View Poll Results: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

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  • Okay as it is/make only minor changes

    7 25.00%
  • Take away all government financial incentives

    1 3.57%
  • Make some specific changes only

    0 0%
  • Take government out of marriage completely

    13 46.43%
  • Other

    7 25.00%
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Thread: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

  1. #61
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MistressNomad View Post
    You're still thinking of this as though people wouldn't be able to choose to assign those rights to their partner if they want to. That's the entire point of getting rid of the institution, to me. It gets rid of all the pitfalls and allows people to allocate rights as they wish. Because obviously they still need to be able to - taking it out of the context of the marriage instiution allows it to be done better and more in accordance to the person whose resources they originally are.
    Honestly, that's really confusing. Why get rid of legal marriage, if you just want people to have the same results when they are married? Why make something more complicated for the hell of it?

    And if you think people should have the right to give their military benefits, death benefits, insurance benefits, etc. to ANYBODY else, then why not just change the law without nullifying a legal marriage contract?

    In reality, it's going to be hard though... all the hoops and loops to jump through to get to the same place if you simply signed a marriage cert.

    1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. Typically these are composed of about 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits. Among them are the rights to:

    joint parenting;

    joint adoption;

    joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);

    status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;

    joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;

    dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;

    immigration and residency for partners from other countries;

    inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;

    joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;

    inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);

    benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;

    spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;

    veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;

    joint filing of customs claims when traveling;

    wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;

    bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;

    decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;

    crime victims' recovery benefits;

    loss of consortium tort benefits;

    domestic violence protection orders;

    judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;

    and more....
    1,400 is a lot of hoops to jump through. I'd especially hope they wouldn't miss the one where they'd get to make burial or cremation arrangements when their spouse dies.

    Legal and economic benefits of marriage

  2. #62
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    SheWolf

    I'm not advocating the elimination of any contractual rights at all. In fact, I'm advocating to make them more free and accessable to anyone. I think confining it down to marriage creates not only poor incentives for a behaviorally unsound institution, but makes people not realize a lot of what they're signing into in the likely case of divorce (which, as long as marriage is still around, I completely support - eliminating it does not solve for unhappy marriages).

    I am merely asking the government to give me more control over how my rights and belongings (both physical and legal) are allocated.

    I think the institution of marriage is harmful to a person's rights and relationships. I think it's dated and unneccessary. I think it's unfair and creates a false role for the government by making the arbitor of relationships.

    1. I think there should be a streamlines process for any contractual process which is not tied to any particular pre-requist, apart the person holding the right to allocate them. Issues of insurance and benefit are kin-related. Married people are considered kin, but why can't households of any configeration qualify for that? Even if it's being shared by friends, everyone is still contributing.

    I fully admit my idea is challenging, and I also admit it is probably not easily feasible in the current system. But I would like to see it become an eventual reality.

    My main goal is two-fold. First, is that I don't believe personal affairs are the government's to validate or invalidate for any reason (and I agree with you, as per gay marriage). Second is that I think the construct of marriage is harmful. And third is that I do think it's fundamentally unfair - married people get more tax breaks even if both people are working and living is easier, and a married person qualifies for low-income in AZ and I, as a single adult, do not.

    2. They can attain that access through other means (if we'd stop restricting it to marriage) and the concept itself is harmful because it always fails the majority of people and it rips lives apart. It didn't work even when people only lived 40 years, but now that we live twice that long it's even less realistic. Humans are not life maters. Trying to force ourselves to be results in suffering.

    Nothing is stopping someone from having a symbolic marriage. But them having he monopoly on the control of their assets is discriminatory and kind of senseless besides, since marriage is a flawed institution.

    3. Absolutely, but do they deserve a legal status for it?

    Marriage is a dated, pointless, and discriminatory institution even outside of the gay marriage issue. I don't think it belongs as part of society. I agree this may not be immediately feasible, but I think getting rid of it is the ideal, and it is already becoming a social reality in some places.

  3. #63
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    My parents were born in the 20's. They married for love. They stayed married for life, despite various ups and downs. My mother was never the same after my father passed; when her friends told her she should consider dating, she said that she had never wanted any other man and never would. 57 years.

    This used to be commonplace.
    yes, it did.

    My parents were married for 66 years, until they died within a month of each other. My wife's parents have been married nearly 70 years now, and still are. At 90, it's hard to see how either one would get along without the other. I've been married for 43 years now, and couldn't imagine cheating or leaving at this point.

    I think it's a matter of putting someone else first in your life. If every child brought into this world were to be born into a relationship in which both each parent put the other first, our society would be drastically better than it is.

    Could it be that most of our societal problems boil down to selfishness?
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

  4. #64
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    Honestly, that's really confusing. Why get rid of legal marriage, if you just want people to have the same results when they are married? Why make something more complicated for the hell of it?

    And if you think people should have the right to give their military benefits, death benefits, insurance benefits, etc. to ANYBODY else, then why not just change the law without nullifying a legal marriage contract?

    In reality, it's going to be hard though... all the hoops and loops to jump through to get to the same place if you simply signed a marriage cert.

    1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. Typically these are composed of about 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits. Among them are the rights to:



    1,400 is a lot of hoops to jump through. I'd especially hope they wouldn't miss the one where they'd get to make burial or cremation arrangements when their spouse dies.

    Legal and economic benefits of marriage
    Because then the legal contract is pointless, and it is absolutely nothing more than saying that the government gets to decide if you really love each other.

    I think making it realistic will take time, and I admit that (as per my first post - I don't think it's immediately realistic). But that's only because of the precident of marriage, not because we need it.

  5. #65
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpiher View Post
    Why would all these "benefits" go away with the government stepping out of the marriage realm?
    Because many of those benefits are federally mandated. Marriage contains over 1,000 rights and benefits, recognized and enforced by the government.

    Even if I'm not married, I can leave my life insurance policy to whoever I want. Why can't the same thing happen in other cases?
    A life insurance policy is a tiny fraction of all the other rights and benefits married couples get. If you think some of the laws should be changed and extended to people outside of marriage, l generally don't have a problem with that. I guess it would just depend on which rights and benefits exactly.

  6. #66
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpiher View Post
    That would be all handled by personal contracts. The only role the gov would have is as an arbiter.
    But a legal marriage contract takes care of all those things with one simple contract, instead of several small ones that almost everyone who wants to have a real marriage, taking on those responsibilities, would want, at least for the most part.

    Why have several small contracts that can be consolidated into one single contract to cover all those things?
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  7. #67
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpiher View Post
    The government, but I was talking about my military life insurance. My point was, there isn't any reason why these "benefits" wouldn't still exist without the government defining marriage.
    In that case.. Absoplutely.. But the issue is that some benefites aren't handled through insurance.. If you are military veteran, both you and your wife will get benefits.. If the government doesn't recognize marriage.. The spouse of the veteran will no longer get any benefits.. What if the spouse is a widow?? Should the wife or husband of a KIA soldier be entitled to any benefits??

    Those the questions that I have issues with.. I think spouses should have some recognition and some rights to benefits..
    Last edited by DemonMyst; 05-31-11 at 02:36 AM.

  8. #68
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MistressNomad View Post
    Because then the legal contract is pointless, and it is absolutely nothing more than saying that the government gets to decide if you really love each other.

    I think making it realistic will take time, and I admit that (as per my first post - I don't think it's immediately realistic). But that's only because of the precident of marriage, not because we need it.
    Not now. The only thing that should be changed is allowing either sex to marry either sex. That way the government has no say whatsoever on whether a person is in love or not, because their getting the legal contract of marriage is just them entering into a contract with the person they wish to fulfill the legal role of "spouse" in their life.

    Marriage is also the only legal way, currently, to make an adult a legal member of a person's family when there is little to no blood relation. Family already has certain rights automatically granted by the government just due to blood ties or legal paperwork of adoption.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  9. #69
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    yes, it did.

    My parents were married for 66 years, until they died within a month of each other. My wife's parents have been married nearly 70 years now, and still are. At 90, it's hard to see how either one would get along without the other. I've been married for 43 years now, and couldn't imagine cheating or leaving at this point.

    I think it's a matter of putting someone else first in your life. If every child brought into this world were to be born into a relationship in which both each parent put the other first, our society would be drastically better than it is.

    Could it be that most of our societal problems boil down to selfishness?
    To get a bit more esoteric with this, I am going to challenge that. I'm not making a point, necessarily - just describing a differing position that I'm curious of your position on. To do that, I'm going to use myself as an example.

    I obviously disagree with the institution of marriage. I also happen to be childfree (no kids, under any circumstances).

    So what does that leave me with?

    Well, first it leaves me with tons of time for other pursuits in life. Some of these pursuits happen to be very humanitarian. I want to positively change the world, and I work towards that. I haven't placed anyone higher than me, and yet that doesn't mean I act selfishly.

    Secondly, it requires me to completely reframe how I see relationships. I do not focus on an end goal. The relationship lasts however long it does, whether that's forever or until next week. While I am more than willing to work out problems, I'm not going to beat a dead horse. But what is absolutely critical to me is true honesty and caring, intellectual enjoyment, etc.

    I'm friends with all of my ex's, with the exception of one who turned out to be a crazy stalker dude. My partners and ex's tell me I am the least dramatic person they've ever been involved with, and we learned a lot from each other.

    I am not placing them above me. I won't sacrifice my happiness. But that doesn't mean I'm being selfish. It just means I have different goals in a relationship. And that I use my desire to affect positive change differently. And I think more productively.

    Do you think what I'm doing hurts society? Do you think I'm selfish, because I think marriage is, for me, a waste of time and a false road to accomplishment?

  10. #70
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    Re: What should be the government's involvement in marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    But a legal marriage contract takes care of all those things with one simple contract, instead of several small ones that almost everyone who wants to have a real marriage, taking on those responsibilities, would want, at least for the most part.

    Why have several small contracts that can be consolidated into one single contract to cover all those things?
    And if they get a divorce or breakup... OMG.. they'd have to go back and undo all those contracts. Talk about a migraine. If they screwed up and missed undoing one contract or didn't undo it soon enough, their ex would have them by the balls. Scary.

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