Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Right to Choice of Spouse... government & laws

I declare the Right to Choice of Spouse.

Should government laws control who one can legally marry?
If there would indeed be a Right to Love,
then no government could or should legally control this through marriage laws.
Social norms, determined by family, religion, and moral beliefs,
will still control or influence who one marries.
As a right, no government should regulate who one marries.
The exception to this, I believe, would be child protection,
and be protected under the creation of the Right to Child Rights.

In a previous blog post,
I discussed the role of socio-cultural norms in controlling marriage,
when some parents may control spouse choice,
under the topic of "arranged marriage."
To comment on this specific topic, here's the link.

In this blog post, I address how government laws may control spouse choice.
 In the United States, as an example, the following history
shows how government has controlled
and limited one's "legal" spouse through law.
Any person can have any choice of spouse;
however, whether that choice can become legal is law-governed.
France, 1770:
Marie Antoinette was 14 years old when she married the future Louis XVI.
This would have been impossible if there had been
and international Right to Child Rights.

 In 2012, many U.S. states have laws that prevent
same-sex couples from creating a legal marriage,
and there are laws against polygamy (choosing multiple spouses).
Interracial marriage is now legal in all U.S. states
since the 1967 Supreme Court decision (Loving vs. Virginia)
overturned the 1883 Supreme Court decision (Pace vs. Alabama)
which allowed restriction of race in marriage.
 This 1967 decision ended all race-based legal marriage restrictions,
mostly remaining in southern and some eastern states.

In the U.S., this subject has sparked major controversy,
and there is much difference of opinion,
which varies mainly due to one's personal feelings
of how they define the term "marriage."
These multiple definitions make this topic more complex than it would seem.
Still, if this is a right, then the right comes first, before law.
Each individual, then, can act upon one's own belief,
without having a government law impose one single belief upon all.

Revision: thanks to commenters AMV, CMH.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is certainly true that the contention over marriage is about civil law. Marriage law has long been a state matter, and in the United States that has meant, literally, a state rather than a federal matter. In any case, marriage is an institutional bond between a man and a woman. Moreover, marriage is something people of all faiths engage in. Churches, synagogues, and mosques bless marriages thus creating the institution. In that sense the question of marriage is not first of all a legal matter in the sense in which most people use the word "law,” but rather it is one of religion and morality.

Should we allow same sex marriages? The debate is not about lawmakers and politicians, but rather with husbands and wives within the bond of traditional marriage who procreate and do what is natural. This debate is about whether the law that now defines marriage is itself good or bad, right or wrong. And to join that debate one must appeal, by moral argument, to grounds that transcend the law as it now exists. In that regard, the question of marriage is not about a civil right at all. It is about the nature of reality and interpretations of morality and procreation that precede the law. mjd

Anonymous said...

The choice of spouse is totally a decision that can only be made by your own person. No one else can make the choice for you, first the person you choose to marry should be liked or loved by you first, and no one else but you. Because it's certain that you will be the one to spend the rest of your life with that person. Now in regards to the law preventing same-sex to be married, I'm in total agreement of. We are free to pick whom to love or live with, but same-sex marriage should not be allowed as well as polygamy. Definitely is your choice what to do with your life but legal marriage of same-sex should not be allowed. If we do allow it what kind of example or moral values will we be giving our children as well as our nation none. God made men and women to unite and make a family not same-sex, even nature indicates it's wrong that's why same-sex can not have children. And the term marriage is to be holy and divinely established covenant between a man and a woman only, there is nothing holy nor divine
about same-sex marriage.AMV

Anonymous said...

Same-sex marriage immoral? How can love ever be immoral, if two people wish to be married then by all means allow them that right. Is that not what marriage is all about, the union of two people who truly love eachother and wants to spend the rest of their lives together. Who are we to prevent that? CMH

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, a woman has a right to choice of a husband with whom she will want to share the rest of her life. Everyone have to respect her wishes regard no matter who he is. It is not acceptable for anyone, to force a woman into a marriage with a man she does not like. The decision about marriage is only her decision and has to be respected. For example, Can you are able to imagine the Muslim woman who is guided by her religion to select a men?MCC

Anonymous said...

A son can be with his mother the rest of his life and love her and is impossible to consider it as marriage, so marriage is more than a long time union of two people who love each other.
A husband and a wife have rights and obligations with each other, and the term legal marriage ensures that the State recognizes that union and protects it. Government’s laws can determine what a legal marriage is, but that intervention must has limits. For instance, I don’t know if exist a law that don’t allow people with mental disorders to get marriage, but I assume that if the government pass that law it will be accepted. If every member of a couple is dependent of another person, how can they maintain their own family? Marriage is more than a union; it involves moral attitudes and a strong will to create a family which is the main structure of the society.
HA

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I wouldn't like to post my opinion about this particular topic. It's not that I'm closed minded, but it's a topic that is hard to battle with. I'm still young to understand how powerful the significance of marriage can is. I don't agree nor disagree with the government and other people's desire. I do believe that any person has right to love who you want to love. Really ... think about wild animals. They have that freedom of choosing whom they spend their life with. No other animal is disagreeing with their love interest. I am assuming the government sees it as an immoral subject, for example marrying your own brother, cousin, dad, etc. They might be thinking that morals are not a part of life anymore. Religious people will protest. Very complicated topic. I honestly, don't like talking about it. I wouldn't care who is with whom ... My life is my own and I choose my man.
SMiLeY

Anonymous said...

The government, should not have the right to whom we should choose as our spouse. This is the land of the free, and the right to free choice. SM

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see the above comments contradict themselves. Marriage is structural issue that must be regulated by the government in order to abide to moral standards. I believe it's necessary for the government to intervene and manage but not to take advantage of. BB

Anonymous said...

In my opinion no one should intervene in a marriage. We should pick who we marry and fall in love with, not the government. DDB

Anonymous said...

Marriage as a social union by freedom of choice should not be judged, nor condemned. It should not be used to anyone’s convenience. Each individual that accepts a union should understand the implications of such act, and have the moral obligation to the partner. Realistically, I do not feel the need of an acknowledge union; but my partner to accept me, respect me, and love me for who I am. Formalities as far as a wedding ceremony or a marriage license do not change my feelings, moral values, or perception of a union.
Although, it should be a free and voluntary act some norms and regulations are needed to satisfy society’s structural complexity. Regulations will help prevent and protect one side from taking advantage of the other… extremely important. If there were solid grounds of respect among individuals, and higher levels of reasoning such regulations wouldn’t even be necessary. As society evolves so will marriage and its perception, there may be a totally different concept to it. I am just immensely satisfied with the fact that I have the right to choose many things, among them a spouse. COCO.

Anonymous said...

The government does not provide rights, it provides privileges. Marriage is a privilege meant to protect these underlying rights.. We have a right to love and the government aims to protect rights that may be imposed on by these ideals. Marriage as an institution is a mere defense against extramarital affairs, personal belongings (pre-nup), and even the aforementioned "Right to Child Rights." SV

Anonymous said...

If we have the right to love whomever we want then why not marry who we want? The government should not have the right to intervene. AVJ

Anonymous said...

It is preposterous to think that the government wishes to dictate whom one should or should not marry; however, whether it is morally, religiously, or socially acceptable is another issue altogether. EL

Anonymous said...

People have the right to marry who they choose. That is why most people come to America for freedom and liberty of choice. It is sad that we are in the 21st Century and that Federal Laws do not approve same sex marriages. Why should same sex marriages be any different than a man marrying a woman? JPA

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have the right to choose who and when he or she gets married. I am completely in love with my husband, but it is a hard job. I cannot imagine being forced to marry someone I did not even know! I am also a mother, and I would never force my child to commit to such a serious, life- long union. I feel blessed, that I had the choice to choose my husband and when I got married. Not everyone has that privilege! HL

Anonymous said...

We all have the right to fall in love with whoever we want, and therefore, the right to marry the chosen person. I think that the government should not intervene. However, I definetely believe that children should be protected from same sex marriages, since they can learn different behaviors. CPO.

Anonymous said...

The government should stay out of peoples’ love lives. - BRD

Anonymous said...

In regards to marriage it's just another subject that has been made into a market by the private sector. If we pay attention to how a marriage is done now there are plenty of parties before the wedding, there's gifting, purchases or renting of clothing that will never be worn again, etc. Marriage began as a tradition in nomadic times between a man and a woman. Marriage now is nothing more than a title that everyone feels they are entitled to not knowing its origin or respecting its rules. There is nothing wrong with men being with women, men being with men, or women being with women, however marriage is a sacred religion that needs to be respected. - ID

Anonymous said...

I think that the government should not have control over who we could marry. A lesbian is going to be with her female partner regardless if she could marry her legally or not. These days, marriage is just a piece of paper that states two people have decided to join their lives and vow to be with each other through the good and the bad. And even that paper and vows are not respected anymore. So with or without that paper, same sex couples will still exist and live together!.....NYH

Anonymous said...

If a government cannot impose a religion, a lifestyle or a sexual preference on an individual, then, why can it influence the decision we make about these matters? Leaving all religious and moral opinions aside, a same sex marriage prohibition can be considered as unconstitutional as banning other predilections, such as music, culture, or eating habits. If I choose to share my life with someone, be it from my same sex or not, why would that person be prived from spousal benefits? (health insurance, ally money in case of separation, or hereditary possession if there’s not a will). Whoever I take to become my partner should have the same rights, regardless of sex.

GS

Anonymous said...

I feel everyone has the right to choose who they love and who they want to marry. No one or law should interfere with ones personal choice, especially if it is not a detriment to others. Now when one makes their choice you also need to make the conscious decision on how you behave in public, especially around children. There is a little give in take in every situation. Another issue is multiple spouse, do as you please, as long as everyone involved is in mutual agreement. Always state your expectations, needs and wants from the beginning and make it clear of what you want in a relationship. - J.A.

Anonymous said...

Every aspect of our lives is governed by laws. That is a fact. It could be government or religious law. We live and act according to some form of law. The laws oftentimes become our beliefs. We determine what we think is right or wrong because of those beliefs. The act of marriage is a constitution based on current government and religious laws. The question is, do we have the right to impose our beliefs on others if they question these laws? If we cannot question these laws, aren’t we then living in an authoritarian society? What about the Constitution on the “right to choose”? SAM

Anonymous said...

The law doesn't need to recognize any of these non-traditional marriages. Pardon me if I come off strong, but how you live and what you do behind closed doors is YOUR business, not mines and the world to recognize and accept. Same-sex, Polygamy, Under-age, Human-animal... What's next? NONE of these marriages are comparable but where does it stop? Who draws the line? LO

Anonymous said...

I believe that there must be rules and standards in life of people otherwise the society becomes ungovernable, marry or not to marry is a right for everyone, and while there is love between two people, that should be enough to get married.DAM

Anonymous said...

We may all be created equally but definitely not treated equally. It’s amazing how as a species we have evolved in so many ways but when it comes to subjects such as same-sex marriage or arranged marriage, our governments have prehistoric mindsets.
ARBA

Anonymous said...

Sure enough that it is not cool that the government is always trying to control lives. I agree with AMV, the choice of spouse is totally a decision that can be made by your own person, however when it comes to love, we cant fight those feelings.

Anonymous said...

Sure enough that it is not cool that the government is always trying to control lives. I agree with AMV, the choice of spouse is totally a decision that can be made by your own person, however when it comes to love, we cant fight those feelings. A252

Anonymous said...

I think everyone here is aware that what's in question is not the right to marriage of this type or that. Anyone can get married ceremoniously if they are able to find a priest willing to preside over that marriage. What's being fought in the courts is the double standard with regards to the federal and state governments' application of laws which give certain groups tax havens, rights to spousal visits in hospitals, rights to be recognized as legal guardians, and so on, where they are not applied to other groups. Some here may think that's appropriate, but many also thought the same thing about 'interracial' couples at one time (perhaps some in this discussion still do).

Whereas that is the debate, I would like to bring up Amendment XIV of the US Constitution states:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Now, I'm sure some here will look at this amendment and start ripping it to shreds to inspect it piece-by-piece until they have found some way to interpret it otherwise, but my perspective is that our government(s)is/are using religious propaganda to validate state provision of certain rights and privileges to certain groups (namely heterosexual couples) while explicitly denying them to others, and that that is a direct violation of the Constitution. So much for eliminating state-sponsored discrimination.

Now that I'm done with technicalities...

When I say "my perspective", I mean the perspective of a gay man. I'm not a moron, and -- in this wonderful era of Google -- I can find more than a few in-depth articles discussing the meanings, translations, and MANY interpretations of the Bible. But, I'm not sure that I should even bother to dispense with the details because I'm not sure anyone would care to hear truth. The bible can be twisted and turned in so many ways to further one's agenda. In some cases people leave out entire books of the bible because it doesn’t suit their needs. But, anyone with one ounce of intelligence and an internet connection can see it: the bright glaring hypocrisy of those, for instance, who use the book of Leviticus to espouse vitriol and hate against homosexuality, but ignore the parts about not wearing two types of cloth at once, about shaving, or about working on Sabbath or disobeying your parents being punishable by death.

To be continued... RSK

Anonymous said...

Continued...

For those of you who have posted that laws must be created to protect society from the chaos and utter destruction that you’re sure gay-marriage would invite: seriously?! Do you really buy that? How many don’t even attend worship according to the mores of your own faith, and yet talk like they graduated with a degree in theology and criminal behavior? How many proclaim marriage is an institution of God created for procreation, then use contraception before having premarital sex? Speed limits were created to protect lives; but I bet many don't have a problem breaking that law on a daily or hourly basis. The number of things many heterosexual couples do behind closed doors that USED to be illegal in this nation (and in some states still are) is probably too numerous to list here. I would advise people to look in the mirror before preaching, but then perhaps all they would see is a halo. And, if you’re looking to protect the ‘sanctity’ of marriage, I would say heterosexual couples have sorta dropped the ball on that one.

If I seem a little miffed, it's because I am. It's easy for one to justify denial of rights when they are not the one being denied. But, most importantly, this all really boils down however to the question of religion itself and it's place. This debate of marriage, and the idea that a god condones it for some but not all, is a microcosmic example of an overarching conclusion: religion, insofar as it concerns some personal god that judges us and punishes some while rewarding others, is silly; it is dangerous; it tears humanity apart rather than bringing us together; it stupefies through blind faith; it provides a foundation of oppression and tyranny; it has and does condone horrible, appalling acts by man against man around the world; and I hope one day it will disappear from this earth, not through law, but through the shear spread of reason. Because, while it is your right to believe in your head what you want, most aren't satisfied with having a private relationship with their god; they must use it to single out and "one-up" the other guy. For that reason, if not it does not disappear, religion -- not homosexuality, or polygamy, or interracial 'mingling", but religion -- will spell the end of us.

On a lighter but no less relevant note, I leave you with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeCLwtWbhEs


RSK

Anonymous said...

The Right to Marriage has being a very controversial topic, especially this past couple of years. I was raised with a lot of norms and believe. My opinion on the subject can be somewhat debated. However, I believe that no government should decide what is the right or wrong about a marriage. If people choose to marry someone of the same sex, different culture or different race, then it should be a decision of their own. No one has the right to force another person who follows rules just because it is what society accepts. And if religion is the reason, then we should let God be the judge of what’s right or wrong.


SL

Anonymous said...

We should all be free to choose our partners. We are living in the twenty first century; no religion, social-moral believes or government should arrange marriages or judge individuals from making any personal decisions, especially marrying someone of the same sex. We are born alone and love as a single.
Apple

Anonymous said...

love and let others love whoever they choose. To ban same sex marriage is judging others based on who they choose to love. RKS

Anonymous said...

Weather it’s agreed or, disagreed the law of same sex marriage the government will always be implemented. What the government can’t do is decide whom we will choose as partners in our lives because we will always go by what out heart tells us and that’s how love is. At the end of the day there is no law or criticism that stops anyone from loving who they have chosen to be there partner.-GAU0924

Anonymous said...

I believe we should have the right to choice who are spouse is. You can not choose who you love, it just happens. The government should not be able to make it that you cannot marry some one you love just because of their race or gender.
RJA

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't think that we as a people should have the right to get married to whoever we want. Marriage in my opinion is a privilege not a right. Look at the way society is now there are more divorced couples then there is married. I would rather see the government put in place some laws that would at least give requirements before a couple can get married, rather than having this high divorce rate.
- GPC

Anonymous said...

Government laws should not be able to control who one can legally marry. As an individual in society one should have the right to choose who we love and want to marry. When it comes to child protection, I agree with protecting your child and teaching them morals and so forth, but who are we to judge same sex marriages? I believe that "yes" it may be confusing to people, but there are a lot of abused children in what may look like a "perfect family." Some same sex marriages may give children more love and happiness then a man and wife could give. Some men abuse their children and wife, and frankly that is not protecting your child. As long as there is love for one another, no matter what race or sex, then who are we to judge? -SA

Anonymous said...

I enthusiastically believe the right to choice of spouse should not be the choice of any government. A person can choose who they wish to legally marry, whether they be of the same or different race, gender or religious belief. My uncle moved to California to be able to marry his longtime companion, now my awesome uncle Bob. We love who we love, and that should be a choice that we make as humans, and not under any circumstance be interfered with by anyone else.

Mercy

Anonymous said...

I feel any individual should have the right to love and therefore have the right to choose whom they will marry regardless of same-sex couples or polygamy. Love is a beautiful feeling that shouldn’t be denied from anyone. ANC

Annabel Guerra said...

This topic is a very hard to talk about. I was raise to believe that a man and woman should get married, because my family was raise that way too. But, as time changes, I feel that if a person is in love with whoever, then why should we stop them from getting married.

In India, girl who are still 15 years old, have to married without knowing the person. They don't get to pick who they fall in love with. Gay people can't be together because, in India, there's no such thing as "gay men or women". They all ended up marrying a man/woman.

Anonymous said...

This has always been a topic that I have felt strongly about. It frustrates me so much that it’s even being debated in the first place. Who’s to say whom we can and cant marry? That’s completely absurd. What if you fell in love with someone and the government told you that you couldn’t marry them? Why don’t people just look at it like that? We cant choose who we fall in love with. Love is blind, and the government should not be allowed to have any say in the matter. All couples should be allowed to marry. BG

Anonymous said...

The government gives tax benefits as well as many other benefits to married couples. I don't believe that the government should control who one legally marries, but I understand their reason to want to intervene since they are the ones giving married people benefits. ECZ

Anonymous said...

The right to choice of spouse if becoming one of those topics that is just bound to repeat itself. Before the society fought for the right to equality. Blacks were put through a humiliating past to get where they are now and as a society we were wrong in allowing such cruelty. Now the outcasts that are begging for equality are the homosexuals. God, being such a strong point in this topic is said to have put women and men on this earth to procreate. God also gave us emotions and the right to love. They are not less than people that choose to marry the opposite sex. In fact these relationships might be a benefit to the world and help us with this little situation we have of over population. AS

Anonymous said...

The decision of whom we marry or choose to fall in love with is ours! Why should an individual or laws prevent us from our right to happiness? As a married woman and a parent, I am grateful I have a choice in life. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion regarding religious beliefs,morals, interracial and gay marriages.
Samrog

Anonymous said...

The persuit of happiness is related to the freedom of choice under the constitution,and the truth is more than clear.LC

Anonymous said...

I believe that we, the people, have the right to choose the person we want to get married with. No laws or gov't should interfere with this choice, even to those who are of the same genre. No one should say if it's right or wrong. It's your life and you should live it however you please. SVV.

Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion that it is felt by those with a traditional out look on marriage whom have both a moral and religious foundation for there view. There purpose to fight and sustain such "laws" is out of a obligation to there beliefs. They believe that it is a matter of moral integrity perhaps even an obligation to stand against same sex marriage mainly do to the belief that if they don't fight for what is "right" that they will be held responsible at the end of there days when they believe they have to give an account to there maker. This belief is mad stronger when they face opposition and persecution for standing for there beliefs. Myself and others of the opinion that same sex marriage is not right have been attacked and bullied by the homosexual agenda over and over again tot he point that for no other reason then spite I would fight against same sex marriage. You don't convince people of your opinion by bullying them and calling them names. MAR III

Anonymous said...

The choice of spouse should be made only by you. Government laws around the world try to control this and even religion or family beliefs have a say in who they can or cannot marry. Everyone should have the right to marry who ever they want. Everyone should be allowed to marry someone of the same sex, someone older, younger, and even someone that lives far away. The decision of marriage should be made by you and no one else. You’re not hurting anyone by marrying someone that your family or government prevents you from being with. Even if the marriage turns out to be a mistake, no one else should have the power to choose who you can or cant marry.

JB

Anonymous said...

I honestly believe everyone has the right to marry who they want. The problem is sometimes when people try to impose their beliefs on someone else. As for children they should be protect but it's getting to a point in this country where people are now expecting the government to raise their children for them. What happened to being a parent and taking responsibility for your child?


-AM

Anonymous said...

Based upon my religious believes gay marriage is blasphemy. Nature shows you what is correct and irrelevant as only a man and a woman can conceive a child naturally. Yet, everyday this world is contorted and corrupt by these shocking atrocities that humanity does to each other. Hey, why not gay marriage?
Rv646

Anonymous said...

People should be allowed to choose the person they want to marry on their own. As for same sex marriage, my religion is against it but I am all for it. Nobody can help who they fall in love with, whether it's a man who loves another man or woman who loves another woman.

ADT

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the government or no one but ourselves should decided who we want to marry. You can not choose who to love, it just happens. We can't fight over feelings. Everybody has the right to love, no matter what religion, color, or gender they are.
AS

Anonymous said...

I agree with AS, while the concept of marriage is a legal one to an extent, the idea of love just becomes almost unassosiated to any material documentation or currency. So like many other commenters I agree that the law, in a way, cannot establish whom we choose to love. MV

Anonymous said...

The right to choice of spouse should be unbiased. I think that the government should not impose in who someone gets to marry, wether it's same or opposite sex, or different races. The only type of marriage or relationship that I think should be stopped is between child and adult. No one can really control who you fall for, so neither should the government.

DBP

Anonymous said...

This right is taken for granted by many people. Even in within the U.S. there are limitations as to who you can marry, gay marriage is allowed in most states. Honestly, it is of no ones concern as to who makes you happy and who you want to marry. I personally think everyone should have the right to marry who they choose.

JA23

Anonymous said...

I have no opposition when it comes to choosing who you want your partner to be. However, when marriage is the topic, it's a bit controversial. I don't agree with the government controlling marriage laws and having restrictions. On the other hand, I can't say I completely agree with same-sex marriage for religious reasons. Like some people though, I can accept what I can't control. I believe if a couple, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is in love and not hurting anyone, then what's the problem?
MR