Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Columbia Seminary Married Student Housing to Permit Qualified Domestic Partners (UPDATED)(BUMPED)

According to The Layman Online:

A housing task force at Columbia Theological Seminary recently established the following new policy [joining Austin, McCormick, Louisville, San Francisco, and Princeton]:

“Students, their qualified domestic partners (e.g. those in civil marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships as established by the laws of any state, the United States or a foreign jurisdiction), and their children are eligible to live in campus housing. Appeals may be made to the CTS Housing Committee."

The Layman On-Line's headline refers not to "qualified domestic partners," but to "same-sex" couples.  Initially, I used that way of referring to the subjects of the CTS policy.  That way of referring to them is inaccurate, however, and I think unhelpful to the debate.  I therefore changed the title of this post to make it more accurate.

Not just any "same-sex" couple may reside in married-student housing.  To qualify, apparently a couple must have made a legally recognized commitment, that is a covenant- or contract-like agreement with each other.  We presume, then, that the State will enforce the terms of that agreement.  CTS is apparently attempting to protect the persons in the "qualified domestic partner" relationship as well as the other couples (and the dependent children of couples) who reside in this housing. 

CTS concedes to the State the matter of regulating how people who "couple" are to deal with each other, people who have the happy intention of a long-term, even life long relationship with each other.  Where once the church defined such relationships, now CTS cedes to the State that authority, in order to include certain (but not all) "same-sex" couples.

This is a romantic view of coupleness.  It is so profoundly naive.  One does not have to be a domestic-relations lawyer to see how dangerous a couple can be for one another and the people in their household if it is only the State to whom they are accountable.  If their relationship is not guided by biblical traditions developed in all kinds of circumstances over thousands of years, what chance of success does that relationship have.  I suppose CTS believes that it knows just how to inject into the new, legislatively created, qualified domestic partner wineskin, whatever biblically informed, life-nourishing substance it deems to be necessary (and no more).  Good luck with that.

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