Debate:Marriage should be deregulated

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What's the point of keeping marriage as a legal institution? After I thought about it, it seems bizarre to me that the government is involved in keeping two (opposite gendered in most states in the US) contracted together. Why can't it be a completely personal thing? Fuckertalk to me :D 01:11, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

There are financial and other legal issues that are granted at the time of marriage. YOu have a legal obligation to care for children created or adopted during the marriage; you have a legal responsibility to care for your spouse should that person become ill; you have a legal responsibility to pay joint debt, in many countries, you have a limited legal responsibility to the parents of your spouse if they have no other support or legal representation; you have the legal right to bring your partner and his or her family into the country; you have the legal right to joint debt which helps some people get beyond a bad past; you have the legal right to tax breaks (though this one isn't what it's cracked up to be). None of that can be easily done via contract law. some, like the ability to sponsor family into citizenship cannot be done any other way. Also, a woman or man has a right to expect that you are not already married when he or she marries you - the law at this time, prevents you from having another spouse - not that it doesn't happen now and then.
When you are married, you get to visit your spouse and make choices for him if he's in the hospital; non married couples would have to have legal contracts drawn up to give them this right as well as the natural right of spousal inheritance. Very expensive to hire lawyers. Just ask gay couples.
Marriage plays an important role in our community. To remove legal marriage or Civil Unions (as in France, Germany, UK?) would be a total legal nightmare.--Pink mowse.pngGodotAround, around, around, around, over, and under and through 02:12, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
"YOu have a legal obligation to care for children created or adopted during the marriage"
Don't people have a legal obligation for any children that they created or adopted, extramarital or not?
"you have a legal responsibility to care for your spouse should that person become ill"
I don't think it should be a legal responsibility.
"you have a legal responsibility to pay joint debt"
I don't really know what that is, sorry.
"you have a limited legal responsibility to theparents of your spouse if they have no other support or legal representation"
Again, I don't think it should be a legal responsibility.
"you have the legal right to bring your parent and his or her family into the country"
Coincidentally, I think our borders should be completely open.
"you have the legal right to joint debt which helps some people get beyond a bad past"
Still don't know what that is :(
"you have the legal right to tax breaks"
I don't understand why marriage should, in and of itself, entitle tax breaks. Kids are another matter entirely, of course.
"Also, a woman or man has a right to expect that you are not already married when he or she marries you - the law at this time, prevents you from having another spouse - not that it doesn't happen now and then."
I don't think that should be a right.
"When you are married, you get to visit your spouse and make choices for him if he's in the hospital; non married couples would have to have legal contracts drawn up to give them this right as well as the natural right of spousal inheritance. Very expensive to hire lawyers. Just ask gay couples."
This is a good point, and I don't really have an answer to it.
"Marriage plays an important role in our community. To remove legal marriage or Civil Unions (as in France, Germany, UK?) would be a total legal nightmare."
Yeah, I doubt marriage will be de-governmentized anytime soon, but a liberal can dream.

Fuckertalk to me :D 02:27, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
The argument in favor of legal marriage as a form of special sanctioned contract boils down to one essential point: adherents argue that the government has a vested and proper interest in promoting stable families, because stable families mean a stable country with less crime, social upheaval, and better childcare. I have some sympathy with this view.--ADtalkModerator 02:37, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

I want to know how exactly government-sanctioned marriage promotes stable families, and the evidence that their definition of 'stable family' promotes the things they purport it does. Flubbertalk to me :D 02:49, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I doubt that state-regulated marriage does very much to promote the stability of families. However, as far as divorce goes, it has been a godsend, removing the process from the hands of religious courts. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:02, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
IT sounds to me from the tenor of your argument that you just really don't like laws. As long as they are open to everyone, I really don't have a problem with marriage, and i think it's an important legal status. Cause i *do* think there should be a legal obligation of someone who takes on a particular contract, to care for you if you get slammed into a coma in a car wreck, or get cancer. Your legal answer might be to divorce, but you can't just *not* do something. I would probably be fine with limited polygamy, as well, if you could figure out the legal issues, and find ways to keep some sense of financial management. (Typically, communities that are into many wives tend to discourage the women from working outside of the home, so one man's income has to support all the women and kids. Most of these illegal marriages involve men who are taking welfare for the kids). I also am in favor of a "social marriage" contract between two friends (especially older people) who agree to live with eachother in the sense of spouses, in that they care for each other, leave each other their home, etc., but are not sexual partners. I've seen many older men and women who are basically straight, form these long term "later year" bonds with someone they trust. But they cannot have shared insurance, or give their social security away, and they have to pay high inheritance taxes, vs., spousal taxes. Pink mowse.pngGodotAround, around, around, around, over, and under and through 03:07, 2 December 2011 (UTC) (edit conflict...)
The strongest argument against polygamy has always been the assortment of wretches practicing it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:29, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
The idea is that by providing financial incentives and a wide variety of ease-of-use incentives, like healthcare and inheritance without worry, the government makes marriage a desirable contract for couples to enter into and stay in. Speaking as someone who got married earlier than he would otherwise have done because of such incentives,[1] I can attest that they do sometimes work. But whether or not that's a good way to do things, I don't know. I will say that it's very hard to come up with another way to legally designate where families begin and end. If marriage did not exist, then my wife would be a legal stranger to me and not covered under my healthcare or any similar niceties. That would not be acceptable to me. Some form of marriage seems necessary, although certainly the government should allow any two consenting adults to get married.--ADtalkModerator 03:21, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I think that the reason that marriage has got such a bad rap in recent years is because we are accustomed to the Christian version of it, which raises the bar impossibly high. In the days of handfasting, there were very few ideals attached to the institution. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:25, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Actually, now that Godot has mentioned it, I'd be in favor of turning marriage into 'social marriage', where any two or more people could form a legal contract recognizing the relationship between them, and have similar benefits and responsibilities and whatnot as traditional, romantic marriage -- maybe they could even choose which benefits and responsibilities and whatnot they'd want to have. Fidgetertalk to me :D 03:29, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

They had something like that, unofficially, in the 1960s. It was called a "commune." We see how that worked out. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:33, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
What. How is that... what? Flinttalk to me :D 03:50, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Groups of several people trying to share their lives and fortunes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:24, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. I got married in Bangkok rather than waiting until I was back home in the States with my family, six months later.