"Gay Marriage" by Pargon / CC BY 2.0

Domestic union instead of marriage? Missouri bill would reduce the nuptial definition

Feb 19, 2020

By Alisa Nelson

State Representative Adam Schnelting, R-St. Charles, wants to change the legal definition of marriage to civil unions. During a Missouri House General Laws Committee hearing today about Schnelting’s bill, he says he wants to replace marriage licenses with contracts of domestic unions – sparking opposition by some traditional marriage supporters and the gay rights community.

The interpretation and intent of House Bill 2173 varies greatly from person to person and lawmaker to lawmaker. Arguments ranged from what the bill would do to marriages involving children and adoption rights, gay couples, immigration status, federal benefits, and how a civil union would be recognized in other states for married couples moving to and from Missouri.

Schnelting, a licensed minister and former pastor, says marriage is not the government’s business and his goal is to treat everyone equally.

“Whether you’re religious, whether you’re nonreligious,” he says. “Whether you’re straight, whether you’re a member of the LGBT community, this is about restoring the government to its proper role. If I don’t need a license for my Second Amendment rights, I certainly do not need the government’s permission or a license to marry.”

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One comment on “Domestic union instead of marriage? Missouri bill would reduce the nuptial definition”

  •  “we hope to set an example of the sanctity of marriage. Marriage itself represents a spiritual and mystical union that is imbued with meaning much deeper and more profound than a domestic union,”

    Surely the above is what Adam Schnelting is talking about.  The law should be about protecting the financial, emotional, developmental and civil rights of the couple and any children they might produce.  The law should not be involved in issues such as sanctity, spiritualism  and mysticism – these are the proper sphere of charlatans, preachers and wedding planners: whether or not a union is imbued with depth and profundity is no business of the state or the legal system.

    Sanctity, spiritualism, mysticism. depth and profundity are not the province of parliaments, legislators, lawyers and judges. In fact whilst it is easy to define those terms, it is difficult to point to actual, concrete instances of their manifestation.

    Leave marriage to the church. A couple of legal sentences would ensure the same rights and entitlements for domestic partners – that argument is just a red herring.

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