Should there be no civil marriage at all in secular states?

I just saw that I’m not supposed to discuss politics in this section.

*I have been thinking about one of the most sensitive issues in the United States today: gay marriage. What would you think about the idea that we Catholics (and other Christians) ought to begin campaigning, not for the banning of gay marriage, but for the abolition of civil marriage licenses altogether. In the final analysis, I am beginning to think that the only way to protect the institution of marriage in a secular society is to remove all references to it in civil law.

Oh, and I don’t mean “civil law” as contrasted with “common law”, but the laws of states in general.*

I think the state is justified in giving these rights and responsibilities to people who wish to live together and support each other.

I think there is value to civil marriage. It promotes a stable relationship between two individuals, which is psychologically beneficial. The stability of a long term couple plays out in society, with decreased mobility and increased investment in the local community. And marriage increases the chance that a couple stays together, which would be beneficial to any children they have.

Granted, those things could be achieved with a religious marriage. However, not everyone in country is religious or desires a religious marriage.

Moreover, should a marriage fail to the point of dissolution, marriage (and divorce) laws help with issues of assigning child custody and responsibility for their upbringing.

I may be wrong, but I think the ban on politics refers to discussions of specific politicians, political parties and political races.

I’m beginning to wonder whether governments should just stay out of marriage altogether. Why do they need to define it to suit anyone’s definition, when that is best up to religion or people’s consciouses? Under that scenario, a government need only sanction civil partnerships, which receive equal treatment under the law. A couple wishing to get married can then appeal to whichever religious or civic organization best suits their beliefs, but the matter is as irrelevant to the government as one’s decision to acquire a library card. It is separate and none of the government’s business.

Perhaps this smacks of waving the white flag, but maybe it’s just a savvy strategic retreat given the never-ending onslaught of the political left. I worry about the day the U.S. Government attempts to force the church to perform same-sex marriage under the guise of discrimination.

Again, just beginning to wonder …

Since a marriage license is only a secular contract, I refuse to sign that contract within the Catholic Church. A marriage license is nothing more than permission from the state to form a union where rights and obligations are defined by the state. I do not need the state’s permission to form a sacramental marriage with my wife.

A marriage license from the state is about property. The state does not recognize marriage as a sacrament. In the case of a divorce, a judge may divide the property of the couple according to what the judge thinks is “just.”

This is correct. Thank you, Dale!

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