In her post responding to last night’s CNN/YouTube Democratic debate, and with an eye toward the GOP version, Pam Spaulding asks the question about same sex marriage versus civil unions that I’ve been wondering about for some time now:
If civil unions are the answer to equality under the law, then are the candidates advocating that all heterosexual marriages be converted into civil unions, leaving the issue of religious “marriage” as a separate entity outside of government interference (which it should be)? If not, then they are admitting that that heterosexual couples are entitled to “special rights” not available to gay and lesbian couples.
Exactly right. Maybe marriage should not be the purview of the state at all, since it is today a fundamentally religious institution. Maybe the state should be in the business only of civil unions, and the religions can fight the battle over the word “marriage” out amongst and within themselves. There would then be no question that in the eyes of the state, straight and gay unions and families are equal. Not a likely solution, but an interesting one nonetheless.