Should the government ban Marriage altogether?

Shouldn't the government get out of defining marriage all together? Marriage is a spiritual commitment, to have made it a legal commitment is stepping into religious favoritism, which is what I thought the 'separation of Church and State' was supposed to avoid.

You see, by the government defining marriage as one man/woman thing, are they not discriminating against religions or cultures that believe in polygamy, or same sex unions, or bigamy? Should they have the right to do so?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good question but there are reasons for the legal sanctions for marriage. In the Bad Old Days, an unmarried woman was not only scorned, but had no legal claims on her lover. So she had no right to support from the man she lived with and had children by, and the children, being illegitimate, had no right to financial support from their father, either and neither one could inherit from the partner/father unless he specifically put them in his will. Marriage gave the woman, and her children, legal rights as to the father/husband. It also legalized the sexual part of the relationship. Now, things have changed in this country and a few others, but not everywhere, so the institution still has validity. And it's still the law in most places that an unmarried woman has no legal right to support from her lover, although now the law protects children better.

    Legalization of marriage is not a violation of the separation doctrine in the Constitution, because the law allows religious marriages as well as "civil" marriages at the courthouse.

    The "discrimination" point is more difficult. In the 1840's the US Supreme Court had to deal with this precise issue, where the Mormons were concerned. The Court ruled that civil law did not have to recognize every aspect of a religion, and so polygamy could be made illegal. In other words, you have the right to believe and advocate your religious beliefs, but you don't necessarily have the right to practice them.

    I think the whole gay marriage dispute is symbolic on both sides. Marriage gives the gays nothing that they can't already give each other. They can raise children together, they can write wills leaving each other their property, they can live together legally. At the same time, I think the conservative Christians who object to gay marriage ought to focus more on how well they practice their own religions instead of focusing on how other people live.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You hit it right on the dot. Yep. Defining the union between a man and a woman is just plain religion stepping in. In modern day America it should be redefined for legal purposes only; i.e. purchasing property, rights over children. The State should only address the legal ramifications of marrying rather that stepping into the "who is getting married". What if three people want to get married? The state should not be the one to decide "who is getting married" but rather "what will happen to assets and children after the marriage"... Religion should be out of the law and into the church....

  • Myst
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I agree that the government should get out of defining marriage, it's totally crossing over the line of separation of Church and State. I don't think that marriage ought to be banned, but we surely don't need the government, church or voters telling anyone what marriage 'ought' to consist of. To do so is to force the ideals of values and moralty of one group in society down the throats of others.

    It would be fine with me if the word 'marriage' is changed to 'civil union', as the legal definition for every state in the nation across the board. Having one state deciding to opt in and another deciding to opt out only seperates humanity. I believe this needs to be a federal decision for each and every state equally. Not to legally define who can be united together, but only to protect the legal union, the children of the union (whether born into it or adopted), the assets, and medical and legal benefits, etc.

    I don't want anyone in society telling me what my values and moralty ought to be. That's ought to be only between my higher power (which is God) and me. My living with a same sex partner isn't any different from a hetero couple, except for what we do in the bedroom. And that shouldn't be anyone else's business as long as no one is getting hurt. And that extends to anyone's relationship no matter if straight or gay. So the government can keep their noses outta my bedroom!


  • 1 decade ago

    The practical element of marriage has insured its place as a government regulated institution for the sharing of property and delineating the financial responsibilities for children and mutual debts.

    Marriage has changed through the years, and although love has always played a part, only since the time when women were able to exist without a husband, has love become the most central component of the reason to marry.

    However, people often love one another without marrying. Marriage as an institution has a fairly good track record for helping to keep couples together when crises arise, simply by making it difficult for them to break up. They then become creative in finding alternative solutions. Aside from the 1000+ rights & responsibilities that come with marriage, this is one of the greatest advantages of promoting same-sex marriage.

    The best argument against government endorsement of polygamy can be found in the "lost boys" of the fringe Mormon groups in the west. Many young men who grew up in polygamous communities were ejected because their fathers, uncles and male neighbors wanted to take on younger wives that would in more monogamous societies would be marrying these strapping young men. In order to maintain polygamy, you have to prevent less powerful men from marrying at all. The inequity and extreme male heirarchy is fairly transparent.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Because we haven't completely lost all of our morals. Heterosexuality is just how it's supposed to be. Even though 1/2 marriages fail, doesn't mean we should just give up on them. The reason 1/2 marriages fail is because of how messed up the world is becoming. I don't see how someone can be driven so far as to thinking that homosexuality is something that should be accepted. I am sorry but it's true, I am also the kind of person who believes it is completely wrong to take illegal drugs and I am against drinking. But if you just think "Fags are stupid" and can't come up with a legitimate reason as to why you believe this, you are just as ignorant as the people who think homosexuality should be accepted. Not the answer you want, but this is my opinion on the subject.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. In fact, that is probably how this is all going to end up. The gov. should have an office to record and register "civil unions" for all citizens, but the word marriage should not be a legal construct. What people wish to call their union, and what religious and cultural ways they wish to celebrate it is none of the govt's business.

    All the government's involvement should be is to record the "civil union" in order denote the rights and legal responsibilities of the couple.

    Taking the lightening-rod "m" word out of the equation is the cleanest way to do it. (And straight men would join that bandwagon too!)

  • 1 decade ago

    No. Civil marriage means that even atheists can make this commitment - not as a Biblical union, but as an affirmation, in front of friends and family, that this is the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. It is an important thing, I think, to distinguish marriage from other realtionships.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree that government should not be allowed to define marriage. But, I have to disagree with a few of of your questions and statements.

    1.You defined marriage as a spiritual coupling! It is much more than that and until people realize this divorce will continue to rise.

    2. You believe they should ban marriage altogether, and yet you give no reasons to do so! Marriage between multiple partners or same sex partners is not a reason to ban marriage but a reason to readjust the definition of marriage.

    3.Culture is not a religion but the act of ones up bringing and ancestral habits. Culture by definition is not strictly a religious or spiritual belief!

    Of course I do not believe that our government or any other law enforcement has the right to tell us that they can define the parameters of marriage. However, it was our government and the people together that have protected the rights of married couples. If you look back to the 13th and 14th century you will see that because men, not man, were stronger than women, they were able to do, say and act in anyway towards females. Females had no choice in whom they married and even less choice about how they were treated with regard to divorce. If a woman was abused or murdered by her husband it was just the way it was. Woman were not allowed to divorce their husbands but husbands could divorce their wives with little more than setting the womans belongings on the doorstep of their home and closing the door.

    Men murdered their wives if they no longer wanted them and although this barbaric act was frowned appon it never the less ruled.

    If the government, or law, had not stepped in do you really believe for one moment that woman would have ever left that time in our history behind us?

    To completely illiminate government from marriage is something that I would never want to happen! Not, because I wouldn't want to choose whom I wish to be married to, but because to illiminate the government is to illiminate the law! The law protects us and if we don't like what the law is doing it is our right, not as members of that government, but it is our right as human beings to change those laws! We, as people created this law to protect us from those who would harm us. If you were to remove the protection they supply you remove any and all protection from abuse.

    Laws were created to be changed and as such we have the right to get up and make that change!

    The definition of something, a word, an act, a belief, changes every moment of every day! If you feel that there is enough people who would share your idea and belief get out there and start changing!

    But to ban something because you claim it is spiritual and I say it is not, just proves my point! Marriage between people is much more than just a spiritual beleif. It is a choice! A consious choice to give yourself to an individual or individuals and abstaining from another. It is a choice to share your life, time, money, beliefs, hopes, dreams, joys, pains, and illness with them and them alone.

    I have chosen to beleive that my mate is my life and with marriage it has given me a sense of security I would otherwise lack. I give to him, he gives to me, we share, we love, we laugh and we cry. I am happy in the knowledge that my government agrees with me and I ask them to protect that marriage because I will not allow someone to take it from me.

    If your government or your laws do not protect your belief in marriage I suggest you start by changing that.

    P.S. Don't allow anyone to tell you any differently, when I tell you that 'YOU' are the government. You decide! The government does not decide for you! Use the government to protect what you hold true! Because at one time woman were not allowed to vote and we, the people of that government changed the unchangable!

    There are ways around the law and that is by changing the law! Force people to vote give the people a voice! Because, until you stop complaining and start changing it will remain, as is!

  • 1 decade ago

    it wasn't so much the government ,the peoples has a made this an issued that marriage should be between a man and a women..

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The first answer is correct -- it should be decided by voters, not by courts.

    Oh, wait a minute -- hasn't the gay-marriage issue already been voted on in something like 20 states? And hasn't gay marriage taken a sound beating in each and every case?


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