Today the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill on to the Senate that, if passed, would create a (state) constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage in this state. This does not surprise me, given the ultra-right wing leanings (read: christian with a lower-case “c”) of the south on certain issues.
Personally, no, I have no dog in this fight. I am a 30 years-old heterosexual white male conservative. I have three kids, a cat, and a dog. I am not afraid to pull the “some of my friends are _____” card. My mind works in rationality when it comes to real-world applications. No emotion, just logic.
With that in mind, let's have a little thought experiment on how this little event should play out were I to be the dictator-for-life of North Carolina.
First off, let's examine the concept of marriage. Wikipedia likes to put an emphasis on the “social” and “legal” parts of the definition, while at the same time is unable to offer even a remote origin for the practice. Strange how that works. We have a rough idea of when humans began settling down into the currently accepted model of civilization (+/- a few centuries), but darn it, we just can't pin down that pesky date when we decided that it would be a good thing to engage in monogamous life-long relationships witnessed by the greater community. Anthropologists of the world: your kung-fu is weak.
In my mind, marriage has been and always will be a tradition that finds its origins in the metaphysical and spiritual. It is not a contract. That is a legal term, and law stems from the Hammurabic Code, which we have a definite date of origin for. It is a bond between two people that is based in mutual and enduring love which, as any storyteller will say, conquers all.
Thus, I posit that marriage is above the law. It transcends the law. Regardless of what a bunch of pencil-pushing vote-grabbing narcissists and sycophants would have you believe, there should be no secular law governing the application and indulgence of such a relationship.
Nay, friends, the problem truly lies with material issues, which are governed by contracts and at this time in certain circumstances by marital status. Wills, estates, insurance benefits, medical decisions, etc. are all passed along to your other half with a much smoother transition if a marriage license is presented. This, by my decree, must be done away with. If soulless entities (read: businesses) can enter into mutually beneficial agreements for the distribution of material goods and legal protections, then so too should soul-mates.
So what I propose is this: anyone may enter into a contract with anyone else for the transfer of material possessions and legal authorizations regardless of race, ideology, or sex. In return, my government will stay out of your homes and allow you to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in whatever way you deem best for you. Institutions of religion may continue to selectively choose to recognize (or not) such relationships as is in accordance with their dogma, policy, longstanding tradition, etc.
Your sublime and terrible leader hath spoken.
P.S.: the NC legislature can bite my ass.