Human Rights for Everybody

posted December 18, 2003 by Jer


This is the place for everything. I try to push the newsposts to be about comics, but there's no denying the fact that it's really just a group blog.

Anyway, my theory is that there should be a separation between marriage for love and marriage for tax purposes. When you really think about it, marriage is the one and only governmental issue the religious right has total control over. There are numerous state-sponsored benefits to marriage, many of which are financial. The religious right maintains that only heterosexual couples should be allowed those benefits. This heavily rewards only traditional definitions of love and both denies and punishes any and all creative interpretation of the concept of love.

No one will ever listen to me, but this is a situation that needs the division of church and state. If the law is to recognize the union of two people as candidates for financial and tax benefits, then the law should not discriminate on who those two people are. If the religious right wants to discriminate on who is and is not allowed to wed in the eyes of their god or gods, then they should have no say in how the law treats said marriages.

As it stands, marriage is a state sponsored recognition of a religious tradition. The solution is to make marriage by law and marriage by tradition two separate but related events. The government must no longer discriminate on who registers as life partners to apply for financial and tax benefits. Thus the religious institutions are given the freedom to decide whether they recognize this government instituted partnership as a true marriage in the eyes of their deity/deities. The ceremony involved will be entirely up to the couple and whatever religious institution they choose to recognize their love for each other.

Is it likely to change? Probably not in this country. It's the last thing the religious right has, and with their grip on abortion rights constantly fluctuating, there is no way in hell they will let go of marriage. Separating the church from the state is the only way for everyone to be truely able to marry. Personally, I think government should keep it's corrupted fingers out of love. Love is too complicated even on an individual level to set laws to govern it. Nearly the entire existence of our species has been spent attempting to understand love. Tens of Thousands of years have been spent creating poetry and song, only to be followed by film and paintings and who knows how many more mediums all passionately dedicated to the human mind's failure to understand the most basic of emotions. To write a law that says "This is love and all must obey" is nothing short of oppressive. Some slowly start to understand while others firmly dig their heels in.

A good friend of mine is a M to F transsexual. She is a philosopher and an activist for sexual minority rights, and one of the reasons I am so animate about a human being's right to love whoever the hell it wants. She publishes a newsletter online, but I don't have the link to it handy. Check back later and I should have it posted. for Xrys' survay, I selected "I favor legalization of homosexual marriage," despite the fact that my above essay would lean towards "I favor a 'civil union' with the full benefits of marriage except for the name," because I think sexual minorities should have the exact same rights and privilages as anyone else. Denying sexual minorities the word "marriage" is simply the religious right's way of stapling a bright neon scarlet "A" upon every union it deams unfit.