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February 26, 2004

I thought Republicans were for small government?

cloudy, chance of sun breaks... | Redefining Marriage

Paul is on about the rabid defenders of marriage, and their sudden discovery that marriage is only intended for procreation. Paul suggests the only logical conclusion is the establishment of a learner’s permit for those desiring the marriage penalty, until they prove they can have kids.

The whole question seems so incredibly simple to me: Get government out of the marriage business altogether. The Republicans should be pleased with that; they want government out of emissions controls, the Internet, meat inspections, and business regulation, so why should marriage be any different? Only churches should be able to perform a marriage ceremony. The legal benefits of that ceremony? They should be utterly and completely zero (of course, your friends and family can still give you gifts).

If you want the legal benefits of spousehood, we’ve got a legally binding contract for a civil union or commitment ceremony, fully endorsed and recognized by the federal and state governments. It’s open to two adults of any combination, and really smart chimpanzees (if they have a voting record).

The right-wingers suggest that homosexuals are trying to get special treatment, but that’s 100 percent backwards. The special treatment has been the entwining of government and religious marriage for hundreds of years. With my small modifications, churches can marry or not marry anyone they please. Perhaps it would become a status symbol to have a “private wedding,” as it is to send kids to private school, or maybe the wealthy would have “private weddings” to avoid expensive divorces.

No reason my tax dollars should go to support a religious institution, particularly one that’s apparently so hidebound and exclusive. I mistakenly thought the government’s role in marriage was all about promoting lifelong commitment, building stable families, and encouraging tax revenues (spouses being better able to afford a mortgage).

And yes, Christy and I were married by a magistrate, so my money is where my mouth is on this one.

February 26, 2004 in Seen browsing | Permalink