There is a new wrinkle in the gay marriage debate. The State of Oklahoma is proposing to make it a private institution as a way of avoiding the Federal government’s ruling that they cannot ban gay marriage. Some view this as a an act of discrimination against the homosexual community in the same way that schools in the South closed their doors rather than implement desegregation laws.
I think it is a great idea. As a Christian, I view marriage , not as a legal institution , but as a sacred ritual instituted by God, not man.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:31
Legalizing marriage for me, is like legalizing other Christian rituals like baptism and communion. In my opinion, this is a gross violation of the much touted principle-separation of church and state. For those who do not adhere to a religious faith, who insist on participating in this ritual, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, it seems hypocritical to me.
I am not opposed to a civil union for those who have no religious principles. I am not opposed to equal protection under the law for civil and marital unions. I am opposed to the diminished value of something holy to a government regulated institution.
I think to be fair we should understand what is really driving the marriage issue-money.
For some reason, when it comes to government funded programs there seems to be a marriage penalty. A couple with children receive less government aid if they are married rather than single. As a result of this based on a study in 2001 81% of working households were married as opposed to 40% who were on government subsidies.
This bias is also found in social security recipients. Many divorced and widowed senior couples remain single to avoid cuts in their ss payments. With the newly subsidized Affordable Health Care Programs there is a similar bias. A married couple is forced into a higher premium than a couple who remain single.
When it comes to American taxpayers, the government favors married couples. Single head of household Americans pay the highest taxes and have the fewest credits available to them. The tax system forces the homosexual and the non-religious couple to fight for marriage regardless of their beliefs in this religious institution, in order to improve their quality of life.
I know of a business woman in my area who was about to end her civil union because of the crushing tax consequences it placed on her prior to the repeal of DOMA.
Speaking of DOMA, the case that caused it to be overturned was based on inheritance taxes that were imposed on a gay domestic partner.
So based on these facts it is clear that the source of the conflict in the gay marriage issue is unfair penalties imposed by the government. The victims are too busy attacking each other to address the true enemy.
If we correct these inequalities in our system, we can create a better life for all Americans. We can get government out of marriage and make it a private matter between a man and a woman and their God. If there is no financial incentive they will marry as a commitment to live out their faith only. Couples who are committed to their faith as a lifestyle have lower divorce rates.
Specifically, the research shows that couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31% less likely to divorce; Protestant couples 35% less likely; and Jewish couples 97% less likely, which in itself is quite impressive, I must say. (Ed Lester Christianity Today 9/27/2012)
Now that’s romantic.