By Tony Farkas
In yet another trip down the road to superfluous nonsense, earlier this month our vaunted federal leaders decided that since they respect marriage, that there needed to be a law forcing everyone to do the same.
It makes sense, I guess, since 26 years ago these (mostly) same people passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which essentially defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. This, in turn denied same-sex couples the same latitude as traditional couples, such as employment benefits, inheritance, etc.
Since wokeness is an even more epidemial nightmare than the latest strain of COVID, Congress and President Biden succumbed and now there is the Respect for Marriage Act, which takes the Defense of Marriage Act and stomps on its bigoted little heart.
Champagne corks were popped, people were clapping and there was much rejoicing, since now the government is on the side of truth, justice and moral integrity, and anyone can marry anyone else they want, because marriage is sacred etc., etc.
Even though there were naysayers, nowhere in this debate that I can find did someone ask the real obvious question, “Why does this (or any other) government need to interfere in this?”
Many of you can attest to this: In my first marriage, I was required to not only get permission in the form of a license (?) to get married, but I was also required (??) to submit the results of a blood test. A state-ordered and -sanctioned medical procedure.
As of 2019, there are no states left that require the blood test, but every state (probably every country as well) requires a prospective couple to get a financed permission slip from the county (based on state law) to get hitched.
My concern here isn’t that the feds yet again waded into the middle of something as personal as a marriage, but that the government has anything at all to do with this.
Why are we required to get permission to get married? This is a civil institution, usually blessed through a religion. Would my current wife, whom I love dearly, be any less my wife if I didn’t have the proper paperwork? Would my vows be any less heartfelt, or my commitment any less intense, if I didn’t have a signed, stamped and filed license?
There are only two reasons I can think of for a government to need this kind of information, and they are control and money.
Money is obvious, in that in order for you to get permission to get married, you have to pay for it.
Control is incredibly insidious, but even more pervasive. The government now has access to your information, and has the final say on yes or no. There are even states that suggest — very strenuously — that you attend marriage classes to learn how to be married.
The people that perform the ceremonies must be authorized for that.
If you want your benefits to include your partner, you must conform to the laws which govern businesses (including insurance companies), and the license is required if you want to pass on your inheritance to your partner.
All of this is not the purview of our government, and completely unnecessary, and given that government causes more problems when it is in charge of things, it should step aside.
Tony Farkas is editor of the Trinity County News-Standard and the San Jacinto News-Times.