Contest To Rename the Marriage License
GOAL: To find a name the religious right and the homosexuals can tolerate, understand and accept.
1. Civil union tax. (which it is)
2. Contract to have sex without guilt.
3. Declaration of perpetual bliss. (yea right)
4. Pre-divorce contract.
5. Wedlock agreement/tax/license.
I think if I can get this changed and end the contentiousness, I would be in line for the Nobel Peace Prize, right? Help me out here, because that puppy is worth about $1.2 million smacks. Show me the money!
For me the ‘gay marriage' issue is basically about semantics, on both sides. The word ‘marriage' seems to be the crux of the problem.
So the two big, and I mean big, questions are:
1. Would the religious right be okay if the homosexual civil unions were not called marriages?
2. Would the gay/lesbian supporters be okay with a designation other than marriage?
Marriage is according to Webster, and there are several definitions but I usually go for the simplest one, is ‘an intimate or close union'. That could be a same sex friendship, without sex! Union does not necessarily imply sex, which is indicative of many existing marriages. Union could be a spiritual bond. Women pride themselves in being intimate with their girlfriends. Men have ‘buddies' they hang with, but under no circumstances are we to call it intimate. We're ‘close', maybe. Got that.
Nevertheless, they are same sex relationships, as in homosexual. Would it help if we called it homogenderal? I sense another award of some kind.
Historically the marriage license has always been a legal document. A tax. Period. That is why it is not issued by a religion. Basically, it helps protect the partners in legal matters, most notably in the divorce proceedings.
A lot of people live together in ‘common law' situations (i.e. ‘in sin') for years. I have two friends I play golf with, who are in their 70's mind you, and have gotten married in the last year to women they have lived with 15-16 years. I don't think either one of them did it in a church. They did it to protect their accumulated assets upon death. It had nothing to do with their ‘intimate or close union'. It was a legal thing.
My question is, how come the religious right does not and has not ever objected to marriages that are not religious in nature? You know the kind done in court house by the justice of the peace, with or without the shotgun toting father of the bride. Or how about those done in Las Vegas with ‘Elvis' as the best man? Never been any objections to calling them marriages. The partners could both be atheists, and the zealots would not care, as long as they are man and woman. So, what's the big deal if 2 guys or gals want to live together? It was once called roommates. The rub comes when sex is involved. So, why should the religious right care? If these people choose to go to hell, as the religious right would suggest, who are they to say they can't go to hell? The religious right feels the 2 atheists of opposite sex who get married are going to hell also. Where's the outrage or indignation there?
My point is if the religious right doesn't oppose weddings in Las Vegas and on courthouse steps between other kinds of sinners, why are the homogenderals singled out? (I'm copywriting that word. Big bucks in copywriting.)
On the other side of the coin, why can't the gays be satisfied with calling it precisely what it is? A civil union for legal purposes. Their insistence on calling it a marriage, I believe, is mainly to incite the religious right. It's part of being a ‘flamer'.
Let's face it, many of gays who are pushing the issue are histrionic (flamers) at best and enjoy ‘stirring it up' when flaunting their lifestyle. Lesbians, on the other hand, with real estrogen levels, don't seem to be associated with and are not usually identified with the histrionics. It's the boys holding hands in front of city hall that really irate the bible thumpers.
I have not been able to find any statistics on the percentage of marriage licenses that end up in religious ceremonies, but I would guess that it may be actually less than 50%. And again I ask, where is the opposition of the religious right on these civil unions of men and women?
Why are they not offensive? Civil unions are clearly not religious, are they not?
Also, can the various religious groups unite behind one justification to oppose homosexual unions? Which of the 1000's of versions of the Bible will they decide to quote to justify their position? This fragmentation of interpretation is precisely why the many, many, many denominations, sects and groups of organized religion are actually more about division, and less about tolerance and uniting people.
I know of which I speak, because I lived below the Mason-Dixon line for about a year and as a Catholic I was not considered Christian. Hello, Peter was the first Pope. I think we have history on our side. Talk about stirring it up! Okay, moving right along.
I would suggest to the religious that you do not have to approve of it, or understand it, to tolerate it. Just because your moral indignation is rampant does not make them bad or evil people. My advice to the ‘thumpers' is you aren't going to ‘save' these people, no matter what your particular version of the Bible tells you. In fact you are very unlikely to ‘save' anyone who doesn't want to be saved. The chances they will choose to become heterosexual, are slim and none. But, if you are nice to them and let them ‘marry', and live in peace, they may be more open to your message. Just a thought.
I would ask the gay community, why do you insist on calling it ‘a marriage'. Is it anything less than a ‘vendetta' against a childhood of guilt caused by religious intolerance, quite possibly from the church your parents dragged you to. If you are as mature as you want others to believe, then compromise and accept the title of ‘civil union' no matter how spiritual or enlightened you believe you are. In fact I would think you would be glad your ceremony is not religious in nature or a religious rite. And if you need religion to validate it, find one. As I mentioned, there are plenty of them to choose from. Better yet start your own. You just need a building and some other legal documents…for tax purposes, don't ya know. (winking happy face here)
Bottom line is…I suggest that each side get past the semantics and let people live.
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