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  • The Future of Marriage: Who Decides?

    Credit: Face to Face Photography


    “Who gets to make the decision about restructuring and redefining the basic cell of the civil order?” asked University of St. Thomas law professor Teresa Collett on a panel discussing the institution of marriage at The Heritage Foundation Tuesday. Is it the courts? Or under our concept of ordered liberty, should it be the people?

    This year, voters in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, and Washington will see marriage initiatives at the polls in November. Americans in all 50 states will see marriage head to the Supreme Court and be redefined in the Democratic party platform.

    “We have heard repeatedly [that] this is the year that marriage is going to lose,” explained Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund. But the media has gotten it wrong in the past. Most recently, in North Carolina, pundits expected same-sex marriage to win, but instead voters chose to uphold the union of a man and woman by a margin of 61 percent.

    Brown spoke to some negative consequences that have resulted from the judicially imposed redefinition of marriage in Massachusetts, alluding to cases such as Catholic Charities having been forced out of offering adoption services in Boston for refusing to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit.

    Regarding Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, Brown revealed that at one point, polls showed support at about 36 percent. The idea that “this would be the state where marriage lost…was echoed far and wide.” But Prop 8 “passed by a slightly larger margin than President Obama was elected President in California.”

    Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and the senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, has “seen people lay down their differences and work together” so that marriage remains the union between a man and a woman. He added, “I see a greater unification of the Church community than in any other endeavor that I have been exposed to over the last 10 or 20 years.… I see black, white…coming together” on this issue.

    In light of the Prop 8 case being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, William Duncan, director of the Marriage Law Foundation, said, “We are hopeful that [the Court] can see that the people of the United States are capable of handling an issue like this.”

    The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson explains: “Americans have come to the conclusion that marriage is a union of man and woman with good reason.” At stake over the course of the next year is whether the nation’s laws at both the state and federal levels will continue to reflect that.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to The Future of Marriage: Who Decides?

    1. Bobbie says:

      why go to the extent of redefining a word for a small minority of people with obsessions and intolerance issues? This is America. Grow up! Although there are other adoption agencies for these minorities, the government people single handedly went out of their way to discriminate institutions who's business is faith based and had a right to run the way they freely chose before this "claimed catholic president!"

    2. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The states do.

      • Bobbie says:

        True, but Roy has a good point to. It shouldn't be here. Get rid of all government benefits (married with children myself) and people won't be so quick to jump in where they don't belong!

    3. Roy says:

      Marriage is not a responsibility of the government … it is not in Constitution … the gov't should just stay out of it completely.

      • John Howard says:

        Roy what about incest? The government needs to prohibit reproduction by certain relationships where sex and reproduction are unethical to protect the rights of the children created and to strengthen family cohesion and society. Marriage should always approve and allow sex and conception of offspring using the couple's own genes. Congress needs to prohibit creating human beings by any means other than joining a man and a woman's unmodified gametes.

    4. grannylake says:

      The government got "involved" in Holy Matrimony/Marriage when the Head of State/Government and Head of the Church were one and the same.

      The government should only be involved in the legal aspects including issuing the licence, which is actually a legal union or partnership of two people and other related issues. Traditionally, the couples have been a man and woman. Now some want to include same sex couples to allow for legal couple recognition and benefits.

      Couples who want a religious ceremony can choose to have a Holy Matrimony or Marriage Service if they choose.

      To solve this issue of government and legal semantics, the government should only be in the business of issuing to a party of two a "legal union" or "social partnership" license or certificate, or whatever title seem applicable. This approach would get the government out of the business of the religious aspect couple unions/marriage and should satisify both liberal and conservative proponents.

      • John Howard says:

        Sorry we shouldn't approve of people conceiving offspring with someone of the same sex, it would be unsafe and unethical and waste money and resources, become a huge entitlement, and open the door to other forms of genetic engineering, which would lead to loss of equality and liberty.

        Civil Unions should be defined as "marriage minus conception rights" so that same-sex couples can have all the other rights and benefits of marriage, without equating their right to conceive offspring to a man and a woman.

      • Bobbie says:

        I agree with a lot of what you say but why do married couples need licensing recognition from any government in the first place? Please correct me but If marriage tax deduction and any government funded benefits were stopped, no reason for outside government recognition? Lets remove them everywhere we can from our personal livelihoods! The more people allow government involvement over the peoples' own the more control of everything government has over the peoples' own.

    5. Randall says:

      You are approaching this from the wrong angle. Neither the courts, legislatures, nor the people define marriage. God has already defined marriage (Gen 2:18-24, Matt 19:4-6). For any person, organization, or entity to "define" or "redefine" marriage is simply re-inventing the wheel because you cannot improve on what God has already done. What needs to happen is for government to get out of the marriage business and leave marriage to the church, synagogues, and other religious organizations where it belongs. If you look up the history of marriage licenses required by governments over the last dozen centuries or so, you would find that were required for reasons that we would find reprehensible today. Let's move away from government-endorsed weddings and marriages and back to those that are sanctioned by the church and blessed by God.

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