This week one of the state reps from Merrimack posted a question on Facebook which started an interesting debate. The question was for conservatives on which direction to take the marriage fight as two different directions have been proposed.
The first option is to argue for marriage to go back to being defined as a man and a woman and limiting it to that.
The other option is to get the state out of the marriage business and for legal purposes only use the term "civil union".
Personally I think the 2nd option is the way to go but I'd be very interested in hearing the readers here on this forum chime in with their opinions as well.
The responses on Facebook were fairly split showing there are truly three unique parties, two of which are sharing the umbrella of the republican name.
Since I'm for limited government and I view marriage from a religious point of view being on the of sacraments I want government as far away from defining it as possible.
When marriage was first recognized by US government it was because women had no voice of their own. Men were allowed to speak on behalf of the wife's part to give her a voice in government. James Wilson, one of the original six US justices appointed by Washington, wrote
"The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become in law only one person... Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend. This principle, sublime and refined, deserves to be viewed and examined on every side."
But back then marriage was still left to a church. If your faith allowed you to consider yourself married to another it was in the eyes of the government as well because there were really no "rights" associated with it that a man or a woman didn't have outside of marriage.
Over time our country evolved for better or worse. In the 1920s was when government got involved and truly overstepped it's bounds by introducing marriage "licenses". They did this under the guise of requiring medical certification of persons seeking to be married but the real reason was racism. One of the things they checked for before giving out a license was to assure the couple was not interracial.
Now I don't know about you but if the government told me that while my faith may not see a problem with marrying the woman I love they do and they wont allow it, I'd have a problem with that.
On the same account, if my faith did not accept two men or two women as "married" then likewise I'd have a problem forcing it's views on me.
But if we were to get government out of the marriage business then no one is forced or denied the term marriage. If two men or two women call themselves married, good for them. If a religious person refuses to acknowledge that same couple, there's no one forcing them to do so.
I have no problem with two men or two women calling themselves married any more then I'd have a problem with them calling themselves hamburgers. It doesn't change my view of what a marriage or a hamburger is.
Jefferson's words from 1782 about God can just as easily be applied today to same sex marriage:
But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Like he spoke of views on God, it likewise does me no injury for my neighbor to say two men can be considered married or that two men cannot be considered married. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
I may also add that one of the points made in the facebook discussion was that allowing same sex marriages to happen in the eyes of government does force the rest of us to "subsidize" their union. I don't agree with that at all. Marriage doesn't "give" you anything. It lowers your taxes but a tax break isn't a subsidization, it's allowing you to keep more of your own money. Is that so wrong for ANYONE?
If you really think about it men on average earn more then women so having two men "marry" puts them both into high tax brackets. Since its biologically impossible for those two men to have a child together they aren't creating offspring which is the highest drain on taxpayers over all. So chances are they would still pay more into the system then they ever get back out of it.
And one last thing, yes same sex couples can adopt. Since thousands of babies are murdered at abortion clinics allowing one to live because a same sex couple is willing to care and raise for it is a positive is it not? Life is the most important thing of all so any choice that saves a life, even if that child is raised in a lifestyle we may not agree with is better then seeing that child murdered by an abortion doctor.