Friday, October 27, 2006

Marriage By Any Other Name?

Here in New Jersey, the State Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry and enjoy ALL the rights as any married couple - property, inheritance, taxes, custody, everything.  One thing though:  Our state legislators have decreed that they cannot be considered "married" in the traditional sense (huh?) because it was felt it sublimates those who've married "traditionally".  (This really confuses me).  The end result is that sex-same couples will be considered joined in a "civil union" in New Jersey, but with all the legal benefits of traditional marriage.  Massachusetts is the only other state in the country which allows this, but they call it marriage.

On the one hand, if I were gay I'd be thrilled to be called anything as long as my marriage was recognized as legal and I was entitled to all the same benefits of any married couple.

On the other hand, what's a "traditional" marriage anyway these days?  I know the intent and see how crafty the Courts are in running the issue in circles, but is this really enough for same-sex partners?  It's a great leap forward but something's missing.  Homosexuals and lesbians fight so hard for these simple, sensible and civil, constitutional rights, why cloud the issue with this "civil joining" moniker? 

Still, it's a step forward.

12 comments:

ab45yui said...

My first thought is, it defines the difference between church and state.  The "state" will recognize it from a legal stand point, but they are trying hard not to tread on the "churches" turf with regard to recognizing marriage between two men/two women.  I call it "compromise".  

"Step forward" though, well I guess that depends on your beliefs.  I do not agree with this ruling, because of my religious affiliation and beliefs.  This doesn't mean I hate gays/lesbians.

I have a friend whom is gay and I love him to no end, but I do not agree with his sexual orientation.  I'm sure there are things about me, he does not agree with either.  Actually, he lets me know in a heart beat, when he doesn't agree with something I'm doing, lol.  At any rate, true friendship finds themselves at a place to agree to disagree.  Our differences will not stop us from being friends.

pharmolo said...

I am a liberal, to the extent that everybody can do what they like as long as it doesn't upset, offend or inconvenience. If people are genuinely convinced they want to get married, they should be able to do so. Even if they're of the same gender.
Here in Scotland, my local council will perform the legal duty of pronouncing people legally "married" (incorrect word for a gay wedding), but will not participate in a ceremony. Fine distinction, but they are very conservative in these islands.
I hold an opinion on the matter, Cathy - doesn't mean I want to have it in my face.

bobandkate said...

I suppose the religious definition of marriage includes a 'procreation' clause. This would not apply to same sex couples and causes some churches difficulties in recognising same sex unions as 'marriage'. But, personally, I think same sex couples deserve the same rights and protections under the law as single sex married couples. It is legal marriage, and that is a good thing. Interesting post Cathy,
Kate.
http://journals.aol.co.uk/bobandkate/AnAnalysisofLife/

mandijo1822 said...

They have to be "civilly joined" because, indeed,  the religious part of procreating is there.  And obviously you cannot do so with a same sex marriage.  From what I have read you have all the rights that an opposite sex marriage does.  So, I think it is more then "just a step."  I think it is a huge leap.  

These days marriage is a joke.  I have never heard of so many divorced or failed marriages in my life.  People need to reevaluate their decisions and take vows seriously.  Just my opinion.

iiimagicxx said...

I personally imagine those traditional marriages in churches, having grown up in France in a country which at the time was Catholic mostly. So, the little girl in me see a Fairy Tale in the underlying meaning of Marriage, and one I would like to continue to cherish :D
However, there are also other possibilities to get married, especially forhtose who divorced, they cannot go back to marry to church for a second time... the first time is usually for life unless there is death of one or the other. So they have to ask for forgiveness after a divorce to be able to re=mary in the church, and this could take as long as three years... not every one wants to wait so long... so there is the Town Hall in the UK or La Mairie in france. You put your name on the register and between 2 weeks to 20+ days you can go up there and get married by Town Halls Officers, not priests. This is of course much more formal, nothing as romantic as you could recieve from a church and the idea this is for life as well.
This is my distinction between a traditional marriage from one that is just formal and for the sake of it, whatever "it" might mean.
Now, whether we are speaking about heterosexual or homosexual couples, I do not see the difference, but I would like to respect people from the Church, only because I know I am too far ignorant to be able to make really sound comments and criticse on that matter.
it seems to be very similar in the States... one State after another State, they seem to gradually become more open to the idea of gay marriages, the fact that they speak about it show that there are questions unanswered they are willing to think about and take steps that follow our time and the way people live... but change takes time, changing mentalities do take time. As you said, a step forward.
Valerie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/iiimagicxx/surreality/

swmpgrly said...

I believe a marrage is a marrage!
I dont care what your life choice is.
I think calling it anything other than a marrage is a form prejudice.
That is not equal right for everybody.
Maybe we should all have civil unions .
I was told by a friend that she dont agree with it because they will get family plan insurance and they will hike up all our insurance premiums...lol
I told her If they were all married to the opposite sex wouldnt we still get the hike.
She didnt like that answer.
I think its sooo unfair.

brainwhispers said...

Cor dont people write long comments in your journal. :o)

rockoned7 said...

What a wonderful thought provoking blog to write.

I maybe fall on the religious meaning of the word marriage by my own personal beliefs and all that entails. However, I don’t see the necessity for a procreation clause which everyone associates with this union. Marriage in religious terms is a union between opposite sexes and given freely as equal status partners.
If we leave the religious issue aside, then the basis of marriage is a contract, between parties, which alters the status of the couple concerned. I do not see the union of the same sex being other than a civil contract between two consenting adults made for the same status of changing the rites  and privileges of the same couples as in the religious meaning. It maybe that society’s views on this contractual basis of marriage has changed and it is within the State’s responsibility and duty to reflect these changes that have assisted the same sex agreements to coexist within the same legal framework.

Wasn’t Bill Clinton who signed the law in 1996 the defence of marriage act in which stated that it is between one woman and one man as husband and wife for all federal purposes? To be later turned around by this latest piece of legislature?  

There is one fundamental statement that has to be defined in what society sees as a union between two persons.  Is it the state’s conflict within these rules or is it a step forward in getting the same rights in all other matters pertaining to normalised married couples?

For me only time will tell.
If I had to come up with an answer that fulfils all of the judgement on this, I would have to steal a line from the bible to say, “give to the State what is the State’s and give to God what is His”.

pbaldrey said...

Good luck with your nomination.
Pete
http://journals.aol.co.uk/pbaldrey/PetesPlace/

rayne1123 said...

i think it is great.  everyone deserves to be happy and it is about time that things change
noelle

treesrgreen7865 said...

This indeed is quite a controversial subject and I applaud u greatly for writing it.  In Canada the first province to legalize gay  marriage was Ontario, in which I live.  Eventually, there was another vote to overturn this and it failed.  Now all of Canada has accepted gay marriages as legal.  While the church may not recognize this, the MCC church here in Ontario does perform marriages and considers them legal in the eyes of this Church and the Province.  I applaud this because everyone, no matter what their persuasion has the right to live their life and if two gay people wish to be married for their individual reasons they should be able to do so.  The USA in individual States are now taking this step and I think that is a very great step forward for those of the gay community.  I have seen many marriages of different sexes fail miserably and end in divorce and they do it over and over again, many have been married numerous times.  It seems ok to do this, but if a gay couple wish to marry many look upon this as sick, well 7 or 8 marriages in one person's lifetime to me is somewhat bizarre as well.  God bless the States and Canada for having the courage to change.  This indeed is my own opinion and  I fully respect everyone elses opinion, though it may differ from mine.  Great entry my friend, god bless.

TreesRGreen78  

be said...

華麗夢想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗夢想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗夢想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗夢想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗夢想,
夢世界,