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Government policy optionsEdit
States rights Edit
The Constitution nowhere grants the Federal government the power to regulate marriage, so with no amendment whatsoever it is already possible for individual states to do what they want about gay marriage. People who feel threatened by gay marriage are free to live in a state that does not allow it, and people who want it are free to live in a state that allows it.
One difficulty of putting the onus on the states is the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution, which requires actions taken in one state to be recognized in the others. Discrepancies in the laws, and especially the Same-sex Marriage question, must be settled in the Federal courts, often going up to the Supreme Court.
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Unites States Constitution states that Congress has the power to "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
Marriage is a legally recognized union. Given the nature of the accumulation of assets in today's society, there is a clear imperative to establish a universal definition of marriage. Couples who are married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, but hold assets in ones that do not, would face legal difficulties that were intended to be mitigated by the above clause.
Separation of Church and StateEdit
Civil unions, or similarly separating the legal and religious definitions of marriage, is the only way to comply with separation of church and state. Prohibiting same-sex unions for reasons based in religion violates citizens' rights to religious freedom, but forcing religious organizations to recognize these unions as marriage is also counter to the principle. For this reason, establishing legal marriages (civil unions) that are separate from the religious definition is the only logical step. This would provide adequate protection for heterosexual, homosexual, and platonic couples.
Religious marriage would be left as a religious or personal contractual bond between whichever people choose to recognize it, but there would be no state or federal recognition of that marriage unless it is accompanied by a civil union (for which the application would probably be similar to attaining a marriage license). Giving of power of attorney and whatever contracts that marriage currently implies could be entered into explicitly by any two people (as they are now). This would pretty much be the same as a civil union.
Arguments against state marriage in generalEdit
Marriage is sometimes considered a solely religious ritual and thus it should not have any law basis or consequences. It has been proposed that state marriage be replaced with Civil Unions that are entirely separate from the religious institution of marriage.
Such an institution discriminates against single people (and any other people with alternative lifestyles) by giving tax breaks to married people and some additional rights.
Personal issue, no need for state involvement Edit
The State should not get involved into the people's life especially when it's related to sexual practices and personal choices. So those choices do not entitle anyone to special rights.
Counterpoint against personal issue Edit
Existing laws sometimes require the state to get involved in personal life.
Immigration law limits the number of people who may become permanent residents. This is designed to protect the country's resources against overexploitation by too many immigrants. However, some people should be granted immigration rights based on the personal relationships they've built. Denying a couple to live together is cruel and unfair. That's why we need some form of official proof that people are a couple.
A full privatisation of marriage would only work if everything else was privatised, and if unrestricted immigration was allowed.