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Let's just call marriage 'union'
Letter to editor
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Editor, The subject of gay marriage brings many emotions to the table from both sides of this issue. To many traditional Christians, marriage was defined in the Bible in Mark 10 when Jesus said, “... a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh ...”
Many opposed to gay marriage state reasons such as: violates natural law; denies a child of a father or a mother; turns a moral wrong into a civil right; and doesn’t create a family, it makes a sterile union.
To many modern Americans, marriage means making a lifetime commitment to the one you care for, period. Per TFP Student Action, “... marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children ... aids in perpetuating the nation and strengthening society, an evident interest of the state.”
In Abraham Lincoln’s letter to the editor, he states, “... I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be ‘the Union it was ...’ I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
Although Lincoln was talking about slavery, I believe the same argument can be made for the marriage issue. This issue divides our country. The old adage, “united we stand, divided we fall,” is still true. I propose that the solution to the “gay marriage” issue may lay in the wording. I, personally, see “marriage” as a Christian union — it can remain so in your church and heart.
I’m proposing that being married should not give an individual preferential treatment under U.S. law. Many benefits that traditionally married couples now enjoy are denied to non-traditional partners. We are Americans and should enjoy the same rights under the law that provide for our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
I propose a solution that may satisfy both sides of this argument and provide for expansion of what is known as a family — civil union for all. This can take many forms: man/woman; woman/woman; man/man; roommate/roommate; best friend/best friend; etc. The possibilities are endless.
Current marriages will fall under current “common law marriage” rules or could file for a back-dated civil union. The wording in the current law will be amended from “marriage” to “civil union,” from “spouse” to “partner.” This change must start at the federal level. Any company receiving federal or state assistance would be expected to follow suit. Private companies will continue to make their own choices. The civil union may or may not have a romantic component.
A civil union provides for stability, both financial and emotional. Love is what makes a family. Unity is what makes a union. U.S. law must separate itself from the emotional element of the individual and provide for the greatest good for its citizens.

— Paula JO Surla, Richmond Hill

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