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Monday, October 25

BLOG 7: PACKS (Pacte civil de solidarité)

More and more people are becoming skeptical of the institution of marriage. The high divorce rates on the one hand, (55% in Sweden, 45% in the US, 38% in France), increasing numbers of single parenthood on the other (in 2007, in the US 40% of babies were born to single moms), financial stress that complicates the rearing of children, infidelity becoming  more common (20% of men and 15% of women under 35 reported cheating), the no-fault divorce making the process easy and cheap, all have contributed to a fear of tying the knot, here, in the UK, and in Korea.

Well, is there an alternative besides cohabitation? The answer is coming from France in a package called PACKS (Pacte civil de solidarité).  As you have probably guessed, it is a civil union. The law was enacted to allow gay couples have some of the benefits of a marriage but it soon attracted the heterosexual population as well. The contents of the legislation allow the two partners to become contractants and organize their common life. They do it by registering a common declaration to the court in which they state their address in France or abroad. The contractants agree to mutual help while they are jointly responsible for debts occurred because of household expenses. They are eligible for tax benefits after three years while the tenant’s lease may transfer to the other partner if one leaves or dies. Also health benefits are transferable to the partner.

How do you dissolve it? Simply by filing  a common statement, or after a three month delay at the request of one partner. No lawyers involved, no legal fees, no lengthy processes.

How popular is it? The number has grown from 6,000 in 1999, to 140,000 in 2008. It is a half solution to marriage, it offers some of the benefits and removes the costs of a long term commitment.

 What is your opinion on the new form of union? 


Lauren said...

To be honest, nothing about this union bothers me. To be even more honest, I really do not care. I don’t really believe in marriage-at least not today’s version of marriage. It just seems like nothing but a piece of paper and people getting married treat it as if it is nothing but that. People say it is the ultimate act of love and commitment. To me, and this is just MY opinion, it is even more of a commitment to stay with someone without having been married. Marriage adds way too much pressure to a relationship and that feeling of “I am bound to this person for life” gets to some. I guess if you really found someone that you knew without a doubt was “the one,” but I am too much of a pessimistic when it comes to that. I mean how the heck do you know with out a doubt that they are “the one?” You can never know if your absolutely, 100% sure. I am probably getting way off subject here. I apologize. To get back to the Pacte civil de solidarité-I say it is ok in my books. I am not one to judge when it comes to someone’s sexuality, so to see that it would give gay couples benefits adds an extra nod of approval by me. Because I believe they are individuals and human beings too, and should be treated the same as others. Just my opinion. :)

yulia8na said...

I was aware of civil unions for gay couples, but it did not phase me that it was legal for heterosexual couples or popular. This is the first time I am hearing about this.

I do not disagree to it at all, but I do think young couples and teens will definitely take advantage of it since it is alot less complicating than marriage and less costly. Marriage is a commitment that is generally a serious decision to make.

I believe Pacte civil de solidarité will be the new form of marriage. People are living longer and healthier, exploring new horizons of life, and we all change and go though phases of life. Our new technologies are making it easier to become versatile and letting us become who we want to be. A person is no longer as religious to the church or constrained to a certain town all their life as it was in the past. There are new ideas forming and greater understandings of people and culture than before.

The only thing I don’t understand, is when a couple dissolves the declaration. How can there be no lawyers? Maybe not for the separation itself, but who keeps the residence of which they both paid for and such? People are still going to want things out of the relationship in which they shared.

Jayme said...

I like the idea behind PACKS. WAY TO GO FRANCE!!!! It’s a modern approach to marriage and I believe that it will be an interesting view to couples. Marriage is a wonderful thing, but getting married is a personal choice. I believe that the standard definition or concept of marriage is a religious ceremony. I see marriage as a state of mind. My husband and I chose to make personal commitments to each other before we were legally married. We shared responsibility for bills and household needs; we choose to share banking and savings accounts.
I believe that my husband and I would have taken advantage of the new union since the benefits are applied to both spouses.

Also, I believe that a couple who chooses to be together and they truly love each other will try to work through life together. Life is about compromise and working together and no form of legal agreement can change the basics of making a partnership work.

Jayme said...

I wanted to pose a couple of questions for the French Students;

What is the standard view point of marriage? Older verses new generation.

Does anyone know a couple whom have are in a PACKS union?

If so how have their families received their relationship?

Is the relationship any different than a “typical marriage”?

Junglist said...

This concept strikes me as a pragmatic solution to a costly problem. It is hard enough going through the dissolution of a serious relationship without having to involve strangers; lawyers, possibly a judge. Decreasing the amount of paperwork also is very appealing. Although I guess the first benefit is really a byproduct of the second as most people need the lawyers to explain the process, paperwork and help make sure each of those is in order. In my opinion people’s personal relationships are just that, personal. The actual relationship on a day to day basis is more important than the paperwork anyway. I agree with Lauren’s statement about it relieving pressure as well. If the love is no longer there I see no reason for a person to feel trapped in a relationship because of legal concerns. All in all it seems like a viable solution, especially when the current institution does not work for many.

Lauren said...

Those are really good questions Jayme! I look forward to reading the answers to them from some of the French students. I also can not agree with you more when you said “Life is about compromise and working together and no form of legal agreement can change the basics of making a partnership work.” It seems like marriage, now a days, has become more of a business transaction then anything else.

Chantal said...

I am not bothered by the PACKS solution at all. I am still old fashioned though and beleive in the union of husband and wife for myself. But I have to say to each his own. So if this union works better than seeing more than 50% of marriages end in divorce, I am all for it. I do think it would be a great alternative to couples divorcing. I see so many people get married for the wrong reasons and this solution would definitely help decrease all the legalities involved in a divorce settlement.
As for gay or lesbian couples, If this is a way that works for them too, i have no issues with it. Many people feel the marriage license is just a piece of paper giving the pther partner entitlements, so this would definitely benefit alot of people who don't need that frustration and hassle.

Athena Smith said...

Here is a news article on heterosexuals desiring a civil union.
Why would a straight couple want a civil partnership?

shoegirl1010 said...
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shoegirl1010 said...
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shoegirl1010 said...

Since the first divorce was granted in Maryland in 1701, divorced rates have increased drastically. According to the Census Bureau, in 1950, 1% of men and women were divorced. By 2000, that number jumped drastically to 9% of men and 12% of women were divorced. Will this agreement lower these numbers? Probably, but so will the increase in couples cohabitating and the increasing percentage of women who do not wish to get married.

I am usually a progressive thinker but call me old fashioned, what is the point? I don't disagree nor do I agree but just like Lauren, I really don't care. I can see where an agreement like this might benefit homosexual couples since most states do know allow nor acknowledge gay marriages. Besides the legalization of gay marriages, this agreement can provide a very good alternative to those couples barred from marriage. But what I don't see, is how it benefits a heterosexual couple. Yes you can get a couple of tax breaks after three years(if you make it that long) and you can have the apartment under your name if he/she dies? But Why have a need to see it on a piece of paper? I believe that a true union should be based on much more than that. Call me a romantic, but I think that we live in a very romantically cynical and challenged world: A world with prenups and PACKS. I have a friend who has been living with her boyfriend for 15 years. They have two beautiful children, a house, two cars and even a dog. They have never felt the need to take the walk down the aisle because they feel it is just a piece of paper. They are still as equally committed to each other as any other married couple-maybe even more. So another legal paper does not really guarantee a future with someone. It doesn't guarantee that they wont take your money and leave, or cheat on you. It certainly does not guarantee that happily ever after. All it its just a piece of paper.

shoegirl1010 said...

Well done Jayme! I think that if many people would do things the same way you and your husband did, we would have less divorced couples-including myself. I got married very young-like I said in my post, I am one of those romantics. However,if my husband and I would've laid out that solid foundation first we would've been more successful. Don't get me wrong, we were married 13 years but it came undone very quickly because that foundation was not there.

Junglist said...

Shoegirl, I think the PACKS idea is more about limiting cost and liability if a relationship doesn’t work more than trying to keep one together. There isn’t any contract or institution that will prevent cheating or dishonest behavior. From the way it has been described here it sounds to me as if a packs union would be a bit different than marriage in the aspect that liability would be limited to debts incurred while the union was in place versus marriage where you take on the other person’s debts from before a union as well. I agree with you that we live in a romantically challenged society. It is a sad thing. I do believe no one will be able to change that except the people in the society and PACKS is only aimed at trying to develop a solution with some of the same benefits while limiting some of the negatives.

LaSandra67 said...

I agree with Lauren and the rest. I really don't care what one couple chooses to call it. PACK. Well, ok then. I feel it would be sort of difficult for people in the United States to accept it because many of our lovely citizens are caught up in the ritualistic perception of what marriage is. PACK is a contract. Right? They are recieving tax benefits after three years like a married couple. Any debts that they incur are to be handled by both. It seems no different than a marriage to me. One has religious, and traditional back up. Let us not forget emtional. The other has no religious or traditional back up at all. It works for me. But I must ask if one decides to leave , does the matter of emotion come to play? Is it possible for them to get half of everything like a marriage? After seven years in the state of Mississippi as a common law husband or wife you are considered an actual husband or wife. I think that they should just refine common law marriage to include gays and lesbians.

Anonymous said...

I do not think that PACKS is a "solution" to the problem. I agree that people who want to be together should, ESPECIALLY gay couples and are entitled to ALL the rights given to heterosexual couples who marry. However, I believe this is a way to turn away from religion, not to solve our problems. If couples have to live together because of the economy, THEN LET'S CHANGE THE ECONOMY. If gay couples can't marry, THEN LET'S CHANGE THE LAW. I agree 100% with the idea. However, I feel as though this is a way to circumvent some of the real problems facing our society. Yes, marriage is a serious commitment, but if something is easy, THEN I DON'T WANT IT! Marriage is a complete commitment. PACKS says to you, "hey, you no longer have to try your hardest. Just feel things out and see where they go."

We have to change some real problems in society that are creating this high divorce rate. The "family" is no longer desired. That deep commitment that was once required is gone.

Christina said...

Like a lot of you I have to agree that PACKS is a really progressive movement in terms of civil union. And I'm personal and especially surprised that heterosexual couples are adopting this sense of "marriage". I mean lets be honest here in the states there is a clear difference between the civil unions that are granted to homosexual couples and plain marriage. So for a country to diminish the very foundation of "marriage", and just let people be together, no matter the gender or orientation(gay or straight) they can share the same rights without the pressure of the grandfather institution of tradition marriage. But I do have a couple question: 1. does any one of the French students personally or know somebody that is in a PACK union, if so how does it differ REALLY from the real marriage rights? 2. This is for my fellow American, do you see this trend maybe crossing the pond(I hope so!!)?

Liz A. said...

I really do not have a problem with this. I am a firm believer in marriage being the ultimate act of love, but I also like PACKS. I believe that many other people would also like it because people are losing faith in marriage. I believe it takes a lot of trust to put your life in the hands of another, and that is why I believe marriage is the ultimate act of love. Love is all about trusting another person. If you cannot trust your partner, you don't have a relationship at all period because everything involves trust.

Getting back to the Pacte civil de solidarite, I think it is an excellent solution for gay couples. I think that if it was to be adopted in the US it would solve many issues involving gay marriage. PACKS has much of the same content as if they were married, and it could not offend religious individuals because they cannot see it as insulting the institution of marriage.

I think that PACKS would become very popular if it was adopted in the US. In this day and age, many people do not believe in marriage and this is a easy-in easy-out form. I would just be afraid that it would have the same fate as marriage. Marriage isn't viewed the same because if you don't like it you just get out, and PACKS would certainly be an easy out. Commitment is difficult for people nowadays, which is why PACKS would be popular.

Chantal said...

I have to agree with Liz that PACKS would definitely work here in the U. S. because many people do not take to sincere commitment of marriage and many marry for financial reasons. So if you could still get the same benefits without actually having to marry more couples would probably prefer PACKS than the union of marriage. I have to say, if I were single and a man wanted a to enter into a PACK versus marriage, it would make me really examine what he really wants out of the relationship though. For the gay community though this would definitely be a benefit since marriage is not not an option in most states.

Anthony said...

This actually sounds like a good idea to me. Cause to be honest the way people seem to marry someone and get divorced only to do it all over again seems like a big waste. It’s a big waste of time and money for everyone involved. So perhaps this new form a union is the way to go. I also think it sounds good because it can benefit everyone, not just the people who can’t seem to find the right person to marry. But it could also allow people to I guess test the waters with their relationship with out making a big costly arrangement. So all in all I see many benefits to this idea and not really any downsides. I for one support it.

Anthony said...

In response to yulia8na. I agree some young couples might take advantage of it. But I don’t really see that as a bad thing. To me it would be a better alternative than for young couples to just go about getting married. At least this way if they made a mistake getting together, its not a costly one to fix.

Ben Sigal said...

This is an issue that, in all honest, I feel we miss the real point of. Instead of soap-boxing a message here for everyone, let me tell you what marriage is to me. I did not grow up in a broken home, I had two wonderful parents that showered me with love and praise on a daily basis. I am also the youngest of five. By the time I was 4, my oldest sister was already pregnant with her first child and had a shotgun wedding. It did not last even a year. The trend continued on through several more partners until my sister met her true mate and they have been together for 6 years.

My mother had been married twice before she settled down with my father and all of my siblings have had at least one divorce or serious relationship that became exasperated. So, even though I was quite confident of what love was, I still wondered how it was that I could have a new sister or brother one minute, and then we were not to talk of them the next.

I put all of that before my own story because I do not want anyone to think that I am naive or without basis for my beliefs. I met my wife when I was 18 and we became almost immediate best friends. A year later, without any dating or speaking of our interest for eachother, I asked her to marry me. I became a father at the age of 19 and, to be honest, have never looked back.

I do not accept these civil unions. I do not accept divorce (unless there is abuse of any sort or things that are endagering to someone's health). If you make a commitment, you stand by it. Now my wife and I are still friends, but I can assure you all that it is only with God's good grace and some sort of pay-it-forward karma, that we make it on a daily basis.

We are both stubborn people and have points of view that don't always line up. We can be proud, arrogant and determined. BUT, we have our days and our times that we are humble, meek and compromising. Somewhere in between these extremes we thrive.

There was a post on the thread that said in today's world, marriage is often treated as a business contract. Sad as it is, I couldn't agree more. The world as a whole seems to only operate at a level where everything makes sense. We have our bottom lines, our schedules and our paid time off. And that's at home! =-)

The whole point of my post is this: marriage isn't supposed to be perfect. It is supposed to perfecting. I find that the daily grinds of life can either make me a better man or a bitter man. For the sake of my loved ones, I pray it is the former.

If you have had a divorce, please do not take this as an attack. This is just my viewpoint and I do not know the story of your life, (unless you want to share, then I will gladly listen :) But I would be a liar if I said something along the lines of live and let live. I believe love is more than that, it's more than good feelings and warm kisses on a sunday morning with a duvet covered pulled up and the rain hitting the window pane too. Love is striving to do right by the other person, and if a marriage, or any partnership, has that, then it will succeed.

Thank you all for your time!

Athena Smith said...

The French professor emailed me that his students will post next week. So come back for a visit next week to see their approach!

Overwhelmingly I see a support; although some of you qualify it in different ways.

Yulia8na, I believe these matters are decided before the union takes place. Like a prenup.

atomicsmash26 , quite an approach. Yes, you are right marriage is a very difficult job.

Ben that was a very powerful statement. Thank you!

Aaron said...
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Aaron said...

I think that France’s approach to alternative marriage or PACKS is brilliant and progressive; at least they can recognize a problem and promptly work together as a country by resolving an issue with a solution rather than to do nothing at all other than turning a blind eye and look the other way.

What is marriage in the first place? Marriage to me is nothing more than a piece of glorified paper that cost a fortune.
First, you have the issues of finding a partner, because in our society if a woman is not married by 30 then, there must be something wrong with her. It is exemplified in the saying: always a bridesmaid, never a bride. The outcome is that in many cases, people settle because they are afraid of being alone.

Second, there is a materialistic marketing component as part of the process of getting married. From buying the perfect ring, that most people cannot afford, to the amazing wedding day filled with many acquaintances, family and allegedly friends that one is obligated to invite based on formalities. Marriage is parallel to the diamond business, the two are not worth that much; thus become a societal burden that ultimately translates into business profits.

Do you know who benefits the most from the marriages? LAWYERS! If anyone has been married especially with kids, the cost of getting a divorce and separating assets has an astronomical cost, and guess who gets a percentage? Again, LAWYERS! In today’s society it is a business and people fall for it every day. That is why here in the US there is no alternative solution such as France’s PACKS.

One the other hand if one look into the United States’ media and everything is sexualized; however, we are very repressed. God forbid that anyone talk about sex... although cheating and divorced rates are at a common day occurrence.

As a gay man that has been with a partner for a long time; who we share places together and live like any other “straight couple”. I firmly believe that along as there is love and trust as the foundation then you have something special. In our country the United States, were people supposed to be free, people should keep their religious views separate from legislation and civil rights... I believe that under the US Constitution we are all equals! However, religion based legislation is made daily taking a way rights and freedoms from many. Many people criticized the Islamic Republic of Iran, however, in practice it is very similar to the American new righteous religious based legislation, and there is a real problem when people ideologies are forced upon another. I am not asking for marriage, straight people can keep the religious and societal requirements, but a civil union and equal benefits and tax breaks as any else REGUARDLESS of your gender! Our generation is more understanding of many issues as well as the need of defending freedom and individual rights, thus, people need to take a stand and get out of their social networks and come together and make progressive changes and not let special interests make legislations that undermine the Constitutional separation of religion and state.

ivanflowers said...

This is certainly something new to me. I think PACKS in some sense is a good idea if it is used for what it was made for; which is to give gay couples some of the benefit that a married couple would have. A marriage and its benefits are two different things. Why would someone get into a marriage just for the benefits, marriage is all about two people falling in love and risking it all on the belief that they will be together forever. I would say to someone getting marred if they can’t see themselves with the same person forever then don’t get married, try something else because marriage might not be for them. PACK is just a contract between two people; marriage is a contract between God and two people, if you believe in god. If two people are not truly ready to go all in when getting married they should be willing to accept the consequence of ending their marriage; which are the lawyers long process and so forth. While it is true that more and more married couples are getting divorce I don’t think a contract is the answer for someone that is truly in love. There are so many positive things that come from marriage; like a good foundation to raise kids on. Marriage has been proven to have a positive influence on kids. The financial burdens of having kids are cut in half because of marriage; I can go on and on. I am for both PACK and marriage when they are used in the right situation.

yulia8na said...

Many talk about how marriage is supposed to be about love and supporting each other throughout our entire lives, and I do not disagree. Love is standing beside someone no matter the faults or circumstances.

However we must remember marriage from the past was not mainly about love, but of status and power. It was said that the feeling of love would eventually happen in time as they progressed through life. That is why arranged marriages occurred and generally took place within the same economic status.

I think the definition of love and marriage changes through the decades. That is why I have no objection to PACKS. We must each find our own definition of love, marriage and partnership and match it with someone who shares the same values.

Brandon said...

To Junglist,

While I am very against this union I do see what you're saying and by a completely bureaucratic point of view it makes sense. It doesn't make it right but it I can see how the idea was passed in the government.

Ben Sigal said...

Yulia, a favorite quote of mine is that, "love never changes." I totally agree with the posts that talk about marriage largely being a ceremony and having little to do with love. That does not mean that I think that it is ok. Marriage is a commitment to me. To dive in real deep, love is a choice to me. You are right that marriage didn't used to be about love. Certainly there are many countries and cultures today that still have active arranged marriages. For sure, there are those people that we just have that "connection" with, but in the big scheme of things, love is the nitty-gritty devil in the details.

At the end of the day, a piece of paper and some words in front of a priest will do little to remind you why you are with someone that you cannot seem to see eye-to-eye with. It really comes down to the faith you have in your heart. And by faith, I mean do you have the determination to love someone regardless of how they or how they treat you? To me, love is that big...

Nicholas Kieper said...

I don’t find anything wrong with these unions. People have the choice and right to marry any person they deem fit. Even if they enter a union purely for the fact of the benefits, who is the government to tell us who we should be able to leave our benefits to in case of our untimely demise. Marriage is not what it used to be. It is no longer held in the highest regard. Divorces happen by the hundreds and thousands weekly. Who are we as citizens to argue with others on how they view marriage or should view the union if everyday thousands of us are disgracing the so called “values” of marriage in so many ways. My cousin Greg and his husband live in northern New York. The state of New York will recognize same sex marriage but will not perform them. He and his husband had to go into Canada to have the marriage done. Even after this, they still don’t have choices for all of their benefits and who receives them if one were to pass away. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie “Chuck and Larry”, it was based on this very subject. A New York City fireman loses his wife and is fearful that if he passes, his kids could be left to the state with no wife to take over control. To fix this problem he petitions his best friend to marry him. They end up getting caught after a long ordeal of trying to prove the marriage is real. I find it despicable that many governments are set up so that if a spouse dies, the man or woman almost ‘has’ to remarry in order to not lose certain benefits.

asmith9 said...

Personally,I feel the union is good for marred couples that has some sort of doubt. It sounds like a protection plan for couples who may one day have a change of heart. The union is for people who can't control their relationship. The reason so many couples are joining PACKS is because the lack of trust, commitment, and financial stability in today's relationships. Needless to say, I am not for it or against it but I understand that society is trying to make it easy for couples to stay married. With the union a partner wouldn't have the commitment that is needed to be obligated to that person. Couples can be committed to one another with out be married. Marriage is just a piece of paper similar to a contract without the signing bonus. Ultimately, It come down to the person personal preference as to who they want to be with and how long for what reasons.

Margeux said...

I think the PACKS program is helpful. I like that it was created to help homosexual couples share some of the privileges of being "married," and I can see why the program could also attract heterosexual couples. Some US states have a common law, or a law that states something to the effect that once you've lived together for so many years (usually seven) then you are seen as married in the eyes of the law. My mother and step-father are a perfect example. They are much better as friends than a couple, hence the reason they are separated. This law would help them care for their children (myself and my twin brothers) together and share any debts that came about without the hassle of being unhappy and getting a divorce, which can be extremely stressful and expensive. I think this package would help other people who love each other but aren't necessarily committed to the idea of marriage. PACKS allows them the comfort of sharing their lives, but knowing if something comes up, they can somewhat easily get out of the arrangement. I wouldn't mind seeing this form of union here in the US.

Margeux said...

Lauren, I agree with you in that today's concept of marriage seems to be just a piece of paper and that marriage can add unneeded pressures to any relationship. The PACKS also gets my vote for it's homosexual benefits as well because as you said, "I believe they are individuals and human beings too, and should be treated the same as others." I would be interesting to see how this program would be received in the US. With all the crazy political ads I’ve been put through these past few months, I can’t imagine having to listen to the PACKS argument over and over again, haha.

Sarah M. said...

I'm very passive about marriages and lifelong commitments. Its always a personal choice, so similarly I don't have a particularly strong stance on PACKS. There's nothing polarizing about it; they're not replacing marriage altogether, just acting as an alternative, and the more alternatives the better. If PACKS suits your relationship, fantastic. I'm with Lauren, I don't care. People should be able to get what they want out of life and this provides fulfillment. I do think its great that its available to both heterosexual and homosexual couples, but marriage should be as well.
The only question PACTS raises for me is, if its so easy to get out of why even enter into it in the first place?

Joel Thomas said...

I honestly do not see anything wrong with the civil union ideal of PACKS. Whether it be for the heterosexual or homosexual communities it seems as though it would be a great benefit. To me I really do not see the different between "marriage" and a "civil union". They seem to be different labels for the same thing.
Marriage I suppose has a lot of religion tied to it, almost ritualistic you could call it. Many believe it is about the perfect wedding with the dress, the rings, flowers, presents, celebrations, honeymoon. A lot of people today, as I am sure they have in the past, jump into marriage too quickly and end up divorcing within the first two years of marriage, if not the first fews months of marriage. What is the divorce rate in the United States these days? Last time I checked I believe it was over fifty percent.
I believe that PACKS seems like a more proactive and modified version of marriage that will overall be more of a positive thing rather than a negative thing. The only thing that I am not sure about is what happens if the union dissolves? Is it more like a business agreement where property is divided fifty/fifty? I am sure that once the union is dissolved that each partner will more than likely want at least half of everything.

Joel Thomas said...

I agree that a civil union would be great for couples who feel as though they are not totally comfortable with the ideal of marriage which seems slightly more of a long term thing.
I think a lot of people rush into marriage and then have doubts within the following years. With a civil union I would image that a couple could always go from being into a union to a marriage if they feel in the future their relationship will really work out long term.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I ever said marriage is a "difficult job". It is a complete commitment. I identify MOST with Ben Sigel's posting. The bottom line is the power that be are trying to completely reshape our society and our way of life. It would be okay if they were doing it for the better, but they are completely eliminating the family. To them, famlies are bad. They are stable, loving, caring, and do good things. They say, "we can't have people being good". Just look at our LEADERS. Two wars and millions dead just in the past decade. PATRIOT ACT. You name it. France's government is in the middle of passing some serious "asterity measures". The people in France are rioting. How can we trust our leaders. I don't think anyone in this country does. As I said, Ben Sigel, you are right on. We are completely changing our society. Wall Street writes legislation to control our economy, and the Supreme Court won't overturn the law to allow gay couples to marry. That's the problem!!!!!!!!

Robert Smith said...

I personally see no need for marriage. Marriage is just a contract you and your partner make to share all of present and future belongings. The only thing that's special about marriage is confessing your feelings in the eyes of God and and making a pack to always be there for one another. Now that's special. However, you can do this without the big celebration. I can go on and on about why I agree and disagree with ideas of getting married. I do believe that not only does it take a mother and father to raise a child, but also the whole immediate family. A person childhood reflects the image of what that child will be as an adult. If a male is born into a single mother home, that boy will be neglected from seeing firsthand how a real man supports and treats his woman or wife. That child will also have difficulties in relationships and will eventually the trend of leaving his children with their mothers. With that said I don't care about what heterosexual do at all. I don't support it and neither against it. Everyone is entitled to finding love and if it's the same sex that's their business as long as they are happy. The child will have two great parents who love them. The only results will there will be increase heterosexuals. Not to say it's a bad things just difficult conversation for parents to explain to their kids why Chuck is kissing Larry. As far as the PACK I believe is a wonderful idea.

Robert Smith said...

Lauren.. You took my ideas right out my head. I agree the union decision has no interest to me but, I do think it is a wonderful idea for the kids. As far as why people get married it's more of an event instead of a commitment thing. Marriage at the end of the day is just a piece of paper two individuals signed. I don’t care what’s the next person race or sexuality. I believe if someone finds love and happiness it should be encourage no matter if the person is a different race or the same sex. Kids need to be in a happy home.

Isaiah Merritt-Harris said...

I support PACKS, however I do not fully believe in it. I do not think obligation, chivalry, and commitment is outdated. I think PACKS takes the tradition and obligation out of a union. I was raised in a single parent household, so I vowed to raise my children in a traditional setting so that they may experience the benefits of having both parents under one roof. I guess it is good for individuals who don’t see themselves with one person for the rest of their lives. Maybe the advantages outweigh the negativities of marriage. It is easier on the finances, and simplifies the legalities, making divorce obsolete. My mother always told me to only get married one time, so I am looking for that one girl that is so amazing that I can be with her forever. No divorce, no prenup, no PACKS. I believe each person has to decide what is right for them and their family. Everyone is not always going to agree with the choices you make. I won’t knock someone for trying it; it’s just not for me. I just hope that engagements and weddings still exist in the future. I guess I am just a sucker for tradition.

Isaiah Merritt-Harris said...

I also agree with Joel Thomas. I do think some people rush into marriage without having the maturity and the knowledge to make it last. This fact is probably why the divorce rate is so high. The PACKS union may be a way for individuals to learn the true meaning of committment and how to make a relationship last without suffering for lack of experience later on.

Bryon Bewsher said...

I agree with the PACT 100%. Ofr years I had the belief in marraige and the spiritual bind that is made in marraige. Aspecially if there are children involved. Then, once maried, I found myself going through a divorce. This is not the time to say who was right or wrong, but i know it cost me a lot of money to make sure that I had the proper time worked out with my daughter. I guess my thought would be wether the children, if any, are effected in a PACT when it opnly needs a piece of paper to get out of. If there are no children, then I am for it 100%. But with children, it is a whoile other story. I am not plannign on getting narried ever again because of how my marraige woundf up. If my daughter was not involved, the seperation from my now ex wife would have been quick. She moved on fast. But it has taken two years to iron things out with her so I can have maximum time with my daughter. Would it take that lon, if any time at all, in a civil union?

Bryon Bewsher said...

I am the same way. I had an idea that there were civil lunions for gay couples(it has been int he news so much), but I did not realize it was so popular with heteros as well. People are now more mobile and able to have relationships across the world as never before. You asked how there can be no lawyers in the decleration and I was curios as well. After the "break up", I guess the partners fight it out for posessions. It happens now that way anyway.

Gabrielle C. said...

I think this is a great way to share your life with someone without all the hassle. As someone who is skeptical of marriage, I think it is a modern way of sharing the benefits of being together with someone, but also a great way to skip all the other hassle that comes along if you ever decide you do not want to be together.

I do agree with yulia8na that I do not understand how the split would not end with lawyers as there would still be things acquired in the marriage that would then need to be split. I guess you must draw up a contract, but what happens if the two partners do not agree?

Julio Torres said...

Hello All,

For this blog, I will not be reinventing the wheel since many people have already discussed some key arguments in regards to the issue. Rather than, I will try to be objective:

The US Constitution establishes that everyone is equal and is entitled to the same rights and freedom. However, gay people are neglected of their right to marriage, (defining marriage purely as the legal union between two partners putting aside the religious definition of marriage). This is unconstitutional, that is why when the issue it is taking to Courts where is judged solemnly under the premises of the Constitution; then the ruling it is always in favor of extending the same rights to all citizens, thus, some states such as Massachusetts have extended gay people their right to wed. Anything less than the full legal protection is a clear violation of the Constitution and creates a secondary class of citizenship for those individuals.

The problem is, agreeing with Aaron, when people bypass or do not acknowledge the Constitution, and create their own religious biased based legislation. There is no problem of people personally seeing marriage as a duality between law and religion; however, it is a problem when people enacted laws to discriminate against and marginalized others rights and freedoms. I think being religious or not being religious is a personal and moral choice and people should keep that relationship for themselves, however, legislation should not incorporate religious ideals or beliefs, that is what defines a democracy rather than a theocracy.

I do like the French idea of PACKS, as an alternative legal union for any couple that may find fit; however, it is not a replacement for full legal marriage since it does not provide all of its benefits or protections.

I understand that many people may still not embrace the Constitutional and may try knowingly to encourage legislation based on their personal beliefs, however, please, be reminded that it was not until the military intervention and riots of the 1970’s that black people, were finally, given their full and equal rights guaranteed under the Constitution against the opposing of many others.

Preston G said...

I think the new unions are not such a bad idea. The new unions will be a good change since marriages are falling apart so often and more single parents are living in the world. I believe it is a great thing for the kids to be taken cared of if anything were to happen to one of the guardians. I also do not care if homosexuals wish to take advantage of the unions because it is their life and they are not going to bother me. The new unions might become a better solution than marriage.

Denis said...

Hello everyone,
I’ll give you my point of view about the PACS. First of all, I think it’s a good idea because the PACS allows gays couples to get married. However, the adoption of children by gays must be prohibited.
Plus, the PACS is less expensive than a wedding and faster.
Then, the marriage stays a sacred union with members of both families.
It’s a dream for parents to see their child respecting the tradition.
See you soon on the blog!

Nico said...

I think this union is good for couples who don't want to get married for different reasons, religion, economical or other but they want all the same, i.e officialize their union so they choose the PACS, it's faster, simpler, fewer administrative formalities and it's not the same committment, in the marriage the divorce is not simple in most cases while the separation is easier in the PACS.
It's good too and especially for the gays who can't get married, with this union, they are less rejected by the society.

Maéva said...

Concerning the marriage, I think it have a more advantages for us, our children are protected… and it’s my little girl’s dream, wearing a beautiful dress, in the church, with a lot of presents…but I’m not against the PACS because I think it’s a good idea for people who don’t want to get married and they could benefit from the advantages of marriage, and for the homosexuals they can be united, this solution isn’t expensive and it’s fast....
But, for me i want to get married true to the tradition.

Romain said...

I think that marriage is risky because we don’t know what the future will look like. And it’s not useful, just symbolic compared to the risk it implise. The pacs is an committment more moderate and less risky. But I think it includes some good sides. For example : tax benefits.

Maxime said...

I believe in the union of husband and wife. It’s an important act!

I understand people who want to be together, even gay couples and are entitled to all the rights given to heterosexual couples who get married .

But I think so we have to change some real problems in society that created this high divorce rate... ( espcially heterosexuals )
It would mean that most of people who get married made a mistake ?
It is odd... for persons which are supposed to love themselves ??!!

I see rather this as it looks like it’ s a “phenomenon of mode, a trend”, more and more people do it , everybody gets married and then divorces for not much !

I think that when we want to get married, the couple thought deeply about and want to unite in the long term, and then also can take advantages of the package!

Or it means that the majority of the persons have not found their soul mate yet ;)

Mehdi said...

I think that committment between two persons doe not need to be translated by marriage or pacs, however the pacs may be a solution to have some advantage in couple life, without having any administrative constraints of marriage, moreover, it is less expensive !

Mickael said...

To start with, I think that the PACS has not all the same symbolic side that marriage has.
The marriage is the best proof of love and it's symbolized by a union.
For me it's more like a pre-marriage where we test ourselves and if the common
life as "PACSed" goes well,then you get married.
The advantages of PACS is the quick and easy side of the signature and dissolution.
I'm not against the gay marriage and the PACS is an advantage for gays because it's a legal marriage for them.

Nicolas said...

I think marriage isn’t as in the past because more people married and divorce without thinking. The PACS is a good alternative because you are not committed in the same way. If you just want to share your life, it’s easy and less expensive to choose the PACS rather than the marriage.
I think marriage is more reflected by two parts because more families are attached to the traditions of marriage. For many families, the marriage is better seen than PACS.
On the contrary, I think it’s a good solution for gay’s couple because they can’t access to the conventional marriage.