Marriage and Government

Glenn Beck’s trusty radio sidekick Stu has a great take on the governmental approval of same-sex marriage:

Think about your marriage, if you have one, and break it up by percentage.  (Yes, I’m a true romantic.)  Where do you get the value in your marriage?  What is important?

  • Love –  Obviously, this is usually number one.
  • Faith – Recognition by your church/faith is important to most, but not all.
  • Family – Recognition by your family, important to some.
  • Kids – Having the most stable unit possible to raise a family, important to many.
  • Government – Having faceless bureaucrats hang on to paperwork acknowledging you got married for one or more of the other reasons. Important to….????

Who cares if the government recognizes your marriage?  I’m not talking about same-sex marriage–I’m talking about every marriage.  I take nothing of value from the fact that the government acknowledges I’m married (more on tax breaks in a second).  I don’t care what they think about it.  I care what my wife, family, kid(s), and church think about it.  I don’t care what my selectman thinks.

That’s why I support marriage equality in this form: the government should have no say in any of it for anybody.  I don’t need or want their approval to be perfectly honest.  I simply don’t care what they think of my love life.

And that, for me, seems to be a crucial issue in the gay marriage debate that no one wants to talk about. Why is it the government’s business at all who can or can’t get married? Marriage does confer certain legal benefits, but how does that translate as the ability of the government to determine what partners should be available to you? That should be determined by you, your partner, and whatever gods or religious rules you should adhere to — it is not the business of the state.

Because at it’s heart, most of the objection to same-sex marriage is religious in nature, and one person’s religious biases should not dictate who another person can marry.*

And since it is always brought up when gay marriage is discussed, yes, this applies to  polygamy as well. Polygamy has functioned through all of recorded history, and is practiced in many places in the world. I’m open to an argument that polygamy is not a good idea (I wouldn’t do it myself), but I haven’t heard any good reason to make it illegal other than “that’s not what good Christians do.” Come up with another argument, and I’ll listen.

* Prediction: most people who read this and disagree will respond with either an accusation that I am gay, or that I hate Jesus. I can’t see how such assumptions do anything but help prove my point that most opposition to gay marriage is based in religious bias (or outright anti-gay bigotry), and hence has no business in determining government policy.

  1. #1 by Order in the Quart! on Sat 19 Nov 2011 - 22:25

    Those are interesting observations and some with which I would concur. Government gives no stamp of approval upon my life, so long as it isn’t a violation of the law. Therein lies the problem. We have to have boundaries for those who cannot, will not, or refuse to govern themselves. It is, indeed, a conundrum, when we have to determine what that balance is! When is government needed and when should they butt out? This is the crux of the matter! As far as polygamy, while I, too, do not support it, I cannot understand (and I have tried many times) to understand how this is a violation of law and co-habitation, partnerships, and civil unions (in some states) are not. ??? Since the government has no form of absolute truth, what do they gain as the measuring stick, because this one doesn’t work.

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