ANSWERS: 21
  • Well, since the government is *supposed* to be about representing the people and marriage *does* have legal applications such as tax benefits, family regulations, etc, then I'd say its at least partly their business to define marriage.
  • If the law has provisions that take into account whether or not someone is married, I think it is helpful to have some official idea what the law means by that word. But that does not justify what some people are trying to do these days: manipulate the definition in order to disenfranchise a large segment of the population. Society evolves. Language evolves. Law evolves. Nothing about human culture is cast in stone, but it does have a certain stability, as well as a tendency to change over time. Throwing out all the old ideas is a bad idea, but so is having your beliefs be so rigid that they can't accept anything new. We have a large population of decent citizens who want to marry each other, and nobody seems to be able to put together good, logical reasons why they shouldn't be allowed to do so. That's what freedom is all about -- letting people do what they want to do unless there are compelling reasons to restrict it. So, manipulating the definition of 'marriage' as a backdoor way to create an anti-gay-marriage law is anti-freedom.
  • Marriage is not just about love - it is a legal binding contract. Save the flowers for dinner. Ask somebody who has been divorced what kind of contract marriage is.
  • Since many contracts have to do with a valid marriage, the government does have a say.
  • The problem is not in defining marriage...the problem is who gets to do it. Marriage is a union between two people who love each other and plan to spend their lives together. That's it! End of story. Where it gets very icky is when government has the nerve to tell us who is "eligible" and who is not. Now, agewise, I don't think it wise for 10 year olds to marry. But otherwise it is no one's business and I have never understood why other people think it is. :)
  • to a degree, yes. However, when the "marriage" involves child brides, nonconsensual marriages and ultimately rape, the government does have a responsibilty to get involved and protect the innocent.
  • It's none of gov't's business. Gov't is supposed to represent the will of the people. Unfortunately, multibillion dollar corporations finance campaigns to those who control gov't essentially eliminating the individual's voice. Why should Obama listen to me when I gave $5 and Exxon gave $5 million? I understand why he would listen, it's just not right. The more freedoms stricken from the people and delegated to corporations to decide, the more we become slaves to our employers. All it really does it change the form of slavery from the masters having to feed, clothe, house their slaves to the slaves being forced to feed, clothe, and house themselves. Keeping gay marriage outlawed just creates a distraction by utilizing "beliefs" in a religion instead of facts, such as gay people are just as important to society as straight and they are definitely not more evil.
  • For consenting adults that love each other, no. It's wrong. No ifs, ands, or buts.
  • Since marriage is a legal institution then it has to be somewhere defined in the law. Otherwise, questions or disputes in matters related to marriage, such as death of spouse, divorce, responsibility for children etc. would have no basis in the court system. There would be no legal recognition of it's existence.
  • As the law needs to be able to define legal rights, taxes,and property matters etc there is a role for the govt to define the legal aspects. As as far as who can marry,who cannot.. That needs to be defined by the couple in question.All those of legal age of consent should have the legal right to marry whoever they wish.+5
  • And put all of those attorneys and judges out of jobs, no way. They're a pretty tight group. In fact, they could form their own cult. +5 . Tom how are you?
  • Cant You act married without actually officially being so in the government's eyes? If so, just dont tell them what you're getting up to.
  • As a religious institution the gov't has no right, but as a civil institution, marriage is subsidized by certain financial benefits given to aid families. Gov't has a right to define this because the benefits are gov't issued. This does not bar anyone from living together, or having a private marriage. The gov't does not get involved in these private matters. +5
  • Most people here seem to have completely missed the point with respect to the government involvement in all this mess. The government MUST get involved in this because there are so many laws, rules, regulations, precidents, definitions, and expectations about the subject of marriage and what it is that directly affects how people live their lives. Most people, however, can't seem to get past the "none of Uncle Sam's business" stage, though, because it's become such a hot issue. Here are a few examples: HEALTH INSURANCE: Health insurance companies have different plans available, some with considerable coverage and cost benefits over others. For example, single versus family rates. If you are single, then single rates apply. If you are single with legal dependents like children or maybe elderly parents, then family rates may be available to you. If you are married, then family rates are available. But if you are homosexual, there are NO PROVISIONS under the law for health insurance companies to provide you and your partner with family rates because homosexual marriages are NOT legal in most states. Why? Because, as far as insurance companies are concerned, you're just two people living together and that doesn't, by itself, fall under something they are entitled to cover under "family". DEATH BENEFITS: If you are in a conventional marriage and one dies, even without a will most everything pretty much goes to the surviving person from the marriage. If you're not married, then who does everything go to? Unless there is a will involved, the State decides. And if you're homosexual and there is no legal recognition of your union with your partner? Guess who decides who gets everything without a will? I could go on, but I HOPE I made my point here. YES, there are moral issues being bounced back and forth here. YES, those issues are getting the limelight because of the heated emotions behind them. But you CANNOT allow this emotional cr*p to cloud the issue of whether or not Uncle Sam has any business in this. Because Uncle Sam DOES. If the government recognizes homosexual marriages, then that opens up a WHOLE WORLD of benefits to homosexual couples that WOULD NOT OTHERWISE BE AVAILABLE TO THEM under current laws.
  • Marriage has to be defined as it is in the US legal system. This system interprets, invalidates, makes, and enforces the law. There are laws pertaining to marriage so if a person is not married according the the rule of law, the laws can't be used.
  • None. As long as everyone's grown.
  • Well, that's quite an interesting ?. I think the government needs to define marriage to a certain extent. For example, you cannot allow people to marry animals or adults to marry children. Those things are wrong. But if you are referring to the whole gay issue; I think that marriage is OK between 2 consenting adults whether it be 1 man and 1 woman or 2 men or 2 women.
  • Yes it should be up to the individuals. The government seems to think they need to stick their nose into a bunch of things that shouldn't concern them in my opinion. Good Question Major Tom. +4
  • Lots. And, yes, but only up to a point. I believe that government has to have a role in defining marriage. Because of the current political debate about same-sex marriage, most people understandably focused on that aspect. But your question could be approached in two ways, actually -- one relating to who can marry whom, and one relating to what that means. It's especially important to keep the second one in mind to understand how government has to be involved. Let's set aside the religious institution of marriage for the moment. At least in the United States, that's a question of religious doctrine, the government has no legitimate role, and different churches have different doctrines. (The only overlap is that members of the clergy are automatically entitled to sign a civil marriage license issued by the state.) I'm limiting my comments to civil marriage only. You cannot get rid of a government role in defining marriage unless you get rid of marriage itself and treat every person as if they stand completely alone as individuals for all governmental purposes. But you can't do that either because humans have families, and we rightly believe that someone's relatives have a heightened role in thier lives that should not be overridden by random strangers off the street. We also rightly believe that everyone needs to know what the rules are on who's family and who's not. The law defines my next of kin as, first, my parents (both alive and well, thank goodness), second, my sister, third, my nieces and nephew once they're adults (they're not yet) and until then my aunts (my parents each have one sister). So, who has the right to speak for me if I can't speak for myself? Who has the right to blow the alarm if I go nuts and can't be trusted not to harm myself or others? The priority categories are spelled out in family law. Currently, if I contract a legal civil marriage, my spouse automatically trumps all of them. That's the way it should be. However, if the government were to cease playing a role in marriage, the fall-back would be to rely on baseline family law. You can't treat people as completely stand-alone individuals unless you also reject the role of families. Because, personally, I trust my Mom and Dad, and my sister and brother-in-law, and my nieces and nephew and my aunts to do the best job of looking out for my interests than I would trust, as I said, a random stranger off the street. I need that governmental recognition of family to (hopefully) ensure that those who love me and know me the most have a privileged and heightened role in my life over strangers. So I can't advocate getting rid of that. But, under current U.S. law, because we can't get married, the person with whom I've shared the last four + years of my life is legally the equivalent of that random stranger off the street. (He's not -- it took me 42 years to find him. I'm picky.) I need the government to recognize him as my next of kin. Because if they don't recognize him as my next of kin, they'll fall back to the baseline of recognizing my biological family as my "nexts of kin" with varying priority rankings. And that's a fallback that I both need and want. If he's not available, I want my parents involved in a legally enforceable way. If he is involved, I want him to consult with them, which he would do, but that's it. As long as we believe that family members do and should play a special role in our lives, we have to have a mechanism to add the family member we choose to the list of family members we got by (in my case, happy) accident. So you can't get rid of a governmental role in marriage unless you also get rid of a governmental role in family. And that is never going to happen as long as families themselves exist. Lastly, you need a governmental role in marriage because it's important for all of us to understand what being married means vs. not being married. We're a constitutional democracy, so we have a means to make that known. Unless you decide that marriage is irrelevant to the definition of family, and leave me permanently as a ward of my parents and my partner as a legal stranger, government has to have a role.
  • marriage has a long established deffinition and the deffinition needn't be changed so that alternative life styles can pretend they are treditional... in fact swingers should not be using the term either because marriage includes sexual fidelity. that said the government should recognise all civil unions (marriage included) as equal and all rights shared (except for ones specificaly changed by the individual union contract) also poligamy needs to lose it's illegality as well. marriage should not require a prenup to not fall under "no fault" in a divorce when one partner cheats. "marriage" is a lifelong commitment and breaking it is a breach of contract. "no fault" reduces marriage to nothing but a glorified bf/gf relationship.

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