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Kevin D. Korenthal: Make all marriages civil unions

Posted: May 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Rights, as established by the Constitution of the United States of America, are greatly misunderstood.

There is a pervasive misconception in our society that a "right" is something that can apply to anyone. But not everyone has a "right" to everything.

A 14-year-old does not have a right to drive a car and a convicted felon does not have a right to vote.

These are instances of a lack of "rights" that most people would agree with.

But there are other "rights" as perceived by the general public that by their mere existence advertise a so-called inclusiveness.

These rights, if denied some people while given to others, might appear to be an infringement of so-called "rights."

The issue of government-sanctioned marriage is just such an issue.

If we were to consider marrying a "right" that is protected from infringement, that right would come with a caveat. The marrying persons must fit a definition that was established prior to the existence of the so-called right.

That means that in fact anyone, of any sexual orientation, can marry as long as the marriage is between one man and one woman as defined historically.

I knew a pair of gay couples who married each other (creating two legal unions of one man and one woman) for the rights and privileges once unavailable to unmarried couples.

But California and many other states’ laws have changed to include domestic partnerships in regards to the rights and privileges once given only to married couples.

Would you agree that two adult siblings or a polyamorous (more than two) pairing do not qualify to marry? So what makes gay couples so special that the term "marriage" is redefined for them?

We know they don’t meet the historical definition of marriage and we know that (at least here in California) anyone can form a domestic partnership to be granted the same rights as married couples.

So the term "marriage" is what the activists are seeking. But for what purpose?

I see a less-than-honest objective in this activity. I believe that rather than seeking equal rights for gay couples, activists are seeking (as has been the hallmark of Progressive Liberalism since the founding of this nation) equal results.

The activists seek to make gay marriage equally as attractive as traditional marriage. But of course we know that what is more likely to happen is that marriage (which is already suffering a historically bad reputation) would be brought down rather than elevated by this new definition.

Don’t misunderstand; this is not to say that gay people are in any way lesser than heterosexual people. My point is that marriage, though not always used for procreation, was conceived by people of religious faiths as a means to legitimately and morally pro-create.

Gay unions do not have that objective, and even in the cases of gay couples who wish to adopt, the use of the word "marriage" is not a fit.

In fact, the definition of marriage was not crafted to encompass many of the reasons it is used for today, let alone the reason of somehow legitimizing homosexuality.

This is why I am for a California ballot initiative that would get the government out of the business of marriage.

Upon passage of a vote by the people, all unions licensed by the state of California would be called domestic partnerships and/or civil unions.

All marriages that took place previous to the law would of course be unchanged but going forward, the state would be forbidden from using the word "marriage" to describe the relationship in official documentation.

The primary benefit of this change would be to put all government-sanctioned unions on equal footing and hand the Sacrament of Marriage back to the religious institutions that perform them. Under the government, all relationships would be equal as long as they are legal.

Of course my proposed proposition needs fine-tuning to pass a vote of the people. And, of course, those who are using gay marriage as a political weapon against the supporters of traditional marriage, as well as those previously mentioned who seek equal acceptance by society, would not see their wishes fulfilled.

But truly, all unions sanctioned by the government would be equal and thus equal rights guaranteed. By the same token, hardcore anti-homosexuality activists (Westboro) will not be placated by my compromise.

But that’s the tradeoff in any compromise. The extremes lose.

Kevin D. Korenthal is a 30-year resident of Canyon Country and was married in a religious ceremony that was then licensed by the state.


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