Friday, April 28, 2006

Solution

I read a very clear editorial in today's Salem Gazette (a free weekly that is part of the Boston Herald's group of papers) that surprised me - given the parent company's uber-conservative views.

The basic premise was this: government has no real business being in the marriage business. Marriage was historically something provided by religious institutions. It's in recent centuries that this became governmental prerogative. So the ideal solution to the gay marriage issue is simple - take government out the equation. Let marriage again be the province of religion - so if you want to get married, you do so (or have it denied) within your church. And no special societal privileges go along with it.

On the other hand, any couple who wants one can get a civil union at their local town hall. And that's how a legal partnership is formed. It's perfect - civil unions aren't "marriage", so the foaming-at-the-mouth crowd gets to crow about how they can keep gays from marrying. And couples, gay and straight, can continue to get all the benefits of marriage today, but under a different title. Some gays would be able to get married - if they belong to denominations that allow it. Simplicity indeed.

Of course, this would result in duplication (people who get married and then get a civil union to make it legal) - but then again, since we have to take out marriage licenses in the first place isn't it pretty much the same thing?

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