"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Solution To The Gay Marriage Debate

The entire national discussion about gay marriage, like many issues, has been deliberately cornered between two illogical extremes. One side pays lip service to family values and marriage sanctity, while the other delivers empty rhetoric about civil rights and equality. You're either gay or straight, anti-gay marriage or pro-gay marriage, Democrat or Republican. Isn't the whole point to treat everyone as an individual instead of generalizing them?

The important part is this: both extremes still seek to use government force to impose their views about marriage upon the rest of the country. While preaching about respecting others' beliefs and tolerance for other viewpoints and lifestyles, those in power certainly make sure to keep the debate limited in scope and framed in such a way as to divide the people and promote government as a means to build a social utopia, while ignoring the fact that government involvement is actually the root of the problem.

Once we expand the scope of the debate, we understand that the only logical solution that can make everybody happy is:

Make marriage a private matter like it should be.

Bam. Problem solved.
Marriage licenses? Really? What does it say about our country when two (or more, for that matter) people who wish to spend the rest of their lives bound together need permission from the government to do so? We are not free. If marriage is supposed to be one of the most personal, sacred, and cherished acts of commitment and love in a person's life, then why do we make it a government issue and allow it to be perverted by the greed, corruption, and disloyalty of politics and the powerful?

Get the government out and suddenly everyone could have their own definition of marriage without having someone else's shoved down their throat, no one would be forced to subsidize lifestyles they disagree with, gay people could get married if they wished, and religious beliefs would still be respected because churches wouldn't be forced to go against their own teachings. In a truly free society, all voluntary agreements/contracts between two or more people are recognized. If two people want to get married, it's between them. There would be gay weddings, straight weddings, common-law marriages, and even non-religious marriages for the atheist couples.

"But people would marry children and animals!"
Actually, since children are generally incapable of making adult decisions or understanding the possible consequences of their actions, such an arrangement could not be justified as legitimate or consensual regardless of the child's consent. Oh, finally, people can't enter into contracts or agreements with animals.

A common argument circles around the tax benefits/spousal privileges that heterosexual couples enjoy over homosexual couples. No more tax benefits. Your relationship status shouldn't come with varying additional privileges or government handouts. Ideally, no one would be paying income taxes anyway, but that's a different debate.

Some people argue that gay marriage destroys the sanctity of all marriages and should be outlawed because of that. But really, if your concerns about what your gay neighbors are doing in the privacy of their own homes are legitimately negatively affecting your marriage, at the very least you need couples therapy. In light of the fact that the divorce rate has been steadily increasing for decades and homosexuals have generally been forbidden from marrying each other during that time period, it doesn't seem rational to blame gays for corrupting something they couldn't even participate in.

While it's obvious that nobody in power really cares about the Constitution any more, isn't it telling that nowhere in the Constitution is the Federal government granted any authority over the institution of marriage? From a Constitutionalist's perspective, if there were to be any laws passed regarding marriage, they must be passed at the state level:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." - The 10th Amendment

Why didn't the Founders give the Federal government any authority over marriage? Because it's none of the government's business. Only a fascist could claim the right to regulate people's lifestyles and force others to subsidize something they do not believe in. Both extremes view government force as means to achieve some sort of perceived freedom while ignoring the fact that government intrusion into our personal lives is what created this entire controversy in the first place. In his book, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, Ron Paul writes:

"When we no longer believe that civilization is dependent on government expansion, regulating excesses, and a license for everything we do, we will know that civilization and the ideas of liberty are advancing. In economics, licensing is designed by the special interests to suppress competition. Licensing for social reasons reflects the intolerant person's desire to mold other people's behavior to their standard. Both depend on the use of illegitimate force."

So remember, whether you are pro-or-anti-gay marriage should be irrelevant. What we should be talking about is why doesn't the government stop regulating marriage?

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  1. This is the best article yet on the non-issue of gay marriage. I wish I could write this well! Ah, I'll just hang about on Tumblr and post the occasional anti-state quote in the hope that somebody reblogs me.