Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Bush on marriage

So, our (and I use that term loosely) president (and I use that term loosely too) feels that we need a consitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. With the exception of the 18th, all amendments to the constitution have been designed to limit government intrusion, but Bush feels we should at this time write discrimination into it.

There are really two aspects to marriage, which need to be considered separately. The first is the economic advantages we grant to married couples. These include benefits of various sorts from the Social Security system, recognition of inheritance rights, medical benefits from a working spouse, and so forth. To deny these to someone because they are not married is discriminatory, plain and simple. We favor one class of citizen, married, over all others, be they homosexual, straight and single, or whatever. The only conscionable solution is to allow unmarried people to assign those economic privileges to someone else, whether it is a same-sex partner, a maiden aunt, a brother, or whatever.

Having dealt with the economic/political aspects of marriage, what remains is the moral/religious/committment portion of it. This is something, at least by the separation of church and state, that the government has no business getting involved in. If a particular religious body wishes to recognize same sex unions, or refuses to do so, it is irrelevant to the government, it is a matter between the individuals and their community. If a couple does not wish to be married under the care of some religious organization, then their committment is a private one, as long as they can obtain the economic benefits discussed above. Again, it is no business of the government.

Some churches will not choose to recognize these unions as a “marriage”, but that is a matter for them to decide. Others will. Personally, I hold with St. Paul when he wrote:

But the harvest of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

and will judge any union not by types of genitalia involved, but by this evidence of the spirit.

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