Friday, January 23, 2015

Marriage Certificates May Replace Licenses

  If there's anything Oklahomans have agreed upon, in the federal marriage controversy, it's that the state really isn't good at trying to be the church.
  When the state travels down the road of social engineering to the point where the role of the church is co-opted, We end up with a government that tries to establish a consensus version of godliness.
  But a more limited role would be to protect individuals from being harmed by others. So the more sensible public policy is to call the filing process what it really is, and is meant to be. It is good to have a public registry of marriage partnerships, just like it is good to have a filing of business partnerships. It's a government service to provide a public record and make safeguards readily available  so as to substantiate claims. 
  But the term "license" was the wrong classification for this government service. "Certificate" conveys a certainty that the public record is verified, just like a birth certificate states that the details of a human birth have been verified.
  More importantly (to many Oklahomans) , the new policy sidesteps a sticky issue. When the state licenses an activity or association, there is an inferred endorsement (or at least an acceptance). But with marriage, it really doesn't matter if the community accepts a union. For that matter, it doesn't negate the union if one's in-laws are un-accepting of a covenant.
  A marriage certificate will provide the legal safeguards while returning honor and independence to the parties joining the domestic union
For many of us, the sacrament of marriage is defined by our faith; and we won't call a sin "a sacrament". But we must none-the-less recognize the business part of every partnership and accord each other the legal rights of a civil society.
And beyond the spiritual/moral issues of folks with religious convictions, there are also people whose view of marriage has no religious component at all. They are able to solemnize their life covenant without a ceremony of any kind.
Society isn't so much interested in your theology about marriage as how well you utilize your conveyed status for the stability and betterment of society.

Read: HB1125 text

David Van Risseghem

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