Should ONLY Churches Marry Couples?
I want your thoughts and responses today, please…. I have hesitated to wade into the debates and battles over gay marriage, either here or more privately. But I do now want to throw out one simple idea for discussion. Honestly… I haven’t spent time thinking through all the implications and really want your input and discussion among comment-ors. Same-sex marriage is an important issue on more than one level, as my explanation of the idea will bring out.
The idea is a step that, if taken in my state of California, and potentially all states, could eliminate all the wasteful, untasteful fights over things like our “Prop 8” and the “Defense of Marriage Act”.
It is not original to me, but I’ve heard little about the idea…. It is this:
Let each state or pertinent government now issuing “marriage” licenses move to issuing ONLY “civil union” licenses, to everyone wanting one, under the same age criteria and such now in place.
THEN anyone wanting to be “married” in a moral, spiritual or social sense (but legally unnecessary and irrelevant) could go to a church/minister for such a ceremony and consider themselves married in a way that their civil license might not satisfy for them. (IRS regulations and such would switch terminology from “married” to “civilly united” if necessary.)
Seems to me that pretty simply could solve the “gay marriage” issues on the political level, with the bonus that it would enhance separation of church and state rather than perpetuate their current entanglement on this issue.
I’m sure there would still be resistance to this from many religious or other conservatives but I think that might diminish quicker and a broadly acceptable situation settle out faster than under the current political, legislative, judicial battles.
What are your thoughts and opinions?
(If you are from another country than the USA, please share your perspectives also…. We need to learn from others’ experiences and wisdom beyond our borders. Thank you!)