Friday, September 07, 2007

Defense of Marriage, One Man One Woman, Polygamy, Contract Families

I think the only long term solution to the split is society is not for one side to win but to separate the kind of marriage that the government recognizes and gives incentives for (i.e. Marriage - one man, one woman) from the kinds of households that people have a right to form by legal agreement, contract families, for lack of a better name.

Contract families could be semi-traditional - a heterosexual couple that is not married, a Grandmother and grand kids or two widows living together. But it could also be two women, two men , or three consenting adults anything we don’t have a constitutional reason to ban.

Contract families would not be anything we have to encourage - not anything the church needs to bless and not anything the government has to call marriage. They are the consensual relationships the people wish to formalize that the government has no right to interfere with. This could work just like any other contract - we don’t limit contracts by gender or how many people can sign a contract.

So that would exclude polygamous cults that force young girls to marry, and would exclude any arrangement with a child below the age of consent, incest, nonconsent, coercion, and anything else there is a constitutionally valid law against.

I don’t think we are ready but I see this as the logical, most workable solution to an otherwise intractable dispute.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Close, but you got it bass-ackwards. The government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Government should support ONLY contractual agreeements between people that include the legal rights and responsibilities we currently call "marriage". Government does laws and contracts really well. Private behavior the government doesn't do so well.

The government should impose a few limited restrictions - one to a customer at a time (because of the legal impact - can't have 2 default heirs or 2 adult dependents for insurance coverage) and no coercive arrangements (ie no kids below a certain age)

If you want to have a church ceremony then it's between you and your church what is permissible.