US: Anti-gay marriage group proposes ‘straights only’ civil unions
An anti-gay marriage group in the US has proposed the idea of a new form of union only open to straight couples.
The Ruth Institute, which was previously affiliated to the National Organisation for Marriage, made the proposal after a Supreme Court decision this week for the first time brought same-sex marriage to a number of states.
In a dramatic shift to previous strategy, the Catholic group suggests abandoning the marriage fight altogether – and instead creating a new kind of legal partnership only open to opposite-sex couples.
The proposal states: “Since an essential public purpose of civil marriage in the United States has been to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another, and since this essential purpose is being overwritten and therefore discarded due to gender neutral marriage and parenting laws, we propose to establish civil unions that are gender based–one man and one woman.
“With respect to taxation, parentage, federal benefits, etc. (reference), they will be legally equivalent to (now gender neutral) marriage in everything but the name.
“The legal doctrine that was formerly known as the marital presumption of paternity, which existed in order to attach the father to the family, was distorted into the marital presumption of parentage under gender neutral marriage and parentage.
“It shall be restored to its former function of attaching the father to the family for these civil unions. Gender based terms shall be used to describe the parties, such as male, female, mother, father, etc.
“Male/female couples who were previously considered married under the gender neutral system may opt into a gender-based civil union.
“Churches who uphold marriage as the union between a man and a woman can perform these ceremonies under whatever name they wish. If they wish to call it marriage, they can do so.
“There will be no speech restrictions regarding what individuals, churches, or other private entities call these unions. However, with respect to the legal code, they will be called civil unions. ”
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