December 14, 2017
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Comments for: Maine should ‘divorce’ legal, ceremonial aspects of marriage

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  • anny

    I have been singing this song for ages Finally someone else writes about it.!! The marriage is done in a civil union by some representative of the state. The sacrament of marriage is done by the church. If one wants to separate church and state the churches representative should not be part of the states paperwork.

    • Tedlick Badkey

      Works for me.

    • ChuckGG

      Except that the term “marriage” is a legal term. It is also a religious term, but as far as legal rights go, the term “marriage” if used to indicate two people, regardless of gender, are wedded, then this must be the term used.

      Admittedly, this should have been sorted out 200 years ago, but it wasn’t and the terms are used by both the secular and sectarian sides. Changing it now would be impossible as it would need to apply to all marriages past and present, and by all states. The laws are written around the word “marriage.” And, the laws must (now) be blind to the genders of the participants of the marriage contract. What the churches do or don’t do is up to them. They carry no legal weight in court without a marriage license being present. That is why there is Divorce Court and not Divorce Church.

  • Anonymous

    This is in fact how it is done in a number of other countries, where the civil ceremony (usually at City Hall or other government office) constitutes the legal confirmation and registration of the marriage, while the Church ceremony serves to acknowledge the couple’s acceptance of the religious significance of their vows. That would seem the more sensible approach as it underscores the separation of Church and State.

    • ChuckGG

      I hear you but here in the States, the government has permitted the clergy to act as an agent of the State merely as a convenience to the couple. Having the clergy oversee that the couple agrees to the terms of the state-issued marriage license is sufficient for the State. I look at it this way – the clergy is doing their religious ceremony and the cleric is also wearing a separate hat that he is reporting to the State that the couple agreed to the State’s marriage license.

    • Anonymous

      We do that here, too, already. The civil ceremony is civil marriage, and the Church ceremony is marriage.

  • ChuckGG

    I read this article twice to try to determine what the heck Mr. Dansigner was talking about. I still don’t understand what the point is.

    Quite correctly, the State needs to define who may “solemnize” a marriage license. That is, who may witness and confirm the couple are who they claim to be and they agree to the terms of the marriage license. The courts consider a marriage license a contract and the “solemnizing” of the marriage license essentially amounts to having a recognized person of some repute and stature to witness the fact that these two people agree to the contract. If one were to read the sample ceremony suggested by the State, this becomes very obvious. There is no mention of religion or deities or any such terms. It is very cut-and-dry. One should not read into the word “solemnize” any religious overtones as there are none as far as the State is concerned.

    Right now, the people allowed to perform this task includes Judges, Notaries, Attorneys, and ordained clergy. Great. No problem.

    When a member of the clergy holds their formal marriage ceremony they may bring into the ceremony any religious connotation so desired. They may do whatever they wish in these ceremonies. As long as the very basic identification and agreement between the couple is made, the State considers this sufficient to meet the needs of complying with the terms of the marriage contract. In other words, “it has been agreed to.” Having the clergy incidentally satisfy the contractual aspects is merely a convenience to the couple so they do not have to do the European model of having two ceremonies. The clergy is acting as an agent for the State.

    Of course, the clergy may choose not to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony just as it may choose not to perform a ceremony between couples of different faiths, previously divorced, or inter-racial couples. That is up to the church and the clergy. This is their right to do so.

    This proposal by Mr. Dansigner sounds a bit like “separate but equal.” I fail to see any point to it whatsoever. There are many clergy who will perform SSM. Those that choose not to would not be forced to. This proposed separation of the two acts serves no purpose other than to somehow appease certain members of certain religions, but certainly not all religions.

    I have been down this path before in many postings trying to explain the difference between civil and religious marriage. Marriage recognized by the State has always consisted of the two parts – the civil secular aspect and the optional sectarian side. The ceremony by the clergy was just that – a ceremony and held no legal weight without the state-issued marriage license. The clergy member, as I mentioned, was merely acting as an agent of the State in the completion of the state-issued marriage license.

    This is much ado about not a whole lot.

    • Anonymous

      Much ado about not a whole lot which took you 7 Paragraphs and over 400 words to attempt (without much success) to refute?
      There are some of us out here who would prefer the State get out of the marriage business altogether.

      • ChuckGG

        I agree with you – I tend to over analyze. But, again, I’m trying to determine what the big deal is about this. While you might want the State to get out of the marriage business, that ship has sailed. Our laws, taxes, and many other factors of our secular world are focused upon whether or not a couple is legally married. None of that has anything to do with whether they were married in a church.

        I think some good examples of where a legal marriage is critical includes inheritance (dying intestate [no Will]), child custody, divorce, medical decisions for a spouse/child, and insurance/government benefits. You certainly would not want one or more people claiming to be your spouse (former spouse/new spouse) when it comes to any of these issues. A church marriage and thus a church divorce(?) just doesn’t seem to be sufficient to handle these legal situations. Plus, how you would ever un-bake this cake for everyone seems impossible.

        If you don’t want the State involved in marriage, then just don’t get a marriage license from the State and have your church perform a religious marriage ceremony. You won’t have any legal standing with anything I mentioned before but go ahead; it’s a free country.

      • ChuckGG

        One other point: While you might want the State to be out of the marriage business, there are many of us who have no affiliation with a church and yet want the legal benefits of civil marriage. The State uses the word “marriage” as a legal word and that is why “civil union” isn’t the same as civil “marriage.” The churches may use whatever they choose to use. They are not part of the secular world.

        How would you handle two straight (or gay) atheists who want to marry? Civil marriage resolves this issue. Your view seems to be that marriage is the purview of the church. For those of us who are not religious, civil marriage is the one that counts. The religious aspect is just a non-binding ceremony carrying no legal weight, especially considering the separation of church and state espoused by Mr. Dansinger.

      • Anonymous

        No way , Jose.

      • Tedlick Badkey

        Will you agree that you receive no special benefits or protections?

      • Anonymous

        ChuckGG always writes very thoughtful and intelligent comments. Some of us appreciate his posts.
        He is informed, and informative. Sometimes it takes making many points (with facts, as he does) to refute much of the misinformation one reads on this site.

        • ChuckGG

          Why, thank you! Much appreciated. I can be wordy. My grandfather told me I was vaccinated with a Victrola needle! (Talk, talk, talk!). Guilty, as charged.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t the state and federal governments just get out of the marriage business? Marriage is a personal and spiritual bond between two people. Having it “blessed” by the government doesn’t make it work any better.

    Stop issuing marriage licences, get rid of tax breaks for couples, or extend them to any couple that chooses to cohabitate, the tax breaks don’t really help much anyway.It would save paperwork and eliminate it as a political issue.

    • Anonymous

      Instead, “jump the broom”?

    • Tedlick Badkey

      If folks are willing to give up all the protections and benefits that go along with the civil contract… I support you 100%.

      PS: It’s really not about taxes… that’s such a tiny part of the protections and guarantees of marriage…

    • ChuckGG

      That ship has sailed. With co-habitation, it’s an open invitation to palimony suits. The state consider the marriage license as a contract. You need this for the legal mumbo-jumbo we deal with every day. Can’t you see an insurance company saying that spousal coverage was denied as there is no proof you are married? If a civil marriage contract did not exist, one would need to be created to handle all the junk we deal with every day.

  • You cannot “get around” Gods law! You people are pursuing sin and will pay for it at some point unless you repent and stop sinning! Gay people cannot be “married”, no matter what you people vote for!
    It’s like getting a tan …the tan is a fake skin color! It might look good for a while but will fade in time and your real skin color will reveal itself every time! This gay union nonsense is not real, it is a phony facade based on lust not love! It’s too bad you people are blind and cannot see this!

    • ChuckGG

      Again, Bill, you are forgetting the word, “marriage” is a homonym. Both the State and the churches use the same word with similar but different meanings. It’s like “bail.” You can bail a boat or you can post bail for someone. Not really connected.
      Churches have their definition of what they feel marriage is. That’s fine. They are entitled to their opinion of that definition, including who may be married in their house of worship. As you know, churches to this day exclude previously divorced couples, inter-racial couples, and couples of different faiths. That is their right.
      The State, on the other hand, has a legal agreement having nothing to do with religion that also is called marriage. Specifically, “civil marriage.” The people have decided that previously divorced couples, inter-racial couples, and inter-faith couples, and now, same-gender couples, may partake of this legal agreements called “civil marriage.” Again, no mention of religion at all in this.
      I fail to see why you would object to this form of civil marriage as it has nothing to do with any religion. I use the two straight atheists argument – how do they get married? They could go to a church but that seems pointless. So, they get married by a Notary in a civil marriage ceremony.
      I do not see how this could be any clearer and distinct. Why is the religious crowd so hung up on semantics?

    • Tedlick Badkey

      ROFLOL!!! Sure we can!

      See, it’s not civil law… it’s a choice at best. Get over it.

      You lost. You don’t have to like it, but you’re not going to change it by whining about it.

    • Anonymous

      If gay people cannot be married no matter what we vote for, then why were you fighting against question 1? You kept demanding people vote no on that issue— why bother?

      Your hysterics over same-sex couples who spend their lifetime together is just sad. Have you ever had an opportunity to form a loving commitment toward someone? How would you like others to judge your love as insincere or phony?

  • Anonymous

    Interesting.

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