Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Civil partnerships as caregiving relationships

A reader responds to my post on SSM, suggesting that we:

construct laws and confer benefits that encourage folks to care for one another: let me carry my brother on my health insurance and put him up in my house, and let him get auxiliary Social Security benefits on my record, should we choose to throw in our lot together and enter into one of these arrangements. Let me do the same with my wife. I'll "marry" her in the Church, and then "register" my partnership with the same woman with the government to take advantage of whatever gov't benefits society wants to bestow on folks who pledge to look out for one another.

In this dream world, the word "marriage" would not even appear in the government calculation. The Church and other private actors would concern themselves with marriage. The government would simply ask: who have you thrown your lot in together with so that you pledge to take care of each other. That other person could be a relative, friend, or sex partner who you married in a Church, or all of the above.


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