Separating government and marriage

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 17 2014 | 12:01 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:44 am in

By Ron Moore


We in the United States have widely different views on marriage. Marriage attitude and commitment often is proscribed by our culture’s widely different religious beliefs and advisers.

Some believe sex without marriage is OK, some don’t. Some believe that raising children without a marriage partner is OK, some don’t.

Same-sex marriage, some yes, some no. Some consider marriage a lifelong commitment; others intend to stay married only while they are happy in it.

Sex is supposed be restricted to inside marriage only, but some say it’s OK if I can get away with it; some just agree with their spouse let’s both do it but without our children knowing.

So what business is it that the government must proscribe the legality of marriages and ending marriages? What does this accomplish except controversy? It certainly is an intrusion into our personal lives and beliefs. It is easy for Americans to condemn the Taliban that when it comes into power it will impose strict Islamic rules on all under its control, whether they agree with those religious rules or not.

It is more difficult for many Americans to appreciate how unfair it is for them to obtain governmental imposition of their religious rules on


Government needs to protect its citizens from harm from others. How people live together should be their own business unless they emotionally or physically harm or steal from each other.

So what would be the problem if we eliminate the government from establishing a legal marriage?

Marriage between two people would be established and consummated by their church or by legalizing a contract of their choosing. A legal contract to which the partners agree could set out division of assets upon separation and clarify other areas of concern. The contract could be used or not used whether there is a marriage ceremony or not. We could let partners live together as we do now without being married or without a contract on asset division on


So what about the government benefits, especially with income taxes, that only government-approved married couples receive?

Unmarried are thereby discriminated against. If there is no government-established marriage, then it would be obvious that these benefits could no longer be given.

In fact, “married” and “non-married” should be added to the list of citizens who cannot be discriminated against. Any two adults could file joint tax returns and be protected against death taxes when one dies.

Big deal? Not really.

There are many other

areas where the government is intruding into our private lives and our personal

beliefs, which are not the

legitimate involvement

of the government.

They are just another difference of belief about right and wrong, different opinions one group is trying to force on another group.

Let’s practice our own beliefs and be more tolerant and less intrusive of the beliefs of others.

l Ron Moore of Cedar Rapids is a risk management consultant and a former member and president of the Cedar Rapids Community School District Board of Education. Comments:

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