Gay rights advocates are declaring victory after New Hampshire’s failed attempt at repealing its gay marriage law, saying it resounds in a region where opponents have concentrated efforts to reverse momentum.
The state House voted Wednesday to kill the measure. See here.
Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Washington state and Washington, D.C.
Apparently, New Hampshire was the first state to make gay marriage legal, and it did so on its own; that is, without prodding from activists. NH, of course, is on in the vanguard of libertarianism – “Live Free or Die!”
Voters have overturned gay marriage laws in California and Maine. A federal appeals court declared California’s ban to be unconstitutional, and the matter could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Prior to the secularization of Western Civilization marriage was the purview of the church, not the state. Of course, in pre-modern societies, church and state authority overlapped, often with unhappy effects. They still do in some contemporary civilizations – mostly those we Americans would not want any part of.
Perhaps the solution that will pacify most – not all, of course – would be to get the state out of the “marriage” business period. Everyone can have a civil union if they wish and the legal aspects would rule under that rubric. Those who want to be “married” can call their civil union a “marriage” socially and religiously (and clergy, as well as civil officers can officiate). Property and inheritance rights can be defined without calling the relationship a “marriage” legally. Most issues between spouses come up upon dissolution, so child support and custody issues that occur upon the dissolution of a civil union could be handled by legal processes.
One thing that is abundantly clear, most of the social problems involving sex occur because unwanted children are the by-products. Those are inherently heterosexual in nature. Same sex partners do not together produce unwanted children. Maybe the solution there is to make a civil union come into existence as a matter of law when unmarried/not civilly united heterosexuals have a biological child together. That would make the act referred to as the consummation would actually become the commencement. Might discourage some hanky-panky, or perhaps not.