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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Time to get the state out of the marriage business?

David Harsanyi at Reason argues that it's about time to "free marriage from the state":
Imagine if government had no interest in the definition of marriage. Individuals could commit to each other, head to the local priest or rabbi or shaman—or no one at all—and enter into contractual agreements, call their blissful union whatever they felt it should be called, and go about the business of their lives.

I certainly don't believe that gay marriage will trigger societal instability or undermine traditional marriage—we already have that covered—but mostly I believe your private relationships are none of my business. And without any government role in the institution, it wouldn't be the business of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, either.

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In our Utopian vision, no group is empowered to dictate what marriage should mean to another. And one of the great perks would be the end of this debate.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, hell why should marriage be anything special or unique?

Let's let the gates open and call whatever the hell anybody wants a marriage.

A weirdo brother and sister want to get married? Hell yeah!

A 85 year old wants to marry an 11 year old? Hey break out the bubbly!

A father wants to marry his daughter or son? Why not? Who are WE to judge?

There should be no standards what so ever right?

After all, as soon as you exclude anyone THAT would be hurting SOMEBODY'S precious sensibilities somewhere.

What a load of crap.

You're right on one thing. It's not business of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A spineless, politically correct judge who was terrified of being called a homophobe knuckled under to a bunch of shrieking acivists and thought "Aw screw the public. I'M(!!) one of the ruling elite! I'LL do whatever I damed well want and I'll favour this particular group!".

Eric said...

Despite your slightly hysterical response, "weirdos" are already in these relationships (sexual or otherwise)and the state's refusal to grant them marriage status doesn't stop them now. What Harsanyi is proposing is allowing individuals (and churches, synagogues, etc) to make their own domestic arrangements, as they do now, & leave the state out of it. You would then be free to belong to a church that refused to marry gays, siblings, dogs, whatever.

By the way, equating gay marriages to brothers & sisters, 85 yr olds & 11 yr olds or fathers & daughters is a ridiculous exaggeration.

Regarding the "spineless, politically correct" judge - he was appointed by Ronald Reagan and his candidacy at the time was opposed by Democrats and gay advocacy groups. He was reappointed by George H.W. Bush. Hardly someone who "knuckles under to shrieking activists".

Anonymous said...

the state taxes marriage so they are not going to get out of it anytime soon.