Gay marriage cannot be an equal rights issue for the simple reason that no one has a right to get married. Marriage is a union freely entered into between two parties. Gay or straight, no one can be married unless another person freely agrees to enter into that union.
Consider all of the single people who are looking for a spouse but are coming up empty-they could claim that their rights were being violated, and could petition the government for redress of their grievance. And the government would have to provide redress - if marriage were a right.
How would that work? In Gideon v. Wainright (as highlighted in the book Gideon's Trumpet by Anthony Lewis), the court ruled that defendants in criminal cases have a right to an attorney. If they lack the means or the methods to have their own attorney, the government will provide one for them.
Some might say the attorneys provided by the Public Defender's Office are not as desirable as private attorneys, but it's better than not having legal representation at all. Defendants rely on the government to provide them with what they need, and they take what they can get.
So if marriage is considered to be a right, then the government can offer a great public service by arranging for marriages through the Office of the Public Spouse.
Here are some guidelines the office should follow:
- No one can be set up with a spouse who is too good looking. That's not fair to those who married homely people of their own volition.
- There can be no discrimination based on sex. This means that a single person doesn't get to specify whether or not their spouse should be male or female.
- The government can't bring up Ephesians 5:22. Ever. This is not a theocracy.
- Everyone must join the government employee union. Not just the public spouses.
The more I think about it, the more I think this really needs to happen. I will not rest until marriage is equal because government sees to it. Of course, I'm already happily married and my wife is a knockout. But I'm just looking out for you.