Author Topic: How should we limit marriage?  (Read 7699 times)

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Offline Sky Striker

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How should we limit marriage?
« on: February 01, 2011, 03:13:28 pm »
This question popped into my head when I was reading some comments after a news post on Yahoo regarding gay marriage rights. On the whole, I'm for gay marriage, but a lot of the anti-gay marriage people left comments along the lines of, "Then maybe we should start marrying dogs too!" That comment got me wondering how marriage should be restricted and for what reasons.

I believe that marriage should be restricted between two humans. A human should not be able to marry a dog or a toaster, but I'm coming up short on legal reasons why. Simply saying, "Marriage should be between two humans," is about as concrete as saying, "Marriage should be restricted to between a man and a woman." There's no reasoning behind either of those quotes.

To start, "Marriage is restricted to those above the age of 18" can be upheld because you must be 18 or older to sign a legal document. Doing otherwise would be breaking the law. But there is nothing criminal that would come of a man and a toaster being married, yet this is of course ridiculous. The only thing I can think of that could restrict marriage between two people is that a legal signature would be required, and neither a toaster nor a dog could provide said signature.

But what do you think? Can you think of any legal reasons that would restrict marriage to between two humans?
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Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 03:57:15 pm »
Can you think of any legal reasons that would restrict marriage to between two humans?

Yes. You pretty much said it.  Marriage, from a legal perspective, is a contract between individuals. As such the parties involved must all be legally capable of entering into such a contract. This means marrying children, dogs, toasters, and any of that sort of thing are out. As much as you might like your dog, they can't enter into a binding contract.

Now, you could try to argue that this is discrimination in not letting them enter into such a contract. And technically it is. However, discriminating isn't necessary bad if there is a valid reason for it. And in this case there is. Children, dogs, and so forth can not be held in a binding contract because they are not able to fully grasp the terms of such a contract and therefore it's unfair/unpractical to try to place them under it.

Now, this leaves open room for marriages between more than two. And perhaps we should allow such marriages. However, I could see a case being made for limiting it to two for two reasons. 1) for the sake of keeping things manageable*, and 2) allowing more than two could require massive changes in the law.

*divorces are already messy, messy things. With more people involved it gets much worse.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 04:15:12 pm by Vararam »

Offline Alsek

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 04:16:42 pm »
Before this goes any further,  let's make a distinction here.

Marriage =/= Civil Union

Marriage is a religious term.
Civil Union is a legal term.

There's significant differences between the two things even from a social standpoint.  For example,  you can not break a marriage. there is no such thing as biblical divorce apart from if your spouse cheats on you.  VERY different from civil union.

I believe that a civil union should exist for the purpose of a legal bonding in order to make situations less complicated...  this can be for any kind of couple,  or even for two or more long term room mates trying to simplify their current living situation... To help them pool resources and make sure that they're all bound to keep their side of things.
 
I do not believe it should offer any kind of tax benefit (because,  of all the things the government could give you a tax-cut for,  i do not believe love interests should be one of them)

This would be a legal concept,  not a social concept.  Anyone getting,  "Married," (which is a religious term) would probably also get a civil union in order to make their lives easier.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 04:18:57 pm by Alsek »

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 02:34:41 am »
Hey, for once I agree with Vararam right out of the box!  :D I would also go on to add that Marriage also establishes certain rights and abilities without going through more complicated power of attorney proceedings, adoptions should one partner pass away and there's a kid, hospital visitations, etc. everytime something comes up.  All things that dogs, children, and toasters couldn't take part in.

Before this goes any further,  let's make a distinction here.

Marriage =/= Civil Union

Marriage is a religious term.
Civil Union is a legal term.

There's significant differences between the two things even from a social standpoint.  For example,  you can not break a marriage. there is no such thing as biblical divorce apart from if your spouse cheats on you.  VERY different from civil union.
I would agree with you on technicalities, but you can't deny that the term "marriage" has become so common place both in legal and simple civil union terms that they do, for all intents and purposes, mean the same thing now days. The possible exception being that "civil union" seems to be the more acceptable way of saying gay marriage.

Personally, I think the government should pick a word and stick with it across all spectrums. Either it's being married, or it's a civil union, regardless of the genders involved. I think most people would prefer the term marriage and I doubt it's the first time a word has be changed from its origins.
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Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 04:03:51 pm »
Hey, for once I agree with Vararam right out of the box!  :D
Well... we will just have to agree to agree on this.  ;)

Looking at marriage from the standpoint of a legal contract, although it does rule out marriage with children, dogs, inanimate objects and so forth, there is one area that it does allow that I know some people might not be comfortable with. The ability to marry other family members.

Personally, I haven't been able to think of any good reason this shouldn't be allowed so long as they are all of legal age and such. And I'd point out that I'm talking about marriage as a legal contract which confers rights and responsibilities. So the presence or absence of sexual relations between those people is a separate issue. I don't really see much point to such a marriage though, since the biggest share of the rights gained by marriage come with simply being a close relative anyway.

I'm particularly interested in what your thoughts on this are, Narei. Since we agree on the other part.

Offline Alsek

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 05:01:56 pm »
Personally, I think the government should pick a word and stick with it across all spectrums. Either it's being married, or it's a civil union, regardless of the genders involved. I think most people would prefer the term marriage and I doubt it's the first time a word has be changed from its origins.

Narei,  my whole point was that Marriage was not related to the government in any way.  Civil union should be the legal term,  and likely anyone getting,  "Married" in a church would probably be doing both.

If you really want to pull the religious crowd into the argument by using the term that they claim,  feel free.  However, personally i think it's in the best interests of everyone for their own purposes if separate terms are used.

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 05:10:59 pm »
Now, this leaves open room for marriages between more than two. And perhaps we should allow such marriages. However, I could see a case being made for limiting it to two for two reasons. 1) for the sake of keeping things manageable*, and 2) allowing more than two could require massive changes in the law.

There's another reason why I think there is such a ban, aside from these and from a legal reflection of societal norms.  The topic of polygamy was one of the many focuses of my Intro to Ethics class last semester, and the group that presented on that topic argued that the practice should be illegal because in many instances, the result is, among other things, a number of females living in repression under one male.  They argued that the practice tends to sexism and coercion (for instance, the wives have less say than the husband over whether or not another spouse is added to the arrangement and/or may feel that they are in competition with the other wives for the husband's affection), and that polygamous civil unions should be illegal for this reason.  It's possible that lawmakers considered logic such as this in their choice to ban or continue to ban polygamous civil unions.

I was on the critical group for that presentation.  I did not necessarily have to disagree with the presented argument, but I did have to poke holes in the argument (either as an opponent or as a devil's advocate).  I did, however, disagree with the argument; I argued that the cited wrongs of polygamy were not intrinsic to polygamy itself, but rather were potential wrongs in any type of relationship, whether polygamous or monogamous.  I also argued that marriage/civil union was ultimately a legal contract, and that there may be appropriate reasons for people to have multiple such contracts in effect at one time (I cited the possibility of two monogamous couples who lived as a single family unit).

It seems somewhat ironic, though, for me to have an opinion about marriages/civil unions considering that I don't plan on being a part of either...
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Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 06:22:51 pm »
Narei,  my whole point was that Marriage was not related to the government in any way.  Civil union should be the legal term,  and likely anyone getting,  "Married" in a church would probably be doing both.

If you really want to pull the religious crowd into the argument by using the term that they claim,  feel free.  However, personally i think it's in the best interests of everyone for their own purposes if separate terms are used.
I tend to agree with you that these are the sort of terms that -should- be used. As such government should have nothing at all to do with 'marriage' but only 'civil unions'. However, I'm pretty sure most laws relevant to that in this country use the word 'marriage' and not 'civil union'. So for better or worse, marriage IS the legal contract as far as the law is concerned. Also, any attempt to try to change that to 'civil union' will most likely be met with a massive opposition, especially from religious folks.


It seems somewhat ironic, though, for me to have an opinion about marriages/civil unions considering that I don't plan on being a part of either...
As long as you are approaching it objectively I don't see a problem with that. For example, we can discuss under what grounds killing someone would be okay without having plans of ever killing anyone.

I agree with your assessment of that argument. If that was a valid reason to ban polygamous marriages, then it would also be a valid reason to ban marriage all together since that sort of abuse/coercion can and does happen in monogamous relationships as well.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 06:25:34 pm by Vararam »

Offline homegrownkodi

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 06:30:26 pm »
That whole 'might as well marry dogs' logic is pretty damn flawwed. I mean, human can read out their vows and sign legal documents. If a dog could sign a legal document, and read out it's vows than sure, let the marriage consent... BUT THEY CAN'T.

I think if a partnership of more than two people want to be married they should be able. Simply because it's their lives you know? People should be able to do what they want as long as they don't put other people's well beings at risk. That's all that should matter in law right? As long as people aren't stilling or harming other people (either mentally or physically or their financial standing) why do people care so much?

Marriage is sorta silly in my opinion anyways. I am not going to elaborate on that because I just don't want to.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 07:42:03 pm »
Hey, for once I agree with Vararam right out of the box!  :D
Well... we will just have to agree to agree on this.  ;)
Well I disagree to agree to agree! :P Anyway, back on point...

Quote
Looking at marriage from the standpoint of a legal contract, although it does rule out marriage with children, dogs, inanimate objects and so forth, there is one area that it does allow that I know some people might not be comfortable with. The ability to marry other family members.
I'm gonna have to say I don't have any real opinion on the subject of marrying family, other than it could be seen as overkill for the reasons you listed already. To play devil's advocate, an arguement could be made against it that marriage was originally meant to establish a family and have kids. Since it's not wise from a genetics stand point to have kids with close family, there's no point in allowing a marriage. The flip side is that arguement would also mean gay marriage is out. Something tells me, though, that the people using that arguement would be against both anyway, so the point is moot.

Going back to Alsek's point on marriage as a government wording, it could be summed up that that genie has already been let out of the bottle. I don't claim to be a religious expert, but wasn't our founders a highly religious society? If that's the case, then I think we could trace the legal marriage roots to them. After all, if the vast majority agreed on the religious part of it, then why not allow the government "recognize" the marriage as such and not a civil union. At least, that's my opinion on it.
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Offline Fenny the Fox

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 08:06:42 pm »
Since it's not wise from a genetics stand point to have kids with close family, there's no point in allowing a marriage. The flip side is that arguement would also mean gay marriage is out. Something tells me, though, that the people using that arguement would be against both anyway, so the point is moot.

Not to open a new can of worms, but...http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/inbreeding-challenge/story-e6frea6u-1111116516403

Actually, unless you inbreed frequently (generation after generation) and closer than(like, brother/sister)/or at first cousin relation there isn't that much to show that it is genetically "bad" [very little increase in disease risk/birth defect (something like from 2% to 4%) or infant death rate(1.2% or so, I think]. Taboo and myth is not always fact. -Though I don't suggest you go and marry your cousin or something, still.- Anyway...

Quote
Going back to Alsek's point on marriage as a government wording, it could be summed up that that genie has already been let out of the bottle. I don't claim to be a religious expert, but wasn't our founders a highly religious society? If that's the case, then I think we could trace the legal marriage roots to them. After all, if the vast majority agreed on the religious part of it, then why not allow the government "recognize" the marriage as such and not a civil union. At least, that's my opinion on it.

The founding fathers made no appropriation to or mention of "marriage" (or any such institution) in the Constitution or Amendments thereof. All federal regulation on marriage were not added to the Constitution (they are 'Acts' passed by legislature not Amendments) or included in tax law, and were not added until much later - until DOMA [passed in '96], the regulation of marriage was left purely to the states to define. At least unless I am mistaken on that.



And, there is argument as to whether the main founding fathers were actually practicing Christians or more along the lines of Deist. (But that is another argument altogether.)

And it is undeniable that the leading/most outspoken of those, such as Jefferson and Franklin, were highly anti-clerical and against organized religion in general -despite being Christian/religious themselves.
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Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 08:20:07 pm »
As long as you are approaching it objectively I don't see a problem with that. For example, we can discuss under what grounds killing someone would be okay without having plans of ever killing anyone.

I agree that it's not "wrong" when done appropriately; I just found it ironic.  Your example on murder, though, isn't truly analogous since I personally could be substantially affected by a change in whether it was okay for people in general to kill others (such as myself) but could not realistically be affected by a change in the social mechanics of marriage (unless such changes made marriage mandatory, in which case I would be affected).  I do understand what you were trying to say, though; I need not be affected to argue the point.


That whole 'might as well marry dogs' logic is pretty damn flawwed. I mean, human can read out their vows and sign legal documents. If a dog could sign a legal document, and read out it's vows than sure, let the marriage consent... BUT THEY CAN'T.

Well... you might want to reconsider that assertion.  For instance, some animals, to some extent, can learn sign language and there was once a parrot who could communicate at about the level of a five year old; under your argument as stated, and given this information, such animals are not too far away from being eligible for marriage, and may actually *be* eligible for marriage, depending on interpretation.  Whether or not animals can or should marry crosses over to the realm of the speciesism argument, though; it's probably too far outside of the scope of this thread, anyway.

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Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 09:40:21 pm »
Your example on murder, though, isn't truly analogous since I personally could be substantially affected by a change in whether it was okay for people in general to kill others (such as myself) but could not realistically be affected by a change in the social mechanics of marriage (unless such changes made marriage mandatory, in which case I would be affected). 
Unless the changes when it's okay to kill are drastic, it's unlikely to have any major effect on us (or at least me). And I'd argue that changes in how marriage is defined will effect you even if you don't get married yourself. But anyway... you got my main point so this is not important.

And it is undeniable that the leading/most outspoken of those, such as Jefferson and Franklin, were highly anti-clerical and against organized religion in general -despite being Christian/religious themselves.
I'd also add that regardless of how religious they may or may not have been in their private lives, they specifically set up the constitution to be secular. The only mentions of religion are 1) in a section disallowing religious tests for public office, and 2) in the first amendment where it expressly forbids the government from being involved in religion.

As far as I know, marriage was, and still is, specifically a state issue. In fact, I have heard of problems caused by that not too long ago. Where somebody went to a neighboring state to get married where the legal age was much lower as a way around the laws in their own state. There was a court case about whether the state had to recognize it, though unfortunately, I don't know the status or results of that. (I also don't remember what state, or it might be easier to look up.)

Offline homegrownkodi

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 09:43:41 pm »
That whole 'might as well marry dogs' logic is pretty damn flawwed. I mean, human can read out their vows and sign legal documents. If a dog could sign a legal document, and read out it's vows than sure, let the marriage consent... BUT THEY CAN'T.

Well... you might want to reconsider that assertion.  For instance, some animals, to some extent, can learn sign language and there was once a parrot who could communicate at about the level of a five year old; under your argument as stated, and given this information, such animals are not too far away from being eligible for marriage, and may actually *be* eligible for marriage, depending on interpretation.  Whether or not animals can or should marry crosses over to the realm of the speciesism argument, though; it's probably too far outside of the scope of this thread, anyway.

(*stops being pedantic*)

That whole 'might as well marry dogs' logic is pretty damn flawwed. I mean, humans can read out their vows and sign legal documents and give their full, well minded understanding, consent and agreement as capable adults. If a dog could sign a legal document, and read out it's vows and is able to give its full, well minded understanding, consent and agreement as capable adults, then sure... Let the the marriage commence!...

Better?
We can be very aware that two adult humans understand and have given consent and agree to something, but we cannot be so positive with animals. If we could be, and an animal honestly wanted to be wedded with a human, and we were sure of this then fine. But we cannot be sure. And since we cannot be sure, commiting an animal into a legal contract would be fraud. So that is why marrying an animal is illegal. It would be fraud.
2 or more humans marrying of the right age however, would not be, regardless of gender.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 10:40:23 pm »
Just to be clear, I was intending my point to reference the states in terms of government recognizing marriage and wasn't trying to make a constitutional argument about it. Sorry about that.

Now here's a twist. I've heard some people suggest marriage licenses should have an expiration date since people live so much longer and change more, becoming less compatible. At the end, you either renew it or have a mutual separation without a messy and ill willed divorce.Would like to hear thoughts on that.
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Offline Sky Striker

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 04:06:05 pm »
Now here's a twist. I've heard some people suggest marriage licenses should have an expiration date since people live so much longer and change more, becoming less compatible. At the end, you either renew it or have a mutual separation without a messy and ill willed divorce.Would like to hear thoughts on that.

Personally, I don't like this, although this is probably because I view divorce in a rather negative light anyway. My first reason for not liking divorce is what it does to the children, constantly moving back and forth between parents and such. But this would probably take place much later, and the children probably would have moved out of the house. I'm not saying divorce is always a bad thing. There are many instances where it is warranted, such as in the case of abuse, cheating or neglect, things like that where the love is actually gone.

Still, the main issue I have with this is that this would set a sort of precedent. "Okay, this is as far as I was expected to go with this marriage, so I'm done with this."
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Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2011, 05:38:30 pm »
Now here's a twist. I've heard some people suggest marriage licenses should have an expiration date since people live so much longer and change more, becoming less compatible. At the end, you either renew it or have a mutual separation without a messy and ill willed divorce.
I'm not sure about that idea. While it's true that sometimes people drift apart or need to separate for various reasons, part of me worries that having expiration on marriage could "weaken the bonds". That is, it might make it less likely for people to put in the work necessary to keep a marriage strong.  On the other paw, it might strengthen their vows if they need to renew every so often. So I don't know.  Perhaps if expiration was added to the marriage contract, it might also include stipulation that it'll be automatically renewed if their are underage children involved in the relationship. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but that at least sounds a bit more reasonable since kids being involved is usually the messiest part of a break up.

For comparison purposes, what is the typical length of other similar contracts? For example, say two companies wanted a contract for their business arrangement, would that typically have an expiration date? Is so, how often would it need renewed?  I don't know enough about contract law, and of course there are differences between a contract between businesses and a contract for domestic partnership. But it might be interesting to compare the two.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2011, 06:39:20 pm »
I'm kinda neutral on the expiration date thing for the time being, just thought it was an interesting concept. I do like the idea of auto-renewing if there are minor children involved.

Not sure how much comparison you could do with a marriage license, but regular contracts can contain just about anything as long as it doesn't go against the law. For pure services, it could be a seasonal or yearly contract that is re-negotiated frequently (I.E. snow removal, lawn crews, etc) based on changing circumstainces. Developmental ones could be long term, such as research projects. Some can last decades before they need to be re-newed or re-negotiated. There are also some that can be performance based without a set expiration date. If one party doesn't live up to their end of the bargin, the contract could be severed and would likely have certain penalties in place as well. They also would spell out how something is to be taken care of before it happens. In the case of a marriage, you could decide how things should be split like in a pre-nup agrement. You could do one for 5 years to see how it goes, then re-new it and change as needed (I.E. you now have a house) every 5 years, or go more long term if you think it is really gonna work out ok.

Hope that helps. :)
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Offline Drake Blackpaw

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2011, 09:28:58 am »

For comparison purposes, what is the typical length of other similar contracts? For example, say two companies wanted a contract for their business arrangement, would that typically have an expiration date? Is so, how often would it need renewed?  I don't know enough about contract law, and of course there are differences between a contract between businesses and a contract for domestic partnership. But it might be interesting to compare the two.

Reading this brought up a funny thought.  Many business contracts have two things in them that would have an interesting translation into the world of relationships.  One is the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), where you sign that you will not reveal or use anything you learn that isn't common knowledge outside the relationship.  The other is a non-compete clause where it basically says you can't try to win similar work from my customers during the relationship and a short period afterwards.

I can see it now.  After the breakup.  You can't talk about how I snore and drool in bed. We have a signed legally binding NDA as part of our relationship agreement.  And no way can you date Greg.  He's part of our social circle and our non-complete clause clearly states friends and acquaintances are off limits for a period of a year unless signed permission is given by the other party, and I'm not signing for you to run off with Greg, who I know you've been flirting with behind my back!   :D

While the idea of a defined term marriage would have helped me with last marriage, I don't like the idea.  I'm fine with the idea of a term relationship contract that provides some basic legal rites, such as first line of inheritance, visitation rites at hospitals and other places where it is restricted to family and the power of attorney if the other is incapacitated, but it shouldn't have the weight of a full marriage and I wouldn't give it the same tax benefits as a full marriage.  If something like this was in place, I would provide a framework for it to be upgraded to a fully committed marriage, especially if children come into the picture.

My ex-wife and I didn't have kids and I doubt we would have divorced if we did.  While I certainly believe in the ability to divorce, I mean I exercised it, there should be a higher threshold when kids are involved.  Perhaps not a legally defined higher threshold, but I would hope that couples with children would take the impact to the children into account.  while I say this, I know there are times that divorce with kids is the right thing to do.  My father was abusive and I wonder if some of the social problems I struggle with would be less if mom had parted ways with him when I was young.  I'm sure she thought about it at times.

As for the original topic, I think any two people of legal age to enter into a contract should be allowed to enter into a contract of marriage.  This may exclude close family, but I'm not sure I'd even put that exception in.  As for whether it is called "marriage" or "civil union" I don't care as long as it's called the same thing for everyone by the government.

I use to be in the camp that said call gay marriages civil unions as marriage is a religious term, but I've come to realize that there are two problems with that.  First, it sets up a separate, but equal situation where you say homosexuals have their separate category for a committed relationship.  History has shown that separate, but equal is never really equal.  The second is that marriage is a totally religious institution that should be controlled by the church/temple/etc...  Who can marry, when the can marry and the terms of marriage have been controlled by the government through out the ages.  Often the government placed heavier restrictions on who can marry than most religious institutions.  A religious organization isn't allowed to officially marry anyone who the government says can't marry.  Oh they can hold a ceremony and call it marriage and treat the relationship as a marriage inside the church/temple,etc... But, it isn't considered a marriage by the government nor the society at large.  Marriage is as much or a government institution than a religious one.

One last thought on this since it has come up in the thread.  I would limit "marriage" to two people.  I have no problem with poly-amorous relationships, but there are parts of the legal framework that is setup around marriage that fall apart or just become too complex when you extend it to more than two people.  I don't have a problem recognizing these relationships, but I think a legal framework would need to be constructed for them that fits a situation where more than two people are involved. 

Offline Mr. Apple

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2011, 11:44:47 pm »
Does it really matter anyways?
i mean come on. What benefits do you get from marriage.
I may be ignorant and naive but it doesn't seem like a big deal.
however, if i were to side with someone, it would be the pro gay marriage
discrimination isn't good
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Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2011, 04:27:02 am »
What benefits do you get from marriage.
There are apparently over a thousand legal rights granted with marriage. I did a quick google search and found this site which contains a list of many of them.
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html

Offline Feather_Claw

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2011, 06:30:30 pm »
As a snow leopard given to being polyamourous I find the notion that marriage should only be between two people insulting.
The government has no right to tell people how many people they may pledge their love to or what sex and gender these people have to be. IF a group who is in love wishes to be married so be it.

Now---I would never marry a dog, or something like that simply because I am not attracted to dogs and etc in that way. BUT---should people be able to marry whatever they like (with consent of course from their beloved---so no creepy cases of marrying children).

YES.

Why? A marriage to me is foremost a religious celebration of love and pledging to their faith to love their intended(s).
-If humanity is to deem my spriit a sort of insanity you may keep it---I will dance with soul and howl where the wild things are in joyous madness. Nature may be violent red in tooth and claw but red is also the colour of life...

Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2011, 11:25:00 pm »
Why? A marriage to me is foremost a religious celebration of love and pledging to their faith to love their intended(s).
That's not legal marriage. People can have religious celebrations and pledge their love all they want without need for the government to get involved.

Legal marriage is different. Then we are specifically talking about the contract.

Offline Feather_Claw

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2011, 10:08:31 am »
Even in that aspect, the government should recognize marriages between more than two people of any sex and gender.

Imagine, if you will, a polyamourous group and one of their beloved is in the hospital dying...is only one allowed at a time to see them etc?

I think its about time the government recognized contracts between more than two people. No person should be excluded from the benefits and privileges that the government grants married people just because they aren't monogamous or heterosexual.
-If humanity is to deem my spriit a sort of insanity you may keep it---I will dance with soul and howl where the wild things are in joyous madness. Nature may be violent red in tooth and claw but red is also the colour of life...

Offline Yip

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Re: How should we limit marriage?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2011, 12:22:08 pm »
I think its about time the government recognized contracts between more than two people. No person should be excluded from the benefits and privileges that the government grants married people just because they aren't monogamous or heterosexual.
I'd agree with that. Of course, to achieve this may require a complete overhaul of how marriage contracts are handled. And I don't expect that to happen soon with all the resistance to allowing same sex marriage, which is an easy change to make. Heck, for several states no change is needed. That's why religious organizations were trying to get the law to specifically define it as "one man and one woman".

One possible way that poly marriages could be handled, and I don't know enough about contract law so this may be off, but... perhaps they could exist as a group of contracts, one for each pairing. That would be manageable for small groups and shouldn't require many changes. Except of course for laws specifically against having more than one marriage. Though I see potential problems and abuses of marriage which could arise from removing that restriction.

Hmm....
If there IS a major overhaul of how marriage contracts are handled, perhaps it should be done by instead treating civil unions as a separate system, one with is not in any way tied to the ritual side of marriage, and which is handled on a federal level. Then have all the fixes done to that. And over time phase out the law's support of 'marriage'. This would help eliminate the confusion between ceremonial marriage and legal marriage and perhaps make people see that the real issue is about the rights and protections gained from the contract.