kylemittskus wrote:Ahem. Back to politics.
I hope you don't mind if we return to the previous discussion, but something stuck me at dinner, Ron. You value the term "marriage" because of its historical significance. [...] Certainly, a homosexual couple wants to be married for the same reason the word holds such value to you. They want all the denotation, connotations, subtext, and history that the word affords. And why shouldn't they if their relationship is no less than a heterosexual couple?
ok, excepting the natural reproduction aspect, with a nod to infertile hetero couples. And I think adoption is an avenue some if not most, but then we're back to how that may affect child raising.
I should note, if I have not made it clear yet, that I couldn't care less about a word. I'm a deconstructionist anyway, but even so, I find it quite absurd that either side would fight so vigorously for a word. From my perspective, it's about equality and not separate but equal. But if one side wants the word so much, it should be shared equally.
I think you already understand my view on this, I'd like the term/word 'marriage' maintained as it has been generally accepted in recorded history, however...
Limiting this to the word only, marriage, we have the very vocal, on both sides, that have raised the emotional level of this to such a furor that some of the other issues we've discussed become a bit clouded; 'rights' and benefits to couples in some form of a committed relationship.
But regarding equality..
We are a country of States, united, the United States. Had the individual States not retained sovereignty granted and guaranteed our Constitution, Bill of Rights and Amendments, our country would not have been founded. Those documents grant only limited authority to the Federal government; defining "marriage" is not one of them, that, being not explicitly granted to the Federal government, went to the States, individually. They can define what marriage is as well as the rights and privileges (taxes) conferred to those residing in a state. Each State can have its own definition, as many have done, and are protected by Article IV, Section 1 of the US Constitution in that they are not required to recognize laws of another State in conflict with their own. The benefits, and taxes, conferred by one State need not be the same as another State. And we, as citizens, have the right to chose our state of residence, based if we so chose, on the laws of our selected State.
Contrast the Federal government. They can and do tax, and through legislation they offer 'benefits' and 'entitlements' and as such set the rules and regulations and restrictions for those affected.
Here in 1 USC § 7 - Definition of “marriage” and “spouse” it has been defined as:
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
So we have an inherent difference in what some State and the Federal governments consider 'marriage'. But Federal and States' laws vary on many issues. I'll not take up a fight that requires the Federal government to mandate how the individual States conduct business in this regard, that would require a constitutional amendment, but where States have established laws found unconstitutional, as we have discussed earlier, clearly action has been taken to overturn those laws. Still, the Federal government retains their right to tax and dispense benefits as prescribed by federal law. It seems it is this we should be attempting to unify, and DOMA is the prime example.
Ok, likely I've said things here that are not well thought out, and really should go back and proof-read, but I gotta get some work done to afford to hang and drink!