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Gay Marriage: A Political Solution for Jesus-Followers

I am married. The state of WI declares that I am legally married. The state’s declaration that I am married has nothing at all to do with me actually being married. I am married because before God and siblings I entered into a mutual commitment with my wife  to be with her alone until death. Whatever the state, feds, or UN says about my marital status has absolutely no impact on whether or not I’m actually married. Being married is about a commitment leading to unity between two individuals that is much bigger than a government organization.

The point of two people getting married legally has to do with money and responsibility for each other. Getting married means potential tax breaks. Getting married means mutual ownership of property. Legal marriage means responsibility for the other’s debt. Being legally married means making decisions for the other when they can’t make decisions for themselves. Being legally married probably does a lot of things I don’t know about too. I don’t know much about the topic.

I do know that everything a marriage does can be done with a contract between two people and perhaps a small change in tax code wording. People can decide to make a contract with each other that combines possessions, incomes, assets, debts, and has them function as one entity when it comes to certain legal circumstances, including taxes. Why not eliminate government’s involvement in marriage altogether and use contract law to do what a marriage does legally without the government officially declaring a particular type of relationship a marriage? People keep talking about who should and should have a right to marry, but why are we acting like the government has any right or ability to decide who is married and who isn’t? The government merely assigns a legal status.

If the government’s role in marriage is simply a legal one, then let’s figure out how to do all the legal things a marriage does without calling it a marriage. Doesn’t this solve the problem? People would then have the same ability to file taxes jointly and have mutual ownership of property with someone of the same sex or someone of the opposite sex. Problem 1 solved. Those who oppose gay marriage and are concerned about maintaining their integrity can support people of the same sex having the same  legal relationship as those of the opposite sex without supporting gay marriage. Problem 2 solved.

Thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous
    April 6, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I am not sure that a loophole is what either side is looking for.

    “Civil unions” are an insulting concept to same-sex couples in that they don’t want to have to use a seperate title to describe a clear and well established concept. They just want to be married.

    And religious people feel that if same sex couples are married, it diminishes the concept of their traditional holy union. And I doubt that you would get them on board with the idea of banning their marriages.

    Pardon my use of generalizations and extreme view points. I certainly know there is a moderate crowd (like yourself, clearly) but the moderates are not out fighting for or against change.

    Your idea is an interesting one (though not a new one) but it is an idea of an already open-minded person. Love and tolerance are a part of who you are; hating the sin and loving the sinner in true practice. But same-sex couples will still want their marriage to be recognized in the same way a OMOW marriage is, and Christians will always want a distinction.

    I don’t know if people will ever stop ignoring that our country was built on religious freedom. It is ignored by all sides… the expression “freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion” comes to mind… but that is wrong. Freedom of religion, if it is true freedom, must include freedom from religion.

    Living as a Christian in this country, I don’t feel that I am diminishing my faith by not trying to interfere with the life choices of others. Will a straight person say “gay marriage just got legalized? I’m switching!” Or will a gay person say “aw, man… they are never gonna legalize gay marriage. I guess I will just be straight.” Clearly ridiculous. I am not condoning sin; I am just not ignorant enough to believe that we could prevent it with a law. And Christians aren’t out mandating on infidelity, tithing, the sabbath, lying, or dishonoring your parents…why should this issue get so much more attention than the others?

    I will not go out fighting for gay rights, because it isn’t a cause I identify with. But why should I fight against it? The laws of this country do not define my faith, nor do they diminish it. My love for my God and for my husband remain.

  2. April 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Your points about having a separate title for gay couples, religious people’s concern about gays being married, and religious people having their marriages planned are exactly the issues I was trying to avoid. I agree that they are the issues, but what I was trying to communicate, apparently poorly, is that there are solutions that don’t involve separate titles, gays legally married, or banning marriages of anyone else.

    I love your attitude about not having to control others to have a strong faith and recognizing that the laws of the country you live neither increase nor diminish your relationship with God. It’s actually kind of odd how rare that attitude is. Thanks for the thoughts Anonymous.

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