Going There: Questions About Marriage

Updated on March 28, 2013
A.B. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
27 answers

Hi everyone,

In light of the current deliberations by our SCOTUS over marriage equality, I was pondering a few questions. Some I have a stance on, some I honestly don't right now. What are your thoughts?

1. Do you think the term "marriage" be reserved for a religious context, while the government grants "civil union" rights (with no discrimination based on sexual preference)? In other words, should the government be the one to decide the definition of marriage?

2. If we're talking about equality and marriage being based on love, do you think equal marriage rights should be granted to those who practice polygamy or any other relationship arrangement as it suits them? At some point, you have to either include everyone or discriminate against them, right? Do you see this a bigger issue with implications for more than just LGBT couples?

3. If civil union rights were to be granted across the board to anyone who wanted to enter into a legal commitment / contract (such as polygamists), would you have a problem with it if they are in a loving, committed relationship? Why or why not?

Please don't presume to know my thoughts / feelings on any of these questions as you answer. I'll weigh in later...I think there's a lot to consider here.

Thanks for joining the conversation!

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answers from Minneapolis on

To me, marriage is not a "religious" thing. I am not religious. My husband is not religious. We are happily MARRIED. But, again, we are not religious. Should we have entered into a 'civil union' instead? Should any man and woman who is not religious enter into a civil union instead of marriage?

Everyone, straight couples, gay couples and even people who practice polygamy, should have EQUAL marriage rights. In my opinion, if a group of ADULTS want to enter into polygamist relationship... What's the problem? They are all consenting adults. It's not my place to judge them.

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answers from Minneapolis on

2 and 3. No, I think marriage should be two people. From what I've read about polyamory and polygamy, generally it's one man and multiple women. IMHO there's something other than love (ie, male power and entitlement) at play in any kind of "poly" relationship.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

1. I think that ALL who wish to unite themselves legally should have to do so through the court system, and that the option of a legal union should be open to any consenting adults who wish to so unite. Those who wish to have their union blessed by their religious community should do so in a separate religious ceremony that carries NO legal standing. Clerics should not be acting as agents of the state.

2. I have no problem with polygynous (one husband, multiple wives), polyandrous (one wife, multiple husbands), or group marriages with multiples of both sexes, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult. I can see where it might be a legal nightmare and bog down the court system in the case of divorces and inheritance law, however.

3. Actually, I don't care if they want to marry for love, health insurance benefits, or chocolate chip cookies. I have been married three times and not once did the Clerk of Court's office ask me if I really loved my intended. All they asked for was picture ID and exact cash.

ETA: Victoria, re sibling marriage. There is a good reason for close blood kin not to marry.
The prohibition against sibling marriage is due to the fact that IF siblings produce children, there is a higher probability of birth defects due to concentration of recessive genes. I cannot imagine wanting to take that risk even if I had a brother who was smoking hot. But I know people who deliberately produced children, even though they KNEW that one of them carried a deadly genetic disorder. I think that's incredibly cruel to the child.
If siblings wish to marry, I have no objection, but I would hope that they would refrain from reproducing. In the end, whether or not they reproduce is not my call to make, though.

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answers from Chicago on

1. I think the term "marriage" should be tossed completely. People can't seem to settle on a universal definition of it, without letting religion enter into. Folks need to rememeber that originally, "marriage" existed as a method for property exchange. As in...it existed BEFORE THE BIBLE. NOT for religion. If we reterm "civil union"...all existing marriages as well...it seems that no one has an issue with a definition there.

2. Yes. Honestly. If this is based on love (and again, remember that originally, "marriage" wasn't)...who cares? I fail to understand why anyone cares about anyone else's situation.

3. No. What is it to me? My neighbor can marry 20 women or men. This has no impact on the relationship that I have with my husband. Now some may want to bring taxes and property ownership into this (funny how that keeps coming up?)...but that's now what we're talking about. This is about "marriage" and being married, and nothing more. My relationships do no impact yours, and vice versa.

Clearly, I'm FOR gay marriage.
I've never heard an argument against it that does not involve the Bible. And if civil unions as they exist in many states today allowed Gay folks the same rights as married folks...I may not care. But that's not the case.
And since "God's Law"...and however you interpret it...does not goven the United States of America....it has no place in this issue.

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answers from Washington DC on

1) absolutely. when i am queen, the only acknowledgement the state will be ALLOWED to confer on unions is a civil blessing, with the legal rights inherent thereto. all 'marriages' will be performed at the discretion of the individuals' houses of worship, clergy or shamans of choice.
2) absolutely. polygamy and polyamory between consenting adults is none of my business. we can debate whether or not civil unions and their inherent rights will be granted to multiples (which must be open to multiple men as well as women), but marriage certainly should be. how many adults co-habitate, co-parent, combine incomes and scrump with each other is none of the state's bees wax.
3) i have no problem with it, but the legal complexities are real and need to be thoughtfully debated. discrimination is not okay, but concern and discussion are fine and necessary.

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answers from Portland on

First, I believe that we have made marriage a governmental institution by allowing certain rights/freedoms which pertain ONLY to married couples. From tax allowances to the lifting of an inheritance tax for a surviving spouse (which many gay couples are not allowed-- if their partner precedes them in death,they do not have a reduced inheritance tax) to family protections/deductions for married couples and their families... When the government grants these privileges and protections to heterosexual couples and ONLY hetero couples, then I believe it goes far beyond the reach of the church. The IRS upholds the marriage laws, and we know they are a federal governmental agency, not a religious organization. When a church can marry a gay couple and the government does not recognize that marriage or legally uphold it, then this also means, to me, that marriage is not solely a religious institution but a governmental one as well.

Both times I was married, I had to file with the county courthouse and get a license through a government agency. What was not required was any sort of religious officiant of any considerable religious background.

So, no, I do not believe that we should have church=marriage/gov't=civil rights unless EVERYONE were operating under that same umbrella.

I think you are playing devil's advocate in assuming that we have to allow it all-- polygamy, for example, is not a 1:1 contract. That said, I personally have no problem with this as long as everyone involved were participating of their own free will. I have known several polyamorous couples, and while none of those relationships have actually worked out, that really didn't affect me. My concern would be that we had some legal structure in place for sorting out this type of group living arrangement. We'd also have to redefine what family looks like in this context and determine parenting rights, etc.

I trust in my family's culture, how we are raising our son. I do not feel threatened by anyone else's marriage. We have friends who are in a committed lesbian relationship, who were married (which, thanks to Prop 8, was then deemed void) and who are raising a beautiful child in a loving home. I also don't believe that being around homosexuals will *make* my son 'turn gay'. It might make him have a more open mind, embrace a larger vision of what family is, and be a more tolerant adult in the future, knowing he has no reason to feel threatened by another person's sexuality. For me, the only person who can debase or degrade my marriage is me and my husband alone.

So, if other groups have legal contractual protections in place in their relationships, that doesn't bother me. How I raise my son to perceive right and wrong, what is just and what is unjustifiable-- that is entirely up to me. It is not the government's job to uphold my beliefs-- the government's job is to ensure that I have the *right* to my beliefs, even the right to dogma if I choose to --but it is not required to uphold my dogma as *truth*.

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answers from Dallas on

I have to do a bit of thinking before I answer all your questions, but I do believe Gays should be allowed to marry. I don't think it will hurt their children. A loving relationship is a loving relationship. There are good and lousy parents out there and I think it would be the same with gay parents.

I agree with this quote:

“Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself - that is my doctrine.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age Of Reason

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answers from San Francisco on

No one is trying to grant marital rights to more than two people. That's just a scare tactic being used by the anti gay movement, an unfounded slippery slope argument created to stir up fear. The fact that you are even presenting it hear as a real possibility shows just how prevalent the ignorance is on this subject.
Allowing two gays to marry is no different than allowing a black person to marry a white person, or a white person to marry any other race, which many people also thought would "ruin this country" back in the 1960's. The scare tactics didn't work then, and I pray that they don't work now.

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answers from Washington DC on

This is a legal, constitutional issue, not a religious one. Period. That's why it's being heard by the SCOTUS. If folks want to keep marriage defined by their religious definitions, they should have kept it a religious institution. Prop 8 and the DOMA (both supported by religious conservatives) took this out of the religious realm and placed in squarely in the land of secular civil rights, so the way the Bible defines marriage is a non-issue here... only the way the CONSTITUTION does.

That being said: My personal answers to your questions...
1. I'd be fine with the government getting out of the business of marriages all together. Universal civil unions would be great as long as there is no extra legal benefit to those with a religious marriage. However, that's unlikely because people already HAVE legal marriages... so it'd be tough to kind of back those out... makes more sense to use the word legal marriage as separate from religious marriage.
2. No. That is not an issue. And that is a slippery slope. That is a popular argument (followed by "what if a man wants to marry his dog?") by those in favor of discrimination now, based on sexuality, and in the past, based on race. If a RELIGION accepts plural marriage, that's a religious issue, not a legal one.
3. Again, plural marriage is typically a religious rather than civil issue. In terms of offering a civil recognition for that union, it actually would have to be different than monogamous unions because the legal protections (the reason FOR a legal marriage) things like automatic inheritance, community property, power of attorney, medical decision making, child custody, etc. do not map onto groups in the same way they do for couples... I wouldn't be opposed to such a civil union existing, but it couldn't be the same civil union or legal marriage we're talking about here. (Where as for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples they DO work the SAME way so there is no reason... and I mean reason not belief, feeling etc.... why the legal status should be different).

Okay, that's all I've got.


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answers from Columbia on

1. I guess I might be ok to separate it completely. But the Civil Union would then be the one that gets you benefits, kinship rights, medical decisions etc. If *the church* wants to continue to view rampant inequality as one of the backbones of their institution, I say let them. They've been doing it with women for years. They are, after all, afforded the legal ability to do so with the federal protection of *separation of Church and State*.
FYI - I think Canada has some sort of non-religious but legal *marriage*.

2. Who exactly thinks that we are actually discussion that marriage is based on love? We are discussing a legal and financial partnership and receipt of federal benefits as well as kinship rights. I guess in the same way that you can have 3 parents who are willing to take legal and financial responsibility for a child you can have 3 people who are willing to take legal and financial responsibility for each other.

3. I guess polygamy trips me up. Because I *personally* couldn't be a part of a polyamorous relationship. But if are going on the legal premise that if *people* are wiling to assume legal financial responsibility for someone..... why is there a cap on that? Who am I to dictate what partnerships others can get involved in? I think, however, just like custody.... there has to be a primary custodial person who gets the bulk of the legal say. And people have to *prove* that they are ABLE to enter into this type of contract.

I think it's very *American* of us to care if marriage is about being in a "loving, committed relationship". Historically, marriage had NOTHING to do with that. I could make a stellar argument that the deterioration of the fabric of marriage is based on the fact that it's become about how someone *feels*, instead of the legal and contractual partnership to which they are entering.

But that is another post for another day..........

ETA: I wrote my answer before I read what anyone else answered. I could have just used my space to say "what Christina N said".

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answers from Cincinnati on

I personally feel that any consenting adults have the right to marry who ever they wish. And if they wish to marry three people, and everyone is in agreement...fine! It is their life, their choice, their RIGHT!!!

I don't understand polygamy, or how a woman could deal with her husband having more then one wife. But thats ok! I also don't understand how some heterosexual men or women can get married 4,5,6 times! But I find THAT more absurd then a LGBT person wanting to get married one time!
Our country, our world has changed so much. So much more awareness. I feel that as an adult, we should all have the right to love, marry whoever we want. And that one "class" of people should not be allowed to share the same benefits of being married then others. Not only medical benefits, but legal rights if their partner were to become ill, pass away etc.
Love is love!! :)

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I believe that we have a thin line of what marriage is supposed to be. In the old testament it was much different than we have today. They had multiple wives/harems/concubines and it was what was expected.

I truly don't care who's married to whom. I do think that any couple should have it as an option.

It is NOT MY JOB to judge others. Perhaps their sexual orientation and what they do with that is their reason to have come to earth and be human. Perhaps they are supposed to go through this as their plan, their issue to learn and get through.

It is my job to make choices for myself that follow along my own beliefs and convictions.

Is marriage defined as a legal union between one man and one woman....? I don't care. I know many religions have come out with official stances on this. That is proper for them to do so, they must be allowed to teach what they believe to be God's word, just as it is a lesbian or gay couple right to try to make social change and work for acceptance and respect.

I think that polygamy is interesting. It is NOT something I would be comfortable with. Knowing that if he's not in my bed he's in someone else's. What I don't like about it is the reports we hear so many times about how they view themselves as married but legally they are not. So the wives can have 10-12 kids and get food stamps, medical cards, WIC, and any other amount of social relief.

IF a polygamist family is recognized then each person is counted as part of the income requirement. With all the kids I am sure they'd still get some food stamps, WIC, and perhaps some medical cards BUT the hubby would be required to carry each and every person on his income tax, his insurance, and he'd have to make enough money to put each family in their house or build a home they'd all fit in....it's not coming out right.

If they were legally recognized they'd get less, still get some, but much less. He'd have to work a lot more or make a lot more money so he could support that many dependents. That's what I'm trying to say.

So all in all, I think that if a person wants to marry another adult who is cognitively able to understand what marriage is...they let them go for it.

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answers from Boston on

1. Government already defines marraige. When you have a church wedding, the officiant states "by the power vested in me by the state of _____ I now pronounce you..." How a religious organization chooses to define marriage is a private matter. How the government defines marriage is not a private matter. Marriage is a legal contract that provides many rights and responsibilities. I believe that those rights and responsibilities should be extended to any two adults who choose to enter into that agreement.

2. False argument. Marriage can be restricted to two adults without being discriminatory.

3. Again, false argument. Two people <> many people. There is no slippery slope here. At the end of the day I don't really care how other people choose to live their lives but I'm fine with keeping marriage between two people. Adding more people into a legally binding agreement like this just makes things too complicated - would health insurers cover all spouses or just one? Would "jointly and severally" for real estate ownership cover all spouses or just one? Would Social Security survivor benefits cover all spouses or just one? Do all parents have legal rights and responsibilities to the children or just the biological ones? Interesting idea but no reason to use this to derail the gay marriage movement, which is often where I see this specious argument posed.

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answers from Boise on

For me it's pretty simple. It's about equality, and has little to do with the gay and lesbian community. I say that because it's the truth. Our government is allowed to treat a group of people as less then, based off of biblical standpoint. Yet, church and state is supposed to be separate.

So no marriage should not be held in a religious context. People have been getting married longer then the bible has been around. The ceremony might be different, but the intentions are still the same.

As for polygamy, don't care so long as all involved are consenting adults, but I can see where this would be a huge headache for the government, tax prepares, the IRS and even companies that offer health.

As long as people agree to what they are entering into, love not being at the top of my list, then it is not my problem. Nor does it have an effect on me.

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answers from Tampa on

I think if consenting adults want to marry, they should have the right to do so.

I don't agree with changing the terminology from marriage to "civil union" based on your sexual orientation or religious preference.

Polygamy is not for me, but if the parties that wish to marry are adults, I don't care.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Dont confuse the two. not the same thing AT ALL!

What are some of the differences between Civil Unions and Gay Marriage?

Recognition in other states: Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in O. state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. For example, Oregon marriage law applies to people 17 and over. In Washington state, the couple must be 18 to wed. However, Washington will recognize the marriage of two 17 year olds from Oregon who move there. This is not the case with Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships. If someone has a Domestic Partnership, that union is recognized by some states and not others. Some states have even ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in other states, because their states have no such legal category. As gay marriages become legal in other states, this status may change.

A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American opposite-sex spouse for immigration into this country. Those with Civil Unions have no such privilege. Even legally married gay and lesbian couples cannot sponsor their spouses for immigration because of the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) law.

Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples. Again, because of DOMA, same-sex couples have to file single on their federal tax returns.

The General Accounting Office in 1997 released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them.

Why not start by applying equal benefits to two person marriages?
I know lots of 20+ years LGBT couples and straight couples with horrible marriages.

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answers from Jacksonville on

To really get to the heart of the matter, you should step back and look at why the government imposes ANY laws/rules/regulations. None of them are to restrict activity for the sake of being in charge. They were all put on the books to help secure a stable society.
Look at them. Any of them.
The government has a vested interest in promoting marriage between a man and woman so as to benefit as best they can offspring who will have the best chance of being provided for and raise in a stable environment and become stable productive citizens. It is pretty well documented, I believe, that that happens best in an intact family with both a mother and father. That is why the government is in "the business" of standardizing marriages. That is why all the "benefits" of being marriage were implemented. To promote the next generation of producers.


And for those of you who believe that neither the government nor anyone else should have any say in who people marry, does that mean that you have no objections or issue with a brother marrying a sister? I really want to know. Do you honestly have absolutely NO issues with that? If so, why?
@ Christina-- I know why, too. It really isn't necessary to spell out genetics to me. But why do you say it is "good reason" for the State to have a prohibition against it? The State is amoral, so why would the State care either way if they married and/or reproduced? I find it interesting that you have seem to have an issue with siblings having children together. What is your basis? I don't mean genetic, I mean morally. Why do you think it is wrong for them (you "hope" they don't reproduce) to reproduce together? Because in your opinion it is cruel to any children they might have? Why should their choice to do so not be celebrated?

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answers from New York on

I think Victoria summarized it well - people are going to do whatever they want. Whether or not the government sanctions something (that is by providing a financial incentive like a tax break) is based on whether or not that thing provides value to society. Marriage between a man and a woman provide value to society becuase this kind of marriage produces children and the family is the most basic component of the stability of a society. Kids do better when their family is stable - we all know that instictively as well as through numerous studies (why do they spend money of these kind of studies?). Of coures there are parens who are horrible and should never have become parents - but overall, a culture is best off from generation to generation when families stay together - and the government promotes that by provides benefits that recongize that.

As for polygamy - let's ask this question - is there an ending in sight? Who decided what is worth promoting and what's not? What about adults married to chidfren? NAMBLA promotes "love" between adult men and young boys. We find it horrible when an old, male cult leader takes teenage girls as wives... What about beastiality? There are people who think of their dogs as their children. Do we allow them to take their dogs as exemptions on their tax returns? Before we take the next step we have to decide where we're going - what's the destination of this sojourn?

Finally let's clarify something - oculture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate or to love your friends & relatives. Whether or not I think we should promote gay marriage via financial incentives has nothing to do with whether or not I love my family & friends who tell me they are gay. I do love them, I don't fear anything about them - but I also think that marriage is for a man & woman only.

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answers from San Francisco on

I was wondering when someone would bring this up.

Hmm, very interesting thought about polygamy. I hadn't considered that. My knee-jerk reaction was to say no to polygamous marriage, but since I believe that gays should be allowed to be married -- and I emphasize "married" not have a civil union -- maybe I have to rethink my stance on polygamy.

Come to think of it, I don't see why polygamy is demonized, and why they shouldn't share the same rights. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it, that I can think of offhand. Actually, since I like the company of females, and am often annoyed by my DH, the company of a bunch of other females in the home might be kind of nice. :)

Good question.

Reading below: Is that your aim, Amyj156 -- to propose a slippery-slope argument, or are you incredibly open-minded? I'm hoping it's the latter, 'cause guess what -- gay marriage will happen, sooner or later. Let's hope it's sooner.

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answers from St. Louis on

What I required of the government to get married was a marriage license. So far as I am concerned everyone should be entitled to that but no one should be entitled to more.

What I am saying is the government should recognize their marriage but the government should not be empowered to compel others to recognize it.

There are some that want to believe that is discrimination, it isn't. Is someone, whether it people or corporation, wants to believe that it isn't a real marriage that is their right. If someone chooses to treat them differently because of their beliefs then that is discrimination.

Of course it is different for protected beliefs such as religion but that should be limited to that which actually compels the person to violate their religious beliefs, or as us Catholics put it, sin. I include that caveat because there has been an argument that services are covered under religious beliefs. Sorry but last I checked it is not against any religion to serve food, take pictures, makes shirts for people who are, according to your faith, sinning.

Now to require a Catholic priest to marry a same sex couple, you are requiring that priest to sin. Can't do that!

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answers from Seattle on

1. If we were to reserve the word "marriage" for a religious commitment and the state could only grant "civil unions" I think they would not get to define "marriage". However, since the state does grant "marriage" to heterosexual couples, I think it is discriminatory to exclude homosexuals from the legal protections that a civil "marriage" affords.

On a side note, where I am from civil and religious marriage exist side by side and a marriage only granted by the church is not recognized by the state. So any couples that do wish to have a religious ceremony will have 2 weddings, one civil and one religious.

2 and 3. Kinda the same problem in my book: I believe that any form of relationship between CONSENTING ADULTS should be awarded the civil protections of marriage, if the adults involved wish. Yes, that includes Polygamy (if practiced among consenting adults) or Polyandry and even *gasp* marriages not based out of love but maybe other interests, like reproduction or financial interests. The concept that marriage is entered in out of love is a modern concept. Until about 100 years ago most marriages were entered in solely for financial reasons and social prestige.

Personally I don't care what people do and how they live their lives. And lets be real, just because Polygamy is outlawed - it's not like living with more than one wife (or husband) is illegal.... and plenty of people practice it - they just can't get married.

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answers from Houston on

I haven't read the other responses so if I'm repeating...
The last sentence in your 1st point: The Bible defined marriage A. LONG. TIME. AGO. That hasn't changed. A marriage is between a man and a woman.
I have no problem with a civil union, for whatever reason the participants feel they need it.

ETA: I wasn't trying to take a religious stance, read the Merriam-Webster definition of 'marriage', I don't make this stuff up. A question was asked and I answered what I believe.

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answers from Washington DC on

For me, marriage is between one man and one woman. If a same sex couple want to make a commitment to each other, whatever, but I don't think it should be termed marriage.

My feeling is that marriage term issue, wouldn't be an issue if people were allowed to allot certain things freely.
- putting someone on your health insurance policy
- Social Security benefits
- Inheritance issues
- alomony

Many of these things are default rights of married couples. If these governmental / policies were opened up to cover any committed relationship, then there would not be a marriage issue.

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answers from Springfield on

I very strongly believe that marriage/civil unions should be between two consenting adults. I would love to think that the two adults would want to get married because they love each other and wish to live out that love in a committed relationship, but that's just not always the case. People often marry thinking/hoping/wishing for the best, and it just isn't in the cards. Some people simply don't marry for the right reasons. Nevertheless, I do believe marriage should be between two consenting adults.

I do disagree with polygamy. I've thought about this a great deal, and oftentimes I would say that adults can make their own decisions as long as they are not hurting anyone else. But I have trouble believing that polygamy is victimless. I've just not been able to convince myself that all of the adults involved are truly consenting. Maybe I'm ignorant (it's happened before ... quite often, actually), but I just can't shake the feeling that in the case of polygamy we're not talking about consenting adults. Rather, we talking about one adult whose really in charge gets to have multiple partners. Seems to me like one adult is consenting and the others are subordinates.

Also, as others have mentioned, legalizing polygamy opens a whole nother can of legal worms ... just saying.

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answers from Seattle on

1. Yes

2. Maybe. Unfortunately, polygamy has a history of being used to force very young girls into submissive and abusive relationships with controlling older men. That certainly seems to be how it's used by the outlying mormon sect. I might change my mind if it was sought by a couple of mature adults making a rational decision based on their needs. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be how it is implemented.

3. This question is too vague to answer. Are there other types of relationships between adult consenting humans to which you are referring? Otherwise, the answer would be no. Although I wouldn't be opposed to human/mermaid or human/centaur civil unions, I suppose.

And, like CocoMom, I could have just saved time if I'd read the answers first and responded "What Christina said."

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answers from Wausau on

Holy Matrimony = religious, at the discretion of the churches, etc.
Marriage = civil, not religious

No need for a "civil union" designation.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

1.) Marriage used to only be a religious ceremony and the government was uninvolved. Marriage was a sacrament. The Bible shouldn't determine our laws, and the government should only be involved to issue licenses (or contracts) and grant divorces. Consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want socially/sexually/religiously. People can call it whatever they want. No one can force their definition on others.
2.) What rights do you mean? If there have to be rules/regulations, those fall on the states. Rights are individuals. One doesn't get rights because they are part of a group and groups shouldn't be able to force themselves on others.
3.) I would only have a problem if there was federal interference to determine rules/regulations. The federal government should stay out of it, and leave it up to the states (as the Constitution says).

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