It’s been suggested that we release “marriage” from government, give it entirely & symbolically over to religious institutions, and use civil unions under law for all couples gay and straight. I would love to live in that world. Perfectly logical. Hell to implement.”Marriage” is an understood concept universally, even by it’s strongest critics. With thousands of years of history predating all the major religions and implemented planet-wide (with varying standards), what it means doesn’t have to be explained, and expectations in law and society are quite stable. Full faith and credit amongst the states, and almost perfect cross-border recognition between countries.
What is a civil union? A convention defined locally by state, or even county? A legislative construct that is redefined every time power shifts from one political party to another? A new form of contract that will need decades of litigation to settle it’s rights and obligations in law?
Civil union is too fluid, vague and vulnerable (reversible) a concept to be reliable in protecting (the main purpose) and enforcing formal relationships. It only becomes stable in meaning when explicitly tied to the extremely well understood institution of marriage. In other words, explicitly marriage by another name, or actual marriage. If anything, let government keep “marriage” and give religions their sacred covenants defined however they wish. And believe me, they will define differently from each other.
If we do not actualize marriage for same-gender couples, or something virtually identical differing only in name, they will struggle endlessly with an unreliable and unsatisfactory construct approximating what they actually want and deserve, constantly assaulted by legal and legislative challenge. They would be better off with a Ta-Nehisi Coates marriage constructed out of a voluminous set of piecemeal contracts and filings.
This is not a chasm we can transit in hops. Only a complete leap will suffice.
Original Facebook Note HERE