Friday, June 18, 2010

A modest proposal to start the gay marriage debate

Perhaps the first question to ask in the gay marriage debate is this: Why is the government in the marriage business at all? Why does it care? Couldn't we just privatize marriage, just like the Republicans wanted to do with Social Security? Then whatever religious or non-religious groups want to recognize or not recognize will be a matter to be determined by those groups, and the state backs out and minds its own business. Southern Baptists will require heterosexuality, the Metropolitan Community Church will marry the gay couples, and the government stays out of it.


Dan Lower said...


Ron said...

I am pretty conservative and would support this proposal though I doubt many others would. If this proposal were in effect, the federal government could in no way treat single people differently than married couples. No special tax incentives for families and children, etc. Nothing that would treat one class of citizens differently than the rest, at least in regards to their familial relations.

But the whole reason the federal government is involved in marriage to begin with is because as a rule (note that there are exceptions to any rule) married people produce children and since children represent the future of the nation, the federal government is involved. Since two consenting adults of the same sex as a rule don't produce children, there is no need for government involvement. I mean, it would be like requiring a license to become best friends with someone; it doesn't make any sense.

So in principle, I'd agree with this proposal. I'd also add that I think the current income tax system is flawed and ought to be replaced by something more straight-forward.

Victor Reppert said...

While gay couples don't produce children, they certainly adopt them. My own marriage produced no children, but I was instrumental in the raising of two stepchildren.

If Heather has two mommies, and the two mommies split up, who gets custody?

Does the question of gay marriage reduce to the question of gay adoption?

Anonymous said...

I humbly suggest that for many people, particularly those who stress the importance of government, government not being able to recognize marriage (and, I assume, not be able to pass judgment on any private group or business' treatment of married or unmarried couples) is tremendously close to telling Catholics that the Church should just stay out of this whole "marriage" business.

Government, for some people, plays a shockingly similar role for them as the clergy do for Catholics.

Leah said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I can see why the government gets tetchy about tax law (since there's a lot of potential for abuse), but it's ridiculous to not make it easy for private citizens to contract themselves to have medical decisions made with another private citizen, or to share custody of a child.