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The Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate– In Under 150 Words

Here’s the most logical solution to the gay marriage debate– in less than 150 words:

The word “marriage” is removed from government vocabulary.  The government only certifies civil unions, giving two people, regardless of gender, the legal and tax benefits that “married” couples enjoy today.  This takes care of hospital visitation, will execution, and tax breaks.

Marriage becomes a purely religous term, and various denominations and religions can “marry” who they please.  For instance, Southern Baptists may choose to only allow traditional heterosexual marriage while Episcopalians allow homosexual marriage.

When a couple decides to get married, they go to a church for the ceremony and then file their civil union with the government.

People can spend their lives with whomever they choose, and religious traditions aren’t trampled.  It’s a win-win.

The government shouldn’t have had anything to do with “marriage” in the first place.

Problem solved.

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30 comments to The Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate– In Under 150 Words

  • Banes

    too logical to ever happen

  • Halfbaked

    yeah but… why do non-traditional couples get the same tax breaks as traditional couples? Does society benefit when two dudes get married? Isn’t the point of rewarding marriage to encourage normal family development?

  • Lord Tantrum

    Halfbaked, as research on gay couples comes in, perhaps the tax breaks could be adjusted if necessary. But the legal rights are critical. In any case, the government should have nothing to do with marriage.

  • Argos

    @Halfbaked: Gay couples can still adopt. Saying that marriage should only be between “productive” couples would also require that we disallow contraception in married couples, because with contraception, they are defeating the purpose of the marriage. If we had gay people marrying and raising adopted children we could lift some of the pressure on our adoption system. The better question is, “Why couldn’t your pea brain find a better argument to back up your creepy fundie views?” In other words, die in a fire.

  • jack

    @Argos : You sounded clever and respectful until your last sentence. So close, dude, so close.

  • igotsmesakweshchun

    Does anyone know the history of why government got involved in marriage in the first place? Its initial reason for involvement may shed some light on this.

  • While I agree with you, Lord Tantrum, the problem is this: many of the people who oppose gay marriage do so because of conservative religious ‘values.’ To them, granting gay and lesbian couples legal protection is essentially sanctioning sin.

  • Robert

    But with this argument you are still presenting a bias that relationships only occur between two people. What about consensual polygamy or polyamory? I think people should be allowed to love who they want and how they want without any government sanctioning necessary.

  • Michael Norwitz

    As a Libertarian at heart, I’ve been saying exactly this for years.

  • Lord Tantrum

    Good point Robert… I don’t have an answer for that one. It’s a slippery slope.

  • Steve

    @halfbaked – if anything gay couple should get MORE benefits than straight couples. Gay couples are less likely to have children and so you won’t be paying to school those children for 14 years.

  • indeed

    @Steve – and if we don’t educate those kids how do you expect them to fund your retirement? Even a privately funded retiree will need a growing economy to actually retire. Negative population growth comes with some pretty significant problems and an entire segment of society that never got educated would be even worse. Think, Steve, think!

    @LT – The research currently shows that children are overwhelming more likely to be contributing members of society if raised by a mom and a dad than by either a mom *or* a dad. I don’t know of any work that has been done to compare a traditional* marriage to one or more of the non-traditional modes.

    *I was going to refer to it as a “normal” mode of marriage, but that seems to have become a hot point for the gay marriage. Don’cha just love it when folks change the meanings of words to advance their cause. Of course, now that I’ve said that someone else will of course point out that I am afraid of gay sex by calling me homophobic. Oh well.

  • Eric

    @indeed: I was raised by a father and a stepmother and a mother and a stepfather, then another stepfather who later died and finally another stepfather. Nowhere in there was a “normal” marriage. I work with a group of 35 kids in a city of 100,000, none of whom have “Normal” heterosexual parents who take care of them. They were birthed by a mother, had a father, but neither of the parents want to pay attention to them.

    Would research point out that since they have a married mother and father, that they are doing better than a kid who has two dads who take takes the kid to sporting events, bowling, goes out to movies and who has dinner ready when he comes home from school?

    There are a huge number of kids born by heterosexual couples who aren’t raised in a “traditional” environment, so if they issue is going to be whether or not a “traditional” structure is better, then single parents, separated parents, parents who are unemployed, parents who are not married (i.e. a mother and a live-in boyfriend) should all be banned as well, since that is not the family structure that is traditional. Also, atheist families shouldn’t be allowed to raise children since they of course, don’t go to the tradition of church. Come on, really? You’re not homophobic, just a little bit focused on tradition. There are more non-traditional raising issues than two loving fathers or two loving mothers who want to care for their child.

  • Lord Tantrum

    Obviously there are complicated issues to be resolved, but i’ve yet to hear a good reason that the government should be giving out marriage licenses as opposed to civil union licenses. Anybody?

  • indeed

    @Eric – Keep in mind that for the research to have meaning we must all agree that we are talking about generalities. I am sure that we can go out and find a whole host of people who have done dramatically meaningful things with the lives who come from non-traditional, or even horribly broken home situations. I can think of at least one personal example of a woman who has triumphed over her childhood of sexual abuse. It can and does happen; some people rise of incredible odds to become great. What the research says is that the majority of what society would deem as “failures” (those in prison, with substance abuse problems, those who are unable to fully integrate into society for any reason) are overwhelmingly the product of single parent homes. The numbers are clear – you decrease the chances of your child’s success when there is but one parent at home. The has been no research that I am aware of to ask the same question of two-parent same-sex households and the reality is that there probably won’t be for a long time to come – the number of such family is statistically too trivial to support such research and even given the most optimistic projections of the same-sex marriage advocates it will be 30-40 years before the numbers will support the research, and probably much closer to 60-70 years.

    I know you don’t really care, but what does that mean for me? I think that society as a group failed when we all decided that divorce acceptable. While there will be times when it is needed we’ve gone far beyond that. It is clear that we are producing a much larger percentage of adults who lack the ability to fully function within the bounds of what society considers normal and acceptable. The thing that we consider to be normal and acceptable has been stretched to the breaking point we the percentage of adults who are unable to conform to those strictures continues to grow. Those who support gay marriage often suggest that it would be a better defense to limit or disallow divorce. I happen to think they are right.

    As to this proposal – if we are to suggest that there really is a gay agenda then this is it. Some of the reasons to ask for gay marriage are very valid and a civil union or shared power of attorney would solve most of them. If we were alter LT’s proposal so that states could record civil unions and marriages you would be able to achieve those same goals, but the so called gay lobby would never accept that “separate but equal” argument. The objection of course will be couched in civil rights terminology, but I suspect that for some the bigger problem is that it would leave intact the moral and religious aspects of marriage and that, to them, is intolerable. It would be a fun experiment to see if the argument were made to define “civil union” the same as “marriage” in all but name if it too would should up on Digg and/or Reddit. I suspect that if such a post did show up it would only be to increase the number of protesters, but I also suspect it would have a much better chance of succeeding in the real world.

    I’ve gotta go re-enter the real world. Nice to meet Y’All.

  • millstone

    I like being married. I am not religious and there was no religious component to the ceremony. I do not want to have a civil union instead, because civil unions were created to be an inferior substitute to marriage.

    Why should I support this?

  • D C


    You missed the point of the original post, which clearly states that people would have a choice to have a traditional (religious) wedding if they so chose. The author merely proposed that the government should adopt a secular position.

    I’d like to understand your position, as I’m sure others would as well:

    (a) Why are civil unions inferior?
    (b) What prevents you from having an amazing ceremony centered about a civil union?


  • millstone


    You say that exchanging marriages for civil unions would make the government more secular. That position only makes sense if you believe that marriage is necessarily religious. But it is not religious for me, for my wife, or for many other Americans. We have a stake in marriage as a secular, civil institution, one that bestows a level of dignity and esteem, and so we deserve the same consideration you give to the religious.

    I will be glad to answer your questions. First, why are civil unions inferior?

    This is easy to answer: they were created to be inferior. That’s why most people support civil unions for same sex couples, but not marriage.

    Try this exercise: make a list of all the songs, films, novels, and poems that talk about marriage. Now find the ones that talk about civil unions.

    Try this exercise: whisper to yourself “Will you marry me?” Now whisper “Will you civil union me?” The first sends chills down your spine, but the second makes you fight the urge to smirk.

    Marriage has been here for millennia, civil unions for less than a decade. I want the real thing, not the synthetic substitute. I want to be married without any asterisk.

    Second, what prevents me from having an amazing ceremony centered around a civil union? Technically nothing; but then we can have an amazing ceremony centered around the Superbowl too.

    What makes the ceremony important is the commitment it signifies. Getting married means participating in an institution as old as recorded history. Civil unions represent participation in a compromise, a contract designed to bestow legal rights with none of the esteem, respect, or dignity that comes with marriage.

    This was pretty longwinded, so the most important points I have to make are the last sentences of the first and last paragraph. I hope this helps you understand where I’m coming from.

  • Ory

    @ millstone – Marriage is, and always has been, a religious rite. It predates any government, and has always had a ceremonial component. This obviously doesn’t mean it’s particularly religious for everyone, especially given the current divorce rate, but at it’s core, it’s still based in religion. The point of this, however, is to remove that religious component from the government. The idea isn’t to take out marriage per se, but more to rename it “civil unions” everywhere.

    This in no way invalidates your commitment, or suggests that future commitments would be any different. The commitment, and thus the term “marriage,” should come from you, not from a little piece of paper issued by your county clerk. I highly doubt that changing the name would change the way people view it, it just removes the religious stigma associated with it.

    All we’re saying is that the government should be involved in your love only for the legal protections it can offer, and not explicitly defining your relationship with your significant other.

  • Paxalot

    You would deny the ancient and universal ceremony of marriage to 99% of the population to satisfy the grumblings of 1%? You would turnover thousands of years of human customs to satisfy a cultural phenomena of a few decades? You would open the door to legal challenges to allow polygamy (as is happening in Canada)? You would give fundamentalists reason to organize and rationalize violence? You want all sex education classes to teach that anal sex is as good and natural as vaginal? Let’s face it. You would allow all these things because you think you are hip and clever. You are a sorcerer’s apprentice that has no idea what they are doing. Gays already have civil unions. They are arguing for the word ‘marriage’ for reasons that are purely cultural. They want access to the word ‘marriage’ just like sex reassignment patients want access to the word ‘male’ or ‘female’ even though they never will be what the word defines. Gays should have invented their own unique ceremony a long time ago.

  • Ory

    @Paxalot – Who’s denying anyone anything? The idea is to take away restrictions, not put them in place. Religious can have their ceremony, just stop legislating it. The American Constitution says religion has no place in government, and like many I believe it’s high time we actually adhere to the laws this country was founded on.

    If some fundies “organize and rationalize violence” then guess what – THEY’RE TERRORISTS, and we have ways of dealing with them. Fear of violence is no reason deny people rights; you’re using the exact same arguments put forward in the 60’s to rationalize suppression of African-Americans.

  • Graylocke

    @Paxalot: The “cultural phenomena” has only been -repressed- over the last few decades. If you did some research you would find that homosexuality has existed in every civilized and uncivilized culture that we have information on. I also would debate your use of “natural” in that you will find what you seem to dislike in nature, both in animals and humans.

    However, I agree that the term “marriage” has more than one significance. It currently is a number of things: a religious ceremony, a social status and a legal status. Of these, only one has any reference to a specific belief but unfortunately it has been strong enough to impose itself onto the other two. I’ll grant you the term “civil union” if you allow me to refer to your “husband” or “wife” as your “boyfriend”, “girlfriend”, “life partner”, “significant other” or some other stupid term and have you not get in my face about it just because I don’t have the same faith as you. Think that’s stupid? You’re right, it is. Language is language and specific terms become generic over time. Religion has caused this generification, so it will have to deal with the consequences.

    Marriage no longer just means what any given church wants it to mean. Marriage has nothing to do with producing children, it has nothing to do with anal sex, it has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with the church at all. Existing policies on “marriage” already prove all of the above. Not only that, but “marriage” has had to be constitutionally redefined more than once in the past.

    Everyone knows that the only logical argument against gay marriage is an “I don’t like it” statement, and now it’s just a matter of time before people grudgingly admit that and the world moves on.

  • Lord Tantrum

    No one is suggesting taking marriage away from anyone. Of course you wouldn’t ask somebody to “civil union you.” You’d ask them to marry you, get married in a church, get your marriage certificate from the church, and then file for your civil union from the government.

  • indeed

    @Ory: “The American Constitution says religion has no place in government” is not the same as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” which comes from the 1st amendment of said document. What you are looking for is “wall of separation between church and state” which is not found in the constitution but rather in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. The question of what that means in terms of what our government should and shouldn’t do does not have the same answer for all of us; I suspect we are divided on that almost as much as we are on Gay Marriage. Currently there is no Government that says you must use a specific religious ceremony, or even a religious ceremony to be married. Some states have defined marriage as being between one man and one woman but not all have. The constitutional question would only come in to play (for most folks) if the law say that only Catholics or Protestants could marry. That’s not going to happen.

    @Paxalot: Ease up. You sound like a tool and that doesn’t help your cause at all. At the very least try to get at least 50% of your “facts” correct.

    @millstone: You raise some very good points, but nothing that can be rationalized or quantified. Everything you talk about is emotion, which is the reason any of us every get married anyway. 🙂 What has been proposed is that we separate the process of getting governmental approval and recognition of the ceremony from the actual process of getting hitched. Here’s a little challenge. You said earlier that you are married. You haven’t said if you are a traditional pairing or same sex, but for this exercise it doesn’t matter. First, go get your marriage license. We’ll wait. Oh – you don’t know where it is? Funny, I don’t know where mine is either. Funny that. There may be some who keep them around, but I rather suspect most of us don’t. I know that the license is never show at the wedding reception. You don’t show it when you tell your place of employment that you need to change to the family insurance plan, nor do you take it with you when you go to visit your ailing spouse one last time at the hospital. The truth is, that what is on the actual license from the county clerk matters not in the real world – that particular document has no meaning once the ceremony is complete. Call it a wedding. Say you are married. No one will ever correct you and say – “yeah – but it was a civil union.” It matters not. That’s true whether we all get a civil union license or only the same sex couples get a civil union license and the rest of us get a marriage license. It just won’t matter.

    Sorry about the novel. I’m done now. Y’All have a great night.

  • Andrew

    @Halfbaked if I am in a heterosexual usion and we choose not to have children, should we be exempt from tax breaks as well?

  • e

    Exactly what I thought of before 🙂
    Neither the religious nor the supporters of gay marriage can fault this.

  • sean

    I guarantee this is the exact person who responded this to my post on being a republican on reddit….


  • Thom

    I wish I had a dollar for every time someone stumbled upon this solution and wondered aloud why others didn’t see such a simple solution.

    The answer, of course, is that it’s only a simple solution for someone with a simplistic view of the problem.

    First: Why should we believe that marriage is or should be primarily or exclusively a religious practice. Religious ceremonies recognize marriage and claim to effect some spiritual change, but the actual division of property is and always has been a function of the law. If my best friend and I have a priest wave his hands over us and everyone starts acting like I own his stuff, we’ve seen a legal change; the ceremony that effects that change is irrelevant.

    Second: you can’t abolish marriage in the United States without a constitutional amendment. Loving v. Virginia held that the right to marriage was a fundamental right protected by the 14th amendment. We can fight over what “marriage” means, but the U.S. government *must* grant them, whatever we decide them to be.

    Third: The compromise is useless because the people who oppose same sex marriage really do support the untenable position that the queers are less-than. The arguments about preserving marriage while allowing civil unions for all are not made in good faith; rather, they are a means of maintaining at least the nominal superiority of opposite-sex pairings. After all, this brilliant idea of civil unions for all only sprang up once LGBT people wanted in on the game.

    Test: The answer to the Gay-Straight alliance problem in public schools in under 150 words. Now that students want to form a gay-straight alliance, we will treat everyone equally by abolishing all extracurriculars at school and let people make whatever private arrangements they wish.

    Test: The answer to the interracial prom problem in under 150 words. Now that students want to bring dates of different races to prom, we will abolish the school-sponsored prom and let people make whatever private arrangements they wish.

    Maybe people should be making these private arrangements, but let’s not pretend the impetus for excluding everyone “equally” is anything but what it is: bigotry.

  • Jack Merino


    when you look at it 56percent of Americans disagree on gay marriage, now where are those people? All I see is people agree on this problem while things get soften. Today Massachusetts, tomorrow the whole nation; This is becoming like racial discrimination. Dont we have anything more important to talk, and debate about? Everything is done, accomplished, now we have to get over this!? It is all about the money, not about love; is it only a coincidence that I see two guys in expensive convertibles all the time? people just become gay do get important job positions, in universities,and businesses. why do you think Jon Stuart supports gay marriage?:D

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