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Government-regulated marriage is a controversial issue. Many people believe that government should uphold a "traditional" definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Others believe that doing so unfairly discriminates by denying the rights and privileges associated with marriage to groups like homosexuals whose unions don't conform to this narrow definition. Instead of trying to either justify the concept of legal marriage as restricted to one man and one woman, which necessarily discriminates against people, and instead of opening up marriage to generic pairs of people, which clearly angers some people with very strong views of what the word "marriage" means, this campaign would propose to restrict marriage completely to a personal, possibly religious, relationship. By privatizing marriage, individuals and religious groups would be free to define marriage as they see fit, while the civil unions that would replace them in legal contexts would strictly be considered legal contracts, and would be available to any pair of consenting adults, and possibly even to larger groups.
[So on a page like this one would expect to see information for and by people who support or are interested in the campaign, like discussion of current events in light of the goals of the campaign, links to elected supporters, updates on coming actions that affect the campaign, things like that]
The foremost goal of this campaign is to increase support for removing the legal status of marriage from both federal and state law.
Another goal would be to allow "immigration by vouching". Any citizen has the right vouch for a (limited number) of foreigners of their choice, thus granting them the right of employment and permanent residency. Vouching will make a citizen liable to support the immigrant financially, in case needed. In this way, the need for state-sanctioned marriage for immigrants is eliminated.
[A sub-goal would be to practice what an issue-oriented campaign might look like]
Upcoming Events of InterestEdit
[Here could go various calls to action, for example votes in congress (call your congressman-type action), open meetings, debates, television programs, anything relevant to the campaign topic.]
Religious Reasons to Privatize MarriageEdit
There are many individuals in this camp that support an end to legal marriage who are not doing so to support a "liberal" cause. Their position is based primarily on having very strong convictions about separation of church and state, and convictions about marriage being a spiritual, not political, institution.
Since I was raised a Christian myself I actually agree with the argument that "marriage is under attack" but I don't think it's under attack by the "liberals" or "gays". It's under attack because most Christians have bought into the fact that "marriage" is something that happens because of the "power" of government. I think this kind of thinking is degrading what marriage is - a spiritual and religious thing.
Many individuals see ending legal marriage (the marriage pronounced on you by the "power" of the state) as a way to restore spiritual marriage to its rightful place, as a union between two people and God in the context of their spiritual community. They also feel the state should not have been given that power in the first place as it is not theirs to have.
There are many marriages that happen outside the context of spirituality or God at all in this country (Vegas weddings, Justice of the Peace etc) yet these are overlooked by the political "right". These are also an inappropriate marriage and should be done away with since these too are not unions that are presided over by a representative of the church in the context of a spiritual community.
Gays are not attacking marriage, everyone who has participated in taking the power to marry away from the church and their spiritual community is participating in an attack against this spiritual institution. Think about this the next time your pastor says "by the power vested in me by the state of ____". I think the mainstream conservative view misses the issue, and herein lies the real "attack" on marriage.
What a growing number of conservatives want is for the power to marry to be restored to its rightful place, in churches, and among spiritual communities who decide whom they want to "marry". And for the state to go back to what it does best - collect and distribute benefits. If marriage is indeed about "family values" and about creating healthy families, then conservatives as a whole have missed the boat by not seeking to abolish Vegas weddings, or careless marriages by a justice of the peace.
In conclusion, the state should only have the power to give "civil unions" (which is a legal contract), and the church should decide who to "marry" and who not to. When you get "married" you'd also need to go to the courthouse to file your papers for your civil union, but married couples would call themselves "married" not because of the so-called power of the state, but because of the power vested in their community, in their pastor, and in God.
I'm just wanting to point out that there are people from very broad backgrounds (including Christian conservatives) that support the end of "legal" (state) marriage and that the purpose for some Christians like myself is not to undermine marriage, but to restore the power to marry to churches and get it out of the hands of politics and government.