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More Happy Dance!

Okay, I don't normally post stuff on politics on this journal, but today I must say this:

We took the House!

We may have taken the Virginia Senate!

*Happy dance* *Happy dance*

(In case you are wondering, yes, I am a card-carrying Democrat. Yay!)

On the other hand, we lost the same-sex marriage/civil unions issue in the State, although not by much.

Bummer.

And while I am on my soapbox, here is my take on the whole marriage issue. (This is a touchy subject and people have all sorts of opinions, but this is mine):

Marriage is a contract.

It is a contract between two consenting adults (or emancipated minors, or minors with parental consent).

In certain states the minimum age for marriage is 13, which baffles the mind, but that's neither here not there.

In some cultures, and throughout history, the contract may be between more than two consenting adults (but that's not the issue here).

There is nothing religious about marriage, unless you decided to have a religious ceremony and then it is between you and your Church.

Church and their beliefs have no business interfering with State contracts. Secular marriage is still a contract. (Remember the separation of State and Church?)

The aforementioned Church may consider marriage a sacrament or something to be sanctified. Again, that's between you and your Church. State has no business in there, and marriage as defined by the State is neither sacramental nor sanctified.

Some religions also consider marriage a contract and not a sacrament of something saintly.

If your Church forbids same-sex marriage, and you want to marry someone your own gender, then you would have to go through a secular marriage. Churches can prohibit anything they want within the scope of their own religion. It should only affect their flocks, not the rest of the population.

Attempting to define the gender of the two participants of a contract is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Undermining the constitution to impose some people's religious values is extremely disturbing.

And I definitely have a problem with religion bleeding into secular law.

My two cents.

PS. Boy, am I going to get flamed!

Tags:

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
dominyk
Nov. 8th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC)
Which do you think came first? Marriage or our government? Think maybe that the government simply recognizes the religious institution called marriage?

Whatever you believe I'm pretty sure that marriage wasn't created just to exclude gay people.
belfebe
Nov. 8th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, marriage is only a religious institution within certain religions. Islam, for instance, considers it a contract. So do others as well.

My point is, religious marriage is fine within a church. Secular marriage is 'nother different thing, and should not be mixed with religious beliefs. If you do some digging on the history of marriage, you will realize that 'sanctified' marriage is a relatively modern institution.

Even in biblical times marriage was a contract. They just made their arrangement with the bride's parents and went on living together. No priests or church involved.

My point in here is the stressing of the separation of State and Church.
dominyk
Nov. 8th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
In this country, sanctified marriage was recognized by the government and the family given certain legal privileges. This country was built on traditional family units and remain one of her greatest assets.

If you want to make laws that give those privileges to gay people, significant others, pets or whatever go ahead. That's what lawmakers are for, that's why we vote. But you can't define these relationships as marriage, at least not in this state.

The reason this was a constitutional amendment was because some people would like to use the courts to circumvent the lawmaking process. This to me is more serious than gay marriage, negating the checks and balances in our government is not cool.
greta_k
Nov. 8th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
"In this country, sanctified marriage was recognized by the government and the family given certain legal privileges."

Sort of, but not quite accurate. Our laws are based on English Common Law (codified by Henry II in the 12th cen). There was a part of Common Law in many US states (although it is now offof the books in most jurisdictions) which says that if a man a woman LIVE together as husband a wife for a period of 7 years, he and she are LEGALLY recognized as married. It is considered a CONTRACT.

This clause was established because it could take upwars of 7 years for a preacher to make the circuit in the terriories and marry couples. It was also to make certain that children from a union were legal and had rights of inheiritance from the father.

So - if the law was originally to keep children legal, and if a heterosexual couple does not want children, should they be married? If the childless heterosexual couple can be married, how is this different from a same-sex couple wanting a legalized union?
greta_k
Nov. 8th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
Anyone who has ever gone through a divorce can attest first hand that marriage is NOT about love. It is NOT about religion. It comes down to law - property and contract law, to be exact.
pinkleader
Nov. 8th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
You go Girl!
I admit I was disappointed in the VA voters decision on that particular subject. I thought it was odd that they lumped it in with outlawing incest and polygamy, etc. It does help with the argument of just trying to define the legal marriage contract, but I feel strongly that any two people who wish to declare that they are beholden only unto each other should be able to. Sigh, not my state, I don't get a say there. Glad you let your voice be heard.
belfebe
Nov. 8th, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re: You go Girl!
Thanks. I feel very strongly about this issue :-)
ealdthryth
Nov. 8th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
At least your vote was close. The marriage amendment in SC passed with about 80%. I suspect the people in favor of the amendment failed to mention to those they were convincing that SC already has a statute that amounts to the same thing. It wasn't necessary to put it in the Constitution. I'm *so* disappointed, although I should have expected this result in SC. At least I did my part for the minority pretty much across the board!
belfebe
Nov. 8th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
That is really sad. But good for you for doing your part!
shadowsong
Nov. 8th, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
i think, since so many of the arguments about marriage laws use religious beliefs as justification for a particular view, that the first thing to do is take the word "marriage" out of all laws and replace it with "civil union". marriage is primarily a religious institution, and as such should not be enshrined in secular law.
belfebe
Nov. 8th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
Amen.

The other solution is doing what is being done in other countries: The only valid marriage is that by the State. If you want to have a religious marriage, you can do it -- and people do, all the time. However, if you only get married by the Church, and not by the State, you are not legally married. Therefore, people often undergo two ceremonies, one civil, one religious.

I got married like that the first time. Afterwards, I have refused to get married by any church. Only civil marriages for me.
shadowsong
Nov. 8th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
a minor nit: i don't think you should need two ceremonies - just have a civil observer at the ceremony who authorizes the paperwork or something.

but yeah, our main problem is that civil marriage and religious marriage should be (and are, in some cases) two seaparate things, and they have been conflated in the public's mind.

also, congrats on voting!
gianetta
Nov. 8th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to get too far into the fray here, but I know a same-sex couple who have been together for over 25 years and have 3 kids, 2 cats, and a minivan. One woman has her own business, the other works for the state. Their three kids, who are the biological children of the first woman, cannot get insurance through their "other" mother, despite the fact that she's helped raise them from birth.

One of my sisters, on the other hand, married a man she had known for a couple of months and got all of the privileges of marriage immediately.

Anyone who thinks that this amendment is going to help families is seriously deluded. My marriage wasn't hurt by lesbians getting married in MA, but lots of people, including a lot of children, will be hurt by this.
belfebe
Nov. 8th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
And the worst part is, if you read the second paragraph of the ammendment, it is basically abolishing "common law" marriage as well.

Everyone is going to suffer as a result of this. Sigh.
dante_di_pietro
Nov. 9th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
Never, for an instant, forget that we live in a state where being involved in oral sex is a class 6 felony.

Gay is the new black.

I won't bother repeating what has already been said, but take heart in the process we have now begun:

Step One: Get the GOP out of power. They have, traditionally, been Lawful Evil but have recently tossed out the lawfulness.
Step Two: Make sure all the Dems elected in the future are GOOD Dems.
Step Three: Excise legalized bigotry.

Legal gay marriage will happen, just like women's suffrage and the emancipation of slaves inveitably happened. Eventually, this will all be yet another embarrassing footnote in history.

Someday, we might even begin to use reason and science as the foundation for our decision making process!
belfebe
Nov. 9th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
We will keep on working for that!
greta_k
Nov. 9th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
"Step One: Get the GOP out of power. They have, traditionally, been Lawful Evil but have recently tossed out the lawfulness.
Step Two: Make sure all the Dems elected in the future are GOOD Dems."

Gotta quibble with you here, Dante. Not all membrs of the GOP are goobers. Not all members of the Democrats are terrific.

Although I've been a registered Demoocrate for almost as many years as you've been alive, I don't always vote the party line. If there is a Republican who has a better track record than the opposition, and who'm I feel will do a better job, I will vote for him or her. Personally, I care more about issues than a candidate's party affiliation.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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