GOVERNMENT AND MARRIAGE

Even if you would not vote for an individual, he/she might have positions on individual issues you agree with, and find very worthwhile.

The latest instance of this happening to me is with Rand Paul, who – though he opposes last week\’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, has this to say in an essay published by time.com:

The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.

Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do – taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government\’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.

So now, states such as Alabama are beginning to understand this as they begin to get out of the marriage licensing business altogether. Will others follow?

For the record, I have long advocated for government to be out of the marriage business.

Illustratively, we have this, from my post-election blog of November 7, 2012 – with the key portion in bold print:

There was one bright spot in this otherwise dismal election.

Finally, after going 0 for 32, two states – Maryland and Maine – have passed referenda making gay marriage legal.

Until now, the only states which had legalized gay marriage did so legislatively – not by popular vote.

To me, gay marriage is a simple matter of freedom; a civil right.

For people who feel marriage should only be between one man and one woman? That\’s fine: enjoy the freedom to marry a member of the opposite sex. But do not deny that same freedom to people whose lifestyles differ from yours.

Personally, I have felt for a long time that government should stay out of the marriage business altogether. The only purpose I see government having in a marriage is to define its parameters as a legal partnership – i.e. who gets what if it is dissolved, if one of the partners dies, etc. Leave the sanctioning of individual marriages to social and religious institutions.

Obviously Rand Paul and I disagree about same-sex marriage (and a lot of other things).  But on the premise that government\’s only legitimate involvement in marriage is as a legal partnership – regardless of who marries whom – we are in agreement.

Too bad the Supreme Court didn\’t rule on that instead.

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