The other day the Supreme Court deferred to appeal courts on their rulings overturning state bans on gay marriage, to the delight of progressives and “marriage equality” advocates everywhere.
I live in Seattle, so you can imagine what the response has been like.
As a libertarian, I naturally find the whole thing to be a sham through and through.
When my state voted to legalize gay marriage in 2012, I found myself on neither side, because both arguments relied on the flawed premise that the State gets to define what marriage is. While gay marriage proponents claim they should deserve the same status in the eyes of the State, others argue that traditional marriage should be protected by the State.
At the very least, traditional marriage advocates are open about maintaining an exclusive definition of marriage and how it is forced upon society by the State. Those proclaiming marriage equality don’t seem to understand that they’re doing the same – or they do and they’re being disingenuous about it. My experience leans towards the latter.
They say their relationships are a private matter, yet rather than get the government out of it, they yearn for their chance to apply for permission from the State to get it recognized.
They also call marriage a “right.” You don’t need a license to do something you have a “right” to do.
Remember, a marriage license is just that, a license. It also becomes public record. What goes on in the privacy of the bedroom is now everyone’s business. Congrats. They say it’s for the tax benefits, which brings up the question of why government should be able to discriminate on the basis of marriage through taxation.
Lest you think the intentions of “marriage equality” advocates are simply to grant equal rights to everyone, ask them whether or not the State should be involved at all. Why should we be required to apply for a license? What’s happening right now is not getting the government out of our personal lives.
Also, consider that this definition of “marriage equality” is still restrictive; it does not include polygamist relationships. Try suggesting a man should be able to marry two women, or a woman two men.
I have, just for fun, and the response merely affirms the old saying that the liberal becomes the conservative after the revolution. They maintain the State’s illegitimate authority to define marriage – or better yet, their ability to use the coercive power of the State to force their definition on others who do not consider it a legitimate marriage.
In case someone might mistake my perspective, I reject any authority by the State over my relationships and the relationships of others. Whether or not I make a vow to commit myself to a life-long relationship is none of the government’s business. They have no place in my wedding.
I do not need a State-issued license to legitimatize my marriage or give it deeper meaning.
Mind you, this whole matter could be solved by abolishing marriage licenses and resorting to private contacts. No one will do it, because their view has to be thrust upon all and no one is willing to yield, as per the conditions of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.
In the words of Macbeth, “damned be him that first cries ‘Hold, enough!'”
Make no mistake. This has nothing to do with one’s views on homosexuality. It all boils down to whose definition will be forced upon the rest of the population through the State. The traditionalists and marriage equality people are just factions on the same side. Their definitions both require a marriage to be recognized by the State to be considered legitimate.
The correct response, of course, is that the State should have nothing to do with it. No one has the right to force me to accept their definition of marriage via government coercion, nor I force them to embrace mine. If someone needs a license from the State to feel secure in their marriage, what does it say of the relationship itself?
My definition of marriage can never be in harmony with the State’s, because it doesn’t involve the State in the first place.