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This scheme does NOTHING to recognize what marriage is -- the union of a man and a woman to provide a stable envirnment for bearing, nurturing, and raising children -- under the natural law, which is what should guide our legislation.

You mean, what marriage is to YOU. Marriage has been different things at different times in different societies. Check the Bible. Whether your marriage is a union based on love and mutual respect, a need to unite two powerful families, the desire for dowry income, or the need to produce an heir really isn't a concern of mine. Various churches have sanctioned marriages for all these reasons. They've also sanctioned multiple marriages, arranged marriages, and the like.

If you ask me, the REAL way to preserve marriage as something sacred is to get the government OUT of the marriage business. Let the government say that two people may unite their finances and resources under the law. Leave it at that. They can change resource partners every X months, if it strikes their fancy. It doesn't matter if the partners live together, are related, whatever. If two 50 year old sisters want to be partners so they can share benefits, so be it. Get "united" by the state just like you'd select a beneficiary. Sign on the line, and maybe pay for an attorney to draft the paperwork.

Let each religion & denomination sanction whatever type of marriage they believe to be appropriate before God. Catholics can insist on the 6 month waiting period and pre-cana counseling. The Little White Wedding Church in Vegas can insist that both participants be sober enough to stand under their own power, but nothing more. Your favorite denomination can insist on X, Y, and Z, whatever that might be. Then nobody can complain that their marriage is being defiled by allowing "those types" to get married, whether "those types" be baptists, gays, divorcees, homosexuals, or folks under 6 feet tall.

Marriage has changed from one-man-many-women to man-and-a-woman-purchased-by-the-mans-family to man-and-woman-he-lusts-after to man-and-his-dead-brothers-wife to man-and-woman-he-loves to man-and-woman-that-his-mother-approves-of. There's no way to tell what someone's motivation for wanting marriage IS. People get married for different reasons, under different circumstances, and the government has no place or just way to say "these are good reasons, and those are not." Anything the government touches, it tends to corrupt. I'd rather it stay far, far away from God, faith, and religion, given its track record with everything else.
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