Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not that it would ever happen...

...but assuming the God Squad actually got their fantasy Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage, what would happen to all those queer folk out there with pre-ban marriages? Would their marriage certificate be grandfathered, and become as valuable as a transferable M240?

Would their marriage be annulled? Or would they be sent to federal prison (in separate cells, of course)?

I'll tell you one thing: This just goes to show that registration inevitably leads to confiscation. We should get the .gov out of the marriage business entirely.


staghounds said...

Most states still have statutes that make marriages solemnized in foreign countries lawful here. They date from the days of mass legal immigration, so all those Irish and Italians would already be married when they got here.

I always wondered why the gay insurance bene- um, marriage people didn't use those like crazy.

Heroditus Huxley said...

I agree that the government shouldn't have anything to do with marriages. That's a solemn vow between a man, a woman, and God. No marriage license can make two people act married, and no lack thereof can make two who feel and act married not act married.

The social contracts that the government requires are totally different things. I know a lot of people that are bound in breakable social constructs. I know very few married couples.

lelnet said...

Hey, get government out of the marriage business...you'll get plenty of support from me on that. Better yet, get government out of the thought police business, and most of those fighting against the redefinition of marriage will stop caring.

Good luck with either one.

theirritablearchitect said...

Keeping the .gov involved in this issue is just begging to get the inevitable SWAT raid situation going, similar to the recent war on What Kinda Wood's in Your Guitar?


og said...

"We should get the .gov out of the marriage business entirely."

More appropriate words have never ever been spoken, full stop.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

It's just smoke blowing. More likely for Zombie ERA to get passed.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, the problem is the issue of property disposition upon death, divorce or abandonment. Back in the day before the government was in the marriage racket, women tended to be pretty much out of luck if hubby died or bailed out. So, .gov stepped in to mandate that a woman wouldn't be left out in the cold (literally) if her marriage went south.

In his novel "The Puppet Masters", Heinlein imagines that "marriage" in the US of the future would be a civil contract like any other. A couple could (for an additional fee) even get a "religious" ceremony, but the crux of the matter was the contract. Seems like a reasonable solution to me as contract enforcement is something that the government SHOULD do that doesn't quickly get mired in the question of religious views.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Tam, agree 100%.

Living in Babylon said...

Even though a marriage license is peanuts as far as federal funds go, I can't see them letting go of it anytime soon. It is, after all, a very hungry leviathan we are feeding.

You'd think they'd be more open to expanding to new markets, though.

The Jack said...

Agree. I had similar thoughts a couple of months ago.


"Technically, I /am/ against gay marriage. It's for the same reason I am technically against straight marriage.

I find the idea of going to the government for approval on your spouse to be superfluous at best, creepy at worst. Why should matters of love and long term companionship depend on meeting the demands of the state? "

Though you bring up the whole registration and confiscation idea. Even more Ick.

ExurbanKevin said...

They'd have to pin their barrels and get rid of their collapasible stocks.

Wait, wrong ban. Sorry.

And for the record, I'll put my love of my faith up against anyone this side of Charles S. Spurgeon, and I don't care how the .gov defines marriage: It won't affect my relationship with my God one whit nor will it diminish my commitment to my wife.

Woodman said...

What they are banning isn't even marriage, it's a marriage license.

I've seen a couple gay weddings in Indiana in the last 20 years. Both by real clergy, both in a real church. The marriage mass took place, so they are married.

The license was never issued. And the two that I knew well enough didn't care that much. They did the legal paperwork to create living wills and duplicate being married except for insurance and governmental purposes.

When you see someone on TV crying because the Government won't let them get married they are full of it. It's not about not letting you love your partner. Just come out and say why you want to get married, same reason most people do. Insurance, Social Security, and ease of legal options.

It's cool, it's mostly why I got married the second time. There is no crime to wanting a social contract, but use logical reasoning; not emotional. Because the emotional reasoning is bunk.

Linoge said...

We should get the .gov out of the marriage business entirely.


People want to get into contracts with one another? Knock yourselves out. No governmental idiocy required.

Midwest Chick said...

If .gov declares marriages to be illegal, then would the parties involved then be *gasp* living in sin?

Agreed though. Get the government out of marriage 'permission'/licensing.

NotClauswitz said...

Get Government out of the Government business. Government insisting on a cut from a cheap licensing bureau is like the Mayor fixing parking tickets - an example of cheap lowlife hoodlums skimming the till at a drugstore.

People of like-minded persuasion can get the legal-beagles to draw up the necessary confections and condiments to make a big binding paper-pie that is more married-than-marriage, and includes cats, dogs, and canaries as beneficiaries. The intrusion of spiritually-clad dolphins at an aqua-park might be less hallowed than some could wish for, but still also suffices for sanctity.

Kristophr said...

The problem here comes from idiots in hospitals and such who do not allow a spouse to handle a patient's affairs unless they have a shiny government document.

A friend of mine had exchanged powers of attorney with his partner, and still had some overly religious nitwit of a nurse try to exclude him from a hospital room.

It took a talk with the hospital's legal department to get them to scramble to muzzle Nurse God-botherer before she got the hospital sued for interfering with attorney-client privilege.

Angus McThag said...

Wish I'd said this, in January or so...

Or rather, I wish someone had read what I wrote.

Great minds think alike.

Tam, you should be concerned if you're thinking like me. Better get checked for a tumor or something.

Ken said...

We should get the .gov out of the marriage business entirely.


The state should not be in the marriage business.

...Actually, the first five words of the previous sentence would suffice. :-)

Bubblehead Les. said...

More Stew for the Pot: What will happen WHEN 2 LGBT Military People decide to marry each other? I ain't taking sides, but if they get Married at Sea by a Ship's Captain, outside of CONUS, well, what now, Brown Cow?

Drang said...

Note that in the Great Socialist Paradise of Europe, the Civil Marriage License is what marries you, not the Church Ceremony.
Gee, we do that here.

Biggest reason Mrs. Drang and I got married was that the Army wouldn't move her or provide any other benefits if we weren't. At least, that was the reason she gave for agreeing.

"Marriage" is only a Big Deal to the majority of liberals because of the Government Handouts associated. There are some conservative/libertarians to whom the symbolism is important.
Either way, I say "Welcome to paying marriage penalty taxes."

Stuart the Viking said...

I have been saying this for years. I have also been saying that it is time for the government to get out of the business of racism.

I'm glad that you said it Tam. Nobody listens to ME.


Anonymous said...

Technically speaking a marriage should be two parties with a contract. God may be invited by the partners depending on belief. The state is an intruder. Consider also that the contract may be changed after the fact by the intruder without the permission of either of the parties.

Goober said...

and become as valuable as a transferable M240?

I’m not certain that you meant for that to be funny when you wrote it but I just snorted diet Pepsi out my nose. Thanks a lot, Tam.

As for the government being involved in marriage, I wrote a lengthy post on that not too long ago, and by the end of it, I think I’d made a pretty good argument against government even having a hand at all in licensing, blessing, performing, dissolving, or otherwise – any marriage at all, much less same sex marriage. Reasons people claim that we need government to be involved abound:

1.) Child support in case of divorce – they go after deadbeat parents all the time even when no marriage occurred at all. Not sure why it would change anything.
2.) Divorce court. You mean the ones so unfair and misandric that men are setting themselves on fire on the courthouse steps in protest? That divorce court system? Hows about we leave divorce up to whichever entity performed the marriage, so that there is a little competition and unfairness like this can’t exist long?
3.) Legal enforcement/taxes – Legal enforcement of what? A marriage CONTRACT? Why does the government need to grant a license to enter into a marriage contract? It doesn’t grant license for me to sign a loan contract or a home improvement contract? Why is marriage special? Why does government have to issue a license in order to tax married individuals differently?

To me, issuance of a license or permit denotes the ability to NOT issue if the government sees fit. Why give them this power?

perlhaqr said...

I personally adore gay marriage banns.

Oh, probably not what hey mean...

rickn8or said...

Woodman nails it.

But doing it his way looks too much like work for most people. Quicker / easier to buy a pretty paper and have one of our tribal witch doctors mumble some words with us than actually think about what you're doing.

Nate said...

Boy, I am late to this party but Tam, you hit the nail on the head, "We should get the .gov out of the marriage business entirely." I have been promoting this idea for a couple of years now. If the .gov insists on issuing licenses, then every couple gets a civil union license, full stop. Gay, straight, uncertain, if you're over the age of consent and sya you want all the privileges, you get a civil union license.

If you want to get married- that's another matter between the couple their God and their church. I see it no different than ordination, baptism or confirmation and if you want to be married, that religious service can be accomodated by those churches that choose to do so.

Brad K. said...

Let's see. The history of marriage (in my mind, only!) in America begins with the concept of "citizen" who can vote -- male, 25 or older, property owner.

The assumption at the time was that marriage created a new legal entity, a feudal arrangement where the man (husband) represented that new entity. The woman wasn't so much denied a legal recognition (although it was presumed), as she was legally defined as her father's dependent until she married.

Thus, the "give the bride away" step in formal weddings is a reminder of the woman's legal definition change from child-dependent to wife. (The average age of marriage, I was taught, was about 13 in the colonies.)

So the government being involved in the legal identity changes of marriage are based on the legal processes of the founding of the nation.

The IRS and contract law still hold a woman as capable of making family-binding contracts. A couple that presents itself as married in a business transaction are legally held to be married with respect to that business transaction.

Marriage, to the government, still involves a legal change of identity. Custody of children, entering contracts, and debts are all affected by the state of marriage.

Defining how many adults of whatever gender and whatever relationship to children is almost entirely based on religious teachings, and on the history of governments that encapsulated church teachings into law.

I contend that the right thing to do is define a family as a combination of adults to raise children. Whether you adopt Heinlein's marriage contract form (his line marriage of _Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ was quite creative) or something else, it is the identity change from singles to family that the government needs to be involved in.

It is carrying out the lingering crap after granting a divorce that I contend the government cannot be involved in. Either the marriage stands or ends. Either the contract is enforced, or retired. Lingering aspects of custody, child support, and alimony are pure religion, and no concern of any government, once that marriage binding is broken.

Justthisguy said...

Oh, yeah, Kristopher. Back around '91, I think it was, a strange woman I was hanging out with (normal women will have nothing to do with me) had to spend a night in hospital for some surgery, and having no family who liked her, had me stay overnight in the room with her.

The staff finessed it by addressing me as Mr. (her surname). She was entirely too worried about the outcome, and even changed her will to leave me her tools, which included a torque wrench of the clicky kind.

Yah, she rocked. She also flapped. Why do y'all ask?

ASM826 said...

We need to get the gov't out of the business of doing all sorts of things. Marriage is certainly one of them. What a gov't could do in this case was issue civil contracts for the purposes of transferring property and sharing tax liability, sort of a mini-corporation. Any adults, or group of adults, could get one. Or annul one. Marriage would be between any group of consenting adults and whatever organization they wanted to celebrate with.