True Marriage Equality: Get the Government Out

Equal SignsIf you’ve been on Facebook at all in the last two days then odds are good that you’ve seen the picture to the left. I myself changed my profile picture, not to that specific image, but one where my own profile picture is shaded red with the equal signs imposed over it. I’m not going to talk about armchair activism today, I will probably discuss it at some point. Debating whether or not changing your profile picture on Facebook is useful aside, I think it does speak to the fact that opinions have evolved on the issue of Marriage Equality, and the numbers are most definitely in. Poll: 53% of Americans support same-sex marriage. Hell, even Fox News is starting to see the truth of the matter.

This is great. Actually, it’s downright amazing that we’ve managed to sway so many minds. The various LGBT social movements are relatively young compared to other similar movements. Now, I say social movement, and not civil rights movement, largely because we had to fight for social acceptance for some time, long before we were able to get people to recognize that we deserved the same civil rights. This is an important distinction, because long after we have obtained our civil rights we will still be fighting in certain areas for social acceptance. SPOILER ALERT FOR THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT: We do win in the end.

Anyway, the real shame here is that even after we achieve Marriage Equality for gay and lesbian Americans, marriage will still not be completely equal. A truly free and equal society would not have government involved in defining relationships at all.  You’ve likely heard the conservative argument that Marriage Equality creates a slippery slope.  I certainly hope it does. Maybe then we’ll finally have government out of marriage entirely! Penn Jillette explains the point briefly on The Piers Morgan Show.

Libertarian Party chairman Mark Hinkle expands upon this point, “It is disgraceful that we grant government officials the power to even examine such things, let alone criminalize any peaceful conduct between consenting adults or punish them with unequal marriage, adoption, tax, or immigration laws.” He said this back in 2011. The Libertarian Party platform backs this up as well:

3.5 Rights and Discrimination
We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should not deny or abridge any individual’s rights based on sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs.

The more freedom in this area the better. That’s why I am happy about how far we have come with Marriage Equality, but I want to emphasize that this fight is no where near over. Not just for gay and lesbians, but for all Americans. We won’t have true equality until the government has no say whatsoever in our relationships.  Then, no matter your beliefs, background, or personal circumstances you will be completely free to love who you want, and not have to worry about others pushing their beliefs on whether you can have children or not, or whether you should get your spouse’s benefits or not, or whether you can stay in the country or not.

Libertarian Equal sign

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Posted in Libertarian, Politics
6 comments on “True Marriage Equality: Get the Government Out
  1. rhewtani says:

    I’ve been of a similar opinion. “Marriage” is a religious concept at its beginning, it should get back to and stay there. The reason government needs to be involved now is on account of tax laws, survivor benefits, and similar things. So, we end up with this quasi-religious legal proceeding that can now be conducted by priests, ship captains, and quasi accountant/novelists.

    Instead as a heterosexual man, I should end up with a civil union signed off on by the government between wife and me. I can also opt for a Christian marriage to spruce it up. A homosexual man can establish the same legal civil union with another man and he can opt for a Christian marriage through a Church that is willing, or we can opt for some other option.

    If a man wants to marry a goat, he can – if he can find a church that marries people to goats. If he’s lucky, he can find a church that will have a goat preside over his goat-love service. Now, when it comes to tax and survivor issues the government is on a lot better ground saying “you don’t need a civil union with your goat.” I feel like we can all get behind the idea that two people who live together for 30 years shouldn’t pay an estate tax regardless of gender to transfer property to the other after one dies, but the goat gets nothing.

    For the church that’s worried about the dirtying of marriage – they need to get their religion out of the government and the government out of their religious ceremony, it’s getting both dirty enough as it is.

  2. David says:

    It`s all about two things, in my opinion:

    1. Taxes and special tax benefits
    2. Privacy issues

    Issue 1 would be resolved by a much simpler and common sense tax system. Also, issue 1 is discriminatory against single people, in my opinion. Why should a married couple get special breaks that I don`t? It is also discriminatory against people who cohabit. While I think cohabiting is morally wrong, I don`t think people who do it should be treated unfairly.

    Issue 2 could be resolved by privacy contracts arranged with the government- i.e. the following people can see me in the hospital in the event of an emergency, etc. We already do this with wills.

  3. […] marriage”. Ideally government would not be involved in marriage at all. See my blog True Marriage Equality: Get the Government Out for more information related to […]

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