For years I’ve been arguing that the government should simply get out of the institution of marriage all together, and some folks in Cali are trying to put that idea into motion.
California’s top election official gave two Southern California college students the go-ahead Tuesday to start collecting signatures for a proposed ballot initiative that would end marriage as a state-sanctioned institution.
Ali Shams, 22, a senior at the University of California-San Diego, and Kaelan Housewright, 21, a student at the California Institute of the Arts, want all couples to be eligible only for domestic partnerships, the designation now reserved for elderly couples and same-sex couples who can not legally wed.
The two friends, who say they are straight, submitted their proposal to the secretary of state in late December in response to the gay marriage ban that California voters approved in November.
Their constitutional amendment would repeal the ban, known as Proposition 8, and strike the word “marriage” from licenses, tax forms and other state documents while retaining the rights and responsibilities of marriage for domestic partners.
“The purpose of which is to provide equality amongst all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, without offending the religious sect,” the pair wrote in their application for an initiative title and summary. “Legally speaking, ‘Marriage’ itself would become a social ceremony, recognized by only non-governmental institutions.”
This is the type of compromise our country desperately needs on this issue. After all, the idea that government is essentially sanctioning a religious ceremony has always been a slippery slope, and this initiative addresses it a direct and honest way. And yes, there are some other laws that would need to be changed, but the ball needs to get rolling and solution has to be found. Now more than ever.
The initiative needs almost 700,000 signatures by August 6th so if you’re in Cali and you believe in this, try and find out how you can add your name to the list or volunteer.