The End Of Marriage

It isn’t every day I read about the Republicans and the French being on the same page.

In order to settle a similar debate about homosexual marriages France implemented civil unions to be available to everyone, gay or straight.

Now, New Hampshire Republicans have introduced bill HB569, which “privatizes marriage” to the churches. If two people want the legal protections of marriage in New Hampshire, they can get a “domestic partnership” under the bill. If they want to be “married” they can go find a church.

What is amusing is that this course of action in France has led to results that would likely infuriate American conservatives. Civil unions will soon be more popular than marriage in France. Divorce scarred French lovers like that French civil unions can be dissolved in under an hour. The large secular population in French culture likes the option of being “married” without having the church having anything to do with it.

So, will Republicans end up shooting themselves in the foot with this tactic? Will they end up making civil unions the norm in the U.S. and marriage an extra religious ritual that only some people do? The opponents to gay marriage I have talked do not have a problem with civil unions, they just want the word “marriage” reserved for heterosexual people. Well, as the French have long known, you can’t control language.

If civil unions become the norm in the U.S., Americans will likely still use terms like “we’re married”, “husband”, “wife” etc even if the government gets out of the business of giving legal meanings to those terms. Gay couples will still refer to their SOs as “my husband”/”my wife” and there will not be anything the religious right will be able to do about it. All they will accomplish will be reducing marriage as institution in our country, the opposite of which, is what they claim they are fighting for. For all of the talk about defending marriage, Republicans may be the ones who ultimately finish it off as an American institution if civil unions go the way of French civil unions.

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8 thoughts on “The End Of Marriage

  1. Personally I’d like to see all individuals treated equally under law. This would mean the gov’t gets completely out of the business of legislating relationships – effectively abolishing the institution of legal marriage. Religious marriages would still continue, as well as secular commitment ceremonies for those who desired them. There simply wouldn’t be any legal benefits, or penaties for joining your life to someone else’s. Why is this an abhorrant concept to some?

    And I’ll admit, I do find some measure of amusement in infuriating American conserversatives. :P

    Very interesting to see how this legislation goes over in New Hampshire, and if other states start promoting it.

  2. I don’t think the government can pull out of the legal side of marriage. Laws are needed to protect children as well guarantee other things for husbands and wives. What France did with their civil unions was to start over with a “clean room” version of marriage, under a new name and adapted to the needs of modern people.

    They wouldn’t put it this way, but New Hampshire republicans are basically going for a name change.

    If their ideas make it out New Hampshire I think the resulting political debate will be quite amusing as republicans explain to straight, secularISH voters that they can no longer get “married”.

  3. 40% isn’t rather significant, it is rather scary. I could feel perfectly fine shacking up with someone for the rest of my life, but if kids were involved I would feel strongly compelled to get married.

  4. Why would you feel strongly compelled to get married if kids were involved? How do you think a marriage license “protects” children when the divorce rate is 50%? I’m not trying to be argumentative here, I just don’t see how in this current culture “legal marriage” positively impacts child welfare.

    ??

  5. My not-legal daughter-in-law sent me a funny forward that had this quote at the end – maybe you might apprec?

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – A. Einstein

  6. The culture I was raised in. Unmarried people with children are not smiled upon and the men who let happen, are smiled upon even less.

    I don’t get how the Einstein quote is funny? :)

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