Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I've Resolved the Gay Marriage Dilemma

First let me say I’m not personally invested in the issue, being neither gay nor married. But having been blessed with a wide range of super-powers, I’ve feel it’s my duty to come to the aid of my fellow human beings in their hour of need.
Not long ago, when class warfare broke out between the job creators and the working poor over taxes, I took a break from being one of America’s favorite authors, worked out a solution and then forwarded it to New York Senator Charles Schumer via e-mail.
Although I received no thanks, recognition or parade in my honor, several weeks later, President Obama brought up a proposal virtually identical to mine before Congress. (You can read it by going to ‘Archives’ and clicking on the January 13, 2012 blog)
I still think a parade would have been nice.
So anyway, with this gay marriage issue polarizing this country, I’ve come up with a plan to fix it.
So here we go.
The issue is that the gay community wants to marry in the same manner as heterosexual couples and receive all the advantages and disadvantages that go with it.
Seems like a reasonable request.
However, the fact that more than 50% of all marriages end in divorce is like demanding the right to fly on an airline that crashes and burns every other time it take to the air. So it’s obvious the problem has nothing to do with the sex of the people wanting to marry, it’s with the institution itself.  
What’s wrong with marriage?
Since time began marriage has been a religious ceremony. That’s right, RELIGIOUS. Which means the state has no legal right to perform the service as it is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.
Second, modern day divorce laws are outdated, misogynistic, and seriously biased based on gender specific profiles that never had any scientific evidence to support them. For example, women are almost automatically awarded custody of the children, yet there is no proof whatsoever that women are better able to raise children than men. Alimony was created to keep the ex-wife, (who, in the old days, was rarely educated or taught marketable skills) from starving and becoming homeless. Today more women graduate from medical school than men. Also needing to be scrapped is the old ‘maintaining a life style to which one has become accustomed.’
Ever lose a high paying job and were unable to secure another with the same perks and pay scale? Was your former employer under any obligation to continue paying you that high salary until you got a new job? Ask any person over 40 working a fast food joint about that, odds are they’ll have a tale that will send chills down your spine.
What we need to do is scrap the entire process and start from scratch.
Here’s how it should be done.
The state discontinues performing marriages. Instead offers only co-habitation contracts to all couples, regardless of gender, wanting the advantages the former marriage agreement provided.
In those contracts, specific terms, conditions and personal responsibilities are laid out beforehand. Additions or subtractions could be inserted (similar to a pre-nup) according to the couples wishes. Then once the terms are agreed upon the co-hab contract would be registered with the state in the same manner former marriages were. At that point the couple would be allowed to check the ‘Married” box on any legal form, tax form or job application and receive the same benefits awarded to any religiously married couple. (Those who opt to be married in a religious ceremony would also have to apply for and receive a state approved co-habitation contract before being awarded that legal privilege.)
This way marriage gets redefined as a legal arrangement that provides the same benefits to all involved.
Seriously, a guy wearing a pointy hat, yarmulke or turban telling you in a loosely worded ceremony that you are now joined in matrimony does not a legally binding agreement make.
Going this route solves two problems. One, everyone gets equal treatment under the law and race, gender, religion are no longer factors. Two, any religious institution willing to marry same sex couples could do so and those whose religious tenets prohibit it would be exempt without penalty. 
This could be easily adopted by all 50 states, streamline the rights of all co-habituating couples and jettison the religious aspect without changing or involving the state in any of their rules and regulations. In fact, this process could easily be adopted by the entire world!
And if it is, well… All I can say is that there damn well better be a Zackary Richards float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade that year!

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