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Vote No against Marriage Silliness

For a significant part of the “no” crowd, this is about same-sex marriage (or, perhaps, civil unions). They want it legalized, and this is a chance to register that desire. The amendment is actually about neither of those things–if it passes, the butt sex will still be legal, and if it fails, same-sex marriage will still be illegal. Even if we get what we want, we won’t get what we want. Source: folkbum’s rambles and rants

I think Folkbum got it mostly right. Personally, I see the ‘same sex’ and ‘butt sex’ crowd as two sides of the same coin. Both are overly concerned with ‘recognition politics’ and the state validating their conception of marriage. What too often gets missed in this debate is what right the state has in marriage anyway.

Too often terms like marriage and civil unions become emotionally laden empty signifiers. As Ben Brothers mentions Fred from Real Debate Wisconsin stated,

This is a society based on laws and contracts. If two gay people wish to enter into a contractual relationship that somehow mimics marriage, fine. Just call it something other than marriage.

yet then encouraged a yes vote on the amendment. Really a vote yes and get over it vote. What gets all mushy is the difference between the religious and legal significance of the term. Earlier in the election cycle Dreyfuss made a strong argument about how the legal and religious definitions of marriage should be separated.

My position is simple, the state has no business granting ‘special rights’ to one category of co-habitation (married) while denying it to others (unmarried). There is nothing about marriage that protects children from child abuse, homelessness, poverty, or a variety of other evils that may require a state role in addressing. Yes, the state has an obligation to make sure children live in a safe stable environment but marriage, in itself, is no guarantee of that.

Even the current man-women marriage law violates the first amendment because it dictates to churches who they can marry. Churches, not the state, in the final analysis should define marriage in the religious sense. The state has no right to validate marriages of one particular religious persuasion while at the same time denying to another.

So, come November 7th, I will vote no and then no again. I will vote no firstly because current state law is in strict violation of the constitution. The definition of marriage, in the religious sense, should be left up to individual churches to define and not the state. If current practice is signing off on marriage in the religious sense, it should not matter if the church is protestant or catholic, liberal or conservative, or those to be married are man – women, women – women, or man – man. I will vote no secondly because it not only discriminates in the religious sense, but also the legal sense. Its aim is to preemptively deny legal rights to all gay and unmarried couples. The second part not only aims to grant special rights to a particular religious definition of marriage, but also denies legal rights to all others. The second part of the amendment will be interpreted by activist judges into the foreseeable future.