The state of California is getting ready to vote on this change to their state constitution:
"Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"
First a suit was filed to prevent this amendment from coming to the ballot. It failed. Now the Attorney General has changed the wording of this amendment to read:
"Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact to state and local governments."
It seems to me that the AG is just setting the state up so that the amendment can be challenged in court and thrown out, but I notice that he doesn't include the fiscal impact of that. He is playing with the people of California and wasting their money to boot. He obviously believes their morals are for sale to the highest bidder. How much more insulting does he have to be before the people of the state wake up and oust him?
Aside from the AG's shenanigans though, I have a problem with the whole idea of indicating that a marriage could occur between two people who are anything but a man and a woman.
Now, I know that some people will find this confusing, but please bear with me. I think that same sex couples cannot be married, because they cannot, by definition, perform the contract of marriage. One cannot make a legal contract to perform an action which one is physically unable to perform and neither can one make a contract not to perform that which one is unable to perform. As I understand it, it must be possible for the terms of a contract to be performed for the contract to be valid. Therefore, same sex couples cannot be married because marriage is a contract which in essence states that both partners will only perform those acts necessary for the creation of children with the other partner in the marriage. That any children they produce will be the children of themselves and the other party to the contract. It does not require the production of children, nor does it prohibit adoption. It simply states that all children produced within the marriage will be the children of the parties to the contract. Since same sex couples cannot produce children with their partner, they do not need, nor can they legally make, a contract that says they will only do so with said partner.
(Before Mr. Morris says so, yes I believe that a marriage is much more than that on a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical level-but those things are hard to define and show evidence of in a courtroom, so for the sake of this post, I restrict myself.)
I think it is also questionable to encourage people to enter into agreements which prevent them from reproducing as a contract of marriage would for same sex couples.
While I recognize that there are moral benefits to being able to say one is married, those benefits are available to anyone who wants to get married. I would love to be able to say I'm a brain surgeon, but it wouldn't be the truth. If I wanted to, I could certainly do that which is necessary to earn that title. Changing the definition of brain surgeon so that it includes me would not give me the skills and knowledge of a brain surgeon. It would simply make it more difficult for people to know who is qualified to operate on brains. I can whine all I want about how brain surgeons have people's respect and that makes their lives better and why shouldn't I be able to do that too?, but that isn't a good enough reason to change the definition. And it's not a good enough reason to change the definition of marriage either.
Some may argue that there are legislative benefits to being married. Yes there are. Married people went through the legislative process to get them. If same sex couples want those benefits, they too are free to avail themselves of the legislative process.
It is a dangerous practice to legislate by redefinition. While I applaud the people of those states who have made the effort to legally define marriage in their states, I am appalled by the very idea that it should be necessary. Do we need to put the dictionary into legislation as well so that this sort of thing can be avoided in the future? Aren't we, as a people, better than that?
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."