Marriage and Domestic Partnership: An Investigation
At present the issue of same-sex union has gained nationwide heat and interest from almost all interest groups. There is much talk about its going to have a legal status of marriage that is originally regarded an association between a man and a woman. Scholars and analysts see this situation returning high political, religious, and national issues in the future. The present paper examines this issue at length and compares and contrasts different opinions, analysis, and contexts. At the end the paper summarizes the entire discussion with recommendations and personal opinion of the writer.
Campaign for Redefining Marriage
In the present context, so much is happening in the United States of American with regard to the issue of marriage. The issue of having same-sex civil union given the legal status of marriage is a highly heated one. If presently marriage is regarded as an institution involving a man and a woman only; same-sex, as of California law, stands to be domestic partners who have equal rights, security, and gains, and obliges them with the same duties, responsibilities, and obligations as are between a man and a woman after being married ([Ca Fam § 297 et seq.] as cited in Kinsley Law Office, 2008). Litigators’ groups and activists from other schools of thought have joined hands in attempts to redefine what the word “marriage” really means. This, they are out to achieve not by slogans or mere chants but by rationally contending over this issue in the courts. Although many of the U.S. States have come to a reaffirmation regarding common perception that marriage is between a man and a woman only, there is so much happening to this reaffirmation, say, in the State of California where on March 7, 2000, Proposition 22 was endorsed by a 61 to 39 margin. This Proposition relates that marriage is something taking place between a male and a female human. In 2000, similar law were implemented with regard to the same issue related to the definition of marriage (Coolidge, & Duncan, 2001). Similarly, in the year 2005, California Supreme Court observed that to deny spouse-related gains to registered same-sex couples in a private society was to give way to nuptial position bias (Severino, 2007, p. 939). This was done against the legal definition of DOMA of the state that defines that marriage is the institution taking place between a male and a female only.
Currently, California is one of the areas of the U.S. that recognize domestic partnership or non-marital couples. As of present time, there is strong opposition to giving domesticated partnership (or same-sex marriage) the title of marriage and other equal rights to which only the married couple (a man and a woman); as well as there is strong and growing opposition by the people who are forcing through legal fight that same-sex marriage or domestic partnership must be not only legalized but also be given the same status as is given to the marriage between a male and a female. A number of reservations are reported falling either on the one side of the pole or the other. I will review what Coolidge, & Duncan (2001) have to say in favor of the marriage between a woman and a man and not in favor of (if there is any need) the same-sex marriage or domestic partnership.
According to the author, there are serious consequences if domesticated partnership is legalized on the legislative front of the U.S. They argue about three major, at least, issues in this connection. These three level consequences are: (i) at the federal and state levels; (ii) for self-government; (iii) the consequences are to be the social institution of marriage itself. I will make mention of a few issues in the regard due to the space constraints of this paper.
Consequences at State and Federal Level
At the federal and state level, such issues as housing, employment, and other social activities will go through a heated time. For example, it might be the case that an employer can refuse, on the basis of their religious and social beliefs, to offer employment to a person in civil union; as well as, an employer might not feel ready, under religious and social obligations thinking that homosexual conduct in sinful and is to be stalled, to offer benefits of employment to a worker’s civil partner of the same sex. The constitution, for instance of Vermont, permits on this condition to sue the employer with such an attitude; there would be great chaotic roar throughout the states if this practice continues because then there will be a number of cases of this kind. Will the government be able to handle all this when both sides will be extremely, in their own right, adherent to the real way of living life. The example of house rental can also be given in this regard. It is not necessary that every house owner will be willing to lend, on the basis of religious beliefs which are recognized as legitimate right of an individual, to rent their house to a couple of same-sex union. This will also raise a number of policy and legislative issues (Coolidge, & Duncan, 2001).
Consequences for Self-Government
Serious consequences also hold for the self-government. According to the author, there is a general tendency that the common voter is shying away from using their right to vote due to a number of key issues. If the courts intervene in the redefinition of what same-sex marriage is, also if they try to put off people from having their say in this regard, there is no doubt that more and more electors will alienate themselves from the procedure of political refinement of the country. They comment that if Americans consider that family thrives best with a mother and father both, and that matrimony is the fundamental social establishment which brings man, woman and kinds mutual consent, they ought to have the right to identify with that establishment in the law and maintain it in open rule (Coolidge, & Duncan, 2001, p. 623).
Consequences for the Institution called Marriage
What the advocated for same-sex marriage hold is that the couple into same-sex union need to get married so that they can resolve a number of legislative issues so that their relationship is secure from threats. The strong point they make is that unless the same-sex marriage is recognized, the same-sex couple’s full humanity will not be realized. However, there is opposition to this advocacy. The point the authors make against this advocacy is that the core idea of the institution “marriage” (marriage has forever incorporated a woman and a man. Matrimony is the union of the two genders into a society which attaches the sense of nurturing next generations) will undergo a modification. This alter state of marriage will not only be legal but gravely cultural. If this basic idea is removed, the meaning of matrimony certainly undergoes a change: it will merely be regarded one of the many kinds of relationships present in society and not the basis of a unique community. If this core concept is not taken seriously, then, according to the author, to which the present writer completely agrees, there is no need to keep this concept at all and treat it like other concept in society such as friendship, intimacy, without caring about the extension of family into children; of care and so on. It will not be wrong to suggest that there will then be no need to keep the concept of marriage running at all. Moreover, the Defense of Marriage Act will lose its importance and will surely fade away (Coolidge, & Duncan, 2001, p. 623).
Religion and Same-Sex Marriage
There will be a lot of struggle to face by the government of the grounds of different religions being practiced in the United States of America. According to Severino (2007) at least there will be some religious institutions that will certainly avoid to entertain an acceptance of same-sex association as marriage. Severino mentions that religious groups have proved to be highly effective in terms of different public services that they provide to their people as well as the common people, from soup kitchens to counseling, and hospital care. As such there are some religious groups that refuse to treat same-sex union as marriage and will show no tolerance for this union. Here the point the author raises is that there will a dire need on the nationwide level to initiate widespread legislation against such religious groups that turn down the idea to treat same-sex pairs as being equal to those men and women who are married (p. 939). Another important point that the author makes here is that, same-sex marriage legalization will certainly come to mar the religious liberty of such groups. Moreover, such groups will not sit quiet and see the government take legislative initiative against them with relation to the refusal of treating same-sex marriage the same as the man-and-woman marriage; they will also come into the fight to save their status that is the only validity to them. However, to a number of groups this legislative initiative will prove fatal for their beliefs and principles. They will be pressurized, moreover, to negotiate their faith or beliefs that will result for them to lose access to a large number of government offers and licensing areas. Therefore, it will be highly traumatic for the national interests of the United States of American which has been so successfully in incorporating a number of different religions into its soil with due religious respect and liberty. However, with the advent of the issue of legalizing the same-sex marriage, U.S. will have to go through a hard time in stabilizing this proud point. (Severino, 2007, p. 939).
There is no doubt that the issue of same-sex marriage has gained so much heat on the national front. However, any attempt to initiate some response to this issue on the legal level must take into serious consideration of the citizens of the country think and hold for this issue. In my personal opinion, it is important to look at the issue from a number f diverse points; battling with legal matters will not be enough.
Coolidge, D. O., & Duncan, W. C. (2001). “Reaffirming marriage: a Presidential priority. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 24 (2), 623.
Kinsey Law Office (2008). California Domestic Partnership Law. Retrieved June 2, 2008 from: http://www.kinseylaw.com/clientserv2/famlawservices/domesticpartner/domesticpartnerdisso.html
Severino, R. (2007). “Or for poorer? How same-sex marriage threatens religious liberty. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 30 (3), 939+.