By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion
Way back in 2004 — during Season 6 of the Emmy Award-winning television drama “The West Wing” — a congressman raised the idea of banning marriage. All marriage.
With two-thirds of Americans then opposed to same-sex nuptials, a gay Democrat identified as “Rep. Benoit” proposed getting the government out of the marriage business.
“If the government can’t make it available to everyone, I want us out of the business entirely,” Benoit said to Josh Lyman, chief political adviser in the fictional Josiah Bartlet administration. “Leave it to churches and synagogues, and, of course, casinos and department stores.”
Lyman chuckled and brushed off the suggestion.
Fast-forward more than a decade: A majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court has legalized it. And amid ongoing battles pitting gay rights vs. religious liberty, some real-life lawmakers wonder if the answer might be removing the government from the process.
The Associated Press reports on a Missouri legislator’s proposal to do just that.
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More of my GetReligion columns (January 2017):
‘They say the press doesn’t cover them’: Trump weighs in on March for Life. Published Jan. 26.
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