Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

July 7, 2006

Marriage: A Thought Experiment

by Brad Warbiany

In Doug’s post below, he talks about the difference between the meaning of civil and religious marriage:

Kellie and I were married in the Roman Catholic Church, which has requirements for marriage that exceed, and are different from, those of civil marriage. That wedding ceremony is what made the marriage official in the eyes of God, not the little piece of paper we got from Cuyahoga County, Ohio the day before.

Imagine that you’ve been married 20 years. You got married in the Church, and signed your papers with the state. All of a sudden, someone from City Hall breaks in with some terrible news. Due to filling out the form wrong, it turns out you’ve not been married at all! Your marriage license is torn up, according to the state, you’re now a single person.

Do you consider the last 20 years a sham? Do you consider yourself any less married than before you heard the news?

I’d say that anyone who considers marriage to be something you do in the eyes of God— typically the largest opponents of gay marriage— would disregard the mid-level City Hall bureaucrat. So how exactly will state recognition of gay “marriage” change their impression of what marriage really means?

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  • Kevin

    So how exactly will state recognition of gay “marriage” change their impression of what marriage really means?

    You’re assuming that some opponents of “gay marriage” are opposing it because they want to “defend marriage” instead of good ol’ fashioned bigotry.

  • IndianCowboy

    there are those of us who would argue that it’s impossible for a homosexual couple to be married regardless of what some stupid government certificate said.

    Which doesn’t change the fact that they love each other and should receive the same rights accorded to heterosexual couples.

    My objection is to the use of the word, not to their legal status.

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