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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I didn’t say anything about her conclusion, I just pointed out her reasoning was fallacious.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM

So you really think that polygamists aren’t going to push for equal protection under the law that allows gay unions?

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

People have chose their path. Or are you suggesting we make marriage a requirement ala the Commerce Clause?

ButterflyDragon on March 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Government coerces and incentivizes these paths.
First through a program no one was clawing for government to create in social security. It was created specifically to empower government and help speed along the demise of the nation. The politicians themselves wanted easy divorce for themselves and their connected Hollywood big names.
It was trickle down injustice which got us here, not grassroots public demands!

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM

I personally am okay with same sex marriage. I am NOT okay with polygamy, group marriage, etc. I am concerned that opening the doors to SSM will open them for Polygamy much the same way that creating law for civil unions has led to SSM and creating law for domestic partnerships has downgraded marriage for heterosexual partners.

If someone who’s up on constitutional law can convince me that we can accommodate gays & lesbians without opening it up to polygamy, I’m on board. Otherwise, no, I’m not signing on to something that leads to support for tax deductions and benefits being extended to polygamous unions.

Oh, and by the way, if SSM become the law of the land – we need to do away with domestic partnerships or any other “Marriage-lite” arrangements for heterosexuals

Jill1066 on March 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

socons are just as bad as liberals when you try to use the govt to enforce your religious beliefs. you want small govt, but only in the cases where it supports your doctrine, thats hypocrisy. socons need to get on board with SSM and weed being local issues, or you’ll continue to lose national elections by increasing margins.

burserker on March 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Ok, then you tell me on what basis under equal protection a gay couple can be married but a polygamous arrangement can be denied?

Or two siblings wishing to get all the benefits of a “union” while one of them cares for their ailing parent and the other works – or one of the siblings is ill and the other works?

If you’re going to argue that there’s no material difference between straight couplings and gay couplings then you’re leaving the door wide open.

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 3:49 PM

I could just as easily ask on what basis under equal protection can a straight couple get married but a polygamous arrangement can be denied. It’s all a slippery slope argument. Is it totally beyond the realm of possibilities? Probably not. But is it certain? No.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

And I will ask you the same question:

Are you suggesting we require pregnant women to get married? Or should unmarried pregnant women have abortions?

And how would stopping gays from getting married have any impact on straight people deciding to have children out of wedlock?

ButterflyDragon on March 13, 2013 at 3:41 PM

AGAIN, some people only fabricate the argument they prefer to argue against. Did I write any of the things you listed? Or did I write “we should ENCOURAGE marriage?”

Or are these NO REASON to concern oneself with encouraging marriage?

Oh wait, there it is. Do you have reading comprehension problems, or do you just really enjoy ridiculous non-sequiturs? I support encouraging marriage, therefore you assume I support any and all means of encouraging marriage? Is that your conclusion?

To clarify, if I suggest we should encourage adopting dogs from the shelter, that does not suggest you MUST adopt ALL dogs at the shelter, nor that you MUST force all your neighbors to adopt dogs, nor that we should immediately exterminate all dogs that are not adopted, nor that we should prohibit the adoption of cats, etc, etc, etc. It ONLY means I think we should encourage adopting dogs from the shelter.

It’s a blog comment, not a philosophical conjecture in the search for existentialist meaning. Stop over-thinking it, you’ll only hurt yourself.

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

So you really think that polygamists aren’t going to push for equal protection under the law that allows gay unions?

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Here’s an interesting website:

http://www.votepolygamy.com/2011/07/polygamist-families-should-have-equal-rights/

Law professor Jonathan Turley wrote an op ed in the New York Times yesterday asking for the right to privacy for polygamist families. He represents one, the Browns, consisting of Kody Brown, four wives, 16 children, and the production crew of TLC who films them for the reality series Sister Wives. Turley, smartly, is not seeking to get all four “marriages” recognized; he is arguing that consenting adults have a right to form the family structure they like and that as long as there is no coercion or child abuse, being polygamists is none of the state’s business.

After all, John Edwards, who made a multiple family on the sly, may be morally repugnant, but he is not in legal trouble for impregnating a woman who wasn’t his wife. Turley makes a persuasive argument, and he notes that civil liberty organizations have been reluctant to back him, probably because his cause seems to undermine the case for gay marriage. As Turley writes: “The reason might be strategic: some view the effort to decriminalize polygamy as a threat to the recognition of same-sex marriages or gay rights generally.”

Opponents of gay marriage have used the specter of legalizing polygamists and polyamorists. But with more and more states recognizing gay unions as equal to heterosexual ones, the question of why society draws the line at couples is going to have to be answered. I am in favor of gay marriage, but it’s going to be seen as increasingly arbitrary to say that people who have a moral and religious belief in multiple unions hold unacceptable views. (I do find polygamy inherently oppressive to women and distasteful. But if the participants don’t, so what if many of us are appalled.) Polygamists can cite the ancient history of multiple marriages (we’re talking about you, King Solomon) and the fact that it is a custom widely practiced in the world today. If gay marriage eventually becomes completely legal in America, there surely will be test cases of people in multiple unions demanding their rights to the sanctity and protection of marriage. XXers, what are the arguments about why polygramy, et. al shouldn’t be next.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

socons are just as bad as liberals when you try to use the govt to enforce your religious beliefs. you want small govt, but only in the cases where it supports your doctrine, thats hypocrisy. socons need to get on board with SSM and weed being local issues, or you’ll continue to lose national elections by increasing margins.

burserker on March 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

LOL– Who is taking SSM out of the state’s hand? Socon voters or liberals?

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Right you are. If the goal is to encourage marriage then legalize for gay people.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

I could just as easily ask on what basis under equal protection can a straight couple get married but a polygamous arrangement can be denied. It’s all a slippery slope argument. Is it totally beyond the realm of possibilities? Probably not. But is it certain? No.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Psst straight couples aren’t given equal protections, because marriage licenses are given on the basis of being straight. They are given opposite gender, no relation, and age of consent, couples. And futhermore, there are straight couples who are in fact denied.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

because marriage licenses are given on the basis of being straight.

Aren’t *

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

LOL– Who is taking SSM out of the state’s hand? Socon voters or liberals?

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Neither is. It’s more the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause that are doing it.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

What does any of this have to do with the gay marriage debate? By bringing up single motherhood in relation to the current issue you appear to be suggesting there are a lot of men fathering children with women to whom they are not married who then go out and marry another man. Is that your contention?

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I’m afraid I’m not the one off topic here, you are.
The “current issue” is whether we should “get marriage out of the tax code”. It was proposed there was “no reason” for government to be involved in marriage. Incentivizing and encouraging marriage and thereby decreasing single motherhood I find to be a good reason. You’re welcome to agree or disagree, but I suggest you keep up with the prior comments first.

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

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

Hey Obama voter, if you think you can read other people’s minds then you are certifiably insane.

People are just used to state sanctioned marriage, so it will take time to process the idea that marriage should be a strictly private contract between persons.

Government is large and increasingly pervasive, if it can’t be scaled back then it is only natural for Social Conservatives to want a large government which promotes their values – every group does this. However, if there is one voting bloc which is consistently reliable in their support for limited government and fiscal sanity, it is the social conservatives. Not only do their voting patterns consistently back fiscal conservatism, but their values breed fiscal conservatism.

Marriage is a religious institution created by heterosexuals, for heterosexuals, to create a stable union to produce children and build the family unit every strong, self sufficient society needs to survive. Same sex marriage is a new age social experiment which can not produce children nor build this family unit in the natural world. Just as humanity needs heterosexuality to survive, society needs stable, child bearing heterosexual unions to survive; homosexuality and gay unions are not equal. Government promoting marriage and traditional family values was good for society, but these days it’s deemed politically incorrect. People are turning their backs on marriage in general, are seeking to redefine it, and even glorify single parent households; this will all lead to more broken families and further reliance on the state for support.

Now that gay marriage is being pushed as a natural right sanctioned by the state, this will lead to a future constitutional crisis when gay activists start suing religious affiliated organizations and churches for discriminatory practice as they refuse to recognize or perform same sex ceremonies. The SPLC will label all of Christianity a hate group. The newly created right for gay marriage will suddenly find itself at odds with the first amendment and our freedom of religious expression – true natural rights do not conflict with one another.

There will always be large segments and institutions in this country which support traditional values and traditional marriage, and the only way to protect these people from a Federal government forcing their new age secular humanist agenda on them is conservative and libertarian philosophy. This is why social conservatives support school choice to get out of public school indoctrination; it is why they support a simplified and streamlined flat or fair tax so their tax dollars are not directed to liberal causes and institutions; it is why they support the right to bear arms; it is why they support market based economics as opposed to central planning; it is why they support states rights and federalism; it is why they make up the backbone of the Tea Party movement, and it is why I believe social conservatives will be increasingly supportive of Rand Paul’s private contract take on marriage.

I’m a social conservative myself, and Rand Paul has been making sense since 2010 when I first started following him. Unlike you who threw a hissy fit after Romney was nominated and voted for Obama, social conservatives did in fact turn out and vote for him just as they did for McCain and Bush 41. Social Conservatives have compromised plenty to keep the true statists out of office so a pro life, fiscal Libertarian like Paul will be one of the most attractive options social conservatives have had in a long time.

Daemonocracy on March 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Psst straight couples aren’t given equal protections, because marriage licenses are given on the basis of being straight. They are given opposite gender, no relation, and age of consent, couples. And futhermore, there are straight couples who are in fact denied.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I figured all of that was implied when I “straight couples”. I’m trying to keep my posts shorter. :-)

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Neither is. It’s more the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause that are doing it.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Then again, if there is no legal basis to deny gay couples marriage license under the 14th amendment than there is no legal basis to deny polygamy or incestuous couples. /facepalm.

That is the legal reality. When you start messing around with due process and equal protection there is frickin consequences.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM

That is the legal reality. When you start messing around with due process and equal protection there is frickin consequences.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Then delete the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses from the Constitution. That’s what the amendment process is for.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I personally am okay with same sex marriage. I am NOT okay with polygamy, group marriage, etc.

Jill1066 on March 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Why? What’s the difference? Isn’t love love?

thebrokenrattle on March 13, 2013 at 4:21 PM

I could just as easily ask on what basis under equal protection can a straight couple get married but a polygamous arrangement can be denied. It’s all a slippery slope argument. Is it totally beyond the realm of possibilities? Probably not. But is it certain? No.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

What basis? That a marriage of one man and one women is unique in history and Western culture and society as the basis of the economy, society and the culture. Straight couplings are THE means of brining new citizens in to the world and THE best way of civilizing and socializing them and caring for them. In short, straight couplings are materially different than gay couplings. Sure, polygamous relationships get closer to this than gay couples but still fall short.

If you want to turn civil unions into something that is centered around state recognition of peoples feelings for each other and decision to be together and away from the cultural and historical roots of marriage then you are in fact opening up the door.

Also, if civil unions are simply a way of gaining access to government benefits then why are the single or other people who are in partnerships (like siblings taking care of ailing parents) denied these benefits? The point is that allowing gay marriage isn’t the end of discrimination – it’s just a new kind of discrimination.

gwelf on March 13, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Then delete the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses from the Constitution. That’s what the amendment process is for.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Do you know what the tiers of equal protection are? Do you realize why there are three tiers?

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

My main argument against gay marriage has nothing to do with any of this. I think calling two men (or two women) who have been joined by some farcical aquatic ceremony, or whatever, ‘married’ is like seeing a horse jump over a hedge and saying it was ‘flying’.

Knott Buyinit on March 13, 2013 at 4:26 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

Lets remove the incentive for having out of wedlock babies –
welfare!

Amjean on March 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Then delete the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses from the Constitution. That’s what the amendment process is for.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM

The questions for decision are whether a marriage of two persons of the same sex is authorized by state statutes and, if not, whether state authorization is constitutionally compelled.

Petitioners, Richard John Baker and James Michael McConnell, both adult male persons, made application to respondent, Gerald R. Nelson, clerk of Hennepin County District Court, for a marriage license, pursuant to Minn.St. 517.08. Respondent declined to issue the license on the sole ground that petitioners were of the same sex, it being undisputed that there were otherwise no statutory impediments to a heterosexual marriage by either petitioner.

The trial court, quashing an alternative writ of mandamus, ruled that respondent was not required to issue a marriage license to petitioners and specifically directed that a marriage license not be issued to them. This appeal is from those orders. We affirm.

[1] 1. Petitioners contend, first, that the absence of an express statutory prohibition against same-sex marriages evinces a legislative intent to authorize such marriages. We think, however, that a sensible reading of the statute discloses a contrary intent.

Minn.St. c. 517, which governs “marriage,” employs that term as one of common usage, meaning the state of union between persons of the opposite sex./1/ It is unrealistic to think that the original drafts-men of our marriage statutes, which date from territorial days, would have used the term in any different sense. The term is of contemporary significance as well, for the present statute is replete with words of heterosexual import such as “husband and wife” and “bride and groom” (the latter words inserted by L.1969, C. 1145, § 3, subd.3).

We hold, therefore, that Minn.St. c. 517 does not authorize marriage between persons of the same sex and that such marriages are accordingly prohibited.

[2] 2. Petitioners contend, second, that Minn.St. c. 517, so interpreted, is unconstitutional. There is a dual aspect to this contention: The prohibition of a same-sex marriage denies petitioners a fundamental right guaranteed by the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution, arguably made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, and petitioners are deprived of liberty and property without due process and are denied the equal protection of the laws, both guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment./2/

These constitutional challenges have in common the assertion that the right to marry without regard to the sex of the parties is a fundamental right of all persons and that restricting marriage to only couples of the opposite sex is irrational and invidiously discriminatory. We are not independently persuaded by these contentions and do not find support for them in any decisions of the United States Supreme Court

The iinstitution of marriage as a union man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis. Skinner V. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 1113, 86 L.Ed. 1655, 1660 (1942), which invalidated Oklahoma’s Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act on equal protection grounds, stated in part: “Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.” This historic institution manifestly is more deeply founded than the asserted contemporary concept of marriage and societal interests for which petitioners contend. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a charter for restructuring it by judicial legislation.
Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 85 S.Ct. 1678, 14 L.Ed.2d 510 (1965), upon which petitioners rely, does not support a contrary conclusion. A Connecticut criminal statute prohibiting the use of contraceptives by married couples was held invalid, as violating the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The basic premise of that decision, however, was that the state, having authorized marriage, was without power to intrude upon the right of privacy inherent in the marital relationship. Mr. Justice Douglas, author of the majority opinion, wrote that this criminal statute “operates directly on an intimate relation of husband and wife,” 381 U.S. 482, 85 S.Ct. 1680, 14 L.Ed.2d 513, and that the very idea of its enforcement by police search of “the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives * * * is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship,” 381 U.S. 485, 85 S.Ct.1682, 14 L.Ed.2d 516. In a separate opinion for three justices, Mr. Justice Goldberg similarly abhorred this state disruption of “the traditional relation of the family–a relation as old and as fundamental as our entire civilization.” 381 U.S. 496, 85 S.Ct. 1688,14 L.Ed.2d 522./3/

The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, like the due process clause, is not offended by the state’s classification of persons authorized to marry. There is no irrational or invidious discrimination. Petitioners note that the state does not impose upon heterosexual married couples a condition that they have a proved capacity or declared willingness to procreate, posing a rhetorical demand that this court must read such condition into the statute if same-sex marriages are to be prohibited. Even assuming that such a condition would be neither unrealistic nor offensive under the Griswold rationale, the classification is no more than theoretically imperfect. We are reminded, however, that “abstract symmetry” is not demanded by the Fourteenth Amendment./4/

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967), upon which petitioners additionally rely, does not militate against this conclusion. Virginia’s antimiscegenation statute, prohibiting interracial marriages, was invalidated solely on the grounds of its patent racial discrimination. As Mr. Chief Justice Warren wrote for the court (388 U.S. 12, 87 S.Ct. 1824, 18 L.Ed.2d 1018):

“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 86 L.Ed. 1655 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 8 S.Ct. 723, 31 L. Ed. 654 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations./5/”

Loving does indicate that not all state restrictions upon the right to marry are beyond reach of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in commonsense and in a constitutional sense, there is a clear distinction between a marital restriction based merely upon race and one based upon the fundamental difference in sex.

We hold, therefore, that Minn.St. c. 517 does not offend the First, Eighth, Ninth, or Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Right you are. If the goal is to encourage marriage then legalize for gay people.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Of course, invent the argument you want to see! Seems to be a theme today…

Though there are obviously some ramifications, my PRIMARY concern over the actual topic “marriage in the tax code” isn’t over special privileges for gays to get marriage licenses. You may be surprised to learn that not EVERYTHING is all about homosexuals getting their way.

Besides, marriage is already legal for gay people. If they want a license all they have to do is apply with someone of the complementary gender. But now we’re getting far afield.

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM

So, by getting the government out of the marriage business you’re suggesting all pedophile laws will be null and void?

Man, there’s so much straw on this thread it’s a wonder it doesn’t burst into flames.

ButterflyDragon on March 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I think what he is suggesting is that so many things depend on a proper definition of family – as something that is not merely a contractual issue – that eliminating it will lead to unintended consequences, many of them truly horrible. The idea of guardianship descends from the idea that a parent has the best interests of the child and the family at heart. Therefore, they can do something like enter into a contract on the child’s behalf. If you elminate the Natural Law concept behind marriage and the family unit, then you will have to go the French Law route: whatever is not specifically written in the law is legal. Lawyers love this concept, as it keeps them employed finding loopholes and parsing words. Unfortunately, we are well on our way to that, already. The end result is not a healthy society.

GWB on March 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Amjean on March 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I concur, but add in that the divorce lottery has to be done away with as well.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

There is a clear and simple reason that the govt to be mixed up in the marriage debate and what constitutes a “Marriage.”
Property rights.
If the government does not recognize marriage as anything except a contract, and remembering that in order to change a contract both parties must agree, it would be way to easy to exclude spouses or ex spouses from wills, from outside sources of income (say uncle George leaves you his million dollar ranch).
Also remember divorce laws would have to change as well, as the State no longer has any say so it what is legitimate grounds for a divorce.
Same with children and who gets them and under what conditions.
All of this would have to be detailed in the contract.
.
Imagine being hit criminally and civility for breach of contract.

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Do you know what the tiers of equal protection are? Do you realize why there are three tiers?

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Yes, and strict scrutiny was the Loving standard.

As to Baker, I don’t think you argue that the courts have taken a bit more “expansive” view of equal protection is the four decades since (not to mention the potential implications of Lawrence) SCOTUS said there was no substantial federal question involved in the case. Plus there’s a bit more of a federal question involved now.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Looking at the results, I think having it left in the hands of the Church would have been preferential.

Wife, automatic HALF plus alimony.
Any reason is grounds for divorce. No Fault, Same Day drive through Service. Wife still gets HALF and Alimony.
Wife always gets the children. Men are always considered molesters. The wife Get Half, Alimony and child support.

Imagine a world where your contract was actually honored.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Yes, and strict scrutiny was the Loving standard.

As to Baker, I don’t think you argue that the courts have taken a bit more “expansive” view of equal protection is the four decades since (not to mention the potential implications of Lawrence) SCOTUS said there was no substantial federal question involved in the case. Plus there’s a bit more of a federal question involved now.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Lawrence was decided on privacy issues which is almost always primarily strict scrutiny. Prop 8 at best will be looked at as a gender issue which at most hits the middle tier. Furthermore, if you suddenly take away the Baker rationale that the state had a compelling reason to restrict SSM marriage i.e., gays don’t procreate than it stands to reason that incestuous marriage restrictions are the next to fall since the only rationale reason that the state restricts those is on the basis of procreation.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:53 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 didn’t take as long as I thought it would before he went off the rails

KBird on March 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM

CapnObvious on March 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM

No, I understood what you were getting regarding using the tax code to encourage marriage, I was just piggybacking on your point, hence the “Right you are.”

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:57 PM

If you are for gay marriage and nothing else (group, etc.) then you are a hypocrite.

I understand Paul’s comment – but it won’t work, because that is exactly what civil unions were all about – to provide legal benefit protections and access. The gay marriage push goes beyond that.

I would be happy to privatize the whole lot of it, but the gay groups would never go for it. No matter – I know what a marriage is – and no one or govt is going to change what I know to be true.

I would be happy to get all of this out of the federal govts control, as long as I can guarentee that the federal courts stay out as well. I need a federal law indicating what things are outside of the realm of the federal or supreme court to rule upon. if we can keep the robes out – fine, privatize it.

Zomcon JEM on March 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

.
All those things are recent (1970′s to now) and we see the mess when stupid people (AKA Liberals) get their hands on things.
They tend to self-destruct.
But if Govt got out the “marriage” biz completely it would be a Mad Max world in a legal sense.
It also means that “spouses” could be compelled to testify against each other.
Women would lose, and lose badly.

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

This discussion isn’t complete without: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbqv3MwwVd8&t=0m15s

ProfShadow on March 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM

And this:
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=adam+corrola+gay+marriage&view=detail&mid=1CDCA970D5B2A0868B4B1CDCA970D5B2A0868B4B&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

Might be NSFW

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Women would lose, and lose badly.

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

like mob wives?

Daemonocracy on March 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Lawrence was decided on privacy issues which is almost always primarily strict scrutiny. Prop 8 at best will be looked at as a gender issue which at most hits the middle tier. Furthermore, if you suddenly take away the Baker rationale that the state had a compelling reason to restrict SSM marriage i.e., gays don’t procreate than it stands to reason that incestuous marriage restrictions are the next to fall since the only rationale reason that the state restricts those is on the basis of procreation.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM

I’m going from memory here so I could be totally off but I thought

Lawrence

was 6-3 with five of the six citing equal protection and one citing due process. I do remember Scalia’s dissent specifically stating that under Lawrence state laws against gay marriage wouldn’t be sustainable. If I’m wrong then I’m happy to be corrected but that at least is what I recall for that case.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

like mob wives?

Daemonocracy on March 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

.
I was thinking more like pre-Victorian times when a woman in a marriage owned no marital assets.
I would easy enough to write a contract like that. And plenty of women would sign it.

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Seriously, though, what is wrong with polygamy or incestuous marriage, as long as the participants are consenting adults?

You can’t say it’s not traditional: polygamy dates back to the Old Testament, and marriage between brothers and sisters was done in ancient Egypt.

Is it disgusting and/or weird, particularly the sex part? Well that happens plenty of times in traditional marriages too. Anna Nicole Smith and Howard Marshall?

Is it immoral? Really? Is it any more immoral than Darva Conger marrying Rick Rockwell?

I don’t see how it’s the government’s — any level of government’s — business to prohibit those types of marriages.

Time Lord on March 13, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Time Lord on March 13, 2013 at 5:24 PM

.
One of the few functions of government is to protect the weak.
If marriage is now just a contract, your average lawyer becomes the dominant partner in any “marriage,” as they could add in all kinds of codicils and clauses that your average person would never find.
Do you really want marital behavior dictated by whomever has the best lawyer?

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:30 PM

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:21 PM

They already do, prenuptial agreements.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

It seems that everybody wants to glam on to the gay marriage thing when the real issues the “end of state sponsorship of marriage.” Virtually everyone here on either side of the gay marriage divide wants to avoid discussing this. Why is this? Let me answer my own question. At least on Hot Air the gay marriage debate has become a vehicle for a Libertarians to push for the fantasy concept of the privatization of marriage. No such thing can happen because without state involvement there can be no enforceable contracts. When private individuals get into enforcement their own contracts that is called anarchy because the person with the most pop always wins the argument. Anarchy is the enemy of liberty.

Over the past several weeks I have come to the conclusion that the world is divided into two groups, magical and rational thinkers. Libertarians and Progressives believe in magic. Libertarians are as radical as the Progressives. On this and many other issues it is clear that the revealed preference Libertarians place more importance to gay marriage and legalized drug and other not so victimless crimes than on economic freedom and the defense of the Second Amendment. Libertarians are slaves to their own desires every bit as much as Progressives. I actually like Progressives more.

Both radical elements seem incapable of thinking beyond the first order. Both actively avoid it because to do so would mean that they have abandon their cherished beliefs. So I am proposing a divorce. You Libertarians need to go join with your left-wing brethren and become just another interest group in America’s socialist party.

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

.
Prenups are required to follow marital laws, do not cover inheritance, children, support in the event of dissolution, and a host of other events.
All of that would be tossed aside if Government had no definition of what was or was not a “marriage.”
Then there is the whole immigration issue, how would you catch someone who was scamming the immigration laws via fiancee or marriage visas ?

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM

One of the few functions of government is to protect the weak.
If marriage is now just a contract, your average lawyer becomes the dominant partner in any “marriage,” as they could add in all kinds of codicils and clauses that your average person would never find.
Do you really want marital behavior dictated by whomever has the best lawyer? – LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Obviously you have ever been caught in the middle of a nasty (and, I mean really nasty) divorce. My older brother got in a divorce in which I was caught in the middle, since my brother and I have had numerous financial dealings …………….. and, I was a CPA. I think their divorce more adversely effected me emotionally than it did them. Thankfully, both the children saw that their parents were behaving like damn children. The only winners in the divorce were the lawyers. The divorce did go to trial (three days) and the decision had to made by the judge.

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

.
+1

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

was 6-3 with five of the six citing equal protection and one citing due process. I do remember Scalia’s dissent specifically stating that under Lawrence state laws against gay marriage wouldn’t be sustainable. If I’m wrong then I’m happy to be corrected but that at least is what I recall for that case.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Yeppers, equal protection based on sexual privacy. As I said before privacy is almost always looked under strict scrutiny tier/equal protection.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

.
In a case where there is no recognized definition of marriage, every divorce would end up like this, at best.
Imagine your Brother, foolishly, signed a contract whereby 75% of his future earnings were transferred to the ex-wife (penalty clause), or he was compelled to remain single for the next ten years (anti0competition clause), or the ex-wife was able to veto who the next wife would be (right of first refusal) .
That’s just a taste of the anarchy that would occur with private contracts, and the government staying out of it.

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:47 PM

was 6-3 with five of the six citing equal protection and one citing due process. I do remember Scalia’s dissent specifically stating that under Lawrence state laws against gay marriage wouldn’t be sustainable. If I’m wrong then I’m happy to be corrected but that at least is what I recall for that case.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

BTW, Scalia dissented for the same reason I am trying to tell you. If you take away the state’s right to regulate marriage by saying that the state has no rational reason to restrict marriage licenses to SS couples i.e., because of procreation issues(Baker v. Nelson) then it stands to reason that restrictions against incestuous marriage cannot legally stand either since that is completely based on the state’s rational restriction based on procreation. Scalia said that once you apply equal protection to homosexuality it must be applied to other sexual orientations and fetishes. It is the legal reality.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Exit question: What am I missing here? Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?

I’m not sure I’m representative of any social cons, but to me the best argument for Paul’s suggestion is the same best argument against federal recognition of gay marriage, protecting religious institutions and not endorsing specific lifestyles, which is what the system currently does.

It’s not the government’s job to say certain lifestyles are acceptable and others aren’t. Frankly I’m surprised this isn’t more of a rallying cry for the social liberals. Why just advocate for one more social group to be added to federally recognized marriages? All you’re doing is acknowledging that the government has that authority, so the argument about “not being able to marry the person you love” is just shot, cause you’re still endorsing the position that the type of relationship matters. All you’re doing is changing the parameters to what’s currently socially acceptable.

But here’s why I’m probably not a spokesperson for social cons, cause I don’t even see the point anymore. Who cares if people who are already pooling resources and sharing lives want a legal framework for their relationship? In fact, why should I care if the people are already related and aren’t even in a romantic relationship? So what if two old maids want that kind of contract so they can be on each other’s insurance or visit each other in the hospital?

In my view, it makes the most sense to leave marriage to religion and contracts between consenting adults to the government. That way we protect religious institutions while getting the government out of the business of endorsing or condemning certain romantic relationships.

Esthier on March 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Scalia said that once you apply equal protection to homosexuality it must be applied to other sexual orientations and fetishes. It is the legal reality.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM

I agree on that and actually see it as the biggest hypocrisy in the legalize gay marriage argument. So I’m not supposed to care if it’s Adam and Steve instead of Adam and Eve, but then why am I supposed to care if Adam and Steve are brothers? How do you rationalize one without the other?

I just don’t see it.

Esthier on March 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Here’s a question that I’ve been wondering about. Maybe someone knows the answer.

Manuel and Maria get married in their native Guatemala before they legally immigrate to the US of A. Their marriage is automatically recognized by the government here. That’s pretty straightforward.

Now take Ahmed from Saudi Arabia, who — as permitted by Saudi law — marries Laila, Miriam and Ameena before the four of them immigrate to the US of A? What’s their marital status? Are they automatically felons? Is Laila, Ahmed’s (chronologically) first wife his recognized wife, while the other’s are just women living in Ahmed and Laila’s household without any status? Is the whole arrangement recognized as a four-person family because it was legal in Saudi?

Time Lord on March 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Esthier:

So now you are down to endorsement instead of privatization. However, government’s involvement in the marriage process has increased not decreased. So in order for the government to stop endorsing particular relationships you are will to put up with more government involvement in all relationships.

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 6:01 PM

This might make libertarians move to the GOP, but it will certainly make conservative stay home come next presidential election.

These people do not learn the lesson that social issues matter to us. It all comes down to whether the number of libertarians moving towards the GOP will be greater than the number of conservatives like me who did not vote for Romney because he picked Ted Olson to coach Paul Ryan.

p_incorrect on March 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Time Lord on March 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

I do not think they are allowed to immigrate.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 6:10 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

Where in the constitution does it give the federal government the enumerated power to enforce or encourage marriages as a social tool?

Where in the constitution does it mention marriage at all?

Genuine on March 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Exit question: What am I missing here? Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?

I admit I am not a social conservative, or at least not as socially conservative as hardcore evangelicals, so therefore I don;t speak for them. I would however hope they would understand that the federal government should not be involved in marriage. If you think that the Paul approach is a slippy slope to lets say polygamy, what about allowing the federal government to define marriage is? That is a slippery slope as well, one that gives a back door for the federal government to start to define religion as well.

All those who thought it was really cool (like the Christian Coalition) when GWB established faith based offices in Homeland Security and throughout the government never seemed to comprehend that one day Bush would not be in office, and someone like Obama would be in charge. Giving the federal government power like that is dangerous and stupid. We are going to end up a Church of America if we don’t watch out.

Part of the reason so many of our ancestors left Europe for America was to find religious freedom. My Scottish ancestors left after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. That conflict was between the Presbyterian Covenanter Scots vs. mostly Puritan English under Cromwell. Needless to say the Scots lost the battle because they decided right before the battle to purge themselves of all those they felt were “un-godly”. The “un-godly” folks tended to be the best soldiers in the Scottish army, in other words the guys who drank alcohol, said provocative things to hot women, and worst of all gambled. Then to top that off the “godly” folks that remained decided to leave the commanding high ground because they read something in the bible which they interpreted to mean leave the high ground, this allowed Cromwell’s starving army to break out and crush the Scots.

The lesson in all this is no matter how moral you think you are….you are not god. Please use some common sense. Paul is right and he is offering a way for you to protect your religious freedoms from a growing and tyrannical federal government.

William Eaton on March 13, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Great first step in eliminating the income tax altogether, which cannot exist without a sort of police state among market participants (the IRS). The fact that we believe we are free yet will allow our finances (which few of us share even with close relatives) to be scrutinized by perfect strangers is laughable. Tax consumption, not production.

stout77 on March 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I was thinking more like pre-Victorian times when a woman in a marriage owned no marital assets.
I would easy enough to write a contract like that. And plenty of women would sign it.

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Ok but isn’t that the woman’s choice to sign? Obviously she can’t be forced to sign under duress, and mental competence would be factored in as with any contract, but as long as women have equal access to education and work, I don’t see them as helpless creatures. Childcare payments are settled in court even without marriage.

Daemonocracy on March 13, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Maybe the question we need to ask is: do we need government that makes sure siblings can’t marry or get an abortion more than we need fiscally responsible government? Because the folks who care about marriage and abortion care about them so much and so loudly that they swamp everyone else and disappear all other issues. If we’re going to have a Tea Party party, we need to make it absolutely clear to the social conservatives that they’re welcome to join, but it’s not their platform for their issues.

PersonFromPorlock on March 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

P_incorrect:

Are you and your fellow conservatives pleased that you helped elect Barak Obama to a second term?

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Are you and your fellow conservatives pleased that you helped elect Barak Obama to a second term?

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Outside of four years of somewhat improved leadership over the economy, what benefit would Romney have brought? I voted for him, but it was under duress.
The real question should be, are you and your progressive allies happy that they put Romney up against Obama when it was well understood that Romney was not going to win in any scenario reflecting reality?

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Whole lotta sleeper-cell trolls coming out.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Are you and your fellow conservatives pleased that you helped elect Barak Obama to a second term?

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

The real question should be, are you and your progressive allies happy that they put Romney up against Obama when it was well understood that Romney was not going to win in any scenario reflecting reality?

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Pwned.

Running the grandfather of Obamacare in a dollar-store conservative disguise against Mr.Free Stuff? WTF did they THINK was going to happen?

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM

The only reason homosexuals want to “marry”, is to be able to sue people who aren’t on board with the progressive homosexual agenda.

Far from “getting government out of marriage”, it will lead to militant gays attacking Christianity and dragging anyone who looks sideways at a homosexual into court – just like what’s happening today in England and Canada.

“Gay marriage” is simply a naked progressive attempt to use the power of the government to destroy organized religion.

Rebar on March 13, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Yeppers, equal protection based on sexual privacy. As I said before privacy is almost always looked under strict scrutiny tier/equal protection.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM

I had a chance to go back and look and I had the split right but the reasoning backwards. Five ruled to strike down sodomy laws on due process claims and one (O’Connor) ruled on equal protection.

The due process ruling is where I think Lawrence starts to kick the legs out from under Baker. By deciding the case on due process grounds the Court is saying homosexuals have legal status equal to heterosexuals (remember, they’re homosexuals even before they engage in sexual relations); it didn’t change sexual privacy at all, it just changed the definition of “adult”. If that’s our precedent then I think the argument for legalization of gay marriage is pretty strong. I don’t claim to be the world’s greatest attorney so if my reading and understanding of the majority’s opinion in Lawrence is wrong then I’m happy to entertain criticism; it’s a discussion I find interesting.

Personally I think the procreation argument is gone, at least in terms of gay marriage. It’s not too hard now to find gay people with children.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Plus there’s a bit more of a federal question involved now.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

What is that question?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

LincolntheHun on March 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Late to the party, and I haven’t read all of the comments, but I was thinking along the same lines as LincolntheHun and others: Liberals will protest that this as another “War on Women!” and “War on Children!” because without government involvement in marriage,, there couldn’t be government involvement in divorce. Liberals would paint this as a way for rich, white men to, um, screw their kids and ex-”wives”. The legal contract that 2 people would sign (imagining that this is where it’s going) would have to include clauses for the dissolution of the contract, including how to handle child support, spousal support, division of property. The contract would also need to specify that the signers are the lawful heirs if no will exists. Having said that I think Paul’s idea should be looked at seriously.

ConservativeinCO on March 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

You do realize that Romney ran as far to the right as he could in Massachusetts and still get elected? He also faced a legislature that had a veto proof majority of Democrats. But of course you probably didn’t know that. Do you know who the real granfather of Obamacare is? It’s conservative favorite Newt Gingrich. The mandate was his “original” idea and he helped Romney design the law. So you can add ignorant to your other traits.

So I guess you are of the Leninist worse is better school of politics. What you aren’t smart enough to figure out is that Obama has designed an economy to create Democrats. So worse is just worse.

jerryofva on March 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

ConservativeinCO on March 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Women are equal to men. You did not read the meme?

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage,

It is already legalized. Stop lying about the stakes. You are no better than a leftist sometimes – especially when you are taking leftist positions.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 7:00 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

Based on what? Your feelings? Because there is actual evidence for the social good of opposite sex marriages. The data that I’ve seen for gay marriage is contradictory and inconclusive. If you want to debate that, that should be the debate. How about you produce some evidence of your theory before you start advocating government involvement, and providing government benefits, to a new area?

You really are no better than a leftist when it comes to your little pet desires. Just run with your feelings, irrespective of fact or reason. Is it any wonder that we have government getting into every aspect of our lives? All of these new ways in which government intrudes in its citizens lives is important to someone.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 7:06 PM

. I’ve always thought that was a good argument for gay marriage too

There is no evidence for that claim, nor can there be.
Gays make up about 2-3% of the population. Of that 2-3 % , a small percentage want to get married.
Thats less than a blip on the population, and can have no demonstrable affect on anything.
The hoard of militant advocates, on the other hand, do have effects on society. All of them negative, in the way that “monkeywrenchers” and sabotage have a negative effect on systems. imo.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

And there goes the squish. Great on fiscal conservatism. Thats it. To defense and socons, Pauls the ultimate squish. Trying to nuance his stances. Lol. And a clear dog whistle to the Ronulans. I always knew that he was gonna play that game. Trying to placate both the conservatives and the ronulans. I know that many here are Paulians. But the way Rand is going, he’ll be the first to drop out of the primaries. You may not believe me now, but mark my words.

tommy71 on March 13, 2013 at 7:42 PM

I just can’t get behind this guy. I don’t see h
being a viable candidate. But I thought Rick Perry would have been so, who knows?

Rusty Allen on March 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

I’m a paleoconservative traditionalist and I have no problem with what Paul is recommending. Remove the tentacles of government from the marriage process altogether and it will easier for certain church organizations to resist this social engineering scheme.

Pitchforker on March 13, 2013 at 8:01 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

Then at that point you have a flat tax of, say, 5% that EVERYONE is required to pay for the things that the Feds have to cover and the rest is yours to do with what you want. So if you choose to rent, buy, have 19 children, no children whatever. The government is not involved.

Liberals will never go for it and would die on this hill, though. Can’t see SoCons having an issue.

kim roy on March 13, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Rusty Allen on March 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

He has a tough hill to climb..Fair or not..He has a lot of baggage..:)

Dire Straits on March 13, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Marriage is NOT a religious construct.

Marriage is based on Natural Law. Our American founding principles, likewise, are based on Natural Law. If we toss out Natural Law as regards marriage, on what will we base our founding principles–our natural, unalienable rights? Then all the SCOTUS has to do is rule that our Declaration of Independence (which is based upon Natural Law) and our U.S. Constitution (in which our Natural Law-based rights are enshrined) are out-dated historical documents, and POOF! there goes America.

Government cannot abolish marriage (even by redefining it) without violating Natural Law, which act will have a most terrible impact on every aspect of American life.

As for marriage and the income tax, we are wiser to keep the former and abolish the latter.

TXJenny on March 13, 2013 at 8:37 PM

This is transparent. Everyone knows the only reason conservatives like Paul and Ed Morrissey are suddenly advocating for the state to get out of the marriage business is they realize that the tide of public opinion has turned on same-sex marriage. No one will ever fall for this.

libfreeordie on March 13, 2013 at 8:37 PM

It’s all well and good to have people define between each other what their “marriage” is, but what happens when you disagree or want divorce? People that can’t solve their marital disputes go to the govt. to have a judge decide it for them.

The problem is that the family law arena built up around martial disputes because that relation is different. In a divorce in PA, you want a marital settlement agreement reviewed by a family law judge via family law, NOT via civil contract law, as family law provides the parties more protections and quicker enforcement. A “marriage” isn’t just any old contract – you can’t be married to more than one person, to the same sex, to a family member, to a animal or inanimate object. Once you eliminate a govt. definition of marriage, and water it down, then the whole idea of marriage is subjective, and disappears as a social institution.

Therefore, once a contest between spouses to brought to the courts, the govt. has to peer out into society and codify what society defines as a marriage. Not 51/49 majority, but by a clear (say, 75%) majority. The issue now is that govt. thinks that IT ALONE defines/creates marriage, and can force IT’S definition on everyone, when all it’s supposed to be doing is recognizing what’s already out there.

But really, this is all according to plan – if gays can’t get a 2,000 year old social institution redefined to include their little arrangement and in turn, get the benefits that come with it, then no one gets the benefits. Isn’t that what Paul is saying – don’t provide benefits to anyone for marriage BECAUSE all these groups want a piece of the pie? But what if, gasp, shudder, a traditional marriage/family dynamic is actually objectively better?

Bottom line – if you want to eliminate a govt. preference toward traditional marriage, the burden is on YOU to prove that, not on ME to disprove it. YOU want the change.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Therefore, once a contest between spouses to brought to the courts, the govt. has to peer out into society and codify what society defines as a marriage. Not 51/49 majority, but by a clear (say, 75%) majority

This is stunning. Truly stunning. You make an appeal that the state should think about what marriage is in a democratic way (peer into society) and then in the same breath say that the system for determining a majority on this issue should have a different standard than every. other. one. And be at 75% The hypocrisy, the logical inconsistency is staggering.

libfreeordie on March 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

libfreeordie on March 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Clue for the perpetually clueless: in a democracy, majority rules based on little more than their feelings. Which as your Democrat welfare machine aptly demonstrates is a BAD IDEA.

That’s why we have a republic. Not that we’d expect you to know the difference, or know a fact if one walked up and glued a dunce cap on your head.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Marriage is NOT a religious construct.

Marriage is based on Natural Law. Our American founding principles, likewise, are based on Natural Law. If we toss out Natural Law as regards marriage, on what will we base our founding principles–our natural, unalienable rights? Then all the SCOTUS has to do is rule that our Declaration of Independence (which is based upon Natural Law) and our U.S. Constitution (in which our Natural Law-based rights are enshrined) are out-dated historical documents, and POOF! there goes America.

Government cannot abolish marriage (even by redefining it) without violating Natural Law, which act will have a most terrible impact on every aspect of American life.

As for marriage and the income tax, we are wiser to keep the former and abolish the latter. -TXJenny on March 13, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Sorry to bust your bubble, but our government was not formed upon natural law. It was founded upon the principle of the Rights of Man. The idea that the people come together to form the government and at the same time to protect the rights of individual from the vast majority or you might say “the mob”.

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I had a chance to go back and look and I had the split right but the reasoning backwards. Five ruled to strike down sodomy laws on due process claims and one (O’Connor) ruled on equal protection.

The due process ruling is where I think Lawrence starts to kick the legs out from under Baker. By deciding the case on due process grounds the Court is saying homosexuals have legal status equal to heterosexuals (remember, they’re homosexuals even before they engage in sexual relations); it didn’t change sexual privacy at all, it just changed the definition of “adult”. If that’s our precedent then I think the argument for legalization of gay marriage is pretty strong. I don’t claim to be the world’s greatest attorney so if my reading and understanding of the majority’s opinion in Lawrence is wrong then I’m happy to entertain criticism; it’s a discussion I find interesting.

Personally I think the procreation argument is gone, at least in terms of gay marriage. It’s not too hard now to find gay people with children.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I didn’t say it changed sexual privacy. It was decided on privacy rights.

And alchy.. I like ya I really do, but gays cannot procreate as married coupling in SSM mmkay, so that doesn’t even make sense.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

That’s why we have a republic. Not that we’d expect you to know the difference, or know a fact if one walked up and glued a dunce cap on your head.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM

You need to check your conservative compatriot my sometimes on-the-mark friend. The post I was responding to made an appeal to a simple democratic test for the definition of marriage. Or did you miss when he/she said lawmakers must “peer into society.” That’s not a republican (small r) model at all. So he/she was not only not advocating a republican system, but then created a whole new standard for pure democracy (which makes no sense). Your issue is with him, not me.

libfreeordie on March 13, 2013 at 8:57 PM

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

From Lawrence:

Petitioners’ right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in private conduct without government intervention. Casey, supra, at 847. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the individual’s personal and private life. Pp. 17—18.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 9:01 PM

So…according to libertarian logic:

“expanding the reach of government” = maintaining the status quo and limiting government involvement in personal relationships to areas where government has traditionally been involved

and

“shrinking government” = redefining marriage to require more governmental benefits to flow to a new category of people and to require more governmental involvement via the courts in punishing private businesses that discriminate against members of the new category of people.

Ooooookaaaaay…

Also, those who hold the “marriage should be a private contract” view are either woefully naive or very, very poorly informed regarding the myriad of ways a spousal designation impacts other areas of law (e.g. intestacy laws and debt collection). It would take years–and lots and lots of lawsuits–for contract law regarding marriage to reach a stabilized state (because, contrary to common belief, you really can’t just write anything into a contract and have a court enforce it). And making marriage a private contract arrangement would further encourage the poor (including recent college grads and minimum-wage employees) to eschew formal arrangements (and the necessary lawyer fees involved–because I’m guessing executing a contract for marriage would require at least as much hoop-jumping-through as executing a pre-nup) and just hope for the best with cohabitation. (And leaving marriage to the church is the same as putting married people on the honor system. In a perfect world, sure, an unenforceable promise would still mean something. But unless people are proposing that the church be granted enforcement power on par with what the government exercises now, I don’t know how this turns out well for women whose husbands decide the joys of having a hot, new wife far outweigh the disapproval of members of the church. And if we’re talking about signing a private contract but celebrating the event with a marriage ceremony–the government is still the backstop against human failings…meaning government involvement is not really diminished at all.)

As for getting rid of benefits for married couples…look, at this point, those promoting same-sex marriage are not going to back down. You could start punishing people for getting married, and the same-sex marriage people would still be preaching that those supporting traditional marriage are “haters” and “Christianists.” This isn’t really about marriage–and it hasn’t been for quite some time (if ever!). It’s about forcing the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. So the only ones who will be hurt by getting rid of benefits for married couples are traditional families–you know, the ones giving birth to and providing the stability necessary for the raising of the vast majority of the next generation of Americans.

butterflies and puppies on March 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

So…according to libertarian logic:

“expanding the reach of government” = maintaining the status quo and limiting government involvement in personal relationships to areas where government has traditionally been involved

and

“shrinking government” = redefining marriage to require more governmental benefits to flow to a new category of people and to require more governmental involvement via the courts in punishing private businesses that discriminate against members of the new category of people.

LMAO! Yeah I never quite got that either, but I am still trying to figure out how the libertarians are going to get around liberals making us pay for most of their political positions..

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM

They are liberals, probably ones who think the next drag on a a joint will give them special intuition to make lots of money and they want to keep that money they imagine they will earn on their crack pot idea.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM

As for getting rid of benefits for married couples…look, at this point, those promoting same-sex marriage are not going to back down. You could start punishing people for getting married, and the same-sex marriage people would still be preaching that those supporting traditional marriage are “haters” and “Christianists.” This isn’t really about marriage–and it hasn’t been for quite some time (if ever!). It’s about forcing the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. So the only ones who will be hurt by getting rid of benefits for married couples are traditional families–you know, the ones giving birth to and providing the stability necessary for the raising of the vast majority of the next generation of Americans. – butterflies and puppies on March 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

What twisted road of reasoning are you wandering down? Who said that gays are against traditional marriage of a man and a woman? Gays just want the right to be recognized as being married as heterosexuals. Now, how the heck is that going affect someone’s “traditional” marriage? As for hating homosexuals, you may or may not. I don’t know. Do you?

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Sorry to bust your bubble, but our government was not formed upon natural law. It was founded upon the principle of the Rights of Man. The idea that the people come together to form the government and at the same time to protect the rights of individual from the vast majority or you might say “the mob”.

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

That’s pretty absurd considering the fact that Natural Law is specifically referred to in the text of the Declaration.

TXJenny on March 13, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Isn’t love love?

thebrokenrattle on March 13, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Marriage is not about love. Never has been, never will be.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Marriage is not about love. Never has been, never will be.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Get bent, Mr.Perpetual Grimdark.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Mr.Perpetual Grimdark.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM

That’s a new one. What bee flew in your bonnet?

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM

That’s a new one. What bee flew in your bonnet?

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM

You’re seriously too liberal to figure out that out yourself?

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Everyone knows

libfreeordie on March 13, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Love it when you freedom loathing statists argue something based on what “everyone knows.” Then again, this is probably one of your better arguments. Not that it’s good. It’s just that all of your other argument constructs are just so darn bad.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 9:39 PM

You’re seriously too liberal to figure out that out yourself?

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:38 PM

I’m not terribly liberal at all. And you are not very clear, no.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Love it when you freedom loathing statists argue something based on what “everyone knows.”

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Isn’t it just hilarious? Even if their total combined knowledge wouldn’t fit on a postcard, the idea of appealing to their sloth-brained peers in order to prove something..

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Gays just want the right to be recognized as being married as heterosexuals. Now, how the heck is that going affect someone’s “traditional” marriage? As for hating homosexuals, you may or may not. I don’t know. Do you?

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Some gays do. How many do you guess that would be? Or better yet, how many people does it take to have the traditional values of a culture overturned in their favor, and what is the net gain to that society that would justify that change?

Your argument, that a person should be for a position because it doesn’t affect them, is weak imo. People always get confused when someone, in reply to that position, says..”There’s a person across the street that beats his wife, starves his dog and molests his daughter…that doesn’t affect you, so why do you care?” They often seem incredulous and say “So you’re comparing that to being gay???”
No. It’s meant to point out the weakness of the line of reasoning.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM

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