Friday, September 16, 2011

The Great Marriage Debate

As most readers of this blog already know, the NC General Assembly has placed a referendum on the ballot at the upcoming Republican primary election to add a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. This would simply be a stronger position supporting the state law that already says the same thing, and would certainly make it harder to change that law in the future.

This has caused a lot of backlash, most notably with this def shephard blog post that's been making the rounds. It's good reading, even if you disagree with the stance. I have a much different take, however.

To me, this boils down to an argument between those who prefer marriage to be defined as a union between one man and one woman and those who want it defined as a union between any two people.

But why? There are lots of reasons that the LGBT community wants legal marriage status, but the only ones that really matter are the ones that are government influenced (as far as this discussion is concerned, anyway). Things like tax breaks for married couples, insurance issues, etc. Otherwise, it's really just about "recognition." Now, I think the folks who want this change are attacking it from the wrong angle. I'd personally rather see, and would support, changes that take the government out of marriage entirely. No tax breaks for simply being married, no link between insurance and marriage, etc. No laws whatsoever governing "marriage." It would simply be something that churches or other entities can recognize. Why does it need to be anything more?

The ultra-conservatives would say that taking away this government recognized system is further eroding some sort of moral fiber. I say hogwash. People already do what people want to do, and the fact that we have gay couples living together in NC and ready at the instant the law is changed to become married (or those going to other states to do it), is proof of that. Just because the government stops telling people NOT to do something does not mean the government suddenly supports DOING it. It simply means the government doesn't have any interest in it, and in this case, I don't see why the government needs to have that interest.

The last question is fairly simple...for those who believe allowing the LGBT community to marry, why draw the line there? Why is polygamy illegal? What's so special about the number "two"? I don't personally care about polygamy, but it is just another line in the sand...