As part of life here in Berkeley, I do a lot of walking. I only live about 10 mins away from Campus so it’s a nice walk when it’s not too cold. Yeh, you’d be surprised, Norcal gets to single digit degrees in Summer.
I seem to get stopped a lot, usually by a homeless person disguised as a businessman in a suit asking for money, they’re a whole other story but it makes interesting background, or so I tell myself.
California recently passed a law ( Prop 8 ) by referendum that states “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” overturning its Supreme Court’s ruling that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
So, I’ve been getting stopped by activists in the street regarding their campaign to overturn the proposition at the next election. They aim to have it put back on the ballot so it can be voted on again.
They are always very perky, asking for extremely precise but unfeasible quantities of money “Hi Sir, all you need to spare is $270” and I laugh in their faces. Why they think that students will have a spare $270 I don’t know.
But, in their defence, they have really got me thinking about gay marriage. Well done, there is so much I tend to ignore but this has been on my mind for weeks.
So, my thoughts are as follows.
Marriage is between a man and a woman. Bam, weren’t expecting that one were you. But seriously, in my mind marriage is purely religious affair that happens in a place of worship between a man and a woman. To use a stereotype it’s a man in a tux and a woman in a big white dress in a church in the countryside surrounded by smelly aunts.
That’s my definition that I’m going on, but this is what I think marriage should be:
Marriage should be religious ceremony conducted by a faith. It should not constitute a legal contract, it should not be recognised by the state, and it should not confer any rights or responsibilities except to the faith performing it.
The state should cease to acknowledge, perform or have any relationship with marriages.
Civil partnerships should be extended to cover any two individuals of legal age. Civil partnerships should only be performed by and recognised by the state. These partnerships should confer legal rights and any other privileges enshrined in law.
You could of course do both at the same time, state official and religious official performing the legal act and the religious rite concurrently.
Essentially we should abolish marriage. It can continue to exist but we need not legislate on it as it carries no weight and in the eyes of the law is meaningless. The only way to codify a relationship should be through the contract of a civil partnership.
I got these ideas through a bit of a process, a bit of the socratic method, I knew where I wanted to get, I firmly believe that creating two partnerships for straight and LGBT people is the same as separate but equal, intrinsically unequal.
Also, It seems ridiculous to force religions to accept LGBT people under their doctrines as the same as non LGBT people, we have to realise that we can’t convince religions to change, why should they, religion isn’t a logical or rational pursuit and that’s fine, as long as we don’t give them any power.