A Gay-Marriage Solution: End Marriage?
By MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER
I read the article on Yahoo. It arises from an article by two professors at Pepperdine University.
Basically their argument is that there are a good many religious sacraments and rituals that are commonly practiced by adherents of various faiths that have no place in the law of the land. Examples of such sacraments given include Jewish bar mitzvah, Catholic confirmation, and baptism.
Marriage, alone, has both religious sacrament and legal status.
So the professors propose that we simply do away with legal marriage and leave it entirely to the religious groups who value it.
They (the profs) recognize that we would have to create a new kind of legal entity to replace marriage. The Yahoo article mentions a certificate of family or civil union. But really it could be named anything other than marriage to remove the religious meaning.
Whatever it would be called would be available equally to all couples who wanted to so engage each other.
And it would, of course, not preclude those who wanted to also avail themselves of religious marriage in whatever faith of choice. Well, I suppose also it would have to be membership in good standing of whatever faith of choice.
I've thought of this myself as a reasonable solution to the current controversy. It seems rather a good and fair choice to me. After all a lot of people who marry really do not care about the religious basis I think. Or at least as practiced it does not seem so to me.
According to the Yahoo article it has gained some momentum.
I wonder if we are ready to lose the marriage label for civil unions? I don't have much attachment to the civil version myself.
It also poses some interesting issues. For instance you could terminate the legal contract of marriage. But what about the religious contract? Or what if one or both individuals left the original church fellowship? And that's not to mention denominations and world wide religions and so on.
Still I think the idea has considerable merit.