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Authorities in California and Egypt Refuse Marriages

Some of California's most conservative counties will not be holding marriage ceremonies — gay or straight — citing inadequate resources for the expected influx of couples seeking marriage once same-sex couples are permitted to marry on June 15. Many are crying foul, as a local newspaper published emails sent from the Kern County clerk asking a conservative group opposed to gay marriage for legal assistance.

The Campaign For Children and Families wants clerks to deny same-sex licenses in counties "where the man-woman marriage ethic is strongest in California," until voters have their say on a November ballot initiative that would ban gay marriage.

Far from California, Egyptian authorities refused to endorse a marriage between a 92-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl. To find out why,


According to Egyptian law, a husband and wife cannot be more than 25 years apart. Because the girl is not technically the man's wife, she cannot travel with him. But, in the last year, 173 marriages between couples with a greater than 25-year-age gap have been approved. The country allows exceptions for foreign men who pay the National Bank about $80,000 and shows up in person to the ministry of justice.

Should government officials, whether in Egypt or California, just butt out of marriage; or is it necessary to offer citizens a certain level of protection? In Egypt they say too large an age gap is not OK; in California some say same-sex marriage is not OK — do you see any differences between these interventions?

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