Marriage a matter for religious organizations
Letter to the editor,
Government should get out of the “Holy Matrimony” business and leave its celebration to religious organizations. This move would be in accord with the First Amendment’s provision that government “make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” Sacraments and rituals of sanctification are properly non-public matters of private concern that are pursued in harmony with individual conscience and proclivity.
Government does however have a responsibility to protect the rights of consenting adults to freely enter into relational and obligatory contracts. In conformity to its Constitutional responsibility to keep State law from impairing this contract right of citizens, governmental licensing of marriage should be stripped of all religious trappings and redefined as a civil union.
If gays and lesbians, or others, desire to extend their civil union into Sacramental Marriage, they can find a body of faith that is willing to sanctify their contractual relationship. If they cannot find one, their freedom of religion entitles them to start a denomination of their own.
West Branch, IA