Marriage is a legal issue

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2015

To the editor:

Could I suggest to Joe Jackan (Letter to the editor, July 3, Marriage vs. Civil Unions) that he read the first amendment to the US Constitution which separates church and state.

You suggest in your letter, “The solution is to get the state out of the marriage business and that churches should perform marriages.” Marriage is a legal issue not a religious one, which is why if you wish to be married in a church, synagogue or mosque, the priest, rabbi, or imam must first see your state-issued marriage license.

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Before any couple can marry, no matter how religious they are, they must first get a state license. The state does not sell different but equal licenses for civil union and marriage. The law says that marriage is a civil union.

The state is responsible for the legal issues of marriage not the church. The church cannot make or enforce laws and there are many pertaining to marriage, i.e children, divorce, property, inheritance, medical visitation, long-term care just to name a few. By all means, go to your church for help with spiritual matters, counseling, issues dealing with a troubled conscience, etc. But remember, the law says that when legal decisions must be made within the marriage, only a spouse/guardian can make those decisions, not the priest, pastor, rabbi or imam.

Cathy Calure
Landrum, S.C.