Legal and Moral Ramifications of Marriage Laws

I know this is a pretty hot topic, but I wanted to put out my thoughts regarding it.

I came across this article while reading about a programming issue.  It primarily discusses California’s Proposition 8 (also known as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”) in which “[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”.  (While the proposition passed in the election, it has since been overturned)

My personal opinion is that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  However, the real debate is whether there should be a law enforcing it.  To demonstrate my opinion regarding this, I am going to bring up another hot-button issue.

In the last election, Texas voted on a Proposition regarding whether or not women seeking an abortion should be required to view the child on an ultrasound before going through with the abortion.  Personally, I support the bill.  Anything to cut down on abortions, right?  However, I voted against the proposition.  Why would I do that?  Because I don’t believe it should be required by law.  No one should be forced to view the ultrasound.  Perhaps one should be required, and the mother given the option, but I do not believe it should be required.  Especially for those women getting an abortion due to physical or psychological reasons (rape, etc.).  The question to me was a question of not whether it was a good idea, but whether there should be a law regarding it.

I have been debating that question for some time regarding marriage.  I have friends whose opinions I highly regard on both sides of the issue.  (I also have friends whose opinions I tend to disregard offhand, but doesn’t everybody?)  Morally, just as with the above proposition, I support anything that will help define marriage in the way I believe it should be, but the question posed has little to do with morals themselves, but rather with legal issues.

I believe the morals we each have define the country, and the better the morals we have as a whole, the better off the country is as well.  As morals decline, so follows the country as well.  My personal opinion is that our declining morals are the reason the United States has been declining in world position for the last while.  But that again, is another tangent, and is based solely in my beliefs.

So, do we make the definition?  Primarily, I have heard the arguments that marriage should not be defined such because of equality issues.  I still have not decided where I come down on that debate.  However, after reading the article I linked to above, I feel I personally must be in opposition of California’s Defense of Marriage Act.

When making any law, exceptions to the rule must be taken into account and potential loopholes considered.  There are many more loopholes and exceptions with California’s Defense of Marriage Act than I realized due to the miracles of science.  Everything from screwy DNA to gender-change operations, each situation will need to be considered and an outcome determined.  I realize that not every loophole and exception can be considered and planned for.  And in most situations, the courts will end up deciding what should occur in those situations.  That is as it should be.

But as the article points out, in defining marriage in a specific yet general way such as it does, marriage is no longer something defended, but rather is something a little more difficult to achieve.  For centuries, this was not really an issue.  Instead of making laws that are more comforting than enforceable, we should spend the time promoting the view and the moral benefits of such.  There are already too many laws that have been created for the purpose of emotional comfort that just end up causing issues.  We don’t need another that will just end up making a mockery of the very thing it is trying to protect.

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