who should be allowed to marry or not. They don't issue decrees on other church related ceremonies, so why on this? I don't understand. Or is it just for civil unions, and not religious ceremonies?
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Old 02-17-08, 03:59 AM
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One of the most intelligent conversations I have ever read on it was in the comic book EX Machina by Brian K. Vaughan.


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Old 02-17-08, 04:06 AM
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Definitely sounds like <i>my</i> marriage.

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Old 02-17-08, 08:31 AM
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I think there are many people who agree with you and think govt should get out of the marriage business altogether. Many of them think we should go the route of civil marriages for everyone. Others say that marriage is NOT a religious institution and so this has nothing to do with separation of church and state
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Old 02-17-08, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by calhoun07
So why the heck fire are we electing people into office and empowering them with the right to say who should be able join in holy matrimony? Why isn't this part of separation of church and state?
The people making the most noise about gay marriage amendments don't believe in the separation of church and state.
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Old 02-17-08, 08:41 AM
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It depends on how you view separation of church & state to some people.

Folks have varying views as to what that phrase means.
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Old 02-17-08, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
It depends on how you view separation of church & state to some people.

Folks have varying views as to what that phrase means.
True, they have no problem with the church invading the domain of the state, but let the state try and say anything about the church...
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Old 02-17-08, 09:14 AM
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Tell the forum what the 'domain of the state' is that they want to invade..
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Old 02-17-08, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Tell the forum what the 'domain of the state' is that they want to invade..
"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards,"

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Old 02-17-08, 10:53 AM
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Ironically, there are more churches out there that will recognize same-sex marriages than there are U.S. States.
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Old 02-17-08, 11:42 AM
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We use the word "marriage" to refer to two distinct things.

One is a recognition of the relationship between two people recognized by the state. That confers certain legal benefits, ranging from inheretance rights to testimonial privleges to tax advantages. And you can get this kind of marriage performed by a civil searvant down at city hall.

The other is a recognition of the relationship of two people recognized by a religious institution. Each religious institution decides who is eligible to be married in its eyes. Some religions, for example, will only perform a marriage between two members of the religion. And, as Groucho noted, there are some religions that recognize gay marriage.

Once you recognize that "marriage" is one word referring to two different things, it becomes easy to see that there's no church-state issue.
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Old 02-17-08, 12:26 PM
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JasonF is (as always) correct. And when you consider the difference between these two terms, the whole boondoggle over gay marriage is even more riddiculous.
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Old 02-17-08, 01:19 PM
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I wouldn't mind the state issuing some sort of "civil union" for all couples who wish to legally declare their bond together and let the religions sort out who's "married" by their own rules.
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Old 02-17-08, 02:02 PM
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I don't see how the current way marriage works establishes a religion or keeps people from practicing religion
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Old 02-17-08, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I wouldn't mind the state issuing some sort of "civil union" for all couples who wish to legally declare their bond together and let the religions sort out who's "married" by their own rules.
I think we will probably progress toward civil unions; a state recognition like JasonF mentions. Separate from the religious aspect of marriage it will still be a contentious issue -- like sole custody rights that typically favor mothers in divorces for example.
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Old 02-17-08, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
I don't see how the current way marriage works establishes a religion or keeps people from practicing religion
you don't? Why is 'marriage' considered by the state to exist only between men and women?
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Old 02-18-08, 10:51 AM
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Is there a tax benefit to filing a joint return? If so maybe some gay couple, prohibited from marrying, should file a legal case that they are being taxed at an unfair/higher rate because they are gay.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Birrman54
you don't? Why is 'marriage' considered by the state to exist only between men and women?
Because they are the only pair capable of nature reproduction amongst themselves, barring medical issues. That is also the predominately socially accepted form of marriage, for the entire existence of civilization.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
Others say that marriage is NOT a religious institution and so this has nothing to do with separation of church and state
A marriage, legally speaking, has nothing to do with religion.

It requires only two things - a license and a ceremony. The ceremony requires only an officiant (one licensed to conduct marriages) and a affirmation of intent to be wed.

That's it.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rw2516
Is there a tax benefit to filing a joint return? If so maybe some gay couple, prohibited from marrying, should file a legal case that they are being taxed at an unfair/higher rate because they are gay.
It depends on the joint return.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by rw2516
Is there a tax benefit to filing a joint return? If so maybe some gay couple, prohibited from marrying, should file a legal case that they are being taxed at an unfair/higher rate because they are gay.
Tax benefits, insurance benefits, estate benefits... discounted YMCA memberships...
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Old 02-18-08, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rw2516
Is there a tax benefit to filing a joint return? If so maybe some gay couple, prohibited from marrying, should file a legal case that they are being taxed at an unfair/higher rate because they are gay.
I don't think that case could win, and if it did it would probably just get the tax code changed rather than the marriage code.

But either way, the vast majority of the tax code is a government threesome because it fucks married people.
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Old 02-18-08, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Because they are the only pair capable of nature reproduction amongst themselves, barring medical issues.
So wouldn't it be better to restrict marriage to two people who are able and willing to reproduce. That way, you only get the benefits of marriage if you're propagating the species.
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Old 02-18-08, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by solipsta
So wouldn't it be better to restrict marriage to two people who are able and willing to reproduce. That way, you only get the benefits of marriage if you're propagating the species.
The fact is that homosexuality simply does not have enough social acceptance among the general populace. It's the general populace that sets the social norms. Generally speaking, those people are religious and socially conservative when it comes to homosexuality (i.e., they don't like it).

More importantly however, it's the general populace that puts people into office.

Personally, I don't have issues with this sort of thing, because it doesn't effect me. Gay people getting married don't make my marriage any less special. Gay people having / adopting children wouldn't make my parenthood any less important.

Unfortunately, a majority of Americans believe that it will.

Until that is changed, gay marriage will continue to be banned.
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Old 02-18-08, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
And, as Groucho noted, there are some religions that recognize gay marriage.
Certain churches and denominations yes, I wouldn't catagorize them as "religions" though. Neither did Groucho, who correctly said "churches."
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