Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morgan Park, IL
Location: Morgan Park, IL
Sportbike: A couple
Years Riding: too long to have any sense
How you found us: NESBA
The no on 8 folks messed it up. Again.
There are actually two kinds of Marriage - Religious Marriage and Civil Marriage. This is a point that pro same-sex marriage campaigns always fail to articulate.
Religious Marriage is controlled by the Church (actually any religion). And no one was trying to mess with that. That is covered by the 1st Amendment in the US Constitution. Religious marriage carries no state recognition, no state rights, responsibilities, or privileges. It is a commitment a couple makes before God and man.
Civil Marriage is the state's recognition of that religious marriage. This is the process of acquiring a marriage license and having it executed as proscribed under law. The state's recognition of marriage gives couples rights under law in many areas, including property, death, taxes, inheritance, and benefits in many other areas. In addition, there are literally thousands of state and federal laws that reference "marriage" and not "civil unions", not to mention things like insurance policies and other generally common (and generally non-negotiable for an individual [- think about your cell phone and credit card contracts]) private contracts which contain standard wording regarding "marriage".
In addition to state Civil Marriage (marriage license properly executed), California has Civil Unions under law for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. However the state's grant of recognition and the rights and privileges that come with Civil Unions are unequal to those granted couples who have an executed marriage license (civil marriage).
It is the unequal recognition of those rights between state recognition of "marriage" and its recognition of "civil unions" that was the subject of the California Supreme Court ruling. The court said that under other provisions of the California Constitution, you can not discriminate against same-sex couples in granting rights and privileges when compared to opposite-sex couples.
Prop 8 sought to legalize this discrimination in the states' treatment of it's citizens. It had absolutely nothing to do with and would not have affected what any church, synagogue, mosque, or any other religious institution did in regards to religious marriage.
Because people have a hard time seeing the distinction between religious marriage and it's civil counterpart, many interpreted this court decision as an attack on their religious beliefs. And they reacted as expected.
The court challenges filed yesterday challenge the constitutionality of passing an amendment to the California Constitution that is at odds with another section of the same document, without also modifying that other section, which concerns guaranteeing equal rights for all California citizens.
Personally, I think that the entire government at all levels should not recognize religious marriages. Rather, any couple should have to register a civil union with the government to get state recognition of their relationship and commitment to support each other. This state recognition should not be tied to religious marriage. The state should have no interest in, nor should it recognize, religious marriage. I believe that all the laws that recognize religious marriage are in violation of the separation of church and state.
This battle will rage on for many more years. In the end, a greater understanding of equality will prevail.
Last edited by beac83; 11-06-2008 at 10:14 AM.