Friday, July 3, 2015

Marriage - a LEGAL contract

 I've really been getting a kick out of the so-called religious folks whose knickers are in a bunch because of the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.  They are gnashing their teeth and quoting Leviticus left and right, claiming marriage equality goes against their religion.  Well ... I hate to be the one to burst their bubble, but ....

Just so we all understand:  marriage, as sanctioned by the state (government), has nothing to do with religion.  Nothing.  It is a LEGAL CONTRACT equivalent to property ownership or employment agreements.

If you wish to bring religion into your marriage - or your marriage ceremony - you most certainly can do that.  But you don't have to.  In Arizona, for example, couples can legally be married by a judge, a magistrate, a clerk of the circuit court, or a clerk or clerk-treasurer of a city or town. Nobody has to get married in the eyes of God or any other Supreme Being.  But if you want your marriage to be LEGAL, you do have to get married under the laws of the state and nation.  Why is that?  Because there are LEGAL rights, benefits and protections that are based on marital status, that's why!

Example:  There are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law.  They range from tax law to social security to immigration to health care to employee benefits. Each state has its own list as well. 

This is exactly why the Supreme Court of the United States ruled for marriage equality.  The 14th Amendment clearly guarantees "equal protection of the laws."  It doesn't say religious doctrine; it says "the laws."  That means the laws governing this country and the individual states.  And to make another point:  the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and trumps state laws every time.

So, please.  From now on, don't use the religion argument when blasting the high court for the marriage equality ruling because it just shows your ignorance about the real issue.  The ruling came down to EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS and, until that ruling, a specific group of people were denied the protection that you have always had.  Uh ... kind of like when women were denied the right to vote.  Or when inter-racial couples were denied the right to marry.  Or when women were denied the right to own property.

When it comes to equality as it pertains to the law, how about quoting the U.S. Constitution instead of Leviticus?

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