Marriage: A Ceremony Complicated By Government Interference

Marriageby Leigh Bravo6/29/15
The Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is the new norm.  But the real question is, should the government have any say in what constitutes marriage at all? What if there was a way to stop the controversy? What if we took government out of the business of marriage completely?

We have seen, over the past 6 years, government remove any signs of “Faith” from our schools, our government offices, our memorials, our military and our foreign policy.  But why then, are we allowing the government to make a decision about what most believe is a religious ceremony?

How can a government who claims to support the “freedom of religion,” threaten to take away tax exempt status and any and all government benefits due under the law, because religious beliefs don’t align with the government’s new regulations or interpretations of the law? Are we now going to allow our government to define and regulate our religious doctrines? Hillary Clinton and President Obama have both suggested that religious organizations and believers need to change their views regarding marriage and abortion. However, they don’t seem to understand that our religious beliefs come from God not the government and therefore cannot be regulated or mandated.

How did the government get involved in marriage in the first place?  In an article by Stephanie Coontz, titled “Taking Marriage Private,” she says,

The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later part of that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-law marriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.

By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. Twelve states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, an addict or a “mental defect.” Eighteen states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.

In the mid-20th century, governments began to get out of the business of deciding which couples were “fit” to marry. Courts invalidated laws against interracial marriage, struck down other barriers and even extended marriage rights to prisoners. But governments began relying on marriage licenses for a new purpose: as a way of distributing resources to dependents. The Social Security Act provided survivors’ benefits with proof of marriage. Employers used marital status to determine whether they would provide health insurance or pension benefits to employees’ dependents. Courts and hospitals required a marriage license before granting couples the privilege of inheriting from each other or receiving medical information.

So in history, marriage was not a complicated thing, until Uncle Sam decided to regulate it.

The word marriage should be replaced with “unions,” in the eyes of the government. Unions between two people who want to spend their lives together. Ceremonies then are chosen based on personal or religious beliefs and/or preferences. No ones belief system trampled or punished.

Today, some “relationships,” may have nothing to do with a life long commitment, love, or even children, but a necessity of life. In order for the government to keep track of unions for beneficiary information, why not apply for a “benefit distribution license.” All Americans would then have the right to determine who can and will receive the benefits they have worked for and earned, without complicated regulation by the government. Whether it be a husband, wife, sister, brother, cousin or friend. As we have all seen, the more government becomes involved the more complicated it becomes and the more regulations it requires.  Therein lies the problem…government interference.

Government cannot continue to step on the rights and beliefs of others while enforcing laws that they conveniently  label as “tolerance,” when it is anything but tolerant. Those who believe in gay “marriage” cannot force those who believe in traditional marriage to perform gay marriage ceremonies, and a right to a union of your choice should not morph into a mechanism to destroy those who believe differently.  How can anyone who has fought for their rights be content to strip others of their rights in order to realize their own?  Ben Carson asked a very relevant question,

“What position can a person take who has absolutely no animosity toward gay people but believes in traditional marriage that would be satisfactory to them?”

My answer would be to take government out of the equation and offer up “Civil Unions,” “Free Choice” and “Benefit Distribution Licenses.”


Leigh Bravo blogs at The Trumpet. • (1281 views)

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11 Responses to Marriage: A Ceremony Complicated By Government Interference

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    The key problem with taking government out of the matter of deciding who is and is not married is the matter of taxes, visitation rights at hospitals, inheritance, and no doubt other problems as well. This solution of allowing some sort of legal union of two (or more) people living together for whatever reason might indeed be the solution to the conundrum. Whether the homosexualists (including the Five Degenerates of SCOTUS) would allow this is an interesting question. Their goal really isn’t marriage (though there are individual homosexuals who indeed wanted this), but rather the elimination of moral disapproval of sexual deviance.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Their goal really isn’t marriage (though there are individual homosexuals who indeed wanted this), but rather the elimination of moral disapproval of sexual deviance.

      Thank you, Timothy, for getting right to the heart of the matter. I knew there was a reason we kept you around here.

      And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the truth that must not be spoken. Homosexual marriage has very little to do with that rare “Ken & Bob middle-class, nice-looking, clean-cut gays who just want to be together” and more to do with the approval of perversion.

    • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

      “Their goal [is] … the elimination of moral disapproval of sexual deviance”

      Exactly.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Timothy, you still get full credit for what you said about homo marriage being about “the elimination of moral disapproval of sexual deviance.” But there’s actually one level up from this. In his Big Fat Greeks and Weddings article, Mark Steyn says:

      Someday soon some judge somewhere will rule in favor of polygamy, not because the left is especially invested in this particular “expansion” of rights but because of the opportunities it provides for further vandalism of what’s left of the old order. That’s what matters.

      Hat tip to Mr. Kung.

  2. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    The idea of “getting the government out of marriage” is popular in libertarian circles. The problem is that government is clearly implicated in several aspects of marriage, namely contract, property (rights of inheritance), and the welfare of minors. That is not to say that allowing gay people to appoint some kind of “official agent” or some such to make the same decisions that spouses make would be a bad idea, it’s just that the more radical gays and of course the broader Left would never have been satisfied with anything less than “marriage”.

    Marriage is, among other things, a contract – and it shouldn’t be too controversial to assert that government must see that contracts are enforced. It is not however a simple business arrangement but a complex series of pledges that a man and woman make to each other which are of great benefit to society. This last point is of great importance although space doesn’t permit it to be elaborated upon here. Because society benefits from strong family units that can only result from the union of one man and one woman, we have the right to restrict marriage to exactly such unions, and not to recognize in law unions which are of no benefit to us.

    Questions of inheritance come under the broad sphere of property rights, which government must maintain. Because material support is one of the things a husband pledges to his wife, it is in general not legal to disinherit your wife. I can see no reason why as a society we should forbid one homosexual from disinheriting another, although they can of course enter into any sort of private contract they wish. And when polygamy comes, and it will, think of the complications when a “spouse” dies.

    While parents do have the primary authority and responsibility for raising their children, society does have an interest in seeing that they are raised properly and with sufficient material support. This is why we have laws requiring fathers to support their children, but more importantly, this is why we have (or used to have) laws that made it difficult for married couples to separate. It is impossible to reconcile the concern for a child’s well-being as the priority in laws of child custody with allowing any sort of union to be considered equivalent to that of one man and one woman. There is already much evidence that children adopted by same-sex couples are not as well off as those adopted by opposite sex couples, and once polygamy enters the picture you can imagine the complications for child custody.

    Finally:
    “Hillary Clinton and President Obama have both suggested that religious organizations and believers need to change their views regarding marriage and abortion. However, they don’t seem to understand that our religious beliefs come from God not the government and therefore cannot be regulated or mandated.”

    Oh yes, Leigh, I’m afraid they understand very well that our beliefs do not come from the government – that is why they fully intend to coerce us at gunpoint into accepting their views on marriage and abortion. For them, there can be no will and no viewpoint other than that of the state.

    • Rosalys says:

      “And when polygamy comes, and it will,…”

      Oh yeah – it most certainly will! Though there are those (on the left) who will pooh, pooh this idea as a flight of fancy (of those on the right.) But when could we ever trust the left to tell the truth?

      Polygamy. It isn’t just for Mormons! Open the door to polygamy and the Muslims will begin to breed like rabbits, (it’s a kind of jihad!) like they did in Lebanon, where they out populated the Christian community, took over and transformed it into the paradise that it is today. I remember watching the destruction of Beirut on TV years ago, and somehow getting the idea (from the news anchors) that it inexplicably just happened that everyone went crazy, and Christians were bombing that lovely city! Not until several years ago, when I read Brigitte Gabriel’s account of what she and her family endured, did I learn what really happened.

      “Oh yes, Leigh, I’m afraid they understand very well that our beliefs do not come from the government…”

      Both Hillary and Zero claim to be Christians, but neither one has left any convincing evidence that would suggest it – other than they say they are. They misquote or quote out of context the Bible, and they never take the side of their supposed brothers (and sisters) in Christ in any dispute. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

  3. Rosalys says:

    I don’t know why government must provide a new special category of “civil union.” In some sense it already existed. Couples could always drive across the border, or fly to Las Vegas and have a civil ceremony. Homosexuals do not need marriage. They could always draw up a will and leave their worldly goods to whomever they wish; and I don’t believe that any hospital in today’s America would deny a patient a visitor that he/she expressly wished see. It seems to me that they let just about anyone in!

    “Government cannot continue to step on the rights and beliefs of others while enforcing laws that they conveniently label as ‘tolerance,’ when it is anything but tolerant. Those who believe in gay ‘marriage’ cannot force those who believe in traditional marriage to perform gay marriage ceremonies, and a right to a union of your choice should not morph into a mechanism to destroy those who believe differently. How can anyone who has fought for their rights be content to strip others of their rights in order to realize their own?”

    With all due respect, Leigh, this is wishful, head in the sand thinking. They can and they will, as long as no one stops them. I look around with horror at what my country has become, but it is We the People who have allowed it to happen. It will stop one day as there will be a point where something will snap and all hell will break loose – but it ain’t gonna be purty!

  4. oldguy says:

    A ceremony preformed in a church is not a legal document without a license issued by the states. The governments have the authority to issue a license to anyone they choose but I don’t see what the government’s legal interest is in a religious ceremony. Drag your dog to city hall and get married if you wish.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The government has — or should have — no interest in coercing churches to perform homosexual “marriages”. But they’ve already done this to some private chapels in New York and Idaho. This happens because government is increasingly totalitarian, and thus cannot abide opposition, and the homofascist movement is eager to destroy any religious disapproval of their practices.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Until probably 150 years back, or thereabout, the Church was the institution which performed weddings, not the government. At least this was the case in the West. This is why there are all those wonderful, birth, marriage and death records across parishes throughout Europe.

      That should give everyone a clue as to what the meaning of marriage was in Europe, at least.

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