Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's About Definitions of Words

Amy Hall:
So the question is, which definition should we use? It's fine for you to argue that your definition of "two people who love each other" is better than my definition of "one man, one woman," or someone else's definition of "one man, multiple women," but we need to start off by understanding that we're arguing definitions, not rights.
Read the rest.


Robb said...

A few of the rights that are automatically, legally protected by the government upon marriage are disability benefits, special consideration for immigration/citizenship if the spouse is a citizen, domestic violence protections, bereavement leave, joint tax filing, making medical decisions for spouses, right to make funeral arrangements for a deceased spouse, inheritance of property, and Social Security pension and other pensions/benefits from deceased spouses.

The government is willing to legally go to bat for heterosexual marriages to protect these rights but these rights are not granted to homosexual spouses. Is this a problem and if so, what is the best way to address that homosexual spouses are legally the same as two strangers as far as the law is concerned?

Personally, I like what C.S. Lewis had to say on the government's regulation of marriage (with regard to whether the government should enact laws preventing divorce):

Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question—how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans [Muslims] tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

Vitamin Z said...

There is probably some wisdom in the C.S. Lewis quote.