June 29, 2005

Gay Marriage

Angry in the Great White North has been writing a lot on gay marriage in Canada, most recently here. Several other posts under it are required reading to understand.

Now, I'm not Canadian, and I don't have a clear understanding of their laws or their legal system. But basically, he's worried [if I understand correctly] tax-exempt churches will end up being required to permit same sex marriages on their property, some churches will refuse, and bad things will happen, at the urging of an anti-religious minority of the population.

For the record, my preference would be to get the government completely out of the business of saying who is married and who is not. Since that would require governments to give up power it'll never happen.

Posted by Owlish at June 29, 2005 09:11 PM

Since Iím straight and divorced, I really donít have a dog in this fight. Well, excepting of course the fact that I advocate maximum Liberty, which means I do have reason to be concerned here. Yeah, Iíd say that codified discrimination is abhorrent, and anti-homosexual laws in particular are misguided and antiquated.

Posted by: Robert at June 29, 2005 11:46 PM

In a perfect society, there would be no need for state (civil) marriages. Everyone would be free to choose their life partner(s) by contract -- just like the group families in Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Unfortunately, in the absence of a contract, there has to be some legal presumption as to the disposition of property and children upon death without a will.

Does the property go to a blood relative? Or does it go to the person's spouse(s)? How can you tell the person's spouse is really a spouse? Through the marriage certificate.

I suppose as an incentive to enter into a contract, you could always have intestate property go to the State. Same for kids, too, I guess.

The family law system, while less than perfect, attempts to reflect the kind of presumptions that the majority feel would apply in the absence of a contract.

Posted by: JohnL at June 30, 2005 09:51 PM

Everyone should have a will - the outcomes in the absence of one [I think] are rarely exactly what someone would want.

There are a lot of other things that go along with being married to someone, way too many to list.

The problem is, I don't know how to make things fair. I know a gay couple that have been together for more than 20 years. And I compare that to Britney Spears getting married and divorced over a drunken weekend, and I think this isn't fair.

And while I don't want the Catholic church's point of view being the law of the land, marriage to them is a sacrament, and a very messy subject for a lot of reasons. And part of me wants to take the easy way out, and not force gay marriage down their throat.

Any other thoughts?

Posted by: owlish at July 1, 2005 12:27 AM
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