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View Poll Results: Do you support marriage privatization?
Yes. 10 83.33%
No. 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-01-2015, 12:15 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Marriage Privatization:

Would you (or do you) support marriage privatization?
Privatize Marriage

By David Boaz

In the debate over whether to legalize gay marriage, both sides are missing the point. Why should the government be in the business of decreeing who can and cannot be married? Proponents of gay marriage see it as a civil-rights issue. Opponents see it as another example of minority “rights” being imposed on the majority culture. But why should anyone have—or need to have—state sanction for a private relationship? As governments around the world contemplate the privatization of everything from electricity to Social Security, why not privatize that most personal and intimate of institutions, marriage?

“Privatizing” marriage can mean two slightly different things. One is to take the state completely out of it. If couples want to cement their relationship with a ceremony or ritual, they are free to do so. Religious institutions are free to sanction such relationships under any rules they choose. A second meaning of “privatizing” marriage is to treat it like any other contract: The state may be called upon to enforce it, but the parties define the terms. When children or large sums of money are involved, an enforceable contract spelling out the parties’ respective rights and obligations is probably advisable. But the existence and details of such an agreement should be up to the parties.

And privatizing marriage would, incidentally, solve the gay-marriage problem. It would put gay relationships on the same footing as straight ones, without implying official government sanction. No one’s private life would have official government sanction—which is how it should be.

Andrew Sullivan, one of the leading advocates of gay marriage, writes, “Marriage is a formal, public institution that only the government can grant.” But the history of marriage and the state is more complicated than modern debaters imagine, as one of its scholars, Lawrence Stone, writes: “In the early Middle Ages all that marriage implied in the eyes of the laity seems to have been a private contract between two families. … For those without property, it was a private contract between two individuals, enforced by the community sense of what was right.” By the 16th century the formally witnessed contract, called the “spousals,” was usually followed by the proclamation of the banns three times in church, but the spousals itself was a legally binding contract.

Only with the Earl of Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1754 did marriage in England come to be regulated by law. In the New England colonies, marriages were performed by justices of the peace or other magistrates from the beginning. But even then common-law unions were valid.

In the 20th century, however, government has intruded upon the marriage contract, among many others. Each state has tended to promulgate a standard, one-size-fits-all formula. Then, in the past generation, legislatures and courts have started unilaterally changing the terms of the marriage contract. Between 1969 and 1985 all the states provided for no-fault divorce. The new arrangements applied not just to couples embarking on matrimony but also to couples who had married under an earlier set of rules. Many people felt a sense of liberation; the changes allowed them to get out of unpleasant marriages without the often contrived allegations of fault previously required for divorce. But some people were hurt by the new rules, especially women who had understood marriage as a partnership in which one partner would earn money and the other would forsake a career in order to specialize in homemaking.

Privatization of religion—better known as the separation of church and state—was our founders’ prescription for avoiding Europe’s religious wars. Americans may think each other headed for hell, but we keep our religious views at the level of private proselytizing and don’t fight to impose one religion by force of law. Other social conflicts can likewise be depoliticized and somewhat defused if we keep them out of the realm of government. If all arts funding were private (as 99 percent of it already is), for instance, we wouldn’t have members of Congress debating Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs or the film The Watermelon Woman.

So why not privatize marriage? Make it a private contract between two individuals. If they wanted to contract for a traditional breadwinner/homemaker setup, with specified rules for property and alimony in the event of divorce, they could do so. Less traditional couples could keep their assets separate and agree to share specified expenses. Those with assets to protect could sign prenuptial agreements that courts would respect. Marriage contracts could be as individually tailored as other contracts are in our diverse capitalist world. For those who wanted a standard one-size-fits-all contract, that would still be easy to obtain. Wal-Mart could sell books of marriage forms next to the standard rental forms. Couples would then be spared the surprise discovery that outsiders had changed their contract without warning. Individual churches, synagogues, and temples could make their own rules about which marriages they would bless.

And what of gay marriage? Privatization of the institution would allow gay people to marry the way other people do: individually, privately, contractually, with whatever ceremony they might choose in the presence of family, friends, or God. Gay people are already holding such ceremonies, of course, but their contracts are not always recognized by the courts and do not qualify them for the 1049 federal laws that the General Accounting Office says recognize marital status. Under a privatized system of marriage, courts and government agencies would recognize any couple’s contract—or, better yet, eliminate whatever government-created distinction turned on whether a person was married or not.

Marriage is an important institution. The modern mistake is to think that important things must be planned, sponsored, reviewed, or licensed by the government. The two sides in the debate over gay marriage share an assumption that is essentially collectivist. Instead of accepting either view, let’s get the government out of marriage and allow individuals to make their own marriage contracts, as befits a secular, individualist republic at the dawn of the information age.
http://www.cato.org/publications/com...atize-marriage
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:59 PM
shazeep shazeep is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

our law has always allowed that one may ignore legal marriage, out of necessity, i think. So i don't quite get why someone who would ignore an unjust law anyway should care if the law is changed? To God, you are "married" when you consummate a marriage.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:13 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazeep View Post
our law has always allowed that one may ignore legal marriage, out of necessity, i think. So i don't quite get why someone who would ignore an unjust law anyway should care if the law is changed? To God, you are "married" when you consummate a marriage.
That's essentially how many understand it. Outsiders sometimes criticized early Quaker couples for "living in sin" because they married each other without priests or ministers. Some couples choose to marry within the meeting without registering their marriages with the government, a tradition dating back to Quakerism's earliest days.

Here are some excerpts from "Faith and Practice": "Quaker Marriage Procedure"...
"Marriage is a sacred commitment of two people to love one another in faithful partnership with the expectation that the relationship will mature and be mutually enriching. Friends know that marriage depends on the inner experiences of the couple who marry and not on any external service or words. Thus, the ceremony in which the couple enter into this commitment is performed by the couple alone, in the presence of God, the families, and the worshiping community. Both the solemnity and the joy of the occasion are enhanced by its simplicity."
"While most Friends’ marriage ceremonies conform to civil law, couples who do not want, or are not eligible to contract a legal marriage occasionally ask for a ceremony of commitment or a wedding under the care of the Meeting. The Religious Society of Friends has long asserted its freedom to conduct under divine leading marriage ceremonies not conforming to civil law."
The point is... not every Christian holds that government involvement is a necessity for a couple to be "married" in the eyes God.
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:48 PM
shazeep shazeep is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

i hold the ones that do suspect now; allowing of course for wisdom gained after the fact.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2015, 03:08 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazeep View Post
i hold the ones that do suspect now; allowing of course for wisdom gained after the fact.
Me too. Now that I've experienced civil marriage and the divorce courts, I'm leery of ever getting entangled with the system again. I'd rather my second marriage remain private. We'll wear rings signifying our covenant, but I don't want the civil government defining the marriage or setting the terms of the marriage.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2015, 07:20 PM
Rudy Rudy is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

I'm in a situation where we are both ill and need monitored. We can take care of each other. If we get a government sanctioned marriage she may lose medicaid coverage. Therefore wiping out the bank account.

If we were to have a private marriage I somewhat feel that she is my wife until it's time for medical bills to be paid. BUT! If the government ask are you married the reply would be I'm not legally married. So therefore benefits would continue.

In a private marriage it would not be necessary to change the last name. Since you could not legally sign civil/legal documents anyway.

Does this sound misleading or is it simply a loop hole to use. Nothing illegal about it I don't think.
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If it is God's will for your illness then why are you seeking medical attention to get rid of it?

Last edited by Rudy; 12-08-2015 at 07:23 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2015, 10:14 AM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
I'm in a situation where we are both ill and need monitored. We can take care of each other. If we get a government sanctioned marriage she may lose medicaid coverage. Therefore wiping out the bank account.

If we were to have a private marriage I somewhat feel that she is my wife until it's time for medical bills to be paid. BUT! If the government ask are you married the reply would be I'm not legally married. So therefore benefits would continue.

In a private marriage it would not be necessary to change the last name. Since you could not legally sign civil/legal documents anyway.

Does this sound misleading or is it simply a loop hole to use. Nothing illegal about it I don't think.
When they ask you if you are "married" they are talking about being married under a civil contract recognized by the government. If you were married privately, for example with a "Quaker wedding", your marriage wouldn't be a civil contract, it is a spiritual covenant. Therefore your answer is, and should be, "no". You are not lying or being misleading. Frankly, they don't care if you shack up or have a religious marriage ritual. They are only concerned with the binding civil contract recognized by the government.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:53 AM
Rudy Rudy is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

Also there is the issue with the church body. Most have been conditioned to believe that only a license means you are married.

So therefore you are not obeying the law of the land.

Then you're grabbed by the ear and led out the door!!
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If it is God's will for your illness then why are you seeking medical attention to get rid of it?
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2015, 03:56 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
Also there is the issue with the church body. Most have been conditioned to believe that only a license means you are married.

So therefore you are not obeying the law of the land.

Then you're grabbed by the ear and led out the door!!
Yes, many churches are very statist and will see you as "living in sin". However, the Law doesn't require couples to enter a civil marriage. Quakers arrange and bless marriages that do not conform to civil law all the time. Also, most states had Common Law Marriage statutes on the books, but abolished it. Your state still might. I've never had a church ask to see a civil marriage certificate. You might want to call around to various churches around you and explain your situation. Many perform "commitment ceremonies" (Quaker marriage) for couples seeking spiritual marital commitment outside of civil law. You might be surprised. While looking into this topic I talked to several pastors. Two (one Baptist/Reformed and the other UPCI) said that while they would encourage civil marriage, they'd not make an issue of it as long as the couple didn't. The rest were pretty stuck on the state's institution of civil marriage.

Get out a phone book and list what churches you'd be interested in attending. Then call them and explain your circumstance to each pastor. You might be surprised by how many churches might welcome you.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:59 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Marriage Privatization:

Here is some food for thought...

Commitment Ceremonies (Covenant Marriages)

A commitment ceremony is often very similar to many other kinds of weddings. The difference is that rather than being a legally binding ceremony, it is simply a public affirmation of a couples commitment to one another. A commitment ceremony may be religious or secular, formal and traditional or loose and unstructured.

The makeup of the ceremony will depend on the rules of the officiant/house-of-worship and the couple's own preferences. However, generally speaking, these are the key elements:
•Greeting
The officiant welcomes guests to a celebration of the love and commitment between the couple. He or she will probably also say a few words about their relationship, or about marriage/commitment in general.

•Vows
This is the part where the couple declares their intent to be a committed or married couple. As in any kind of wedding, they will make promises about what that commitment means. They may promise to love in sickness and in health, in richness and poverty, till death do they part. Alternatively they may write their own vows.

•Readings/Music
A religious commitment ceremony will likely incorporate hymns and scripture readings that focus on love. (Many religious officiants will have a standard set of music and readings that are often used at commitment ceremonies and weddings.) A secular ceremony will usually also include music and readings about love, including poems, passages of literature, famous quotes, personal writing, pop songs, and classic wedding music.
•Exchange of Rings
The couple exchanges rings, and says a few words about what these rings mean. It may be:
• With this ring, I thee wed
•I give you this ring as an expression of my love and commitment to you
•I'm honored to give you this ring as a symbol of the promises I've made to you today, and a proclamation to the world of the love I have for you.
Or anything else the couple wishes to say (working with their officiant to craft it - some religions may have rules regarding the ring ceremony)
•Pronouncement of Marriage
The officiant announces to the guests or congregation that the couple is now married (joined/united/wed - whatever word you prefer to say) and invites the couple to kiss. Some couples may not be used to kissing in public and thus may only have a very small kiss, or forgo this part altogether. Others will relish the moment to have the opportunity to kiss each other in front of their loved ones, proclaiming their love, and pride in having that love.

•Reception
Most couples will follow the ceremony with a reception of some kind. As with all weddings, there are no rules as to what this should be - it can be very formal and traditional, or as casual as a backyard picnic. It may include traditional wedding elements such as the first dance, cake cutting, and bouquet toss, or may just be an unstructured party. Generally the invitation will give some clues as to what it will be like (e.g. Please join us after the ceremony to toast the happy couple or A reception at the Springfield Country Club will immediately follow the wedding)
Christian marriages are based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul. Today many Christian denominations regard marriage as a sacrament, a sacred institution, or a covenant, but this wasn't the case before marriage was officially recognized as a sacrament at the 1184 Council of Verona. Before then, no specific ritual was prescribed for celebrating a marriage: "Marriage vows did not have to be exchanged in a church, nor was a priest's presence required. A couple could exchange consent anywhere, anytime."

Quaker Marriage
Mark 10:9 (ESV)
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

"For the right joining in marriage is the work of the Lord only, and not the priests' or the magistrates'; for it is God's ordinance and not man's; and therefore Friends cannot consent that they should join them together: for we marry none; it is the Lord's work, and we are but witnesses" ~ George Fox, 1669
Outsiders sometimes criticized Quaker couples for "living in sin" because they married each other without priests or ministers. Some couples choose to marry within the meeting without registering their marriages with the government, a tradition dating back to Quakerism's earliest days. If a couple later needs to prove that they are married, the Quaker wedding certificate signed by witnesses at the ceremony may be sufficient in some states of the United States, but not all.

Here are some excerpts from "Faith and Practice": Quaker Marriage Procedure...
"Marriage is a sacred commitment of two people to love one another in faithful partnership with the expectation that the relationship will mature and be mutually enriching. Friends know that marriage depends on the inner experiences of the couple who marry and not on any external service or words. Thus, the ceremony in which the couple enter into this commitment is performed by the couple alone, in the presence of God, the families, and the worshiping community. Both the solemnity and the joy of the occasion are enhanced by its simplicity."

"While most Friends’ marriage ceremonies conform to civil law, couples who do not want, or are not eligible to contract a legal marriage occasionally ask for a ceremony of commitment or a wedding under the care of the Meeting. The Religious Society of Friends has long asserted its freedom to conduct under divine leading marriage ceremonies not conforming to civil law."
Here are some interesting thoughts about Marriage:
"My personal opinion is government shouldn’t be involved. The whole country would be better off if individuals made those decisions and it was a private matter." ~ Ron Paul

"The best approach is to make marriage a private matter. When we no longer believe that civilization is dependent on government expansion, regulating excesses, and a license for everything we do, we will know that civilization and the ideas of liberty are advancing." ~ Ron Paul

"Christian couples should not be marrying with State marriage licenses, nor should ministers be marrying people with State marriage licenses." ~ Pastor Matt Trewhella

"Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were married without a marriage license. They simply recorded their marriage in their Family Bibles. So should we." ~ Pastor Matt Trewhella

"As a minister, I cannot in good conscience perform a marriage which would place people under this immoral body of laws. I also cannot marry someone with a marriage license because to do so I have to act as an agent of the State—literally! I would have to sign the marriage license, and I would have to mail it into the State. Given the State’s demand to usurp the place of God and family regarding marriage, and given it’s unbiblical, immoral laws to govern marriage, it would be an act of idolatry for me to do so." ~ Pastor Matt Trewhella

"Some couples choose to marry within the meeting without registering their marriage with the government, a tradition dating back to Quakerism's earliest days." ~ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bishop Valentius (St. Valentine) Conducts Clandestine, Government Free, Weddings:
"A former Roman Emperor claimed that married men made poor soldiers, and so banned young citizens from tying the knot. However, Bishop Valentine disagreed, and soon became notorious for his undergroud, clandestine weddings. He was soon jailed, and ultimately beheaded – though not before falling madly in love with the jailer's daughter. Legend has it that on the night of his execution, he passed his love a note which was signed, 'from your Valentine'- and thus the tradition was born." ~ The History of St. Valentine's Day
A man and woman are joined together by God... NOT government:
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." ~ God, Genesis 2:24

"What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” ~ Jesus, Mark 10:9 (ESV)
Christians are admonished not to subject one another to the courts of the unbelievers (that certainly would include civil divorce courts):
"3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?" ~ Paul, I Corinthians 6:3-7 (ESV)
As a 2007 New York Times op/ed points out, for centuries marriage was a private arrangement that didn't involve licensing or the government...
“For most of Western history, they didn’t, because marriage was a private contract between two families. The parents’ agreement to the match, not the approval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity. For 16 centuries, Christianity also defined the validity of a marriage on the basis of a couple’s wishes. If two people claimed they had exchanged marital vows — even out alone by the haystack — the Catholic Church accepted that they were validly married."
Again, this was just some food for thought.

Last edited by Aquila; 12-10-2015 at 04:12 PM.
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