Gay marriage: repeat of prohibition?

Marital equivalents of limited liability companies would arise.

With Federal Marriage Amendment proponents unable to garner even the simple majority needed to continue Senate debate, the issue will fade – at least for a while.

Only one other time in U.S. history has an constitutional amendment limited the rights of U.S. citizens. That amendment, better known as prohibition, was repealed thereafter.

Shameless base-stirring politics aside, as prohibition left the unintended side effect of organized crime, in the long term, the Federal Marriage Amendment would likely undermine marriage – the institution supporters claim it would save.

The list of benefits homosexuals seek includes adoption and inheritance rights, loss of companionship benefits in a wrongful death suit, death benefits under workers’ compensation laws and the ability to claim spousal privilege to avoid testifying against their partner, to name a few.

If constitutionally banned from marrying, homosexual couples will likely seek to create legal and social situations approximating marriage as close as possible.

While some rights, such as government issued Social Security benefits, could not likely be attained in the face of a gay marriage ban, other aspects of marriage could be mimicked.

Once these quasi-married options existed, some heterosexual couples looking for the legal and financial benefits of marriage without the hassle of commitment would likely utilize them. Essentially, couples gay or straight could obtain most of the legal benefits of being a legally wedded couple without officially being married. In time, the marital version of limited-liability companies might dominate society.

These couples would not actually be married, and dissolving their arrangements would likely be easier than divorce. Divorce is difficult and economically painful because it is in the best interests of a stable society, not to mention its children, that divorce is and marriage not is taken lightly.

Proponents of a gay-marriage ban argue they are fighting for the sanctity of marriage, when in actuality a gay marriage amendment would most likely help to further undermine the institution of marriage.