Nadine Clement

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Make Civil Marriage the Norm for the entire country and religious marriage a symbolic addition to that

For years we have been trying to make people reform their religious views to include gay marriage and I think it is causing harm to both parties. I am suggesting a simple alternative, make civil unions the default of the land, if you want to get marriage under the eyes of god that is a separate ceremony.

All laws that include incentives for 'marriage' should be changed to 'civil union' in the books.

Religious ceremonies should be separate from the government and should not give any additional rights that you would not get in a civil union.

Civil Unions therefore should be expanded to included any and all rights of a marriage as we think of it now and religious marriage should be reduced to a symbolic ceremony.

In short in this system EVERYONE would be required to get a civil union if they wanted the United States of American to view them as couple, and then after that they are free to make the decision if they want to have a religious cermony in the eyes of God.

This would be protecting religious rights but also giving rights to the people that deserve to be regonized as a couple with all the incentives and protections of marriage.

Thank you for reading my petition.

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-make-civil-unions-the-norm-for-all-couples

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    Dec 26 2011: Forget the word "marriage" except as it may be used in religious ceremonies, and base legal civil domestic arrangements completely on contracts. But the answer to the "benefits" issue is not to extend the traditional bennies of marriage to other unions, it's the opposite: to stop giving tax breaks to "married" people. The whole idea of benefits in marriage came from the normal family conditions half a century ago (as in my family when I grew up). The norm in urban families was that there was one wage-earner (usually the father), and if he died the wife and kids would be left with nothing if there was not some common security arrangement for them. So the father's pension check or Social Security would continue to go to the wife. This has little relevance to modern life, and none whatever to homosexual "marriages."

    I think the only benefit that should be paid as a survivor benefit is in the case where a family without sufficient means is raising minor children. Beyond that, there's no reason why people who choose to call themselves "married" should be getting anything that others aren't getting, whether survivor rights or tax breaks.

    Legal relationships based on contract can define whatever relations two or more people choose to enter into, though if they're getting nothing for it I'm not sure how popular these would be. Note that it's logical to extend this to any number of people, so multi-person "families" could become common under this scheme. Polygamy would be back. And so what?

    I wrote about this a few years ago at Blue Ridge Journal:
    http://www.blueridgejournal.com/brj-marriage.htm
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    Nov 30 2011: Huh. that is a very interesting I will have to look into that. I think that might be hard for me to find though but I love a challenge! I will let you know what I come up with.
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    Nov 30 2011: I still fail to see why the recipient of my benefits has to be a "love match".

    Toss marriage completely out of the realm of law.
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      Nov 30 2011: The only problem with that is how do with the international marriages and such how do they get green cards or the better question if that is thrown out who doesn't? That always seems to be a topic of big debate in this country.
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      Nov 30 2011: Gisela, Why doesn't your comment surprise me?

      Excellent idea Nadine. Thank you for your clarity.
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        Dec 1 2011: Because it's ludicrous to base such important things on something that for most people lasts a few years?

        I'm not suggesting we forbid making the person you marry in a religious ceremony your recipient, I'm pointing out that it is stupid to equate the two at all. Marriage is a religious and cultural artifact. The legal and tax benefits currently tied to marriage should instead be tied to a contract between two people that has nothing to do with "love" whether permanent or temporary.

        And who the hell cares if I sponsor someone into the country and don't actually love them? If I want to promise to support someone financially if they cannot find work, why create a department of workers to check whether or not s/he knows the colour of my toothbrush and what deodorant I use?

        It's just idiotic and juvenile busy-body work.
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          Dec 3 2011: Well I am kinda against the tax benefits to begin with but if we DO have them they should be equal. Civil union I do equate to a contract between people though.
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        Dec 3 2011: But a contract that implies sexual/romantic entanglements.

        I'd like to see that prerequisite gone.
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        Dec 4 2011: Seriously?

        Did you just resort to "you're pretty, why aren't you dumber," with me?

        I can't recall the last time that happened. Between this and that Kentucky church that just banned inter-racial marriages, I am starting to wonder if I fell through a time vortex and woke up in 1960-something.
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          Dec 4 2011: No ma'am. Thank wasn't the focus nor intent of my comment, which you obviously missed completely. We need not communicate again. There is no basis for understanding here. Good bye.
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      Nov 30 2011: My opinion is that if marriage has to be associated with incentives and such that everyone should have the same benefits if they wish to.

      Creation is such an interesting concept though what if one of you could not bare children? Is that relationship not as important because of that? Are you even considered married if marriage is about creation? I think that establishing a long relationship really doesn't boil down to sex anymore and whether you can bare children but about the life you create with one another which is a form of creation.

      My point is not to debate whether it is right or not to get religion to be more open to it, but how to make it more even and find common ground so that it is not an argument.

      And this is a petition that I did post on another site that I am trying to get comments back on so you did indeed read what I am currently petitioning. Thank you for your imput.
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          Nov 30 2011: Not for all states. Civil unions are state to state vs marriage that gives federal protections.

          "A civil union is a legal status granted by a state... It provides legal protection to couples at the state law level, but omits federal protections"

          I think that religion is about thinking about the things we have in common not what sets us apart. The origins of marriage was for offspring. It was a time where that was needed. And abomination means 'not customary' which I think is one of the passages that everyone speaks of for this issue. But all of that is beside the point, I don't care about religion that is not my point at all.

          And spiritually I don't think you have the right to judge anyone but yourself. If there is a "God" he will judge, but no human should ever think that they have that power to say what is right or wrong.

          That is why this is not about forcing religion to adopt a practice but merely giving federal protection to people who deserve it.
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          Nov 30 2011: Oh and the link under where I wrote this idea is the link to my petition, so if you were observate enough you would have found it.
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    Nov 28 2011: Here in Turkey it is how it goes. You cant make muslim marriage untill you make an official state marriage.
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    Nov 27 2011: Well you see gay marriage is an issue that I am trying to fight for but it's not my ultimate purpose, you see I believe that the change for religious community to accept gays into their religious practices has to come from inside the church. Yes I think it is misguided that they do not have that thought process but this petition is about getting people that do not have the same rights even though they are 'civilly married'.
    For example a homosexual couple might be civilly married but one might still get deported or not be able to make decisions if their partner is unable to, these things I think we can fix quickly with this petition although the religious aspect will be a harder and longer process.
    And civil marriage is allowed for homosexuals in the united states already it is just a matter of getting them the same rights as a married couple who is not.

    I do believe to that there should be more of a separation of church and state in my country and that is another thing that this is strongly fighting for. Thank you so much for your comments!
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      Nov 28 2011: I hope you'll have the opportunity to get how it works here in France (by the way, how come you have such a Frenchy name?? :) )

      We are supposed to have separated state and religion since 1904. THen all the religions are supposed to be equal, provided they are not classified as sects, but in fact a lot remains, which makes still the Catholic religion privileged compared to the others

      - Churches being very old buildings, part of our heritage, they are maintained by tax payers, so catholics don't have problem to find places to pray (more difficult to find a priest in some places, but it is another story), while muslims have to pray in vaults or streets.

      - if a bank holidays is related to religion, it is a catholic day !

      - When some non catholic (protestant, jew for instance) people can pretend to be president, this religion things is a matter in nerwspapers...

      A you can see, things are not perfect....
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        Nov 29 2011: That is very interesting a lot of that I did not know about French Policy. In the States we have a similar thing with religious equality (we have tax breaks for churches etc.) but it is very hard to get tax breaks for a Buddhist Temple while it is very easy to get a huge retreat for Christians, it's uneven but I hope with the continued ideals that we can make the situation better. I always thought it was really interesting that religion matters so much in politics, politics shouldn't be about your personal life but what you plan to do in office, if I am not mistaken a very French ideal?

        :) I am a little French but I am a mutt of all Europe. My mom liked the name, I think originally it was Spanish though meaning melody but I think all of Europe's languages touch in one form at some point.

        Thank you again for your comments! :)
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          Nov 29 2011: Nadine,

          I suggest you to have a look on how Germany deals with religion. If my understanding is correct, when they pay taxes, they say which one is their religion, and a fraction of their tax goes to some representative instances of that religion.

          In france, it would be a revolution if some official paper was asking the religion of individuals!!
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    Nov 27 2011: Here in France, on the contrary of the US, by the law, the marriage is civil first (sentenced by the mayor) then (and only after) optionally a religious marriage can be done, in the religion of choice.

    Nevertheless, the gay marriage is still forbidden, in despite of having the topic regularly brought to discussion, or some demonstration done.

    So although I am in favor of your goal, I'm not sure that your suggestion will be efficient.