In what way does the National government have power over the issue of gay marriage?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Insofar as the federal government is concerned, marriage is not about an emotional or spiritual or sexual union, but about rights and duties of couples as financial, even commercial entities.  A traditional marriage has, as part of its ritual and as part of its financial contract (including legal rights and responsibilities of offspring), a legal registry in a courthouse somewhere.  But same-sex partnerships have no such legal registry and therefore no such legally acknowledged contract.  Some states have repaired this problem by legalizing these partnerships through a "marriage" registry, that then gives that couple states' rights--hospital visits, adoption privileges, tax exemptions, etc.      Federal "registry" would give same-sex couple national privileges and responsibility, and would eliminate awkwardnesses at state borders.  A    same-sex couple would be treated so in federal taxation also.  The controversy is really linguistic--does the word "marriage" belong to religions? Or is it simply a word in the English language meaning any joining of two or more elements? 

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