Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Red Box
Since I hadn't yet checked the news, I didn't realize that today, evidently, the American Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the legality of delegitimizing same-sex marriages (does that make sense?) and people are using the red box symbol to show their support for same-sex marriages.
I have many thoughts about the issue, not the least of which is the absurdity of trying to adapt a Constitution that was written in the 18th century to present-day life. This isn't a God-given document that we're discussing here -- whether you agree with same-sex relationships/marriages or not, the fact of the matter is that the Founding Fathers couldn't have imagined the types of issues that are being faced in the 21st century, so why try to adapt the Constitution, which dealt with 18th century matters, to today's life? (I have a similar thought about the gun-control issue -- America's Constitution anticipated assault rifles?, but that's neither here nor there).
Anyway, the same-sex marriage issue is a big topic, and it's not going to go away any time soon.
What bothers me is that both sides seem to think that it's a clear-cut issue. The "rights" of gay people to marry as opposed to the "obligation" of society to maintain tradition.
Do any 2 people have the right to marry? Siblings? Other incestuous pairings? The Immigration authorities crack down on "marriages of convenience" which are undertaken when someone wants to obtain a Green Card. Should that be allowed? Who gets to decide which marriages are legal and which aren't?
Being a wishy-washy person anyway, I tend to see both sides of this issue. People should have the right to have any type of relationship that they want, as long as it's not harmful. But marriage? Not so sure.
Maybe it's time for America (we won't talk about Israel here, because it's even more complicated in Israel) to completely separate the concept of "marriage" as a religious institution and the concept of Civil Union as a state institution. Since the Constitution spells out "separation of Church and State" anyway, this could meet the expectations of the people who want to satisfy the Constitution while dealing with the realities of the 21st Century.
Religious authorities of each religion could make up their own minds about how their particular religion regards gay marriages and then couples could affiliate with the religion that meets their needs.
Civil Unions would be available to all, along with the civil rights and responsibilities associated with the union.