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Marriage and Divorce Entitlements

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Marriages sure are similar to other types of contracts, like wills. The governments role in marriage should be to enforce such contracts and create certainty regarding legal interpretation. So it make

Fixed. The opposite would be, "Gay people can practice Objectivism, but they can't be called Objectivists."

Because it has no bearing on the concept of marriage - Sexual organs, nor any other random part of physical appearance like height, weight, or skin color, has any effect on it. It is unessential, and

@Eiuol: You’ll figure it out when you find someone you love so much you want to make them a permanent part of your life. By the way, I got the chase part from my wife since she was the one that actually made it point to run into me (literally) the second time we met, just to make sure I noticed her. I had to laugh later when I read how Rand tripped Frank to get his attention.

Right, that's not a chase at all. Metaphor aside, I'm questioning why in fact marriage is even a desirable step for commitment.

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I'm questioning why in fact marriage is even a desirable step for commitment.

It's only desirable when two individuals choose to spend the rest of their lives together and want to formalize their commitment to each other in a manner that makes it evident to their community; it creates a legal and spiritual unity. Civil unions work fine to accomplish the former, and jumping over a broom works fine for the latter, but marriage accomplishes both.

It's not desirable or necessary for individuals who choose otherwise.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Civil unions work fine to accomplish the former, and jumping over a broom works fine for the latter, but marriage accomplishes both.

Aren't civil unions the exact same as marriage, except they're only recognized in certain states? Talk about a double standard from a nation that prides itself on the first amendment.

Edited by mdegges
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I agree that civil unions or perhaps possible other arrangements/standards should be equal. At the end of the day a union serves only a few legal issues and it must be equitable under the law.

I’m just a fan of making a commitment grand and romantic. I mean, Perseus didn’t defeat the Gorgon and defy the will of a God so he could ask Andromeda to have a civil union.

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Right, that's not a chase at all. Metaphor aside, I'm questioning why in fact marriage is even a desirable step for commitment.

Legally, there is no reason under a proper legal system.

But asking someone to have an equitable civil union under the law lacks the romantic gesture needed to say "My heart belongs to you", at least in my mind. Not that you need to have a big wedding, it can be only several people in an isolated spot, but at least do something that screams “I love you”. Waiting at the Justice of the Peace in line while the judge dispenses with common criminals and drug addicts (true story from a friend) does not do that. Tell her you love her and do something romantic to prove it.

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Aren't civil unions the exact same as marriage, except they're only recognized in certain states? Talk about a double standard from a nation that prides itself on the first amendment.

Civil unions are a good example of the efficacy and consistency of government regulation; marriages are a good example of the efficacy and consistency of two individuals being allowed to set their own terms.

"By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." ~ Socrates.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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@Nicky: I have no idea what the “Government definition” of marriage is, outside in Michigan it reads “a union between and man and a women” nonsense.

Even that one aspect of the definition (not unique to Michigan, marriage is limited to straight couples in many states) should be enough to avoid it.

But Michelle and I listed several other objectionable details in our previous posts.

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Even that one aspect of the definition (not unique to Michigan, marriage is limited to straight couples in many states) should be enough to avoid it.

But Michelle and I listed several other objectionable details in our previous posts.

Indeed, and I think I gave wonderful reasons to go for it.

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I agree. Marriages and civil unions should not exist in a fms, at least as they currently stand.

Essentially your argument is that contracts which favor one kind of relationship over another should not exist in a fms (free moral society?)... is this correct? If so, why?

If a man and woman choose to marry, and local regulation of marriage awards them greater legal benefits than two men (or two women) who choose a civil union, or two individuals choosing to live together, what standard of liberty or morality is being violated? Why specifically should a contractual arrangement between a man and woman that is unique to other combinations of gender or commitment, not exist in a fms??

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Essentially your argument is that contracts which favor one kind of relationship over another should not exist in a fms (free moral society?)... is this correct? If so, why?

Essentially, I'm saying that the government shouldn't have any involvement in consensual relationships. You and your wife shouldn't be 'awarded greater legal benefits' than me and my live-in boyfriend, or a gay man and his partner. Married couples shouldn't be awarded any legal benefits, and you shouldn't have to pay divorce entitlements if you make more money than your spouse, and the relationship goes sour.

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Essentially, I'm saying that the government shouldn't have any involvement in consensual relationships.

I agree

You and your wife shouldn't be 'awarded greater legal benefits' than me and my live-in boyfriend, or a gay man and his partner. Married couples shouldn't be awarded any legal benefits, and you shouldn't have to pay divorce entitlements if you make more money than your spouse, and the relationship goes sour.

Why? By that, I mean outside the issue of the government acting as an interloper, what ethical standard are you applying to the issue of a contract between a man and a women, as opposed to any other parties??

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If a man and woman choose to marry, and local regulation of marriage awards them greater legal benefits than two men (or two women) who choose a civil union, or two individuals choosing to live together, what standard of liberty or morality is being violated? Why specifically should a contractual arrangement between a man and woman that is unique to other combinations of gender or commitment, not exist in a fms??

As to your other point, are you asking 'what's so wrong with having marriage be only between men and women?' Well, it's a civil rights issue. In the 60's, people asked a similar question, 'what's so wrong with having marriage be only between same-race couples?' This has probably been discussed here before, but here are my thoughts: Just like the department of agriculture says, 'This is the right way to eat' and points to an outdated food pyramid that was created in the interest of farmers and not nutrition, marriage says, 'This is the right sort of relationship' and points to a straight, married couple.

PS: Posted this before I saw your response, but my answer would have been about the same.

Edited by mdegges
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As to your other point, are you asking 'what's so wrong with having marriage be only between men and women?' Well, it's a civil rights issue...

But we have agreed to eliminate government, i.e. civil rights... My question to you is, what specific ethical/moral standard (other than one imposed by government in the form of civil rights) are you using to support the premise that a contract between two genders who agree to live together till death do they part, must carry the same legal weight as a contract between the same gender, or no contract at all?

If you want government out of consensual relationships, why do you rely on "civil rights" to justify your position?

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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But we have agreed to eliminate government, i.e. civil rights... My question to you is, what specific ethical/moral standard (other than one imposed by government in the form of civil rights) are you using to support the premise that a contract between two genders who agree to live together till death do they part, must carry the same legal weight as a contract between the same gender, or no contract at all?

It's my understanding that an Oist society would praise and uphold civil rights. Rand, specifically, had only good things to say about civil rights, which she called the "fight against government-enforced discrimination."

Edited by mdegges
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It's my understanding that an Oist society would praise and uphold civil rights. Rand, specifically, had only good things to say about civil rights, which she called the "fight against government-enforced discrimination."

I'm more familiar with Ayn Rand's views on individual rights... Can you cite any specific comments made by Ayn Rand endorsing the goals and objectives of the civil rights movement as practiced? Specifically that a marriage between a man and a woman ought to carry the same legal weight as a civil union (or marriage) between two men (or two women)??

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Would you apply this to the topic? (I don't think Rand wrote about gay marriage, only homosexuality in general. I know she was against the idea of 'special privileges' for any group of people, but marriage could hardly be called a 'special privilege.')

For reference, here is the atlas society's political view on gay marriage.

Edited by mdegges
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The problem I have with your assertion that government shouldn't be involved in consensual relationships, but marital relationships ought to be held to some standard of civil rights, is that we both know who enforces any standard of civil rights, don't we? I agree with you initial claim that government shouldn't be involved; can you provide some standard of civil rights that doesn't rely on government regulation??

I'm interested to see if your claim doesn't in fact attempt to qualify marriage as a right to life issue, i.e. life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (or property). Do you think that all unions between individuals ought to be secured equally, i.e. equal individual rights imply equal marital rights?

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Basically, the government should not be involved in providing any special privilege over any type of contract. There should only be regulation to the extent of contract enforcement. And there shouldn't be an implicit legal protection (or assumptions) for romantic relationships. But the way government works now, marriage is treated as special, and given special privileges that the government grants (can someone more familiar list some privileges for me?). Having privileges at all granted by the government is related to a right to life issue because there are barriers to action some individuals aren't allowed to have even if they voluntarily agreed. That's why I lean towards opposing marriage in practice entirely (which is different from my opposition in principle).

Edited by Eiuol
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Legally, marriage or any other long term intimate relationship is a chosen contractual relationship and the law provides a certain context for that (example, what happens if one partner dies).

As for the standard of value, as always it is your life but politically it is right to Free Association. The laws should not be picking standards of association that will be treated better or worse from each other and it certainly should not reward or punish any kind of association. The only thing the Government should do is protect a person’s rights, not dictate privileges under specific circumstances.

Edited by Spiral Architect
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While I agree in principle that government shouldn't act as an interloper in consensual relationships, I'm not convinced that legal recognition of historically task specific marital roles (breadwinner, homemaker) isn't justified. Until recently marital tasks were gender specific, according to biological and financial (albeit culturally biased) necessity. The introduction of surrogate mothers combined with today's financial necessity for double incomes has altered the historical dynamic in many cases, but not all cases; specifically those pairings who choose to marry according to the historical model. The legal needs of DINKs are objectively different than those of biological parents relying on a single income (SIWKs?), and I believe the law ought to reflect those differences for the security of pregnant spouses who remain unemployed to bear, deliver and raise children by agreement. Civil unions are better suited for DINKs, and marriage for SIWKs, and there remain legitimate differences of entitlement for these two forms of contract.

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Devil's Advocate, I don't understand your acronyms. Could you please clarify them?

Not without dating myself...

DINK = Double Income No Kids

SIWK = Single Income With Kids (I made this one up as a play on DINK)

From around the same time period ('80s), a 'yuppy' was a young urban professional

mdegges used FMS, which I interpreted to mean, Free Moral Society... was that correct??

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Let me know if I've got this right. You're arguing that marriage should only be between a man and a woman because:

1a) historically, women have been homemakers, and men have been breadwinners.

1b) this is because there's been some sort of financial and biological need for this.

2) single income families need more benefits than double income families, so they should be legally entitled to more benefits.

I'll give you 1a for free. ;)

Now onto #1b. I don't know what you're referring to when you say "financial and biological need." (I agree that if a woman is pregnant and not in a position to go on maternity leave, she'll most likely be supported by her husband until she's able to go back to work. Is that the "financial need" you're talking about, for the man to be the breadwinner? If so, that is only be true for 9 months.) Other than that, I don't see any other financial/biological need for the woman to be the homemaker, and the man to be the breadwinner.

As for #2.. The premise here is that same-sex couples are double income, childless families. But same-sex couples may be, and often are, single income, +children families. This may be for a variety of reasons: they have adopted children, they have other children from previous relationships, or one (or both) of them have been artifically inseminated. So the premise that same-sex couples are DINKs does not hold. (But the most important point here is that the needs of one family over another should not entitle them to any extra legal benefits. Family needs should to be taken care of by the family.)

Also, FMS = free market society.

Edited by mdegges
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