Immature response but what can I say...
Marriage is Marriage
Love is Love
C. L. Hanson April 8, 2013 at 3:50 AM
I totally disagree that "the definition of marriage belongs to church". While religions are free to attach whatever religious significance they like to it, marriage was not invented by or for any religion.
Jeremy is right that in many other countries people are required to have a civil ceremony in order to be legally married (and then they can also have whatever additional religious ceremony they like). It works great -- people typically do the two on the same day, and have their secular friends serve as witnesses for the legal ceremony and their religious friends serve as witnesses for the religious ceremony.
I think it is inappropriate that the United States grants religious ceremonies the legal/civil status to make a marriage legally-binding. It confuses people into thinking that marriage is under the jurisdiction of religion, and that therefore religions should have a say in legal/civil aspects of the lives of people who belong to other religions or are non-religious.
'...it is inappropriate that the United States grants religious ceremonies the legal/civil status to make a marriage legally-binding.'I agree that it would work much better to have a civil marriage (as the legal ceremony) followed by the religious, or other, ceremony of one's choosing. The idea that a civil ceremony is required to legally bind a couple followed by a religious ceremony to follow is perfect. However, at the time, this option was not available to us as a gay couple. It was available in way of a civil union with a ceremony to follow. But it was called something different than what other people were allowed. It was separate but not equal. I think I was saying the same thing; however, I did make the mistake of giving religion ownership of marriage.
'While religions are free to attach whatever religious significance they like to it, marriage was not invented by or for any religion.'This is a great point. Many do get confused and turn marriage over to religion. Marriage isn't something churches have ownership of. Marriage, in a historical sense, wasn't even about love. One merely needs to watch HBO's Game of Thrones to know that marriage was a way to gain family status and land ownership. (I know HBO probably shouldn't be my source of historical fact, what can I say). According to the book 'Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage', it wasn't until the mid eighteenth century that the definition started to change from arranged patriarchal marriage to more of a love based, male-bread-winner type of a marriage. And as recent as the last 30 years the 'male-bread winner' definition has been thrown into question.