Monday, October 6, 2014

Wuvvvv, twoooo wuvvv

I'm married. To a man. I love him. I believe an Almighty and loving force brought us together and keeps us together through the hard work and commitment a marriage requires. Our lives are forever intertwined by our own choosing - a choice made once upon a time and every day since.

Even if we were not legally wed, we would still be married, as that is the choice we made and prayed to be blessed in the presence of our Almighty and our families and friends.

We chose to be legally bound, too, because of the many benefits afforded to married people, such as tax rates, insurance coverage, medical power of attorney, joint ownership of property and debt, and more. I am not the property of my husband, however, as would have been the case not too many centuries ago, which originated the need to make marriage a legal institution.

I fully believe, however, that the marriage of our spirits and our legal marriage are two completely separate entities. If there were no benefits to being legally wed, it would have sufficed for us to have only been married in the eyes of the church. But there ARE benefits to being legally married. Real, life-changing, right-bearing benefits. As long as those rights are reserved for two people to choose, they should be available to all pairs of people who legally agree to share those rights. Any two people. ANY.

Why shouldn't a friend be able to cover a friend on his or her insurance if the two agree to share the expense? Why can't two cousins file their income taxes jointly if each saves a little in the end? Who says two people who love each other have to surrender their individual rights to claim communal rights?

That's how our country works, though. We have antiquated ideas about marriage as a legal institution, one founded on a father's transfer of property, AKA his daughter, to another man's ownership. Humans are the ones who decided to make marriage a legal institution. We who profess to believe in a divine being, who want to follow the will of the Almighty - we are the ones who decided to make laws to regulate something we say is ordained by our God.

Huh?

We say marriage is a holy union between heterosexuals ONLY and that God blesses pairs of humans who load the Ark two-by-two. Then we hand that holiness over to legislators, attorneys, nations - scribes and Pharisees, if you will. We take our combined souls and trade them in for a document that says we can automatically inherit the other's stuff without needing a will. For real. What the what?

My point, and I have one, is that we have made marriage a legal opportunity, a civil right, if you will. We have excluded a legal right from being available to everyone based on our own religious principles. But be not mistaken: we are the ones who made it unholy. We are the ones who rendered marriage less sanctified by making it available to any Dick and Jane who sign a paper in a courthouse. But then we complain if Jane and Jane think they deserve to sign a paper, because our God-in-a-box says it's icky.

So let me be clear for those who still don't get it and likely won't:
As long as marriage is a legal institution, it must be available to any two humans of consenting age who wish to enter that contract together.

If you want to protect your perceived notion and the so-called sanctity of marriage, make it strictly a religious joining and don't offer legal advantages to those who do it.

Abolish marriage licenses.
Abolish civil unions between any two humans.
Make no legal concessions for spouses.

If you want to be greedy about love, make it only possible in your limited religious scope.

Above all, quit making love about hate.

4 comments:

Jennifer Strudwick said...

YES!!!!

MichelleB said...

Awesome!

Emily Johnson said...

Oh, Meesh, I love you more every day!!

Kevin Hayne Sitnik said...

I have a slightly different take. The first clause of the First Amendment ("the Establishment Clause") states that "Amendment I--Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...". The concept of 'marriage' in my opinion is historically religious. Thus all laws bestowing benefits upon marriage are unconstitutional. Government has no business in religion. If we as a nation wish to bestow legal rights upon such unions, all benefits should only accrue to 'civil unions.' What should anyone care whether the government recognizes their 'union' as a 'civil union' -- a legal institution, rather than a marriage. Any couple (or religious group) is free to describe their union as a marriage, and the religious group can place its own restrictions on who can get married. But insofar as the law goes, I believe all civil unions should be open to any two consenting adults, and identical benefits should be granted to all civil unions. We don't need to look far back (the '60's), where 'marriage' was denied to interracial couples under the law, but not under religious ceremony. I favor keeping government out of religion altogether. I've heard some people say they want the government to recognize all unions as "marriage" as though that singular word is the sine qua non of the debate. Should ordination be subject to government regulation as well? Should government dictate that Catholics allow female priests based upon equality under the law? Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, but keep what belongs to God for him. That's what I think the Establishment Clause requires. I'm married--not because the government says so--but because my wife and I, and my church, say so. In the eyes of the government, I'm content that it recognizes our "legal / civil union." That's the take of this lawyer/ scribe / Pharasee. :)