Monday, November 06, 2006

The "Second Part" of the Gay Marriage Amendment

"...only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?"

The gay lobby seems to suggest that this second half of the proposed amendment goes too far, in actually jeopardizing benefits/rights already afforded to cohabitating heterosexual couples. I read it differently.

The wording here doesn't suggest that a private company would be prohibited from granting benefits to anyone. It simply states that such individuals will have no "legal status" similar to marriage. So if S.C. Johnson wants to offer health benefits to gay domestic partners, or heterosexual live-in boyfriends/girlfriends, it would be up to SCJ. But the amendment would seem to mean that the state government can't mandate such benefits. They don't mandate them right now, do they?

Likewise, a recent Journal-Times opinion piece thinly disguised as news, suggests that domestic abusers will be able to "get away with it" if the amendment passes. This seems like fear-mongering to me. What reasonable person would interpret the above wording to that effect? Even the JT article suggests more laws will be needed to "flesh out" the meaning of the amendment. Why would we expect those laws to encourage domestic violence?

One moral issue that I haven't heard discussed much in this context is what Christians believe about illiciat cohabitation. "Living together before marriage" is a violation of the 6th commandment. But sadly, this arrangement has become so common in our culture that hardly anyone even thinks of it as wrong. I fear for the day when the same is true of homosexuality.

At least with heterosexual cohabitation there is the possibility to "go legitimate" and actually get married, correcting the wrong.

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