Marriage and the State

Watching a little Leno the other night, not a normal thing for me. Ellen was a guest, and I guess it was news that she recently married some woman. California allows that now I guess. She made a comment that made me think. People are raising money to help do something to get the California gay marriage thing overturned, and she made it seem like that was a bad idea considering the economic crisis that is going on. What made me think was what if proposition 18, or whatever it was – I can’t remember, did pass, and gay marriage in Cali was overturned. If the state comes in and says, “sorry, you are no longer married”, other than making them mad what does that really accomplish?

Here is my point, if the government showed up at my door tomorrow and burned my marriage certificate thingy, I would in no way cease to be married in reality (though I might have issues with lawyers and insurance companies and stuff like that who don’t believe me…). I think most people, at least the happily married ones, would feel the same way, and what that means is that governments role in defining marriage is bogus. As a disclaimer, I am not advocating homosexuality, or saying gay marriages should be allowed. I am just saying people need to think more about the definition of marriage and who has the right to change it.

I see marriage having two levels, a theological or spiritual level, and a social contract level. The state has jurisdiction over one but certainly not the other. I think a lot of the controversy over the whole gay marriage thing has to do with people missing this distinction and not understanding definitions, the government seizing to much of a role, and the people not questioning the government enough in that. Share your thoughts but keep it a friendly exchange please.

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