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Marriage as an opt-out system

Solve the gay marriage problem
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For a while, i thought a solution to the gay marriage issue would be to abolish the institution of marriage entirely and make it entirely ceremonial, so that anyone who wants to can go through a ceremony which their community deems to make them married, or just the two of them if they like. The problem with that, of course, is that next of kin and probate issues would still exist or change to a rather unsatisfactorily nebulous form.

The people who object to gay marriage are often also against divorce. This can be used to the advantage of resolving the debate.

Instead of abolishing marriage entirely as a legal entity or placing gay and heterosexual marriage on an equal footing, which would apparently annoy some people, change the law so that in a given jurisdiction, and i was thinking Scotland, once one reaches adulthood one is deemed to be married to everyone else in the country who is more distantly related to one than cousinhood.

Those who oppose gay marriage would then have to get divorced in order not to be gay married themselves, and since they oppose divorce too, they are unlikely to do that. Also, they should approve of the move as it promotes the institution of marriage and makes adultery much harder to commit. Also, it means any random person is next of kin, that after death, a person's estate becomes the property of the community. Children also become custody of everyone. I think these three issues might be considered problematic. Could you lot iron them out for me please?

nineteenthly, Feb 05 2013

Marriage as IPO [hippo, Feb 05 2013]

[link]






       An elegant solution. Why Scotland, though?
calum, Feb 05 2013
  

       //...which would apparently annoy some people...//   

       I will never support any idea that doesn't annoy someone, somewhere.
whlanteigne, Feb 05 2013
  

       Unfortunately, many of the "people who object to gay marriage" would also be alienated by this no-close-kin clause.
swimswim, Feb 05 2013
  

       I've started this anno three times now and each time I've started I've almost immediately thought of some objection to the thing I was going to write. So I'm going to go away and think about this one a bit more.
DrBob, Feb 05 2013
  

       Take your time [DrBob], we're all family now. Christmas is at your place this year.
AusCan531, Feb 05 2013
  

       Perhaps it would help if we start by explaining what a marriage contract really is, boys and girls...   

       It's a contract between two people to share their property equally and to split it equally, in the event of dissolution of the contract, regardless of the percentage contribution made by each party to the communal "pot".   

       Divorce courts are really only Equity courts, whose role is to determine the split of assets after the contract is to be annulled. That includes custody of children.   

       The "sacred" nature of marriage is a bit of mumbo- jumbo added to the process in hopes of slowing down the headlong rush to divorce once a couple realise they don't like each other much; as is the ceremony. (Both are "In the eyes of the Lord", which used to mean something to a lot more people than it does today).   

       A marriage means nothing without the contract being signed, though that bit has a significance which has been downplayed by the clergy and romanticists over the years, in favour of emphasising the "holy" nature of marriage, rather than the witnessing of the contract. This is where it has become confused.   

       Marriage used to be quite uncommon, with contractual marriages only performed to recognise alliances between the royals or commercial arrangements between two families of the moneyed elites.   

       Everyone else made do with "common law" marriages, where a group of your friends witnessed you and your spouse jumping over a broomstick before you all went and got sozzled to celebrate.   

       With that in mind, it might be time to start a campaign for equality in marriage on the old, economic basis, so people can understand it's a business agreement more than anything else.
UnaBubba, Feb 05 2013
  

       //it's a business agreement more than anything else// - everyone voted against that idea (see link)...
hippo, Feb 05 2013
  

       Cunning! I didn't know that.
hippo, Feb 05 2013
  

       so, where does the word "license" come in ?
FlyingToaster, Feb 05 2013
  

       Do existing civil partnerships confer the same rights and responsibilities as marriage? What I mean is, are opponents objecting to equality of rights, or merely to the use of a word?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 05 2013
  

       You'll find this funny then; in Canada if a man shacks-up with a woman for six months the government legally declares the two of them to be Common-law married and all of the tax and estate laws surrounding that institution apply.   

       Craziness I say.   

       Yes yes, but what about legal rights? What rights do civil partners not have that married couples do, that the church (or anyone else) could object to?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 05 2013
  

       I was wondering that myself, [MB].   

       [calum], Scotland because the conversation which led to me having this idea was about gay marriage in Scotland.   

       [UB], surprisingly, i agree, although i think it probably depends on what people make of it. I am surprisingly relaxed about the drastically different approaches [grayure] and i take to finance, but then we only shared the erstwhile HB account and not the bank one.
nineteenthly, Feb 05 2013
  

       //gay marriage in Scotland// trying to figure out who wears the kilt in the relationship.
FlyingToaster, Feb 05 2013
  

       I still don't understand what the difference is between 'marriage' and 'civil partnership' in terms of rights.   

       If there's no difference, then in effect one side is saying 'you're not allowed to use our word', and the other side is saying 'we insist on being allowed to use that word', which reduces the whole argument to something out of Life of Brian.   

       If there is a difference (in legal rights) conferred by the term 'marriage', then it ought to be blindingly obvious that same-sex couples should have the same entitlements as opposite-sex couples. What's so hard?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 05 2013
  

       I still don't understand what the difference is between 'marriage' and 'civil partnership' in terms of rights.   

       If there's no difference, then in effect one side is saying 'you're not allowed to use our word', and the other side is saying 'we insist on being allowed to use that word', which reduces the whole argument to something out of Life of Brian. I might just take to calling myself 'pope' for a week.   

       If there is a difference (in legal rights) conferred by the term 'marriage', then it ought to be blindingly obvious that same-sex couples should have the same entitlements as opposite-sex couples. What's so hard?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 05 2013
  

       The problems occur, largely, at two points, [MB]...   

       At death, where the law of succession applies to the estate of any individual who dies intestate. In those cases there is a formula for distribution of the estate, which (depending upon the geographic jurisdiction) doesn't include partners outside the current definition of marital & civil relationships.   

       The other applies, at least in this country, to the right to income streams from pensions and annuities, government or private, and who may be entitled to them in the event of total and permanent incapacitation or death.   

       Given the similarity of the legal systems of the UK and Australia, I imagine there would be some parity in the approach to the issue, in both countries.   

       The US situation is substantially different, as the recognition of prenuptial arrangements and the case law surrounding certain constitutional amendments skew the legal environment in favour of traditional marriage and allow the wealthier partner to dictate terms as to equity settlements in the event of marriage breakdown.
UnaBubba, Feb 05 2013
  
      
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