As a conservative/libertarian (gosh I hate labels) I am constantly looking for ways to get the government out of our business. And, I believe that the gay marriage issue has been a wedge that keeps people that are otherwise conservative (or fiscally conservative) out of the conservative movement. They feel that a fundamental element of who they are is completely rejected by the movement.
So, I believe it’s imperative that conservatives find a way to deal with this issue. And I think I’ve found a solution…
Get the government completely out of marriage. EVERYONE gets a civil union. And then you can have your own ceremony, officiated by your rabbi, bishop, priest, kaballah, spiritual advisor – whatever tickles your fancy.
This solution really separates out the legal and religious ends of marriage – not to mention the business and romantic ends.
Think of it as the spousal unit being a corporation. Just have the couple download a form, sign, date, Notarize, and send in to the register of deeds in the appropriate county. Boom. You’re legally a spousal unit. You get the tax benefits, inheritance rights, everything – whether your union is heterosexual or same sex. You want to have a religious ceremony? Fine, you’re on your own. It’s a totally separate entity.
One of the beauties of this is it doesn’t create any new paperwork – couples already have to apply for a marriage license. Instead of doing that, they just file the “incorporation” documents. And if they’re really ambitious, they can specify asset distribution and child custody provisions in the event of a dissolution of the union. (Maybe that’d prevent some lawsuits? Ah, who am I kidding?!)
One of the main arguments many social conservatives have against the government recognizing same-sex marriage is that churches could be forced to marry same-sex couples even though it goes against the tenets of the church or be sued for bias. This solution prevents that because it sets “marriage” as a purely religious ceremony with no ties to the government, so the government cannot regulate it.
What do you think?