Same-Sex Marriage and Religion: An Inappropriate Relationship

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Same-Sex Marriage and Religion: An Inappropriate Relationship
Brittney Baker
Key words, names, terms, concepts: California 's Proposition 8, Prop 8; morals legislation; same-sex marriage, gay marriage; religion, religion and politics; separation of church and state; police powers; equal citizenship, equality; 2008 election.
Introduction and Thesis
The debate over same-sex marriage has been a prominent issue in our society over many years now, appearing in several ballot initiatives such as California 's Proposition 8. The idea of allowing two people of the same gender to enter into the institution of marriage has brought out drastic emotions and reactions from many different groups of people. Those who engage in the debate believe
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The History of Religion and Marriage
Before the many religious wars that ravaged through Europe, marriage was almost entirely wrapped up in religion, specifically the Christian faith. It was of course a time of little religious tolerance and if the authority of the Church was questioned, it would produce dire consequences. But even in a climate so different from the one we presently live in, it is interesting to note that it was not required to have a priest or religious leader to solemnize a marriage. Marriage was however controlled by church courts, which are courts that have jurisdiction over a wide array of religious and spiritual concerns. It used to be that only these courts could validate a marriage, and if any conflict arose within a marriage that needed to be dealt with legally, it was addressed there. It was the belief of these church courts, and the religion they were founded upon, that marriage was intended to be a life-long commitment between a man and a woman. As such, it was entered into with a contractual frame of mind that created a specific status for both the male and the female (Henley 2008).
Although marriage was not specifically a contract, it was entered into as such in that both the man and woman must mutually agree to the relationship; and this would effectively establish the marriage, despite the lack of having a tangible contract. Marriage not only created a role for each

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