The Pope defended the marriage as the sacred bond between two people of the opposite sex and urged “authorities to uphold the traditional union between men and women. Speaking at a time when gay marriages are making headlines in the United States, the pope said in a speech over the weekend that marriage is “a pillar of society … on which the natural institution of the family is built. … This is a time when there is no lack of attempts to reduce marriage to a mere individual contract, with characteristics very different from those that belong to marriage and the family, and that end up degrading it.” (qtd. Dershowitz, 2003)
Clearly, this makes a case of marriage as being a religious matter and something the government should not intervene in. The answer to all the problems concerning gay marriage can be solved by creating ‘registered unions’. All people whether gay or straight should first enter into a registered union and then proceed with marriage or any other rituals that are in accordance with their beliefs. “Under this proposal, any couple could register for civil union, recognized by the state, with all its rights and responsibilities.” (Dershowitz, 2003)
Religious couples could then go to the church, synagogue, mosque or other sacred institution of their choice in order to be married. These religious institutions would have total decision-making authority over which marriages to recognize. Catholic churches would not recognize gay marriages. Orthodox Jewish synagogues would not recognize a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew who did not wish to convert to Judaism. And those religious institutions that chose to recognize gay marriages could do so. It would be entirely a religious decision beyond the scope of the state. (Dershowitz, 2003)
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