Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Decriminalization of Unlicensed Heterosexual Coupling

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Patrick Henry in the House of Burgesses by Peter F. Rothermel
An interesting set of stories this week.  First, Virginia is contemplating decriminalization of unlicensed heterosexual coupling.  Here is the old law, just in case anybody is unclear of which I speak:
§ 18.2-345. Lewd and lascivious cohabitation.

If any persons, not married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or, whether married or not, be guilty of open and gross lewdness and lasciviousness, each of them shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor; and upon a repetition of the offense, and conviction thereof, each of them shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(Code 1950, § 18.1-193; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.)
Here we have a beautiful instance of the people doing what is natural, no matter what sort of stupid laws their overseers concoct.  Marriage licensing entered Western Civilization through the Catholic Church, in the 13th century.  Pretty recent as far as recorded human history goes.  However, throughout the history of bureaucratic tape, couples have lived together as married without the paperwork the whole time.  And it is not like people who had the paperwork behaved monogamously if they did not feel like it anyway.

In North America, the State of Massachusetts began licensing marriage in the early 17th century.  It did not take long for the States to use this licensing scheme for racial discrimination that lasted into the 1960's

Today, marriage licensing is used to discriminate in the field of government giveaways.  If a couple possesses a magic marriage permission slip, then they are eligible for the "survivor benefits" lottery, where everybody with a ticket wins!  During World War II there were instances of women marrying men who were on their way to war, several times without bothering with divorces, and receiving federal money for their trouble.  I've never pinned down just how widespread this practice was.  For all anybody knows, it could have just been one instance and the story spread, or it could have been just a handful out of many who were caught.

The federal marriage lottery offers much explanation for a whole community that, until recently, demanded the government stay out of their bedroom: The homosexual community.  Suddenly, when government giveaways are involved, this same 4% of the US population now demands government permission slips for whom they are allowed to have in their bedroom.  In case you did not know, that is the primary function of the licensed marriage.  The people you are allowed intimate relations with are listed on the license.

And now for the other interesting story of the day: Same-sex military couples to get expanded access to benefits, Pentagon says
The Pentagon announced Monday that it would extend additional benefits to same-sex military couples, including access to base facilities and groups as well as joint assignments, the latest move by the Obama administration to heed calls from gays and lesbians pressing for change.

Activists hailed the move as a meaningful step toward full equality, which they say will remain elusive unless a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union is repealed. The additional 20 benefits do not include health-care coverage for same-sex spouses or on-base housing privileges.
None of these benefits are being "extended" to heterosexual couples who did not visit a courthouse for a permission slip, the same permission slip that homosexual couples can obtain in any of nine States, and counting, i.e., it is no longer a paperwork problem for any couple to gain a permission slip for the feds to look at and check a block.

Perhaps the military will catch up to Virginia in the next century.  Only time will tell.  If you want equality, repeal the laws that make us unequal, rather than enacting new laws that merely shift inequality around.

Related post here.
Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

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