Rand Paul: Let’s get marriage out of the tax code

posted at 1:21 pm on March 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

This isn’t news because it’s novel for a Paul to be saying such things — his dad once called for getting the government out of marriage on a GOP presidential primary debate stage — but because of Paul’s growing prominence in the GOP. If he could rally a hawkish party to oppose the president’s power to use drones against terrorists in certain circumstances, can he rally a socially conservative party to find an accommodation on gay marriage?

Paul says foreign policy is an instrumental way to expand the GOP, but it’s not the only way. Social issues are another area where he thinks Republicans can make a better argument to independents and centrists without departing from their principles. Gay marriage, for instance, is one issue on which Paul would like to shake up the Republican position. “I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage,” he says. “That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”

I assume that’s part of a broader ambition to make marriage a wholly private function, which is vintage Paul insofar as it’s a clever attempt to sell libertarian wine in conservative bottles. He does the same thing vis-a-vis foreign aid to Israel: Cutting aid will actually lead to more robust Israeli self-defense because Israel will no longer feel obliged to seek American approval when responding to Hamas. I’ve seen other libertarians and paleocons argue for cutting aid to Tel Aviv and, needless to say, the idea that it might make Israel more aggressive towards its enemies was … not a key factor in their reasoning, to put it mildly. Likewise here, most libertarians support making marriage a matter of private contract not because they feel angst about “redefining marriage” — the ones I know are all perfectly fine with, if not enthusiastic about, states legalizing SSM — but because it’s a move towards smaller government, especially on moral issues. Paul, however, is pitching this as a sort of escape hatch for social conservatives who don’t want to see blue states or the Supreme Court lend the imprimatur of American government to gays marrying. He supports traditional marriage; he doesn’t want to see marriage redefined. So … why not eliminate state sanction from marriage entirely? Indeed, why not, says Jen Rubin:

If we were starting a system from scratch, I suspect that would be an easier sell. But getting the federal government out of the marriage business, deferring to the states and allowing individuals to, as he says, enter into contracts with one another, can be the way out of the gay marriage thicket for the GOP, I would argue.

The Supreme Court, depending on its ruling in the same-sex marriage cases, may assist this process by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the biggest aggrandizement of federal power on marriage in my lifetime (maybe ever).

Conservatives understand that there is a realm of conduct left to churches, synagogues, families, localities and individuals. The essence of Burkean conservatism is a healthy regard for and respect for those realms and for the customs, habits and beliefs that flow from those free associations. Whatever the methodology, conservatives at the national level need to extract themselves from a losing battle that should not be within the purview of the federal government.

That bit at the end is another reason this is newsworthy: The timing is propitious. Ten years ago, social cons laughed at libertarians for suggesting that marriage go completely private. Ten years later, with several states having legalized gay marriage, poll trends among young voters promising more legalization, and the Supreme Court poised to extend marriage rights to gays as a matter of equal protection, maybe they’ll consider it the lesser of two evils. See, e.g., Frank Fleming’s piece at PJM arguing that marriage is, after all, a religious custom and the state has no business trying to reconfigure religious customs. Better to leave marriage entirely within the private realm so that churches can protect their traditions. The timing’s propitious too in that the GOP’s desperate for ways to build goodwill with younger voters and Paul’s ploy is one likely way of doing it. It’s similar to what Mitch Daniels said about pot a few months ago: The GOP doesn’t need to endorse legalization, all it needs to do is let the power to decide devolve to a more local level of government. In the case of marijuana, Daniels pushed federalism as a solution. In the case of marriage, Paul’s pushing private contract, i.e. self-government at the individual level, as the answer. In both cases, the GOP gets to punt on a hot-button issue in a way that, maybe hopefully, won’t alienate social conservatives. They’re not backing weed and SSM; they’re merely striking a blow for limited government by letting people decide for themselves.

All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage, I’ve never understood why social cons would go for this. At the core of the anti-SSM argument, as I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference. It’s not that state sanction operates as some sort of “benediction” for straights, it’s that it a mechanism of differentiation with all other types of unions. If you move to Paul’s paradigm where everything’s a matter of contract, there’s no longer any such mechanism. Every couple with a private agreement is effectively equal; the state will enforce an agreement between gays just as it will an agreement between straights. How does that satisfy the social-con objection to SSM? Likewise, some conservatives support state sanction of marriage because they believe the state has a role in promoting marriage as a social good and domesticating force. I’ve always thought that was a good argument for gay marriage too, but we needn’t argue about that; the point is, if the state gets out the marriage business it’s no longer officially promoting anything. And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract? A multi-party contract would place polygamous groups on the same legal footing as couples. If polygamy’s your chief concern, you’re probably much better off sticking with state-sanctioned marriage and taking your chances with the Supreme Court. Exit question: What am I missing here? Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?


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The Left will never go along with the idea of getting marriage out of the tax code. First, that would remove in one fell swoop one of their premier arguments for SSM. Second, the fairest solution would be a flat tax, which liberals would never allow. Without a graduated income tax, there is no way to punish success and win votes by using class warfare.

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage, I’ve never understood why social cons would go for this… How does that satisfy the social-con objection to SSM?

They won’t, and it doesn’t.

Stoic Patriot on March 13, 2013 at 1:28 PM

The Left will never go along with the idea of getting marriage out of the tax code. First, that would remove in one fell swoop one of their premier arguments for SSM. Second, the fairest solution would be a flat tax, which liberals would never allow. Without a graduated income tax, there is no way to punish success and win votes by using class warfare.

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

This ^^

Your biggest problem has never been selling it to the socons. It has been selling it to the leftist who lose power over people by giving up federal power..

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM

It’s a good idea because it slows the general worship of the state; I think a good helping of social conservatives (myself previously included) are relatively happy to have the government enforce their beliefs.

There are multiple problems with that, both practical and philosophical; however we can’t afford to disengage because the Left won’t stop until they can outlaw social conservatives’ preferences.

Paul’s solution theoretically removes the issue from legislation/governance entirely, which would place the burden back on social conservatives to fight the culture war.

We need to be arguing/evangelizing on a grassroots level, social conservatism simply will not work or spread based on a top-down approach. If we could remove the threat of Leftists legislating against our social preferences by devolving the issue back into the private sector, I’m all for it.

John_Locke on March 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM

I think I covered the argument why taking marriage out of government should appeal to conservatives. Being something special and important, it’s demeaned by being controlled by the state. It’s like having baptism be under government regulation.

If the marriage issue just becomes a contracts issue — and no religious implications built in — it’s simply not as much a concern… unless your issue is you want social engineering from the state.

frankj on March 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

ABSOLUTELY NOT!
This is as dumb an idea as no-fault divorce. Removing one of the few last incentives for marriage and family would further destroy marriage rates, and therefore lead to ever more kids born out of wedlock: THE SINGLE LARGEST INDICATOR OF CRIME AND POVERTY.

The Republic would not survive such a coup de grace to the moral culture!

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Every couple with a private agreement is effectively equal

There’s a novel concept. “All men are created equal…”, Where have I heard that before?

And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract?

They wouldn’t, but you can’t reason with crazy.

rndmusrnm on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

maybe they’ll consider it the lesser of two evils

…because it certainly is the lesser of two evils.

Hmmm…

Hold out for the good, or…

*undecided*

itsnotaboutme on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

.
I’m for a so-called “single-rate” tax, which would still allow for deductions of valid, legal dependents.

After those deductions are subtracted from the total gross income, then the *SAME RATE* would apply to ALL.

listens2glenn on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

It’s like having baptism be under government regulation.

Don’t give them any ideas.

I can see it now, the EPA needs to protect you from contaminated holy water.

John_Locke on March 13, 2013 at 1:34 PM

It’s a good idea because it slows the general worship of the state; I think a good helping of social conservatives (myself previously included) are relatively happy to have the government enforce their beliefs.

This is just ridiculous. Most socons have been RESPONDING to the leftist using the state to push their agenda. Socons haven’t pushed any legislation. Abortion, gay marriage etc. has all been leftist generated.. Socons are the ones responding to the change not the ones doing the change..

I really get tired of the narrative that socons are the ones trying to shove their values down throats. Society’s values were already legislated our way.. It is the leftist who generated legislation and judicial tyranny to change and shove their way down our throats.

Furthermore, name me ONE BUSINESS that is being sued for not doing business with a Christian or espousing Christian values?

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Removing one of the few last incentives for marriage and family would further destroy marriage rates…

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Isn’t there currently a tax penalty for being married?

itsnotaboutme on March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I’m liking Rand more and more each day. It’s refreshing to listen to someone that has an obvious core of beliefs and is willing to speak up regardless of any blowback. I’m all for smaller government but where we’re heading fiscally, this is insignificant.

RedInMD on March 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Taxes (of all kinds) are the weapon of choice against the We The People… Make it simple, make it fair, remove politics… That’ll never happen.

RalphyBoy on March 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

That’s the real issue with social conservatives and libertarians. Most SoCons don’t oppose the expansion of government if its values remain aligned with traditional moral and religious values. This seems to be changing, because fewer Americans align themselves to traditional religious practices, and slowly SoCons are evolving into libertarians as it’s the only option left to protect those traditional values from government usurpation.

EricW on March 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Or, do away with the federal income tax altogether, and replace it with a national sales tax.

rbj on March 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Getting marriage out of the tax code is the true libertarian position on marriage. The SSM marriage issue is largely little more than a political tool and a wedge issue used by Dems and the media to get their political enemies fighting each other. It didn’t even exist twenty five years ago.

The government should not be allowed to discriminate against non-married people using the tax code.

There should be only one personal income tax code, for individuals and only for individuals.

(Actually, there shouldn’t be any personal income tax at all, but that’s a hill to fight on some other day).

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM

And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract?

/sigh Because state licensing is recognition and state sanctioning of relationship. No one cares what people do in their bedroom and the above statement is a tactful way of alluding to that. We aren’t worried about the “cultural” slippery slope. We are worried about the LEGAL SLIPPERY SLOPE..

They wouldn’t, but you can’t reason with crazy.

rndmusrnm on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

And apparently you can’t make blind see.. ^^^

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Isn’t there currently a tax penalty for being married?

itsnotaboutme on March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Only if both work…

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

That’s the real issue with social conservatives and libertarians. Most SoCons don’t oppose the expansion of government if its values remain aligned with traditional moral and religious values. This seems to be changing, because fewer Americans align themselves to traditional religious practices, and slowly SoCons are evolving into libertarians as it’s the only option left to protect those traditional values from government usurpation.

EricW on March 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Gay marriage is an expansion of the government. Therefore, proponents of gay marriage are actually big government supporters..

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Gay marriage is an expansion of the government. Therefore, proponents of gay marriage are actually big government supporters..

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Into the bedroom! no less.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Flat Tax. I approve of getting the government out of as many of my concerns as possible.

Blue Buddha!!!

Bmore on March 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I’m for a so-called “single-rate” tax, which would still allow for deductions of valid, legal dependents.

After those deductions are subtracted from the total gross income, then the *SAME RATE* would apply to ALL.

listens2glenn on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I can agree with that, no problem. The argument would then come down to what are the allowable deductions. A problem is, for example, would a person or couple with a mortgage be allowed a deduction that a renter does not get? If so, we’re back to square-one with a different though related issue. There are other matters, of course, but I have been a proponent of a single rate for a long time.

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The Left will never go along with the idea of getting marriage out of the tax code. First, that would remove in one fell swoop one of their premier arguments for SSM. Second, the fairest solution would be a flat tax, which liberals would never allow. Without a graduated income tax, there is no way to punish success and win votes by using class warfare.

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Thread winner on the first God-blessed post! NAILED it Liam!

Isn’t there currently a tax penalty for being married?

itsnotaboutme on March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

There is, it’s an insult to civilized culture, and it should have been gotten rid of yesterday.

That’s the real issue with social conservatives and libertarians. Most SoCons don’t oppose the expansion of government if its values remain aligned with traditional moral and religious values. This seems to be changing, because fewer Americans align themselves to traditional religious practices, and slowly SoCons are evolving into libertarians as it’s the only option left to protect those traditional values from government usurpation.

EricW on March 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

A few years ago you or I would have been laughed at for predicting this, but it’s absolutely come true. Our culture has simply shifted THAT much. The dwindling number of SoCons are starting to realize that if they try to make a pure traditional stand, they’re going to be overrun, and they’re darn near that point now, so shifting to libertarian-like positions is their only option.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The only fair tax is one that is the same for everyone.

government spending / number of adults = tax. Every adult pays it. Today it is a little under $16,000 a year. a couple years after passing it, it will likely be about $4,000 a year.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract?

Polygamy? Try pedophilia.

sentinelrules on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Marriage (actual marriage between one man and one woman) is the most important institution in Western Civilization. If you don’t understand that then you are no conservative. It’s the BACKBONE of our civilization. I will stand for true marriage until my dying day. Sodomy is an abomination before God and I will NEVER be “okay” with it or “accept” it — NEVER.

Lizzy on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

O/T Sen. Cruz Amendment coming up for a vote. On C-span2 now.
Sen. Mike Johanns R- Nebraska speaking as co-sponsor.

bluefox on March 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Removing one of the few last incentives for marriage and family would further destroy marriage rates…

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Are you seriously suggesting that the primary reason people get married is for tax deductions? Sure, there may be incredibly wealthy people who may no longer see a need to get married, but 99% of this country isn’t going to say, ‘Ohh no, we can’t file our taxes jointly, guess there’s no point in getting married, sweetheart.’

I’ve been wary of Rand from the beginning, but the more he articulates, the more sense he begins to make. Couple his statement of getting marriage out of the tax code with a flat tax and we’ll see some serious results.

I consider myself to be conservative on social matters. But jamming our values down people’s throats and then refusing to interact with them isn’t any better than the Pharisees Christ railed against. Want to change society? Impact them on an individual and community basis and truly change their worldview from the bottom up. Simply legislating morality is lazy and only resulting in great animosity to our message.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Isn’t there currently a tax penalty for being married?

itsnotaboutme on March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Only if both work…

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

So liberals, who think women betray the sisterhood if they don’t enter the workforce, and look at a married woman who stays home and raises kids full time as some sort of circus freak, actually punish married women who work.

CurtZHP on March 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

You can’t bar gays from marrying (or allow it) any more than you can bar a cappella with music (or allow that). “Gay marriage” is an oxymoron. Those who most want to say otherwise are pushing an Orwellian scheme or have fallen for one: Changing the long-established meaning of a word in order to further a political agenda, a la newspeak. Marriage is and always was the union between a man and a woman, and no number of agenda-pushing leftists or “conservatives” who’ve fallen for their illogical, emotional arguments can change this.

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
- Abraham Lincoln

That said, if marriage was something government did not have any say in at all, I suppose private groups could delude themselves (as they already do anyway) into thinking people of the same gender could be “married” and tell themselves they’ve made it happen in their private “ceremonies”, but they should never have any means whatsoever to coerce others into supporting their fantasies, nor should their view be taught in any public school. Which is why the left will never go for it. “1984″ is practically a chapter in their playbook, after all.

CanofSand on March 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Hey, isn’t a tax code that discriminates against non-married people an equal protection under the law violation? Surely if not allowing SSM is such a violation, as the lib, lefties, and many SSM supporters say it is, then a such a discriminatory tax code certainly is, too.

The big government lefties and libs should have no problem getting 100% behind that “equal protection” and “fairness” issue, right? Yeah, won’t hold my breath while waiting for that to happen.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Likewise, some conservatives support state sanction of marriage because they believe the state has a role in promoting marriage as a social good and domesticating force. I’ve always thought that was a good argument for gay marriage too, but we needn’t argue about that….

Sure we need to, because it demonstrates the rhetorical slipperiness of the gay marriage advocates.

It wasn’t all *that* long ago that if you made the suggestion that marriage would be a domesticating influence on gays, you were labeled an intolerant stereotyping homophobe…because, you see, it was just plain wrong to even come close to suggesting that gays were so promiscuous as to need such a stabilizing influence on their “lifestyles.”

But now we’re told, some years later, that gay marriage will curb those promiscuous tendencies?

And even all that aside, there is still the assertion that gay marriage is a “good and domesticating force” at all. I don’t think that’s been shown.

Bottom line, gay marriage isn’t about contracts, or about the ability of two people to get married (indeed, I am unaware of any law that prohibits two men from participating in a ceremony and calling each other “husband.”) but is about demanding APPROVAL from society. Not tolerance, not “equal rights,” but approval. Very disingenuous.

JohnTant on March 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Allah,

I’ve seen other libertarians and paleocons argue for cutting aid to Tel Aviv

It’s aid to Jerusalem.

NOT Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Come on Allah, you know that.

Lance Murdock on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Removing one of the few last incentives for marriage and family would further destroy marriage rates, and therefore lead to ever more kids born out of wedlock: THE SINGLE LARGEST INDICATOR OF CRIME AND POVERTY.

Where in the Constitution is the federal government granted the authority to incentivize marriage?

People marry because they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, not to take advantage of government perks (which cheapen the institution of marriage, in my opinion).

eaglescout_1998 on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Marriage (actual marriage between one man and one woman) is the most important institution in Western Civilization. If you don’t understand that then you are no conservative. It’s the BACKBONE of our civilization. I will stand for true marriage until my dying day. Sodomy is an abomination before God and I will NEVER be “okay” with it or “accept” it — NEVER.

Lizzy on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Yes you will because eventually after it becomes legal the anti-discrimination laws will be so strict that they will take care of your “bigoted” a$$. You will be reeducated and/or sued until you are forced to scream “mommy” and admit that homosexuals are better and more normal than heterosexuals.///

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I might point out that I count myself very much a Social Conservative (with Libertarian leanings), and I fully agree with Paul’s position. In fact, I’ve articulated it several times on this very site.

The conservative argument is, what, ‘The government that governs least governs best?’ Apply that to marriage, which is a cultural and religious issue, and one wonders why it was ever a legal issue.

I will also point out that ‘no fault divorce’ is an issue because state-licensed marriage was around. At least for myself as a Catholic, ‘no fault divorce’ simply does not exist.

If we really need the state to prevent the self-implosion of our social fabric… doesn’t that cede the argument to the liberals? Just like the base accuses the GOP, we’re arguing over degree, not kind.

Or, perhaps stated another way, can anyone cite a Constitutional source for the government regulation of marriage?

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

This idea has real appeal to those who believe in a smaller, less intrusive government, at any level! It could lead to a re-write of the entire tax code. That will lead to great howling by the CPA lobby! Democrats will be up in arms, as well! Great idea with small chance of traction!

tomshup on March 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

So liberals, who think women betray the sisterhood if they don’t enter the workforce, and look at a married woman who stays home and raises kids full time as some sort of circus freak, actually punish married women who work.

CurtZHP on March 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I dunno. It is the only tax penalty I know of for being married. Maybe others know?

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Isn’t there currently a tax penalty for being married?

itsnotaboutme on March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Only in some cases and only by accident, because the tax code has not kept up with reality in culture and society. It was never intended that way.

The tax code is a complete mess.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I consider myself to be conservative on social matters. But jamming our values down people’s throats and then refusing to interact with them isn’t any better than the Pharisees Christ railed against. Want to change society? Impact them on an individual and community basis and truly change their worldview from the bottom up. Simply legislating morality is lazy and only resulting in great animosity to our message.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

So if I don’t think that the state should license certain businesses in my community or my state, I am jamming my “values” down other’s people’s throats? Here I thought that I was frickin voting my political beliefs.

Which btw is that the state should have a VERY limited contract into private pairings i.e… Hilarious that everyone thinks that the opposition to gay marriage only comes form a position of values. Shows your own bias.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

sentinelrules on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

You stupid homophobe how dare you conflate two consenting adults with abuse of children and blah blah ooga-booga lie bullsh!t liberal propaganda!

/sarc

Everyone here minus the denialists like JetBoy and the liberal trolltards know darn well that will be not far down the line.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Only if both work…

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

And their income is about the same.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

People marry because they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, not to take advantage of government perks (which cheapen the institution of marriage, in my opinion).

eaglescout_1998 on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

They do not need marriage for that. Marriage was instituted to LOCK two people into a relationship that they could not easily sunder, such that when they were blessed with children, they would provide the proper and highest quality environment for those children to grow and mature into strong contributing citizens of the society.

This romanticizing of love and want and desire as respect to marriage is what grants the power to gays to say they just want want heterosexuals have. They can never have it, because they do not create between the two of them a child.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

SSM is not simply about tax treatment; straw man argument much? Does he – anyone – think that SSM push is going to grind to a halt if we remove ‘marriage’ from the tax code?

Please.

Midas on March 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The year I married (1978) we filed a joint return. I know how to prepare a tax form, and the amount of our refund was correct. But Washington kept half of it, the ‘one-time marriage penalty’. In other words, they had to nail us one last time. I made more that year than she did, and a joint return would have normally given us a bigger refund. But Washington had to get us that one last time.

Liam on March 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM

ABSOLUTELY NOT!
This is as dumb an idea as no-fault divorce. Removing one of the few last incentives for marriage and family would further destroy marriage rates, and therefore lead to ever more kids born out of wedlock: THE SINGLE LARGEST INDICATOR OF CRIME AND POVERTY.
The Republic would not survive such a coup de grace to the moral culture!
CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

It is the disincentive toward marriage that the welfare state encouraged that led to the increase in single parent households and high crime. Saying people will not get married causing chaos in society because gay marriage is legal is the same as saying that we will all smoke dope if drugs are legalized.

tdarrington on March 13, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Saying people will not get married causing chaos in society because gay marriage is legal is the same as saying that we will all smoke dope if drugs are legalized.

tdarrington on March 13, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Strawman. Legalizing gay ‘marriage’ will make things worse, but it will not be the sole cause, which almost all come from government meddling. See a pattern yet?

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Polygamy? Try pedophilia.

sentinelrules on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Seems to me if sexual orientation and who one is sexually attracted to is completely genetic, as we have been told by our finger wagging betters and moral superiors, then logically sexual attraction to young children must also be completely genetic. Same with sexual attraction to sheep, and goats, and so on and so forth.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Midas: While it will not halt the push, it will certainly remove one of their most sympathetic arguments–particularly from a legal perspective–which is exactly why this will be killed, as Liam points out.

Ast: Thank you for pointing out that romantic love as the basis of marriage is a quite novel concept. Sometimes, I wonder if the length of marriage is inversely correlated with the strength of romantic love shown in the marriage.

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Whole natural families are the default unit of society.

This is one thing the government should promote.

p0s3r on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I might point out that I count myself very much a Social Conservative (with Libertarian leanings), and I fully agree with Paul’s position. In fact, I’ve articulated it several times on this very site.

The conservative argument is, what, ‘The government that governs least governs best?’ Apply that to marriage, which is a cultural and religious issue, and one wonders why it was ever a legal issue.

I will also point out that ‘no fault divorce’ is an issue because state-licensed marriage was around. At least for myself as a Catholic, ‘no fault divorce’ simply does not exist.

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I think these are all pretty solid arguments to make and while I am not a social conservative, I have been thinking along these lines for years. The major reason gay marriage is being pushed is to have an issue to attack social conservatives over and also so the government can step up official harassment of churches once gay marriage is made the law of the land.

If marriage becomes a purely religious function, then leftists lose a major tool with which to assault churches – I can’t overemphasize how important this is – and they will also lose any arguments they have about not having “equal rights,” since they can go find some church to get them married.

If this bill actually passes I would expect the gay rights/marriage movement to totally collapse, since it’s primarily about attacking Republicans rather than “gay rights.” To be frank, the Paul solution actually seems like it would be better for social conservatives than passing legislation banning gay marriage.

Doomberg on March 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Frank Fleming’s piece at PJM arguing that marriage is, after all, a religious custom and the state has no business trying to reconfigure religious customs.

Marriage is a social custom. A structure to have and raise children. Government has an interest in making sure such a structure exists. Same-sex “marriage” does nothing to benefit society. Take on the task (and expense) of children and it’s a different matter altogether.

yongoro on March 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Totally agree with Paul, the government should have no idea whether or not you are married, or to whom. That’s between you and your God and your community.

That way we can all decide for ourselves what the definition of marriage is, without imposing it on others.

commodore on March 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

it’s about economics for me

At the core of the anti-SSM argument, as I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference.

A gay cousin of mine is expecting to get state paid health care coverage and pension benefits through his much older tenured college professor. Convert public pensions and health care plans to employee paid and all of this goes away.

Like arguing against federally funded abortions. When I say I can accept abortions but want no part of paying for them I get accused of being heartless. I get exactly the same reaction with my take on extending public bennies to gays. Heartless and uncaring. Allow gays to share public pensions and healthcare bennies and we’ll be gay to get in on that. A gay mayor will have a majority of gay staff, who will hire gay personell and on and on and on.

DanMan on March 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Ast: Thank you for pointing out that romantic love as the basis of marriage is a quite novel concept. Sometimes, I wonder if the length of marriage is inversely correlated with the strength of romantic love shown in the marriage.

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I highly doubt it. Before romance was anything more than a novelty, a very large incentive to stay married (for women at least) was that without a man to pay your bills you were most likely up sh!t creek for the rest of your life.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Polygamy? Try pedophilia.

sentinelrules on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

It would become a legal contract issue. Minors can’t sign onto a legal contract (at least not without parental consent or a parent/guardian as co-signer).

gravityman on March 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

How is the government still issuing civil marriages qualify as the government getting out of marriage?

Marriage isn’t just a religious custom – it’s a social one which religions have built customs around.

And Allahpundit, how is gay marriage ok under equal protection but not polygamy or two siblings forming a union to get the benefits while one of then cares for an ailing parent or is ill themselves?

If a civil union is just a way of accessing government benefits then why do you have to have a union? Isn’t this also discrimination under equal protection?

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

First, Jen’s an idiot if she thinks that DOMA is a huge “aggrandizement of federal power”. It’s merely a definition of what the government will mean when it references “marriage” in a law.

And Paul mentions the tax issue here, but he doesn’t mention the 100 other things which are linked to a citizen’s marital status. Just off the top of my head: military housing eligibility, military subsistence allottment, welfare payments, medicare/medicaid determination of “other coverage”, security investigations, immigration, census, school lunch programs. I am not saying that the federal government should be involved in all those things. But they are right now, and eliminating the federal “involvement” in marriage won’t just impact income taxes.

GWB on March 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Nope. Marriage should remain a contract with the state that is guarded and rewarded, and families with one dependent parent should be the most rewarded of all.

SarahW on March 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Seems to me if sexual orientation and who one is sexually attracted to is completely genetic, as we have been told by our finger wagging betters and moral superiors, then logically sexual attraction to young children must also be completely genetic. Same with sexual attraction to sheep, and goats, and so on and so forth.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Dingdingdingding, we have a winner. The entire “genetic” argument is nothing more than a big steaming pile that liberals want to use as cover for their sick actions which they willfully chose.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

I assume that’s part of a broader ambition to make marriage a wholly private function, which is vintage Paul insofar as it’s a clever attempt to sell libertarian wine in conservative bottles.

Nice :) Always gotta hand it to AP for the best similes and metaphors.

See, e.g., Frank Fleming’s piece at PJM arguing that marriage is, after all, a religious custom and the state has no business trying to reconfigure religious customs.

I’m always left dumbfounded by this kind of thing. “Marriage” began as being implemented by the state a long time ago. It was later adopted by various religions. And I’m well aware, as a Catholic myself, that marriage is one of the seven sacraments. And that’s all well and good.

But the gay marriage idea is not…repeat, not…about religion. It’s about, as stated above, constitutionality. Regardless of the string of strawmen that always pop up in these threads about some bigger, dark agenda to destroy Christianity or something.

Claiming that the word “marriage” is wholly owned and copyrighted by religion is patently ridiculous…as is getting one’s feathers ruffled over “redefinition” of that word. To the religious, “marriage” may really seem like more than just a word, it’s a concept, and I get that. Yet it isn’t about protecting that concept…it’s about legislating it away from others…kind of a “keep your filthy hands off our concept”.

Thing is, state-sponsored privileges and perks for married couples, I consider entitlements. And we all know full well, once those entitlements are given, it’s near impossible to revoke them. Getting the state out of marriage is a fine concept…but IMO it’s very, very unlikely to be brought to fruition.

JetBoy on March 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

The phrase “get the government out of marriage” is one those intelligent sounding nonsense statements typically made by both Libertarians and leftists. When we move to a contract system who enforces it?

There is no such thing as getting the state out of marriage. Marriage law is nothing but a standardized legal contract that is easy to adjudicate. Abolishing state sanctioned marriage does not get the state of the marriage business, it increases the state’s involvement. When you move into contract marriage tort law applies. That means that instead of a single family court judge deciding the issue under a standard procedure you get into the appeal process if one of the parties doesn’t like the court’s decision. The reality of contract marriage is that in the beginnng cases must and will make their way to SCOTUS to establish precedents that judges can use. All you end up doing is turning a simple legal process into complex one.

It has been an explict aim of the left to abolish the family. Without the family society becomes a group atomized individuals that is more easily controlled by the state. It is amazing how Libertarians have bought into this argument over gay marriage. Along with gun control and legalizing drugs “Getting the government out of marriage” is an another example of first order thinking that ignores the law of unintended consequences.

Libertarians have become the Progressive’s choice of useful idiots

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

gravityman on March 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

If they blow away an institution as old and time-tested as marriage, contract law will not have any staying power to hold back the sickos.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

People marry because they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, not to take advantage of government perks (which cheapen the institution of marriage, in my opinion).

eaglescout_1998 on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

“Love” is not a legal term. Nowhere in marriage statutes is “love” mentioned. There is no legal definition of “love”. It is an entirely subjective word.

As for the “spend the rest of their lives together part”, the government is no longer particularly interested in that. And that also is not a part of marriage statutes.

You do not need to get the government involved to love someone and spend the rest of your life with them.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

“Cross Species”—–the new buzzword on the left, care of Al Gore and his book “The Future”.

It’s the gateway that will be used to justify beastiality.

Marriage? What’s that?

PappyD61 on March 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference.

Barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to keep the government from changing the f’ing definition of a word and institution. The entire purpose of marriage is the recognition that men and women are different combined with the value of two different sexes raising a family. “Republicans” who believe in this idiocy of two guys or two women marrying each other should at least have the decency to admit it’s a liberal position, and stop deflecting to socons.

Dongemaharu on March 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

MelonCollie: I meant in the contemporary era. I completely agree with you about incentives.

Perhaps this is just personal bias, though. Every single one of my relationships has blown up because my partner was always more emotionally involved in the relationship than I. (I tried being the cool rational one of the pair.)

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Sodomy is an abomination before God and I will NEVER be “okay” with it or “accept” it — NEVER.

Lizzy on March 13, 2013 at 1:44 PM

That should remain between you and your husband. Commentators here don’t care to know how freaky your husband wants you to get.

rndmusrnm on March 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM

…..besides there is no debt crisis Obama told Stephanopolus on ABC so who cares about Marriage, Debt, Entitlements, etc.

It’s all good, pay no attention to anything financial Yahoo News Voters, go back to worrying about your napkins in your drive through sacks.

PappyD61 on March 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM

“Marriage” began as being implemented by the state a long time ago. It was later adopted by various religions. JetBoy on March 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Why is marriage in quotes, are you apologizing for using the word, or sneering at it?

Please tell us, what states existed before marriage? In order, which religions adopted it. And please give your sources. Thanks.

Akzed on March 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

LETS ALSO GET CLIMATE CHANGE / GLOBAL WARMING / CO2 FRAUD OUT OF OUR TAX CODE WHILE WE ARE AT IT.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

200,000 Climate Gate e-mails with password now being reviewed.

Rand Paul writes up a full bore Al Gore climate change tax bill and puts in the hopper in the Senate.

Goes to the floor to defend it,,(fake ya but ok)

Ted Cruz uses the facts and truth on the fraud to debunk it in a 16 hour or more filabuster of Rands fake bill.

Just do it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Yet it isn’t about protecting that concept…it’s about legislating it away from others…kind of a “keep your filthy hands off our concept”.

You do realize that that is the sole reasoning for the state to license something, right? It is for the state to measure your “qualifications” to make sure that you pass the state muster for their recognition. They do it for hospitals, adoption agencies, business and marriages. It is by its nature exclusive if you don’t meet the qualifications.

So in essence the gay argument of equal protection is that the state CANNOT license marriage that means that polygamy and incest are legally allowed as well since there will be no rational basis to exclude those pairings/couplings as well.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

White smoke! Habemus papam!

steebo77 on March 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

I highly doubt it. Before romance was anything more than a novelty, a very large incentive to stay married (for women at least) was that without a man to pay your bills you were most likely up sh!t creek for the rest of your life.
MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

No – it goes back further than that. In agrarian societies the family was the basic economic unit and spouses needed each other and children to survive.

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

So if I don’t think that the state should license certain businesses in my community or my state, I am jamming my “values” down other’s people’s throats? Here I thought that I was frickin voting my political beliefs.

Which btw is that the state should have a VERY limited contract into private pairings i.e… Hilarious that everyone thinks that the opposition to gay marriage only comes form a position of values. Shows your own bias.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Nope, the beauty of our governmental system is the fact that we can make such unique decisions and changes at local and state levels. So if you object to a strip club or a chik fil a or a papa john’s in your community, you can go to your town hall meeting and make your objections known.

The federal government shouldn’t have the authority to come into your local town and say, ‘hey, you guys can’t build that business there.’ Likewise, the federal government shouldn’t be playing tax favorites for married couples while single folks and not married couples are at a disadvantaged. So if you’re in favor of the state having limited contract into private pairings, then you should be in favor of the federal government abolishing tax incentives for married couples and going to a flat tax or unincentivized system instead.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

There is no such thing as getting the state out of marriage. Marriage law is nothing but a standardized legal contract that is easy to adjudicate. Abolishing state sanctioned marriage does not get the state of the marriage business, it increases the state’s involvement. When you move into contract marriage tort law applies. That means that instead of a single family court judge deciding the issue under a standard procedure you get into the appeal process if one of the parties doesn’t like the court’s decision. The reality of contract marriage is that in the beginnng cases must and will make their way to SCOTUS to establish precedents that judges can use. All you end up doing is turning a simple legal process into complex one.

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

This argument makes no sense on its face. The point of getting rid of state sanctioned marriage would be to completely eliminate marriage contract law in the first place. People would be free to form partnerships and families on their own, but would presumably be required to manage money and assets and such on an individual basis. The only real laws that would be required would be the disposition of a child in the event of the death of the parents or divorce.

Doomberg on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

There are folks who don’t get married because of the tax implications. They instead live together “without benefit of matrimony” as the old euphemism goes. (There are plenty of other non-amorous reasons for this to happen, too.)

GWB on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I am 100% for civil unions and 100% opposed to gay marriage. We are only “husband and wife” in the eyes of the church? Are we going to say henceforth that heterosexuals who marry in a civil ceremony aren’t married?

Buy Danish on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Midas: While it will not halt the push, it will certainly remove one of their most sympathetic arguments–particularly from a legal perspective–which is exactly why this will be killed, as Liam points out.

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Oddly enough, when I hear people talking about why SSM needs to be allowed, or read articles seeking to gain support for it, ‘taxation’ isn’t one of the major elements – it usually boils down to legal rights re: medical visitation, estate, powers of attorney, insurance and other benefits coverage, etc. I honestly can’t remember a single time where ‘taxation’ was a primary point being made. *shrug*

Midas on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

There was a time when there was marriage, and no tax code, you know Rand… Rand?

And what’s with the partial perm? His old man wears fake eyebrows, and he wears a li’l poodle-do.

There’s always a tell…

Akzed on March 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

No – it goes back further than that. In agrarian societies the family was the basic economic unit and spouses needed each other and children to survive.

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Oh okay, you’re talking waaaay back. Got it.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

So in essence the gay argument of equal protection is that the state CANNOT license marriage that means that polygamy and incest are legally allowed as well since there will be no rational basis to exclude those pairings/couplings as well.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I have never seen an argument supporting SSM that could not also be applied equally to multiple partner marriages of three or more.

And if two men or two women can be married, why can’t two brothers, two sisters, a father and son, or a mother and daughter get married?

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

People marry because they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, not to take advantage of government perks (which cheapen the institution of marriage, in my opinion).
eaglescout_1998 on March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

And in this sense gay couples can get married in every state.

The gay lobby wants gay marriage to get another tool to push the religious out of the public square.

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM

SSM advocates are always citing polls evidence…but if you have a poll with three options: a) full ssm b) civil unions c) no recognition, no recognition and civil unions will be significantly higher than full ssm. Given the option, a majority do not want to redefine marriage.

Look at Huntsman. He was for civil unions. But now that isn’t a good enough position and he had to fully endorse gay marriage. What’s wrong with civil unions? Just proves they want only to redefine marriage.

monalisa on March 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

The federal government shouldn’t have the authority to come into your local town and say, ‘hey, you guys can’t build that business there.’ Likewise, the federal government shouldn’t be playing tax favorites for married couples while single folks and not married couples are at a disadvantaged. So if you’re in favor of the state having limited contract into private pairings, then you should be in favor of the federal government abolishing tax incentives for married couples and going to a flat tax or unincentivized system instead.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Again for libertarians who think socons are their enemys.. You are living in a theoretical world where liberals don’t exist. You don’t have to convince me of this.. YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

jerryofva: When you let the government define something, you let them control it.

It is the government’s rewarding of single-parent ‘families’ that has resulted in a cultural normalization of that ‘family type’, with the accompanying deterioration of our social fabric.

Remove the government’s ability to define a family (which is coincident with their ability to define a marriage), and you remove the ability for the government to control it, for good or ill.

If your response is that the government’s control over the family is better than the alternative, I have two points for you.

1) That is, in itself, a liberal argument, not a conservative one.

2) The last 50 years should be enough evidence that the government’s control of the legal ramifications of the terms ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ is disastrous to society.

If we as conservatives must rely on the state to defend society against itself, we cede the ethical position of conservatism, and we are also being cowards.

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Look at Huntsman. He was for civil unions. But now that isn’t a good enough position and he had to fully endorse gay marriage. What’s wrong with civil unions? Just proves they want only to redefine marriage.

monalisa on March 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Not only that but in a week he went full on stupid from saying states should decide to supporting overturning the voters in the Prop 8 case. I looked at that list of Republicans and I can tell you no matter where you fall on the SSM debate if you support SCOTUS overturning the voters in California you deserve scorn as a Republican. SE Cupp has forever lost my respect for signing that brief.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Oddly enough, when I hear people talking about why SSM needs to be allowed, or read articles seeking to gain support for it, ‘taxation’ isn’t one of the major elements – it usually boils down to legal rights re: medical visitation, estate, powers of attorney, insurance and other benefits coverage, etc. I honestly can’t remember a single time where ‘taxation’ was a primary point being made. *shrug*

Midas on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Actually, everything in your list can and in most cases has been made available to two people without a marriage contract.

The big one that has not in my mind is the right for a spouse to refuse to testify against the other.

At any rate, the tax code argument is about fairness and equal protection whether or not people get married for that reason, or as one of the reasons.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

There are folks who don’t get married because of the tax implications. They instead live together “without benefit of matrimony” as the old euphemism goes. (There are plenty of other non-amorous reasons for this to happen, too.)

GWB on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Sure that’s true and I’m not entirely trying to discount that. But the idea that moving to a flat tax or getting rid of loopholes that may provide married couples a significant tax advantage over singles and unmarried couples is going to destroy the institution of marriage and further a decline in marriage rates as one poster noted is silly.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Well put. And, some of “our”* actions have led us to this point: no-fault divorce being the prime one. It removed that “lock”.

* “our” here refers to “heterosexuals” since that is how the SSM proponents view it. Unfortunately, it was the exact same group that drove no-fault divorce: libertines. So, really, so-cons and others didn’t have anything to do with promoting no-fault divorce, except to stupidly acquiesce in it.

GWB on March 13, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Sure that’s true and I’m not entirely trying to discount that. But the idea that moving to a flat tax or getting rid of loopholes that may provide married couples a significant tax advantage over singles and unmarried couples is going to destroy the institution of marriage and further a decline in marriage rates as one poster noted is silly.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

I actually think the government itself has done more to damage marriage than it has helped it. No fault divorce, welfare program etc. have killed marriage rates and the survival of marriage. If we could somehow divorce the state(although I don’t see how it is feasible) I think it might actually be good for marriage.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Midas: And all of their arguments hinge on the state’s benefits for marriage.

Which, while Rand’s specific comments do not address, is the culmination of the argument.

If you want to give someone power of attorney, do so. It’s just that in marriages, this happens automatically for your spouse.

Do it yourself.

Scott H on March 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM

So Doomberg who enforces the marriage agreement or do you wish to leave that up to private parties? Just think a Libertarian endorsement of honor killings. Who would have thought that?

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Gay marriage is just another brick in the wall of cultural Marxism. Gay people didn’t know they were mad about not being able to marry until the leftists told them to be.

The point is to destroy religion and traditional values in order to promote dependency on the state. Gay people make up about 3% of the population and only a subset of that even care about getting married. This issue gets way too much ink and web space.

The reason the polls are changing is people are tired of hearing about same sex marriage and they also don’t like being called bigots. They wrongly figure if they go along with redefining marriage the leftists will shut up about it. They won’t. There are an endless list of grievances to be manufactured.

Politically, supporting same sex marriage is a loser for Republicans. That pundits are telling us all to cave is a disgrace.

echosyst on March 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage, I’ve never understood why social cons would go for this… How does that satisfy the social-con objection to SSM?

They won’t buy it … SoCons NEED validation of their sacraments from the State because they really, deep-down, don’t believe their sacraments come from God. If they really believed that God had sactified marriage as an institute between man and woman – then they’d care less what the State actually said about that.

HondaV65 on March 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Oddly enough, when I hear people talking about why SSM needs to be allowed, or read articles seeking to gain support for it, ‘taxation’ isn’t one of the major elements – it usually boils down to legal rights re: medical visitation, estate, powers of attorney, insurance and other benefits coverage, etc. I honestly can’t remember a single time where ‘taxation’ was a primary point being made. *shrug*

Midas on March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Actually, everything in your list can and in most cases has been made available to two people without a marriage contract.

The big one that has not in my mind is the right for a spouse to refuse to testify against the other.

At any rate, the tax code argument is about fairness and equal protection whether or not people get married for that reason, or as one of the reasons.

farsighted on March 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

And the point you’re helping make is that what they say they want and what they want aren’t the same.

They’ve gotten almost everything that was listed as a problem… and it’s not enough, is it? Remove marriage from the tax system and… it won’t be enough, will it? Grant SSM full and utter equivalency under the law… and it won’t be enough, will it? Because then it will be “hey, what about us polygamists and pedophiles and…?” I know people like to scoff at that, but lookie here – we’re right now in the middle of a SSM conversation that was unthinkable not too long ago – and as someone else said already, you may scoff all you want, but most if not all of the arguments in favor of SSM also work in favor of polygamy, pedophilia etc – it just requires a bit more fine-tuning and… redefinition (sound familiar?).

Midas on March 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Again for libertarians who think socons are their enemys.. You are living in a theoretical world where liberals don’t exist. You don’t have to convince me of this.. YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I’m not a libertarian by any means. My comments have been in reply to an earlier poster who claimed getting rid of marriage incentives in the tax code would result in the destruction of marriage and children being born out of wedlock. His/Her objections to Rand Paul’s idea were moral, to which I believe that morality is something that we need to teach and spread locally and at the community level. Getting out of our comfort zone and actually engaging with those with whom we disagree, rather than simply trying to legislate (or not legislate) in fears that it will impact the moral framework of this country. I simply don’t believe social conservatism from a top down approach is any better than what liberals try to do, or what the Pharisees did 2000 years ago. Build from the bottom up.

Hostile Gospel on March 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM

So Doomberg who enforces the marriage agreement or do you wish to leave that up to private parties? Just think a Libertarian endorsement of honor killings. Who would have thought that?

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

The courts would enforce “contracts” – not marriages. Pretty simple really.

HondaV65 on March 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Likewise, some conservatives support state sanction of marriage because they believe the state has a role in promoting marriage as a social good and domesticating force.

It’s actually more complicated than that. It is the fact that marriage between man and woman is inherently different than all other kinds of relationships that makes it a social good and a domesticating force. That is why extending it to same-sex couples will not have the same domesticating effect.

What is Marriage?
How does it differ from other kinds of relationships like friendship or kinship?
What role does it play in society?

We have to answer those questions BEFORE we decide whether or not the term marriage can be extended to same-sex relationships and what the government’s role should be in extending it.

The book “What is Marriage?” tried to give a coherent, comprehensive, non-religious answer those questions and challenges those who support legalizing same-sex marriage to answer them.

http://www.amazon.com/What-Is-Marriage-Woman-Defense/dp/1594036225

I think the best compromise we can do is to offer “sex-neutral domestic partnerships” that would be available to any two people (or even three or four people) who want to enter into a contract for shared assets and obligations (regardless of whether they have a sexual relationship or not), while still holding the line on the traditional definition of marriage.

J. Max Wilson on March 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

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