Homosexual Marriage Details
There are two issues here:
1. Should the term "marriage" be changed? No.
2. Should homosexuals who wish to make an official partnership have certain rights similar to those who are married? Maybe.
We will look at each of these.
Marriage and Unions / Legal Rights Granted by Legal Partnerships
Should homosexuals have rights similar to married couples? / Conclusion
Marriage and Unions
Words have specific meanings
Words have specific meanings. The proper use of words is known as "diction."
The more educated you are, the more you know how to choose the right word for to express the concept you are talking about. The term "marriage" is no exception.
The term "marriage" refers to a union between a man and a woman.
Other unions may be possible, but that is not marriage.
Other types of unions
The United States is a "union", but this union is a nation, not a marriage.
Joining two pieces of metal is a union, but this union is the process of welding, not a marriage.
What about labor unions? The teachers unions, the steel unions, the trucking unions...these are each unions, but you could not use the term marriage to describe any of these unions.
Two separate issues
What the homosexuals want, and what we want to call it, are two separate issues. Words do have meaning, and each of us should learn to use words properly. The term "marriage" must remain as a union of man and woman. A similar union between same sex couples should be described by another term.
Legal Rights Granted by Legal Partnerships
Contracts and Partnerships - the Legal reality of Contracts
Most of the legal rights in this country are granted by contracts.
Some of these contracts are filed with the areas of the government. Other contracts are simply kept between the partners.
These contracts help specify expectations and rights so that everyone gets what he or she wants, and so there are no misunderstandings later.
The contract legalizes these arrangements. This is necessary for two reasons: 1) in case proof is needed to show to a third party, or 2) if a dispute goes beyond the partners and needs to be settled in court.
Contracts and Partnerships - various types
There are many types of partnerships in the legal world. If we are to discuss the idea of same sex couples having legal rights based on a signed partnership, then we should look at a few of these.
Just in the world of business, there are many partnerships: Is your company a "limited partnership"? An "unlimited partnership"? A "corporation"? Each of these are arrangements of partnerships, and each has a different legal meaning.
Are you "for profit" or "not for profit"? Each has different legal rights.
Are your employees "contract" or "staff"? Do you pay by "hour", by "salary", or by "project"? Each must be specified in the contract that you and your employee sign. Furthermore, in several areas there are different legal rights (to business or to employee) depending on the arrangement.
To repeat the point: There are many, many types of legal partnerships. There are many parts to most legal contracts. Therefore, when we discuss the issue of same sex couples having legal rights based on a legal partnership (signed contract), we must think about variations that are possible.
Should homosexuals who wish to make an official partnership
have certain rights similar to those who are married?
The final question
Now we get to the final question:
Should same-sex couples have similar legal rights as married couples, if they sign a legal contract, filed with the local government, that they pledge their partnership for life?
The answer: Maybe.
There is still much to debate:
1. Exactly what legal rights are we talking about?
2. What will we call this legal partnership?
3. Should these same rights be extended further to boyfriend-girlfriend (those who live together but are not married)? Will these rights be extended further beyond that (such as polygamy)?
4. In general, should we grant any such rights to homosexuals?
I do not have the space to write all the angles and all the issues that fall into this debate. Therefore, here I will put just a few general points.
1. There are some rights that should be acceptable to such a partnership.
Those rights can include: medical benefits; hospital visitations; being a beneficiary.
2. We should call these partnerships "same-sex partnerships", or "same sex unions."
The term "marriage" is reserved for man and woman. The term "civil union" is better, however, there are many civil unions (see above), so the term is still vague.
3. Should these rights extend to other areas? Take them case by case, one at a time.
Boyfriend-girlfriend: I have no problem with the same rights (as I stated in #1) being given to male-female couples living together, as long as they sign official documents.
Polygamy and beyond: I'm a bit leery of this. There are too many variables. If you want your own internal contract (between the two parties, not filed with the government), then that's fine. True legal rights are too much for these varied partnerships right now.
4. In general, should we grant any such rights to homosexuals?
Indeed, there is the problem. I'd like to grant it, I really would, but I just can't. They're not ready to handle it yet.
Follow me here.
In principle, due to the concepts of freedoms, partnerships, and personal rights in general, I would like to grant specified legal rights to specific legal partnerships.
However, I do not like the way the homosexuals operate.
In my main section on homosexuality, I focused on the point that it is NOT the homosexual behavior that bothers us, but the other things that they do.
Once again, they have proven my point. They disregarded the law in San Francisco. They broke the law!
Follow me on this... If you want to be granted equal rights under the law, then you have to obey the law to begin with. You can't break the law in some areas, then expect the general population to support your "right" to other laws. If you break laws, you are not worthy of rights in other areas.
To repeat: You can't just follow some laws and ignore other laws. You can't break laws and then expect to be granted new rights.
What the homosexuals want is indeed a legal partnership.
However, if homosexual couples wish to have new, legal rights, then they must have respect for the law.
The homosexuals must have respect for all laws if the majority of the people are to have respect for homosexuals (or have respect for homosexual unions.)
Therefore, due to such serious legal acts as breaking the law in San Francisco, I believe that many homosexuals are not ready to be granted new, legal rights. They have shown that they are not yet worthy of such legal privileges.