Domestic Partnerships not Same-Sex Marriage

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:42

    I have read with interest the arguments that supporters for same-sex “marriage” use to promote their cause. First they claim that they should be entitled to the same “rights” that married couples enjoy and secondly they cite the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution as supporting their cause because it requires “equal protection under the law.” What these supporters fail to realize is that first and foremost “marriage” has a religious basis and therefore it is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that is in play, not the Fourteenth. Since “marriage” is a tenet of a religious faith and since the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states “...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” any attempt to redefine marriage would violate the “free exercise” clauses of the First Amendment, because these changes imposed on us by the government would be telling us that a basic tenet of our faith is wrong, namely that “marriage” is not just between a man and a woman but between whomever the government says it is. I do realize that “marriage” has both a religious component and a civil (secular) or “non-religious” component. Because of this, if the intention is to allow same-sex couples to participate in the “privileges” enjoyed by married couples then here is a solution that would grant same-sex couples those privileges while not violating the First Amendment concerning the religious definition of “marriage.” Have Congress or the individual State Legislatures set up a “Domestic Partnership Act,” like we have in New Jersey that defines same-sex unions but would also go further by adding the following line: “Domestic Partnerships will be entitled to the same privileges and protection under the law that married couples enjoy.” This would give same-sex couples the equal protection under the secular or civil law that they are seeking while again preserving the religious component of marriage. David A. DeMartino Glenwood