My Latest Attept at Staying Topical

February 23, 2004

There's been a lot of stuff in the news about gay marriage lately. People seem to be really pissed about it, too. Somehow letting two guys go through the pain of a divorce is worse than Britney Spears running off to Las Vegas for 55 hours of marital bliss.

Anyway, here's my take on it: People are conflating two concepts that unfortunately carry the same name. On the one hand you have a church marriage. A huge affair, complete with overpriced one-off clothing, goverened by a priest of some sort. On the other hand there's the civil marriage, in which a consenting couple signs what is essentially a contract in front of a couple witnesses and a notary.

Chruch marriages can double as a civil marriage; priests, I believe, are allowed to notarize the mariage license. Likewise, churches that haven't met certain state criteria can create a spiritually binding marriage but not a legally binding one. (Pagan/Wiccan marriages come to mind here.) And of course, you can go down to the courthouse and sign the marriage license with no big ceremony. Only the first and third are recognized by the state. Without the paper you ain't married.

Now, people seem to think that, if gays are allowed to marry, they'll be forcing the church to do something it doesn't want to do. At least that's my guess, because that's the only reason people would be so vehement about it. But of course that isn't what is implied; only that two men or women would be allowed to go downtown and sign a piece of paper like is currently happening in San Francisco.

From neither a legal standpoint nor an ethical one can I see reason to prevent gay people from taking part in a civil marriage. Call it a "civil union" if you will, but you have to call a straight couple's that too, and they have to be the exact same thing. Equal protection and all. If people want a church marriage, let them find a church that will marry them; to the state the religious ceremony is irrelevant.

And enough of this "sanctity of marriage" garbage. Marriage hasn't been sacred in a long time; half the people who try it get divorced. Frankly, I think gay people are lucky in that they don't even have to consider dealing with it given that marriage doesn't really accomplish much of anything. So, all you "sanctity of mariage" types: Just come right out and say "Ah don't like dem faggits" so rational people can dismiss you for the 'tard you are.

February 20, 2004February 24, 2004