A contract or a sacrament?
What is marriage? A meaningless piece of paper? A legal contract? A religious sacrament?
If marriage is just a meaningless piece of paper like many people contend, then there is no reason to extend the right to marry to homosexual couples. They can just live together like so many couples do today.
If marriage is a simply a legal contract, then domestic partnerships fit the bill admirably. Those couples already have the financial and legal privileges afforded by marriage.
But if marriage is a sacrament of the church, a joining of a man and a woman before God, then the courts have no standing to redefine marriage. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) says it clearly, “Regardless of any ruling, referendum, or law, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Washington cannot redefine marriage any more than it can govern gravity.”
Recently, in Minnesota, 11-year-old Grace Evans posed a question to legislators, “Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don’t think we can change that children need a mom and a dad …. Which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?” As Grace so succinctly points out, nearly everyone with common sense recognizes that men and women have different parenting styles.
Even though many children grow up in less than ideal circumstances, it does not mean that the model of a healthy marriage is inconsequential.
If marriage is more than just a piece of paper, or a civil contract, then the issue of redefining marriage is not a civil liberties issue, but an intrusion of the government into the separation between church and state.
Carol Lovegren Miller