Get the government out of the marriage business

The Supreme Court is going to rule very soon on the issue of gay marriage, and right now we can be certain of this much:

Roughly half the country is going to be very upset.

And understandably so.

If gay marriage is illegal, then it’s discrimination against gays. And discrimination is wrong. Just. Plain. Wrong.

But if gay marriage is legal, it’s an affront to a lot of people’s religious beliefs. And that’s wrong, too.

I am willing to accept the notion that marriage is a religious vow, and every church, mosque or synagogue has a First Amendment right to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Religious bigotry is none of the state’s business.

But once I accept that notion, I have to ask why the government is officially recognizing a religious rite.

How about we settle this dilemma once and for all by getting the government out of the marriage business?

You got married? Good for you. Have a ball. But your government doesn’t care. None of its business.

You want the legal rights of a couple? Get a civil union certification. And the government will not and cannot discriminate on issuing them. Two adults, legally united. Anyone may apply.

Get the married checkbox off the 1040. Require hospitals to allow visitation privileges only to blood relatives and persons in civil unions. Marriage does not give you the rights of survivorship. That requires a recognized civil union.

And there you have it. If gay marriage violates your religious beliefs . . . Fine. Don’t recognize a gay marriage. But you DO have to recognize a gay couple’s civil union. And their civil union will be the exact same one that straight couples must get in addition to their marriage certificate if they want to have the legal rights of a couple.

Basically, it’s time to end the marriage between church and state.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Next crisis!

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