Marriage As A “Social” Issue

June 6, 2006 | By | 4 Replies More

One wonders why all this nonsense now over Gay marriage.  Bush wants the states to do what they wish, while putting in place a Constitutional Amendment which would be used successfully by anti-gay groups in the same courts Bush is condemning as Activist to shoot down any state-allowed same-sex marriage institutions.

Why?  Just because it’s in the Bible?  Well, one has to wonder when it was inserted into the Bible, but that’s a textual criticism argument, way above the discource now dominating the issue.

A couple years ago an essay was posted about this which I found very intriguing, so permit me to post the link here:

In many ways this is a deeper issue for heterosexuals than it is for gays.  When Bush talks about “redefining marriage” he may not be so far off the mark–at least, redefining the way it is practiced vis a vis public institutions and cultural “norms”–whatever those are.


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Category: Culture, Religion

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    The following discussion is to ensure we are all clear about why social conservatives want a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Even if states pass laws banning same-sex marriage, and even if states change their state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage, these state laws and constitutions always remain subject to the federal constitution. That means states cannot deprive their citizens of any rights that are protected by the federal constitution. State laws and constitutions can grant their citizens *more* rights than are granted by the federal constitution, but never less. If they try to do so, the federal courts will be able (indeed, obligated) to declare the state laws and constitutions "unconstitutional;" i.e., in violation of the federal constitution.

    That is what has been happening with many of the state laws and constitutional amendments that have sought to ban same-sex marriage. So-called "activist" judges (a derogatory term for judges who simply rule against you) have been holding those state provisions to be in violation of the federal constitution. To the horror of social conservatives, that trend seems likely to continue…unless the federal constitution itself can be amended to ban same-sex marriage, thus trumping all federal judges.

    Regardless of what a person believes about same-sex marriage, the concept of amending a federal constitution to discriminate against a particular minority population is virtually unprecedented in history. Constitutions are, almost by definition, documents whose main purpose is to protect the rights of minorities (and individuals) against the tyranny of the majority (and the state). The idea of using one to try to repress a specific minority population is…well, it is disgusting, reprehensible and un-American. Some would even go so far as to say it is treasonous.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I just finished reading the Mark Tiedemann article. Especially enjoyed this bit:

    I recall a hysterically funny argument in high school–my first ever encounter with a hardcore fundamentalist–over the status of Adam and Eve. Who married them? No priests and it was not stated in Genesis that they were husband and wife, but rather companions. Not only weren’t they married, but obviously they practiced some form of birth control since the kiddies didn’t show up until after they were banished from Eden. Maybe that was the definition of paradise then–lot’s of sex, free food, and no kids.  The reply was that God had married them and while in a state of grace, they did not have sex. 

    <p align="left">Here's an important point on which much of the article is anchored:

    <p align="left">[I]f one has a scintilla of intellectual honesty, one realizes that marriage is not natural.  Sexual partnering is.  Living in a community is.  Friendship is.  But the formal condition of Marriage is an invention. 

    <p align="left">Mark Tiedemann's article is a good historical review of marriage with some detailed insight into biblical passages concerning homosexuality.   Well worth reading.  As Jason writes, the points this article make concern all marriages, not just gay marriages.

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    When Fundies talk about "defending" marriage, or that marriage is "under attack," or that same-sex marriage is a "threat" to marriage, I've always wondered exactly what they mean by such expressions. They never explain how same-sex marriage is a "threat" to anyone.

    Furthermore, given that more than half of all marriages in America already end in divorce, and that the divorce rate among "Christians" is reportedly *above* the national average, I gotta wonder what remains of marriage that requires "defending" from a bunch of self-righteous nutjobs who seem to think they sit a few seats closer to God than do any other occupants of our planet. I mean, haven't Americans already destroyed the illusion that marriage is a "divine" institution?

    Instead of trying to ban same-sex marriage, this an outstanding opportunity for Fundamentalists and other Christians to *embrace* same-sex marriage, to reinforce the idea that marriage is an important institution that strengthens families and communities. Wouldn't THAT message do more to enhance and preserve the institution of marriage than anything currently being promulgated by the extreme Religious Right?

  4. BradBishop says:

    Marriage is an invention of the church, and shouldnt be recognized by the governement in any form, same sex or otherwise. They should all be legal unions, and wether yours happens to be a marriage or not is up to you and dependant on your beliefs. What we have is a government sanctioned religious union. One of many ways we've failed to seperate church and state.

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