Not about me, not about you

At least not if you’re heterosexual. The current debate and political shenanigans going on in the NY State Senate once again misses the point. And, the Senate is addressing the issue behind closed doors. Shame on them. Here’s today’s NY Times editorial on the Senate’s behavior.

I have taken a public stand on this issue in the past. While I try to avoid taking a public stance on controversial issues, this particular issue is for me as black and white as the civil rights struggle of the ’60s. There is a right and a wrong.

Marriage is a religious ceremony. I agree with the Catholic Church and others who wish to “protect” marriage as a practice based in religious tradition. But, that being the case, it has no place in the domain of civil practice. Remember: separation of church and state.

The solution seems simple: establish civil union between adult couples as the only “contract” recognized by civil law, including tax-relief and other benefits. Marriage moves back into the church (or synagogue or mosque) where individual congregations or sects can choose whether or not to “marry” gay couples. However, marriage in a religious setting should no longer be recognized by civil authorities as the basis for those privileges provided couples. Only civil union provides those privileges. A marriage ceremony is for personal religious purposes only. And civil union is available to any pair of consenting adults.

It’s time to get out of other peoples’ bedrooms and home life. It’s degrading to all of us, and it mocks a basic tenet of our constitution.

I guess it is about you and me. It’s about all of us.

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5 Responses to “Not about me, not about you”

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  1. Pete Klein says:

    I have said the same thing for years.
    Two points that have always bugged me.
    Marriage is the only sacrament the Catholic Church has that requires prior approval from the state. You need to BUY a marriage license from the state before you can get married in the Catholic Church. Don’t need a license from the state to be Baptized or receive any of the other sacraments.
    Two: the two people who get married marry each other. Neither the Justice of the Peace, the tug boat captain, nor any priest or other religious marries anyone. They are just OFFICIAL witnesses.
    I wish people knew what they are talking about.

  2. MrSandwich says:

    I would go even further and abolish any benefits to “coupling”.

  3. Ellen Rocco says:

    MrSandwich:
    Yes, it is probably time to revisit civil “benefits” of any kind of union. However, it’s not just about “benefits” that inhere currently between married people. It’s also about access and voice, for example, to the bedside of one’s dying husband, wife or partner, and there are financial and family commitments that have nothing to do with civil benefits but are nonetheless controlled right now by civil recognition of marriage.

  4. Ellen Rocco says:

    Sorry. That last comment was barely articulate. I guess I’m juggling one too many balls today…What I was trying to communicate is that some kind of civilly-recognized agreement is necessary to expedite some of those life activities that come up when people do commit themselves to each other. A new civil union construct could be helpful. I agree with MrSandwich that there is an inherent unfairness in giving couples legal benefits and tax-incentives.

  5. Gary says:

    It’s not just couples who reap the benefits of tax incentives, I know I’m the minority on this one, but it used to Bother me when I worked in a now closed factory here in the north country, that come pay day ,people with children would get a much larger take home paycheck than me , and then again come tax time they’d get a return that I could only dream of as a single male without children. I don’t mind paying my land and school taxes , but I really don’t think in these days of limited resources, that my gov’t should be rewarding people for having kids, and penalizing those who don’t. I have no problem with gay people being joined in a civil union or marriage, And for those who think that they’re only doing it to manipulate the system, you’d better clean your own house before you tell them how to clean theirs.