The antidiscrimination principle is appealed to not in order to show that some married couples have previously been denied the recognition of their marriage. In particular, we need to be clear about what constitutes a civil right. Those who want homosexual relationships to be redefined as marriages say that many aspects of their relationships are like marriage—having sexual play, living together, loving one another, etc. This is the material legal matter of properly recognizing and identifying what exists and distinguishing between marriages and auto clubs, between schools and banks, between friendships and multinational corporations. One kind of social relationship that government recognizes, for example, is a free contract by which two or more parties agree to carry out a transaction or engage in some kind of activity. If someone wants to argue that two people who have not in the past been recognized as marriage partners should now be recognized as marriage partners, one must demonstrate that marriage law not civil rights law has overlooked or misidentified something that it should not have overlooked or misidentified.
Moreover, marriage is something people of all faiths and no faith engage in.
Same-Sex "Marriage" Is Not a Civil Right
There is no civil rights discrimination against an eight-year-old youngster who is denied the right to enter into marriage. Subscribe to our mailing list. For thousands of years, marriage law has concerned itself with a particular kind of enduring bond between a man and a woman that includes sexual intercourse—the kind of act that can but does not always lead to the woman's pregnancy. Rather, it is an appeal for judges and lawmakers to ignore those distinctions in order not to deny citizens the right to call things what they want to call them. To recognize in law the distinct character of a marriage relationship, which entails sexual intercourse, involves no discrimination of a civil rights kind against those whose bonds do not include sexual intercourse. Rather the antidiscrimination principle is being used to ask that no citizen be denied the right to call something what he or she wants to call it.
The law of contract does not define ahead of time what might be contracted; it simply clarifies the legal obligations of the contracting parties and the consequences if the contract is broken. Subscribe to our mailing list. Churches, synagogues, and mosques may bless marriages but they do not create the institution. If this happens, we will need to pay close attention to the consequences. Civil rights protections function simply to assure every citizen equal treatment under the law depending on what the material dispute in law is all about.