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My opinion:

Marriage is a religious institution defined as the union of man and woman. The government has no business endorsing this religious institution. The government, instead, should only sanction civil unions. If you want to get married, go to a church that will marry you.

End of handwringing.

Pheo, that still leaves the same argument about who should or should not be entitled to go down to City Hall and be joined in a civil union. Don't we still end up with the same messy argument?

What overriding public interest is served by denying the rights of gays to enter into a social contract of a civil union? On the contrary, there is a public health interest in promoting monogamy in both heterosexual and homosexual unions. When most people are pressed as to why gay marriage shouldn't be accepted, the basis for their argument is often that God says it's wrong. Can they make the same argument that God wants to prevent gays from enjoying the same rights to, for example, transfer registered retirement savings plans to surviving homosexual partners without paying taxes the way straight couples can? People will find that they have no foundation for opposing civil unions because the religion argument has been removed from the equation.

Courts have recently ruled that governments can't give gay marriage rights by a different name (i.e., "civil union") because of the "separate but equal" problem. The solution is for governments to only offer civil unions. Do you have a belief that marriage is important? Great. Support your church in its efforts to convince other people of that fact. Get married in the church. But we can't force our religion through legislation on other people. Yet we as a nation are contemplating for the first time amending the constitution to take away rights. Think about that.

Until someone can demonstrate how having gay civil unions harms my marriage or harms society in any real way, I won't be easily persuaded to oppose them. In thirty years, when a generation has passed and gay unions are just a normal part of our diverse society, we will all look back and wonder why we got so worked up over this issue. I want to be able to look back and say I was on the right side of this issue the same way my father is able to look back and say he was on the right side of the racial civil rights issue.

Well stated, Pheo. See my thoughts on civil unions in prior posts here and here.

Louisiana voters overwhelming passed a one-man/one-woman marriage amendment last month. (I voted against, for the record.) The states are making their voices heard. I think a civil/religious divide is a nice solution. Are all marriages also civil unions? If so, I would probably start referring to my DH as my partner, though...even though we are married. Solidarity, you know.

Then of course we can watch different church's duke it out as to what counts as "marriage"--Mormon's will have the only true marriage and other churches will tell us that our marriages aren't real marriages.

Then of course we can watch different churches duke it out as to what counts as "marriage"--Mormon's will have the only true marriage and other churches will tell us that our marriages aren't real marriages:)

Mathew, what a hoot! Thanks for the laugh. I think, though, that if the civil law were to recognize a marriage, it wouldn't matter what other religions thought.

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