By Edwin R. Jusino
Homosexuality, and the movement pro-rights of individual citizens who are homosexuals, has become one of the hottest debates of the decade. The church, divided upon the issue, has taken center stage upon the debate. This has come in a time where the debate upon the separation of church and state has also skyrocketed to the media’s attention.
To be completely fair upon the issue, one must be able to take an impartial approach, and understand the reality of the separation of Church and State and the institution of marriage. If we lived in either a theocracy, or a dictatorship the debate could be settled easily, but the fact that the sovereignty of the country, and of the different nations that coexist within it, lies upon the voters and makes this debate hard to settle.
The separation of Church and State was intended by the founding fathers, and the enlightened thinkers of that age, as a way to protect the different religious groups from being persecuted by another religious group by their domination of the government. This is not to say that the church as an interest group is unable to lobby inside the government’s branches to reach its goal or protect its rights. The same can be said of the homosexual community.
Therefore, one must defend their rights and satisfy both sides as a believer on democracy. Marriage, for centuries, has been understood as the union of a man and a woman under the dominant religious and political governments. Therefore, under common law, any law or constitutional provision that defends this view is only supporting what common law states.
This of course, discriminates against the minority. What must be understood is that the government’s view of a union of an individual with another individual is a legally binding contract. In other words, any union between both a heterosexual and a homosexual couple is viewed as a contractual agreement. The institution of marriage does not give the rights other than those already provided by common law, for example the division of property, and inheritance.
Any contract may provide the basic rights as stated by the contract terms. The government then should not call any union of a homosexual by the term marriage, since marriage is only to be referred as the union between a man and a woman. Civil Society is a more appropriate term that could be applied for such unions.
These civil unions should just be treated as another contract, and unlike marriage, the ceremonial aspects should be negated, since the ceremonial aspects imply the action of marriage, and therefore should be made distinct of each other. Also, churches should not be forced, and should not be allowed to declare legal a civil society, since that falls only under the government’s jurisdiction, and if a civil society is realized under religious terms it should be declared void. In conclusion, marriage should be strictly a religious institution, and civil societies should be strictly a gubernatorial institution.