Yes, you read the headline correctly. It’s time to ban marriage from the constitution of the United States and the constitutions of all the individual states. Doing that simple yet complex act would save potentially millions of dollars of court costs and eliminate thousands of hours of trials. Yes, removing one word from our constitutions would be tremendously advantageous to the entire country.
On April 27, 2015 the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments regarding two highly controversial topics on Same Sex Marriage. The first: Does the 14th Amendment require states to license same-sex marriages? And second: Does it require them to recognize those marriages performed in other states?
In a previous post written by my alter ego, I suggested an easy way out of this dilemma. Simply remove the word Marriage from our legal system and replace it with civil union. Grant all civilly united couples with the same benefits, under law, equally. While that sounds ridiculous to some, it actually meets many of the criteria Scotus is discussing at the present time.
Why does the constitution of our great country even have the word marriage included in its wording? Marriage is a religious terminology, not a legal one. The issue is equal rights and representation in the eyes of the law. Give every couple joined in a legal union the same rights. That’s it – pure and simple!
When the Supreme Court overturned several aspects of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) it opened the way for same sex couples to receive equal treatment under federal guidelines. That ruling also opened the way for rulings against states that banned same sex marriage as unconstitutional. What it didn’t do was mandate that same sex couples should be treated the same as opposite sex couples in all states.
The religious right is trying to push the biblical understanding of “Marriage” as between a man and a woman. Why? It doesn’t make any sense when considered in a pure legal environment.Civil union and marriage don't offer the same rights and benefits Click To Tweet
Enough! It’s time, then, to eliminate the word marriage from the legal process and make the benefits equal across the board, whether same sex or not.
If two people want the backing, benefits and rights of the legal system, then make one system work for all people. Civil Unions should become the rule of the nation. Let marriage become the wording for religious blessings of a civilly united couple – be that couple same sex or man and woman.
The real issue is not the word marriage, but the rights and benefits associated with marriage. Those rights were dramatically limited by President Clinton when he signed the DOMA laws which say marriage is between a man and woman. That law prevented same sex couples from receiving over 1000 benefits that so called married couples receive.
One of the rights, in question, was how inheritance taxes are handled. When one person in a “married” couple dies, his or her estate passes to the other person in the marriage without estate taxes (under most circumstances). Under DOMA that would not apply to a same sex couple, even if they were legally married in one of the states that include same sex couple in their marriage laws. They were treated as separate individual people without the benefits adjudicated married couples.
Another equally important right is regarding visitation of a sick or dying partner. Many states still only permit family or the recognized spouse to visit. If that state does not recognize the same sex marriage, the legal partner of the person dying may be excluded from the room. Really? Why would anyone do that? It’s done every day!!
We, as a country, are spending way too much time arguing over a word, when we already have the answer. We should be looking at the country’s future with a broader sense of who and what we are, what we can offer each other and how we can team up to develop a stronger nation.
When we spend time trying to split our country into factions supporting or rejecting civil rights, we functionally undermine the very foundation of this country.Why does this country discriminate regarding sex, in it's laws, when the constitution forbids doing that? Click To Tweet
It’s time for change, to coin the phrase of the presidential campaigns. It’s time for the people of this country to understand that bickering over the use of a word, such as marriage, takes away from the opportunity for those same people to build a better, safer, more prosperous nation for all of us.
Stop bickering. Stop arguing about the definition of the word marriage. Transform our ideals into a solid philosophy of understanding and partnership.
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