Marriage church vs state

  • #26
Hurkyl
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Sorry, to clarify, I was talking about the label "civil union" not "homosexual".
I know. Allow me to clarify as well, by adding "ending discrimination based on wealth by calling everybody rich" to my list of examples.
 
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  • #27
honestrosewater
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Hurkyl said:
I know. Allow me to clarify as well, by adding "ending discrimination based on wealth by calling everybody rich" to my list of examples.
Okay, I should say first that the legally deserve part isn't my argument, it was a decision I read. Of course, I can't find the decision now, so I can't tell you the court's reasoning.
That said, I'm not sure where you're going with wealth.?
My argument isn't that the law is responsible for ending any and all discrimination. My argument is that the law must consider, and is responsible for, the consequences of it's actions. (I don't know how anyone can dispute this point.) In this case, though different labels can be technically defined to mean the same, those technicalities are lost in the real world. You live in the real world, right? :wink: Can you honestly say that legally defining women as "citizens" and men as "halfcitizens" would be inconsequential? Creating and applying the label is treatment because the label applies in the real world. If the law is required to grant the same set of rights, that is, to treat two groups equally, it is required to call that set of rights by the same name. The name is part of the set.
The only reason to use two different labels is to make a distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals. If the law decides such a distinction is arbitrary, it cannot use two different labels! (that's for emphasis, not yelling.)
 
  • #28
Hurkyl
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However, you've not argued we should create a new legal term that covers both civil unions and marriages. You've argued we should take one of these pre-existing terms and change its definition so it covers both cases.

I counterargued by bringing up other examples where discrimination has occured/is occuring, and showing how this same idea is ridiculous.
 
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  • #29
honestrosewater
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Hurkyl said:
You've argued we should take one of these pre-existing terms and change its definition so it covers both cases.
I don't see where I said that, but anyway, it's not what I meant. The law can use whatever label it wants, as long as it only uses one label. It can call it marriage, civil union, legal union, or marshmallows. Though IMO the label should respect the nature of the law (calling it marshmallows isn't very respectful). Indeed, using a new label may be the only way to please everyone.

I counterargued by bringing up other examples where discrimination has occured/is occuring, and showing how this same idea is ridiculous.
Oh, I misunderstood, and I agree, your argument is ridiculous. :biggrin: The law cannot hope to end racial discrimination by calling everyone white, I agree. That isn't what I've been suggesting.
The law's range is limited. Ideally, it does not intrude into the private sphere, into people's thoughts and beliefs, where the individual is sovereign. In the private sphere, people can arbitrarily discriminate.
The law is not in the private sphere, it's in the public sphere, and the law cannot arbitrarily discriminate. That is my whole argument. And my argument is based upon the law itself.
 
  • #30
Hurkyl
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I don't see where I said that,
I guess I merely inferred it, from your response

"They are justified in seeking the same label, and they legally deserve the same label, if a different label results in them being discriminated against.*"

To my statement

"But why? What do they find so important about the label "marriage" that would compel them to go on a dictionary rewriting campaign, and what justification do they have?"



Until the recent homosexual rights movements, there was never any question that the word "marriage" referred only to mixed couples. You seemed to be supporting the push to redefine "marriage" to include same sex couples as well, which prompted my responses.
 
  • #31
loseyourname
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I can see Hurkyl's point. The idea of marriage was meant, at least in the legal sense, to promote the idea of the nuclear family, one mother, one father, and however many children. Homosexuals are not being discriminated against in that they are perfectly within their rights to marry - they just cannot marry a person of the same sex, because that isn't what marriage was meant for.

The only legal argument they have is in the case of rights granted to married couples (on the basis of their living together and essentially becoming family, not on the basis of their having children), such as tax breaks and rights of attorney and time off work for spousal illness. These rights should be granted to any couple that lives together and makes the vows to one another, regardless of what you want to call their union.

The qualm that anti-gay marriage folks seem to have (I don't personally have this qualm, but I can see where others might) is that homosexuals are not simply seeking to be granted these rights. They are seeking to change the idea of marriage from what it has historically been into something that they can take place in. As Hurkyl points out, this is a bit like seeking to change the definition of "rich" so that poor people can feel included at the country club.
 
  • #32
honestrosewater
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loseyourname said:
Homosexuals are not being discriminated against in that they are perfectly within their rights to marry - they just cannot marry a person of the same sex, because that isn't what marriage was meant for.
Great, this is the separate issue of whether the law must give homosexuals and heterosexuals the same set of rights with regards to "marriage". You are making the distinction on the grounds of a definition of "marriage". Does this same argument apply to the definition of "religion"? That is, can the state make a distinction between the objects of religious worship? For instance, everyone has the right to practice their religion, as long as the object of that religious worship is God, as defined by Christianity, on the grounds that worship of another being is not "religion"?
In other words, can the state say that a "religion" worshipping something other than God is not a "religion"?
Is the above question the same as, "Can the state say that a "marriage" to something other than your opposite gender is not a "marriage"?" Yes? No? What is the difference?
___
Edit: Please excuse me, I am working on making the argument more concise.
Simply, if the state can tell you who or what you can or cannot marry, can the state tell you who or what you can or cannot worship/believe in?
It seems the state must make some distinction. What is an appropriate distinction? And what are the grounds?

I'm not trying to scare anyone, just pointing out, rightly, that the same argument can be applied to more than one situation.
 
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  • #33
Hurkyl
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What is the difference?
Religion is not defined to be "worship of the God of Christianity".
Marriage is defined to be between a male and a female.
 
  • #34
honestrosewater
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Hurkyl said:
Religion is not defined to be "worship of the God of Christianity".
Marriage is defined to be between a male and a female.
I'll assume you misunderstood my questions: How are the definitions of religion and marriage determined, for legal purposes? How are legal rights effected by those definitions?

I am only talking about legal terms. I thought we just went through this. I used "marriage" because, currently, that's the term used for the set of rights to which I am referring. I'm not suggesting marriage is the term which should be used.
 
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  • #35
loseyourname said:
They are seeking to change the idea of marriage from what it has historically been into something that they can take place in. As Hurkyl points out, this is a bit like seeking to change the definition of "rich" so that poor people can feel included at the country club.
why can't it be changed? so much throughout history has changed....why cant the legal definition of marriage be changed?

loseyourname said:
The idea of marriage was meant, at least in the legal sense, to promote the idea of the nuclear family, one mother, one father, and however many children. Homosexuals are not being discriminated against in that they are perfectly within their rights to marry - they just cannot marry a person of the same sex, because that isn't what marriage was meant for.
even now marriage rates have dropped....people are starting to cohabit outside of marriage. marriage has realllly dwindled down in the last century or so....people dont take it seriously anymore. divorce is legal, and oh now they can get annulments. people just dont take it for the seriousness that it once was. why not alter it? why are heterosexuals able to marry the one they love but it is illegal for homosexuals to marry the one they love? :confused:
 
  • #36
honestrosewater
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abitofnothingleft said:
why can't it be changed? so much throughout history has changed....why cant the legal definition of marriage be changed?
One notable change is the term "citizen".
Of course the definition of marriage can be changed. But the law has to think about the consequences of its actions; It can't do its own thing and pretend it has no effect on and is not effected by the real world. If the law's decision to define "marriage" as between both hetero- and homosexuals causes otherwise law-respecting people (who are opposed to that decision) to lose respect for the law, then it should try to find a wiser decision that still meets all other needs. After all, the people give the law its power.
why are heterosexuals able to marry the one they love but it is illegal for homosexuals to marry the one they love? :confused:
This is a good point as far as equality goes, but legal marriage has nothing to do with love. Even if you think getting married is an inalienable right, everyone already has the right to get married, just not legally married. Do you think getting legally married is an inalienable right? I wouldn't think anything legal could be inalienable, but I'd have to think more about it.

I hope people are actually evaluating these arguments, instead of agreeing or disagreeing with them based on the conclusions alone.
 
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  • #37
why are heterosexuals able to marry the one they love but it is illegal for homosexuals to marry the one they love?

by this logic if i loved my sister I should be able to marry her? or my cousin, I mean why shouln't I marry the one I love?

yeah this is why you should have a legal "union" and a spiritual "marriage"
 
  • #38
learningphysics
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Why is the government involved in marriage in any way at all?? Why is it a state recognized institution?
 
  • #39
honestrosewater
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learningphysics said:
Why is the government involved in marriage in any way at all?? Why is it a state recognized institution?
Probably for the same reasons the law grants copyright, trademark, and patent protections: To promote certain behavior by offering protections and privileges.
People do things as a married couple (shared financial investments, for one) that make marriage a risky venture. For example, a couple marries right out of high school, buys a house, and has children. If the father works and the mother stays home to raise the children, and, ten years later, the father leaves, the mother and children could be in a heap o' trouble- if the marriage was not legally recognized. The law can use its power to reduce the risk and make marriage more appealing.
 
  • #40
see the legal purposes of marriage were have deviated soo much from it's original meaning back in the day, which is why we need to redifne diffrent statuses for each
 
  • #41
honestrosewater
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theriddler876 said:
see the legal purposes of marriage were have deviated soo much from it's original meaning back in the day, which is why we need to redifne diffrent statuses for each
How should the laws be redefined?

why are heterosexuals able to marry the one they love but it is illegal for homosexuals to marry the one they love?
It isn't illegal for anyone to marry the one they love. It's illegal for some people to legally marry the one they love. See post #36 for more.
 
  • #42
The laws would be redifined in such a way that legal protection and benefits would not be granted by marriage at a church, but rather a union presented in front of a judge that required signing papers and such, now if you are religious and want a priest to do it, you would still have to go to the judge afterwards or before
 
  • #43
honestrosewater
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theriddler876 said:
The laws would be redifined in such a way that legal protection and benefits would not be granted by marriage at a church, but rather a union presented in front of a judge that required signing papers and such, now if you are religious and want a priest to do it, you would still have to go to the judge afterwards or before
That already is the case. The laws already say that.
 
  • #44
not completely, if you go to a priest and say you want to get married he will ask for government paperwork, and if all is not in order he might even refuse to marry you. read some posts around the first page
 
  • #45
honestrosewater
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theriddler876 said:
not completely, if you go to a priest and say you want to get married he will ask for government paperwork, and if all is not in order he might even refuse to marry you. read some posts around the first page
Even if that is true, it is the priest's choice whether or not to marry you. It isn't the government saying the priest can't marry you.
I imagine some religions may require government marriage licenses since some religions preach that people should obey the laws of their governments. But this is the religion's choice, not the government telling the religion what to do.
 
  • #46
actually the government has some control over religion through taxes, for example, the catholic church didn't get "involved" in the last election because then they would have been forced to pay taxes
 
  • #47
honestrosewater
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theriddler876 said:
actually the government has some control over religion through taxes, for example, the catholic church didn't get "involved" in the last election because then they would have been forced to pay taxes
If not paying taxes is a part of someone's religion, it better also include miracles.

Of course the government has some legal control over religion- or more specifically religious institutions (owning land, exchanging money) and practitioners (people)- because the law (at least in the US which is what we've been talking about) is the supreme law of the land. It says so in the Constitution, Article http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/art6.html [Broken], Clause 2. Though I imagine it's mostly used in state v. federal powers.

Rights are not absolute, the law is supreme, and so on. Ever heard people say, "No one is above the law?"
 
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  • #48
honestrosewater
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theriddler876 said:
actually the government has some control over religion through taxes, for example, the catholic church didn't get "involved" in the last election because then they would have been forced to pay taxes
If not paying taxes is a part of someone's religion, it better also include miracles.

Of course the government has some legal control over religion- or more specifically religious institutions (owning land, exchanging money) and practitioners (people)- because the law (at least in the US which is what we've been talking about) is the supreme law of the land. It says so in the Constitution, Article http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/art6.html [Broken], Clause 2. Though I imagine it's mostly used in state v. federal powers.

Rights are not absolute, the law is supreme, and so on. Ever heard people say, "No one is above the law?"
 
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