I heard on the news this morning that the lawyer that got gay marriages recognized in Massachusetts is bringing suit against the federal government to recognize legal marriage by the states and provide equal benefits. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03marriage.html?ref=us)
I support the suit.
Over the past six years I've had the honor of officiating five weddings in Texas. I firmly believe that the ceremonies I performed had very little to do with the state. Each was a social or religious agreement between two people to be together forever. The state had no place there.
Where I believe the state has a place is in a separate, legal situation recognizing a contract between these same two people for the purpose of maintaining property, securing benefits, and situations dealing with children. The state should be there to record that a contract exists between these people. The state should *not* call it marriage.
In my magic world, the two events would be made separate. If your faith allowed gay marriages; great! If it didn't; great too! Same for your state governments. And the federal government . . their job is to interfere with the states as little as possible. If a state says that a legal contract exists . . then that is that. Recognize baby!
The following excerpts are the main provisions of the Act:
- Powers reserved to the states:
No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.
- Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse':
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
The act itself: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=104_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ199.104