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Government Imprimatur of Marriage

Government Imprimatur of Marriage

By Wynn Wagner

When I was a kid, divorce laws in Texas were so strict that it was darn near impossible to get un-hitched. Married couples once went to Nevada or Mexico for divorces because their laws were more lax. When the non-Texas divorce was final, there was never a question that it was a legal divorce. Get divorced in Mexico, and you were divorced everywhere.

That’s all different from the marriage apartheid that some right-wing religions are imposing on citizens. Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics don’t cotton to same-gender marriage. If their own gay members can’t marry, they say that no gay couples should marry.

It’s one thing for a religious cult to keep a sacrament or rite of passage from a minority group within their ranks. It’s quite another to let them dictate the canons for other religious groups.

These religions style themselves as “mainstream.” What they are doing is trying to weld themselves into secular government. These finaglers are trying to be the state religion. In Texas, they’ve succeeded beyond belief.

If cults like the Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists can’t control their own members, they shouldn’t be allowed to get the government to do their enforcers. No government should be the muscle for any religion what can’t keep its own membership to live withing its rules.

My church says that marriage is good. Old Catholicism teaches that we all need love, regardless of race or gender or any of the other accidents of birth. That isn’t good enough for Texas, of course.

My church says I’m married, but Texas thinks it knows more about theology than my church. New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Canada, Scandinavia, and the District of Columbia all say I’m married.

Couples can get divorced in Nevada but can’t get married in New York.

I don’t remember any Southern Baptist saying Texas should ignore Nevada divorces. Some said Nevada was immoral, but that’s different from the caustic effects of getting government to enforce your bigoted notions. If Nevada divorces were legal, then New York marriages should be legal.

This is gerrymandering morality laws.

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