replacing government sanctioned marriage with a neutral “civil license”Submitted by want_my_country_back on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 07:46
Washington D.C., May 28, 2009 / 04:41 am (CNA).- Doug Kmiec, a prominent Catholic who backed Barack Obama’s presidential bid, has endorsed replacing marriage with a neutral “civil license,” a proposal law professor Robert P. George called a “terrible idea” that would make the government neglect a vital social institution.
Speaking to CNSNews.com, Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec said that although his solution to disputes over the definition of marriage might be “awkward,” it would “untie the state from this problem” by creating a new terminology that would apply to everyone, homosexual or not. “Call it a ‘civil license’,” he said.
“The net effect of that, would be to turn over--quite appropriately, it seems to me, the concept of marriage to churches and a church understanding,” he said.
Kmiec said that a motive for California’s Proposition 8, which restored the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman, was religious believers’ “genuine concern” that the California ruling imposing homosexual “marriage” was not addressing religious freedom issues.
Saying he was among those believers who had such concern, Kmiec noted the possibility that churches which don’t acknowledge same-sex “marriage” could be subject to penalty, lose public benefits, or be subject to lawsuits “based on some theory of discrimination.”
Kmiec argued “civil licenses” would address the question. He proposed the state withdraw from “the marriage business” and do licensing “under a different name” to satisfy government interests for purposes of taxation and property.