Marriage and Government
How state involvement in marriage is big government regardless how it's defined
I’ve actually spoken a little bit about this before. You can go back to my previous diaries talking about my position on marriage. I decided to finally write a whole diary about this issue cause there’s a constitutional amendment by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) intended to define traditional marriage in the constitution. Huelskamp has done a terrific job in the 2 and a half years he’s served in the House, but I have to strongly disagree with him here.
I’m absolutely opposed to a broad national constitutional amendment cause all it would do is create disaster in the future as akin to the 16th amendment (progressive income tax) or the 17th amendment (direct election of senators). But I’ll take argument even further that marriage is not even an issue of the states. It’s a matter of the individual and the couple. The state has no authority (or shouldn’t) to become involved in that couple’s disputes. Maybe a local government can get involved, but not the feds for sure.
And this is where we get into DOMA: I don’t hold any love for it at all. It hasn’t done much good and only caused confusion between state and federal relations on marriage matters. While I generally agree with the SCOTUS ruling unconstitutional sec. 3 which what defined traditional marriage for federal purposes, the decision hasn’t yielded much of a victory for personal liberty cause the federal government is still involved with marriage. The major difference is that gay couples have to be recognized and be allowed the same benefits hetero couples have always enjoyed. Also there’s the legal overstepping of the IRS in allowing gay couples to file jointly in all 50 states due to this administration’s disregard for the law.
To get back to subject, marriage is an individual and couple’s issue, not that that of government especially at the federal level. To get involved with one’s relationship is the equivalent of government determining what you may eat, what doctor you see, what insurance you purchase, whether you can own a gun etc. But what saddens me about this debate is nobody on either side seems to get it. I’m not just talking the traditional marriage advocates, but also gay rights advocates who are just as much pawns as anybody else. What’s basically happening here is that both sides have been duped by the collectivist left big time into accepting this premise that government has authority to determine your relationship status.
While traditional marriage advocates are saying this and gay marriage advocates that, the collectivist left in private is thrilled cause they’ve successfully duped everybody on this issue as they have on other things the past 100 years. Ultimately what difference does it make whether government allows same-sex marriages or defines things in a traditional sense? If the state is involved, then it becomes everybody’s business. Marriage “benefits” which are supplied by the feds are just another version of corporate welfare. We should be getting rid of them as a start! We should try pulling the federal government out of everything they’re involved with from every regulation, rule and passed legislation. The only thing they can say is set a clear outline that the states can do what they please inside their borders.
There was a time when I often fell into the same trap both sides of the marriage debate are doing so now. But as I discussed in My Journey to Libertarianism diary here on RedState, I slowly started learning about the marriage and saw that it wasn’t responsibility of the federal government to be involved. The states are what should be moving the debate not the feds which is why I’m not fond of DOMA. Though what truly swayed me over was watching Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle talk about this in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and Prop 8. They discussed whether marriage was government responsibility and Bill Whittle cited that the Constitution said nothing of marriage. What does that say exactly? Means the Founders didn’t think this much a responsibility of government much less the federal government. And I’ve pretty much been in that camp ever since.
While my ultimate goal is to see government pull out of everything involving marriage, I’ll have to accept for the time being a state level debate and how states are involved with marriage. It’s more preferable than the feds involved at least. To traditionalist allies I implore you to stop being willingly duped into this trap. When you get right down to it, it’s not so much your actual position on marriage that makes you right or left, it’s whether you think government has a role to play in it. And both sides are knee deep in it (the gay marriage side more so but nonetheless). Stop falling prey to this game and actually try shrinking government for once. “If it doesn’t pick my pocket or break my leg, what business is it of mine?” – Thomas Jefferson
PS PLEASE comment to me on twitter so I can respond back if you have a twitter account that is. I’m not allowed to post comments on RedState for some reason. Sent an email asking why and they’ve yet to respond back. If someone can help me here it’d be very much appreciated.