Can “privatized” marriage work?

posted at 2:01 pm on February 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Years ago, I advocated that the best way to protect the traditional definition of marriage was to get government out of the business of it. Many traditionalists objected to it, and there are good arguments for conserving the tradition in law as the basis to keep families and children prioritized over the desires of adults seeking government recognition for their own non-traditional relationships. That argument relies on the moral force of law in the culture, but the momentum of the culture clearly has accelerated in the opposite direction, and moral force in the definition of marriage with it.

The greater issue for traditionalists, and the bigger risk, will be that religious institutions will find themselves trapped by the changing definitions. We’ve already seen evidence that participants in the wedding industry will find themselves under fire for sticking with their own values in choosing when and how to participate in the market. Ministers occupy a rather unique position in the confluence of state and church, operating in an official capacity as an agent of the state to certify marriages. Even though advocates of same-sex marriage insist that they don’t want to force churches into performing these ceremonies, it’s not going to be long before such challenges arise, and will push churches out of the marriage business instead of government — which is a big reason for getting government out first. And if you doubt that this will become an issue, just look at the HHS contraception mandate and their treatment of religious organizations.

Francis Beckwith disagrees, calling such an arrangement unworkable, and insists that traditionalists need to keep fighting to retain the historical definition of marriage instead:

Imagine, for example, as one of my former doctoral students once suggested in a dissertation that defended this idea of privatization, that marriage becomes exclusively the domain of “the church.” Suppose Bob and Mary, both devout Catholics, marry in the Church under the authority of canon law.  Over the next decade, they have three children. Mary decides to leave the Church, however, to become a Unitarian and seeks to dissolve the marriage. Because the Church maintains that marriage is indissoluble, and Mary has no grounds for an annulment, the Church refuses her request.

Mary then seeks the counsel of her pastor at the Unitarian Church. She tells Mary that the Unitarian Church recognizes her marriage with Bob, but maintains that divorcing him is perfectly justified, since the Unitarian Church holds that incompatibility is a legitimate ground for divorce.  So, Mary now requests a divorce from the Unitarian Church, and it is granted. The Church also grants her full custody of her children, since, according to Unitarian moral theology, what Bob teaches their children about contraception, abortion, and same-sex relations are “hate sins,” and thus is a form of child abuse.

So, who wins in this case? Suppose you say that because it was originally a Catholic marriage, it should remain so, even if Mary changes her religion. But who has the authority to enforce such a rule? The Catholic Church? The Unitarians? What if the Catholic Church agrees to it, but not the Unitarians?

Suppose Mary, on the authority of the Unitarian ruling, simply takes the children and moves out of state. Is that kidnapping? Can a Catholic ecclesial court issue an order to a local Knights of Columbus office to return Mary and her children to their original domicile so that she can be tried in an ecclesial court for violations of canon law? And if she is convicted, can the Church put her in an ecclesial prison or fine her?

Suppose that Mary not only leaves with all the children, but also empties the couple’s bank accounts and donates their contents to the Unitarian Church? Is it a crime? Who decides? Imagine that all these issues were addressed in private contracts that Bob and Mary drew up and signed upon the commencement of their marriage in the Catholic Church. Who has the power to make sure these breaches are remedied and compensation given to the wronged parties?

The problem with all of these scenarios is that they are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what privatization means in this context. The issue is not who gets jurisdiction over the secular consequences of relationships, but the definition and recognition of what a marriage actually is. Disconnecting the government from the authority to define and certify “marriage” does not involve moving all of the jurisdictions for the consequences of marriage to the church, synagogue, or temple. Privatization basically says that the government has no role in “certifying” or promoting relationships between consenting adults, but rather is limited to the enforcement of contract law in disputes between them. The status of “marriage” then becomes a strictly voluntary matter of recognition by one’s faith community, based on the tenets of the faith.

The legal and property issues of cohabitation in any form would still lie with the state. Government still has the jurisdiction and the competence for enforcement of contracts, both explicit and implicit. Cohabiting couples who never marry at all would have to resolve their property and custodial arrangements if and when they part ways, assuming they have children at all. If they can’t resolve those interests amicably, they go to court regardless of their marital status.

This would be no different if recognition of marriage were left to the churches. The state would still settle the contract issues in a dissolution of the partnership; the only issues left to the churches would be the religious implications of the end of the marriage, and that would be on a purely voluntary basis, as is faith now. To use Beckwith’s example, a Catholic who got married in the church but later ended the relationship and started another would have to deal with the Catholic Church on his/her eligibility to remain in communion, not on custody of children or property. If the Catholic became a Unitarian, it’s no longer the Catholic Church’s issue. (That happens already, by the way.)

This is all academic, because few in this debate want to give up state control of marriage, although a few lawmakers in Oklahoma are considering it. There are good reasons for traditionalists to stay engaged (if you’ll pardon the pun), but this argument isn’t one of them.

Update: This, however, by Jennifer Morse, is a much better argument:

In other words I asked, “Do the needs of society place constraints on how we treat children?” But even this analysis still views the child from society’s perspective. It is about time we look at it from the child’s point of view, and ask a different kind of question. What is owed to the child?

Children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents. They are entitled to know who they are and where they came from. Therefore children have a legitimate interest in the stability of their parents’ union, since that is ordinarily how kids have relationships with both parents. If Mom and Dad are quarreling, or if they live on opposite sides of the country, the child’s connection with one or both of them is seriously impaired.

But children cannot defend their rights themselves. Nor is it adequate to intervene after the fact, after harm already has been done. Children’s relational and identity rights must be protected proactively.

Marriage is society’s institutional structure for protecting these legitimate rights and interests of children.

This is not only a humane answer, it is also the proper libertarian answer, indeed the only possible truly libertarian answer. For only this answer allows the possibility of a society in which every individual person is recognized as valuable, as bearing intrinsic human dignity, of holding rights against other people and against the state.

I agree — and that’s why when it came to choosing a definition of marriage in Minnesota, I chose the traditional, procreative model. Other than what Morse identifies, the state has no business in relations between two consenting and non-consanguinous adults. If the state refuses to recognize that limited interest, though, then it shouldn’t be in the marriage business at all. (Thanks to INC in the comments for highlighting this.)

Update: Francis Beckwith and I had a very pleasant exchange on Facebook, and noted:

Ed, you write: “Francis Beckwith disagrees, calling such an arrangement unworkable, and insists that traditionalists need to keep fighting to retain the historical definition of marriage instead.” I actually don’t argue the latter clause in the essay to which you link. I deal exclusively with the privatization question.

Keep that in mind, please, and thanks to Francis for the clarification.


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Even though advocates of same-sex marriage insist that they don’t want to force churches into performing these ceremonies

If you like your church, you can keep your church.

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Bishop?

Franklin100 on February 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I should not have to ask for permission from the government – regardless of political party – in order to get married. Additionally, I should not have to pay a fee so that the state recognizes my private and personal contract between my wife and I.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Marriage is a public good and its redefinition will do harm for society in the same way it has for decades since no fault divorce. Children and because of that society at large are better off when biological parents raise their children. Great book I’m reading by Ivy League Academics: “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense” by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T Anderson and Robert P George

Donald Draper on February 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Use the European approach. Have a mandatory “civil marriage” that deals with the legal consequences. Have a wedding in your church if you so desire. No one cares about the civil one until divorce time.

Mu on February 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Even though advocates of same-sex marriage insist that they don’t want to force churches into performing these ceremonies,

Lies, but it doesn’t matter. So long as the church is engaged as deputy of the state (in issuing licences), this will happen.

nobar on February 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Dang!

Franklin100 on February 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM

***

If you like your church, you can keep your church.

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Exactly. And they’ll never require Catholic elementary and high schools to laud homosexuality.

BuckeyeSam on February 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM

When the equal protection clause challenges of single persons lead to the elimination of state benefits to married persons, there will be no reason not to privatize.

blammm on February 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM

That argument relies on the moral force of law in the culture, but the momentum of the culture clearly has accelerated in the opposite direction, and moral force in the definition of marriage with it.

What are you talking about? No it doesn’t. It’s economics. Children raised by a married mom and dad are more productive members of society. That’s the government’s interest, not some moral agenda.

besser tot als rot on February 14, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Only the “STATE” sanctioned marriages will soon be approved for recognition in Federal hiring practices.

There is a war for power over the individual underway, the church versus the all powerful governments. Why do I say that? Show me one, just one government in Western History that has not ultimately had a showdown between these two lords of humanity.

Humans repeating repeated history.

Beautiful.

PappyD61 on February 14, 2014 at 2:10 PM

a public good

a ridiculous anti-individual liberty philosophy regardless of its particular target such as marriage, welfare, taxes, healthcare…..

The “public good” should never trump personal liberty.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Why don’t Gays form their own United Church of the Transcendent Gay?

Leave the rest of us alone…

workingclass artist on February 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM

It’s hard to take Ed seriously on this subject when he repeats ad naseum the lie that there is a “ban” on gay “marriage.” This private marriage that Ed speaks of – exists now for gays. And heterosexual couples. If you are motivated by the government incentives to register your marriage, you can do so. But, frankly, the incentives are piss poor and I would not do it if I had to do it over again.

besser tot als rot on February 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Bravo Ed

gwelf on February 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Even though advocates of same-sex marriage insist that they don’t want to force churches into performing these ceremonies

Just tell that to Catholic Adoption services.

Iblis on February 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Children raised by a married mom and dad are more productive members of society.

Then we should use the force of government to outlaw divorce?

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Cohabiting couples who never marry at all would have to resolve their property and custodial arrangements if and when they part ways, assuming they have children at all. If they can’t resolve those interests amicably, they go to court regardless of their marital status.

Bingo!

This would be no different if recognition of marriage were left to the churches. The state would still settle the contract issues in a dissolution of the partnership; the only issues left to the churches would be the religious implications of the end of the marriage, and that would be on a purely voluntary basis, as is faith now.

Double Bingo!

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Then we should use the force of government to outlaw divorce?

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Yeah. That’s what I said. You’re friggin’ insane. Government has a legitimate interest in promoting marriage. Period. Maybe the interest isn’t worth the growth of government into that area – it’s debatable. Promoting something is not the same thing as requiring it or outlawing dissolution of it. And not promoting it is not the same thing as banning it. Why don’t you buy yourself a dictionary and learn the meaning of some words.

besser tot als rot on February 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The “public good” should never trump personal liberty.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:10 PM

So my liberty to pollute my neighborhood lake shouldn’t be restricted in favor of the public good?

Donald Draper on February 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Privatization basically says that the government has no role in “certifying” or promoting relationships between consenting adults, but rather is limited to the enforcement of contract law in disputes between them. The status of “marriage” then becomes a strictly voluntary matter of recognition by one’s faith community, based on the tenets of the faith.

Exactly. It becomes a type of Sharia law (if you will) and the government is delegated to its rightful place off agreement of material goods.

Marriage then becomes whatever groups of consenting adults agree to consent to on paper.

I support this to save traditional marriage. In as far as the churches will support the biblical standard. But frankly ed, I’m a little disturbed you’re ready to concede.

Skywise on February 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

besser tot als rot

Thread King/Queen

Donald Draper on February 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

i agree- get the government out of marriage.

Marriage is a public good and its redefinition will do harm for society in the same way it has for decades since no fault divorce. Children and because of that society at large are better off when biological parents raise their children. Great book I’m reading by Ivy League Academics: “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense” by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T Anderson and Robert P George

Donald Draper on February 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

i agree with this but unfortunately, too many people don’t care. they don’t want to listen! so we might as well argue that the government should get out of marriage.

Sachiko on February 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Bravo Ed

gwelf on February 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Yes, bravo, yes indeed.

MontanaMmmm on February 14, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Yeah. That’s what I said. You’re friggin’ insane. Government has a legitimate interest in promoting marriage. Period. Maybe the interest isn’t worth the growth of government into that area – it’s debatable. Promoting something is not the same thing as requiring it or outlawing dissolution of it. And not promoting it is not the same thing as banning it. Why don’t you buy yourself a dictionary and learn the meaning of some words.

besser tot als rot on February 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I agree with you, but the problem is that the state/government has figured out that when it encourages divorce/single parenthood; it retains and grows more power. The state has been actively moving against traditional marriage and marriage in general since the 1960′s. Gay marriage is just another way to bludgeon traditionalist, and power grab. They don’t like traditional marriage, but gay marriage which is like divorce are piecemeal families that require the state i.e., adoption, parenting plans, and termination of the bio parents right in lieu of the SS partner.

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Even though advocates of same-sex marriage insist that they don’t want to force churches into performing these ceremonies,

Yeah, that’s a good one.

Most homosexuals don’t even care about marriage. Especially in the male population although I can’t say for sure about the other 49 genders.

I was reading, I think it was France.. that only about 3% of the gay population were married. How many homosexuals in America are even getting married now? Are there any real figures out there? I know there’s a big show when one does.. but even that is going to die away. It’s human nature.

JellyToast on February 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Marriage is just another dumb social construct designed to part men from half their money and the red corvette.

antisense on February 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

So my liberty to pollute my neighborhood lake shouldn’t be restricted in favor of the public good?

Donald Draper on February 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM

First off, a neighborhood lake isn’t private property – it’s by definition public property – or at least community property if owned by a HOA – so the analogy doesn’t even apply. Second, my children aren’t public property either, they aren’t the states, they aren’t society’s they are my children, and my wifes children. We are soley responsible for them. Don’t be another big government liberal with that “community” nonsense.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Traditional Marriage existed prior to govt. And although I support the principles of DOMA, I don’t think any govt should have the right to decide what defines marriage set in stone. Man is very fallible and makes mistakes.

Only One set up the definition of marriage and only One can change it, and it is He that sits upon the Throne of Heaven.

ConservativePartyNow on February 14, 2014 at 2:28 PM

It’s a good point Ed, and one I agree with you.

Interestingly enough, up to a point so does the Orthodox Church. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, we allow divorce under certain circumstances. However, said divorce is completely separate from the civil divorce. Indeed, the Church is so interested in the reconciliation of the people that the divorce is usually only granted at the point that one of the two people involved wishes to remarry.

And even then, the Orthodox Church has strict limits on remarriage, and the service for a second marriage is actually penitential in character, not joyeous.

jnials on February 14, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Many traditionalists objected to it, and there are good arguments for conserving the tradition in law as the basis to keep families and children prioritized over the desires of adults seeking government recognition for their own non-traditional relationships. That argument relies on the moral force of law in the culture, but the momentum of the culture clearly has accelerated in the opposite direction, and moral force in the definition of marriage popular sentiment with it.

Never confuse what is right with what is popular. The two are frequently at odds.

Francis Beckwith disagrees, calling such an arrangement unworkable, and insists that traditionalists need to keep fighting to retain the historical definition of marriage instead

He’s right. You need formal recognition granted by the body which codifies social norms and the convictions of society through law: the government. Without that, definitions become whatever people wish them to be, and without force of law such ceremonies and institutions are rendered meaningless since they are all then subject to arbitrary and immediately-changing whim. And so what was once a lifelong commitment to a spouse to ensure that children receive a proper upbringing becomes instead an intimate relationship between a kid and his cupcake, because hey, who are you to say that’s not what marriage is?

And as the libertarians and get-the-government-out types fiddle, marriage and society continue to burn as men and women alike betray their word, abandon their spouses, break their vows, and leave their kids to fend for themselves as they indulge wholly selfish pursuits without thought or care for others.

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Gays would have a lot more compelling case were it not for the lewdness of gay pride parades and other such events. Because, after all, nothing says committed relationship more than wearing body paint and a thong and going out screaming about your “rights.” That’s how blacks did it in the 1950s, right?

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Privatized?

Does that mean spouses clock in and can be fired for cause and should the dividends be lacking the Board has hell to pay?

viking01 on February 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Gays would have a lot more compelling case were it not for the lewdness of gay pride parades and other such events. Because, after all, nothing says committed relationship more than wearing body paint and a thong and going out screaming about your “rights.” That’s how blacks did it in the 1950s, right?

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM

You make a good point abuot their presentation – very good. But to be fair, we only have to go to New Orleans during Madri Gras to see hetros acting…well…interesting – for the sake of beads – to say the least.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Agreed. The freak show “pride” display doesn’t help their cause hence their need for activist judges of easy virtue.

viking01 on February 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

And as the libertarians and get-the-government-out types fiddle, marriage and society continue to burn as men and women alike betray their word, abandon their spouses, break their vows, and leave their kids to fend for themselves as they indulge wholly selfish pursuits without thought or care for others.

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Um….this isnt anything new. This has been happening for years. We didn’t need the gays for this nonsense.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Even though advocates of same-sex marriage insist that they don’t want to force churches into performing these ceremonies, it’s not going to be long before such challenges arise, and will push churches out of the marriage

Sodomites will not be happy until the Pope is forced to bless same-sex unions at the high altar in St. Peters’s. They are not tolerant and they sure as hell are looking for more than societal and cultural acceptance of their lifestyle as natural. They will demand the destruction of religious institutions as we know it. Ministers and priests will prosecuted for not agreeing to perform rites for same sex couples. And that’s just for starters.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:37 PM

I find it absolutely fascinating that what less than 2% of the population does in their bedrooms has to be made public to 98% of the rest of the population.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Um….this isnt anything new. This has been happening for years. We didn’t need the gays for this nonsense.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

True. Gay marriage is just the final nail in the coffin. Willful refusal to enforce laws against adultery (both on the part of law enforcement as well as by the courts), in conjunction with no-fault divorce and apathy / admiration for such depravity introduce to the culture by Hollywood have all been far more damaging.

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Sodomites will not be happy until the Pope is forced to bless same-sex unions at the high altar in St. Peters’s.

When you say sodomites are you referring to the millions and millions of conservative, heterosexual people who engage in oral sex? Because if not, I don’t think you know what the word “sodomites” means.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

You need formal recognition granted by the body which codifies social norms and the convictions of society through law: the government. Without that, definitions become whatever people wish them to be, and without force of law such ceremonies and institutions are rendered meaningless since they are all then subject to arbitrary and immediately-changing whim.

So you are in support of outlawing divorce? Trust me, I don’t like it nor do i like adulters or serial marriages but using the force of government in the name of tradition is an even worse outcome. If this was Islam it’d be called Sharia.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM

There are good reasons for traditionalists to stay engaged (if you’ll pardon the pun), but this argument isn’t one of them.

:)

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I find it absolutely fascinating that what less than 2% of the population does in their bedrooms has to be made public to 98% of the rest of the population.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM

If you imagine gay sex when you see gay marriage ceremonies that really is on *you* and *your* imagination. Please do not blame us for what goes through your head. I can tell you, that I have imagined *none* of my heterosexual married friends getting it on, because gross. So why do you all insist upon imagining our sex lives when you encounter gay people?

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

You make a good point abuot their presentation – very good. But to be fair, we only have to go to New Orleans during Madri Gras to see hetros acting…well…interesting – for the sake of beads – to say the least.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Yeah, well you only have to go to New Orleans during Labor Day Weekend (Southern Decadance Festival) to see that what I’m talking about is far more freakish than flashing for beads on Bourbon Street (and get arrested for doing so BTW).

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

If you like your church, you can keep your church.

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

The Best First Comment Award Winner.

Nail.

Head.

Hammer.

Bruno Strozek on February 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Yeah, well you only have to go to New Orleans during Labor Day Weekend (Southern Decadance Festival) to see that what I’m talking about is far more freakish than flashing for beads on Bourbon Street (and get arrested for doing so BTW).

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

LOL You really expect us to believe that most girls who flash for beads get arrested during Mardi Gras? You’re the least credible poster of all time.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

LOL You really expect us to believe that most girls who flash for beads get arrested during Mardi Gras? You’re the least credible poster of all time.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

No, but girls who have sex in public do. Ever checked out Folsom Street?

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:43 PM

When you say sodomites are you referring to the millions and millions of conservative, heterosexual people who engage in oral sex? Because if not, I don’t think you know what the word “sodomites” means.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Go away. I’m not going to help you hijack the thread by splitting hairs over the definition of sex. Homosexuality is a perverted and unnatural lifestyle choice. It should not be embraced as normal or natural. The traditional definition of marriage has worked for centuries. It is too bad if a bunch of freaks feel left out when their unholy unions are called civil relationships and not something blessed by the church or society.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:43 PM

When you say sodomites are you referring to the millions and millions of conservative, heterosexual people who engage in oral sex? Because if not, I don’t think you know what the word “sodomites” means.
libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

It’s obvious you don’t understand the contextual usage… Perfesser.

Better to stay silent and let everyone assume you’re an idiot than open your mouth and confirm it.

Skywise on February 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Gays would have a lot more compelling case were it not for the lewdness of gay pride parades and other such events. Because, after all, nothing says committed relationship more than wearing body paint and a thong and going out screaming about your “rights.” That’s how blacks did it in the 1950s, right?

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I think a study by John R Diggs Jr. found that 75% of white gay males had on average have 100+ “lovers” in their lifetime. A smaller number had over 250 in a lifetime.

Yet I remember being called a bigot by my leftist friends when I pointed out the fact that HIV infections are much more of a problem in the homosexual community than in the heterosexual community. Pretty soon it will be a hate crime to point that fact out.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Now, will we see what the trolls and or Gay’s say to this?
Would this be good enough for you?

MontanaMmmm on February 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

So you are in support of outlawing divorce? Trust me, I don’t like it nor do i like adulters or serial marriages but using the force of government in the name of tradition is an even worse outcome. If this was Islam it’d be called Sharia.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I’m in support of outlawing no-fault divorce. Where there is fault (such as marital infidelity / spousal abandonment) I’m in favor of imposing punitive measures. Past that, if you’re going to make a lifelong commitment, you ought to mean it. In any other matter, like say business dealings, we rigorously enforce the letter of the law on a contract, and can even pursue criminal penalties for not faithfully meeting those terms. We should apply at least equal, if not greater vigor, to how we treat another person and the extent of loyalty and devotion we show them, than how we deal with property dealings between mere associates.

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I’ve been saying this for years.

We need to go through everything the government does and privatize EVERYTHING that can be privatized.

Karmashock on February 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

True. Gay marriage is just the final nail in the coffin. Willful refusal to enforce laws against adultery (both on the part of law enforcement as well as by the courts), in conjunction with no-fault divorce and apathy / admiration for such depravity introduce to the culture by Hollywood have all been far more damaging.

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM

All societies fall – why should we be any different? Because we are America? Please, don’t be naive. The Romans, Greeks, Incas, Mayans, Persians, Egyptians…

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Interestingly enough, up to a point so does the Orthodox Church. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, we allow divorce under certain circumstances.

As a Catholic, I would disagree. The Church does indeed allow divorce — only we call it an annulment — as if the marriage never existed in the first place.

You can ask Mr. Kerry about all of that — he got an annulment.

http://www.catholicleague.org/the-confusion-over-kerrys-annulment/

So, at least in the United States, the Roman Catholic Church pays about as much attention to Jesus’ teachings on the matter of divorce as the Orthodox Church does in orbis. I don’t think there’s any argument as to the speciousness of taking back a Sacrament. What God has joined, man must not divide.

But Jesus had another teaching on this matter. I consider myself a very good Catholic, but when it comes to the Scribes and the Pharasees of my own faith, I closely follow what they say I should do:

Divorce

2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.174 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.175

Between the baptized, “a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death.”176

2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.177

If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.178

2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179

Note that the Church hews closely to Ed’s position of the difference between the Sacrament of Marriage and civil marriage.

Mr. Kerry participated in a civil divorce, followed by a civil marriage, and only when he realized that, in the eyes of the Church, he was still married to his original wife, did he then seek an annulment, which was (stupidly, in my eyes) granted.

unclesmrgol on February 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

A government that is unable to legally recognize the biological ties of a normal family as something important is a joke of a government that is less than worthless.

You cannot run away from this obscene perversion of marriage that is being forced on us. It must be fought – gay pretend marriages are just that, pretend – and the biological underpinnings of society have to occupy a special place. If you cede this fight in any way then you might as well throw in the towel because there will be nothing left. NOTHING.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 14, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I agree with you, but the problem is that the state/government has figured out that when it encourages divorce/single parenthood; it retains and grows more power. The state has been actively moving against traditional marriage and marriage in general since the 1960′s. Gay marriage is just another way to bludgeon traditionalist, and power grab. They don’t like traditional marriage, but gay marriage which is like divorce are piecemeal families that require the state i.e., adoption, parenting plans, and termination of the bio parents right in lieu of the SS partner.

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Heh, I’d never thought of it that way before.

gwelf on February 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

All societies fall – why should we be any different? Because we are America? Please, don’t be naive. The Romans, Greeks, Incas, Mayans, Persians, Egyptians…

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Yeah, all societies fall. Last I checked though, that’s not a goal to strive for!

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

If you imagine gay sex when you see gay marriage ceremonies that really is on *you* and *your* imagination. Please do not blame us for what goes through your head. I can tell you, that I have imagined *none* of my heterosexual married friends getting it on, because gross. So why do you all insist upon imagining our sex lives when you encounter gay people?

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

It’s not us heterosexuals parading in the streets wearing S&M gear waving dildos around claiming to be for “free love”. That’s you perverts.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

LOL You really expect us to believe that most girls who flash for beads get arrested during Mardi Gras? You’re the least credible poster of all time.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

First, you’re too predictable. I never said most but of course that is inserted in typical liberal fashion. Lie about what somebody says, clutch your pearls in horror about what (wasn’t) said, and then make personal attacks.

Secondly, I’m not credible about Mardi Gras? I guess those six years I lived in New Orleans don’t count for anything in your pathetic little world. Try getting out of your mom’s basement a little more often you loser.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Go away. I’m not going to help you hijack the thread by splitting hairs over the definition of sex.

No friend. I’m merely pointing out the *actual* definition of sodomy. Maybe it’s a word you shouldn’t use if you don’t know it’s meaning.

Homosexuality is a perverted and unnatural lifestyle choice.

Boring.

It should not be embraced as normal or natural.

Too late.

The traditional definition of marriage has worked for centuries

Which tradition, before or after no-fault divorce? Before or after women had the right to keep their own property in a marriage? Before or after marriages were arranged to keep blood lines and property in the hands of only a few families. Before or after polygamy was widely practices throughout the world? Which tradition, when did the tradition start?

It is too bad if a bunch of freaks feel left out when their unholy unions are called civil relationships and not something blessed by the church or society.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:43 PM

The “freaks” want the recognition of the state. Nothing more, nothing less.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

We need to go through everything the government does and privatize EVERYTHING that can be privatized.

Karmashock on February 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

We need to go through the Constitution and get rid of any federal regulation, agency, or law that is not specifically enumerated. Starting with Roe v. Wade.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Another thing Libtard. If you perverts are so comfortable with your life style, why do you spend every waking moment tying to convince the rest of us it’s normal behavior? Seems to me you’re trying to convince no one but yourself.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

but gay marriage which is like divorce are piecemeal families that require the state i.e., adoption, parenting plans, and termination of the bio parents right in lieu of the SS partner.

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

The exact same thing happens when married heterosexuals adopt. So you are clearly against adoption as a whole.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Yeah, all societies fall. Last I checked though, that’s not a goal to strive for!

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Agreed but Im not going to approve of big government going around enforcing your moral – sharia- laws. I can only teach my children what is the right thing to do is, other than that i turn my check and don’t judge. Only god can judge.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Under the current tax system you won’t be able to government out of marriage. There’s too many (real or perceived) benefits to people who file married-joint returns. This is yet another reason to abolish all income/payroll/property taxes and go to a simple retail sales tax. Exempt basics like raw food, clothing, basic transportation, and basic shelter if you want. Skip the idiotic “pre-bates” for the poor. Just make it a simple sales tax. That way the government has no reason to know how much money you make, where you make it, or anything else. They don’t even have to know what you’re buying, just that the store that’s selling it is accurately reporting their sales and paying the tax. The other beauty of a sales tax system is you get to choose how much tax you want to pay. Don’t want to pay the tax? Don’t buy that expensive new TV (or whatever).

sumpnz on February 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

The exact same thing happens when married heterosexuals adopt. So you are clearly against adoption as a whole.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Nope– but ALL heterosexuals do not require the court system for the next generation. Gay couples ARE GUARANTEED to require the court system..

Again, it is asking the state to be involved, and state that now sees more power within its grasp.

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

If you cede this fight in any way then you might as well throw in the towel because there will be nothing left. NOTHING.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 14, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Good friend, why are you such an optimist?

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

No friend. I’m merely pointing out the *actual* definition of sodomy. Maybe it’s a word you shouldn’t use if you don’t know it’s meaning.
libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

He used the word correctly.

The misunderstanding is yours. “Professor”

Skywise on February 14, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Agreed but Im not going to approve of big government going around enforcing your moral – sharia- laws. I can only teach my children what is the right thing to do is, other than that i turn my check and don’t judge. Only god can judge.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Turning the other cheek is a great invitation to getting yourself slapped. As for not judging, that’s plain dumb. There’s far more in the way of people and entities that can judge than just God. After all, that’s why we have judges. Judgment is the realm of those who are capable of reasoning and drawing conclusions from a set of premises. I insist on passing judgment, be it condemnation, approval, or indifference, because a refusal to judge results from a refusal to think. What’s more, I will not be complicit in allowing what is good and right to be undercut simply because of a lack of will to act.

As the old saying goes, “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.”

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Good friend, why are you such an optimist?

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Heh :)

I’ve lived on kibbutzim. I’ve seen where leftism really wants to go.

As a side note, the kibbutzim tried to do away with the biological ties between parents and kids, with the kids all going to be raised in community houses from infancy. That lasted less than 2 generations before even the rabid leftist kibbutznics couldn’t stomach the idea any longer and they refused to give their children over to the collective.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

melle1228 on February 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

TL;DR
Homosexuals require the government to procreate.

Skywise on February 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

The “freaks” want the recognition of the state. Nothing more, nothing less.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

I recognize you as a freak. Why do you need the state?

viking01 on February 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

It’s not us heterosexuals parading in the streets wearing S&M gear waving dildos around claiming to be for “free love”. That’s you perverts.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

You mean that wasn’t the reason why Alabama State Police used attack dogs at the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma? /

Seriously, all the lawsuits have been “loving couples” who purport to only want equality in the eyes of the law. But then we see a face of homosexuality so lewd and obscene that it pretty much undermines the message of those lawsuits. If/when society caves and normalized same-sex unions as “marriage.” What happens to the lewd pride parades, the gay days at Disney, and all the other ways gays have designed to make their sexual preference an in-your-face event?

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Great book I’m reading by Ivy League Academics: “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense” by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T Anderson and Robert P George

Donald Draper on February 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Great book. From pages 40-41. Their emphasis in italics, mine in bold.

Abolishing civil marriage is practically impossible. Strike the word ‘marriage’ from the law, and the state will still license, and attach duties and benefits to, certain bonds. Abolish these forward-looking forms of regulation, and they will only be replaced by messier, retroactive regulation — of disputes over property, custody, visitation, and child support. What the state once did by efficient legal presumptions, it will then do by burdensome case-by-case assignments of parental (especially paternal) responsibilities.

The state will only discharge these tasks more or less efficiently — that is, less or more intrusively. It can’t escape them. Why not? Because the public functions of marriage — both to require and to empower parents (especially fathers) to care for their children and each other — require a society-wide coordination. It is not enough if, say, a particular religion presumes a man’s paternity of his wife’s children, or recognizes his rights and duties toward their mother; or if the man and his wife contract to carry out certain tasks. For private institutions can bind only their own; private contracts bind only those who are party to them. A major function of marriage law is to bind all third parties (schools, adoption agencies, summer camps, hospitals; friends, relatives, and strangers) presumptively to treat a man as father of his wife’s children, husbands and wives as entitled to certain privileges and sexually off-limits, and so on. This only the state can do with any consistency.

But more than inevitable or necessary, it is fitting that the state should do this. Consider a comparison. Why don’t even the strictest libertarians decry traffic laws? Firstly, orderly traffic protects health and promotes efficiency, two great goods. Second, these goods are common in two senses: private efforts cannot adequately secure them, and yet failure to secure them has very public consequences. It is not as if we would have had the same (or even just slightly less) safety and efficiency of travel if people just did as they pleased, some stopping only at red lights and others only at green. Nor would damage from the resulting accidents (and slower shipments, etc.) be limited to those responsible for causing it. To ensure safe and efficient travel at all, and to limit harm to third parties, we need legal coordination. Indeed, it is no stretch to say that the state owes its citizens to keep minimum security and order: to these we have a right. Finally, unlike private associations, the state can secure these goods, without intolerable side effects. All this makes it appropriate for the state to set our traffic laws.

In an essay solely on political theory, we might argue the details, but here we can extract from this example a widely acceptable rule: If something would serve an important good, if people have a right to it, if private groups cannot secure it well, everyone suffers if it is lost, and the state can secure it without undue cost, then the state may step in — and should.

All these conditions are met in the case of marriage.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Privatizing Marriage Is Impossible
by Jennifer Roback Morse

As a libertarian myself, I have been quite disappointed that the “default” libertarian position on marriage has become little more than a sound-bite: “Let’s get the state out of the marriage business.” With all due respect, this position is unsound….

“Get the government out of the marriage business,” or its close cousin, “Leave it to the churches,” is a superficially appealing slogan. When I hear this, I often get the feeling that it is a way of avoiding the unpleasant dispute currently raging over the proper definition of marriage. I sense that its proponents are hoping we can remove this whole contentious topic from the public square and put it into the private sector. Each person or group can have its own version of marriage. The state, with its powerful coercive instruments, need never get involved in resolving this seemingly impossible stalemate.

While I understand this impulse, I believe it is fundamentally misguided. Taking a stand on the purpose and meaning of marriage is unavoidable. Here is why.

Marriage is society’s primary institutional arrangement that defines parenthood. Marriage attaches mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of any children she bears during the life of their union. These two people are the legally recognized parents of this child, and no one else is. The grandparents are not; the former boyfriend is not; the nanny who spends all day with the kids is not. These two hold their parental rights against all other competing claimants. This is an intrinsically social, public function of marriage that cannot be privatized.

You might reply, “Dr. Morse, your understanding of marriage is all about parenthood, and not about marriage itself. Not every marriage has children, after all.” And it is perfectly true: not every marriage has children. But every child has parents. This objection stands marriage on its head by looking at it purely from the adult’s perspective, instead of the child’s. The fact that this objection is so common shows how far we have strayed from understanding the public purpose of marriage, as opposed to the many private reasons that people have for getting married.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM

That argument relies on the moral force of law in the culture, but the momentum of the culture clearly has accelerated in the opposite direction, and moral force in the definition of marriage with it.

Please don’t conflate the opinion of a single judge overturning a duly passed amendment to a state constitution with “the momentum of the culture.”

The fact is the left will take the culture where they can get it in lost causes like Massachusetts, but even there they get it mandated by the Gods in Black Cassocks first.

BKennedy on February 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM

To be honest, there is significantly more historical precedent for polygamy as opposed to gay marriage. Even the old testment discusses it and gives examples. With that said, I beleive that homosexuality is an abnormality. The reason there are two sexes is for procreation, and the reason – at least biologically – a man is attracted to a woman is because of various traits which, biologically, he deems that she will breed healthy children. That’s science. Since it’s now accepted that gays come out of the closet, it means that they arent basically forced to marry a woman based on the traditional, and natural paradigm. The homosexual gene will eventually be bread out of man kind over generations.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Well written and I completely agree.

This is our only way to go at this point.

C.S. Lewis advocated this 75 years ago. We should heed his advice.

Baggi on February 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

You’re not going to answer my question are you Libtard? Another drive by thread hijacking by our resident LiveFreeOffOthers.

Oh just to remind people, the goal of this movement isn’t marriage equality. It’s the destruction of marriage completely. Don’t take of from me. This comes right from the source of the movement.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/29/lesbian-activists-surprisingly-candid-speech-gay-marriage-fight-is-a-lie-to-destroy-marriage/

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I agree with Ed here. We should start in some state by converting civil marriage into a sort of partnership agreement similar to an LLC with special arrangements for health decisions, progeny and inheritance.

ojfltx on February 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

I’ve quoted Morse before, and I’ve quoted What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense before as well. Their arguments are cogent and well-written, indeed, Robert George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan Anderson are the point of the spear in defending marriage, but as far as I know, they’ve never been quoted nor have their ideas been discussed in any of the posts here on marriage.

Morse wrote a series of posts on why marriage cannot be privatized.

Privatizing Marriage Will Expand the Role of the State

by Jennifer Roback Morse

The state will pretend to get out of the marriage business all right, but then the state inevitably will be caught up in the business of defining who counts as a parent. Up until now, that job has been largely left to Mother Nature, with the state simply recording the natural reality of parenthood….

In exceptional cases where the natural parents could not care for their children, the child may be placed for adoption. But adoption does not undermine the biological basis of parenthood. In fact, everything about adoption screams that biology matters. Natural parents do not give up their children lightly, and mothers have the opportunity to change their minds after their babies are born. The state does not remove children from their natural parents without good cause, and with procedural safeguards. In most jurisdictions, adopted children have some opportunity to discover their biological origins.

But when the family courts get involved in resolving disputes between contracting parents, they are being asked to give parental rights to someone who is not related to the child, either by blood or adoption. Let us call this person a “non-parent.” In response to these cases, the courts are defining a new category of parenthood….

Think about it. The concepts of “mother” and “father” are natural, pre-political concepts, immediately intelligible to the human race. Up until now, the state has seen its role as simply recording this natural reality. But now parenthood is becoming the creation of the state. This is what “contract parenting” will come to mean: the state taking over parenthood and recreating it for its own purposes. Do you seriously think this can possibly be a “libertarian” or minimum-government move? I do not think that it can.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:09 PM

ojfltx on February 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

See the quotes I’ve put up from Morse. The state will be creating parenthood according to its own desires.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Francis Beckwith is, apparently, blind to something that should be obvious.

The Catholic Church, in his scenario, would demand as part of their blessing a *legally enforceable* contract between the parties and the State with terms consistent with the Church’s teachings.

How things are divided upon breaking of the terms of that contract would be determined, a priori, and signed by both parties within the framework of that contract.

The State merely becomes the agent of contract enforcement.

Today, the Srate sets both the terms of the marriage contract and also enforces it. There is no reason why these could not be separated.

In times past, the terms the State set were grounded in Christian morality. No longer

schmidtyfi on February 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

As the old saying goes, “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.”

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

And who says you are a “good” man? You? Let me guess, as you judge others because of their sins, you believe that you yourself are free of sin? Go ahead..throw that stone.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Yes, and that is all well and good, but if you have ever experienced divorce and custody disputes, marriage is viewed strictly as an economic arrangement (which disproportionately favors women, I might add). No-fault divorce is a tremendous imposition of the government in an economic arrangement because one of the partners in said agreement violated the terms of the arrangement and suffers no economic consequence for it.

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

The “freaks” want the recognition of the state. Nothing more, nothing less.

libfreeordie on February 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Elton John is perfectly comfortable with himself and his lifestyle. You know why I know this? Because he doesn’t feel the need to shove your bulls*** down the rest of the worlds throat through government force. He doesn’t need “recognition of the state” because he understands there are more important things in life than having the kind of sex he has accepted by a government and forcing others to accept it using said government.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

The homosexual gene will eventually be bread out of man kind over generations.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Or…

See “gay gene discovered” article just posted.

HumpBot Salvation on February 14, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Privatizing Marriage Is Unjust to Children
by Jennifer Roback Morse

I was once a libertarian activist. I was on the platform committee of the national libertarian party twice in the late seventies. I used to give introductory talks about libertarianism in people’s homes when I was a graduate student.

I would begin these talks by describing the problems that contracts between consenting adults could solve. Often someone would ask, “What about children?” I would always admit that children posed a tough problem for libertarianism, but that we would deal with it in a more advanced lesson. Somehow the time for that more advanced lesson never came.

It was only when I had children of my own that I came to see that something was deeply wrong with the way I had been avoiding the “tough questions” about children. In my personal experience of parenthood, I have had responsibility for profoundly neglected children. These children were permanently damaged by lack of relationship. I came to see that we libertarians have been starting our theorizing from the perspective of adults who are equipped to take care of themselves, make contracts, keep promises, defend their own property, and respect other people’s property.

But no one enters the world that way: we enter the world as helpless infants.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:13 PM

And who says you are a “good” man? You? Let me guess, as you judge others because of their sins, you believe that you yourself are free of sin? Go ahead..throw that stone.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

And as always, you obsess over “who” says something rather than “why” something is said.

Have I done wrong things in my life? Yes. I have lied to others before. I’ve shown disrespect where none was merited. That, however, is completely and wholly unrelated to whether someone acts in a morally unacceptable way that is wholly independent to any of the circumstances leading to any of my own wrongdoings in life. Two wrongs don’t make a right as they saying goes.

Being flawed does not equate to providing a get-out-of-jail-free card for every other person on the planet. Rather it means that you must also judge yourself, submit yourself for punishment if you can assess your own actions as wrong, and continue to pursue the injustice you also see in others.

So sure, I’ll throw stones, and if I can get a catapult I’ll even toss a few boulders. P

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

And who says you are a “good” man? You? Let me guess, as you judge others because of their sins, you believe that you yourself are free of sin? Go ahead..throw that stone.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Who said he’s without sin? We’re all sinners. The difference though is that some of us try and rebuke the sin, rather than the sinner while others celebrate the sin and try an force the rest of us to join the “party”.

jawkneemusic on February 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Good concise argument, Ed.

As for the “Gov’t has a vested interest for the norms of society…”

Have you people been paying any f’ing attention?

It’s a fine idea – except the gov’t you’re referring to does not agree with you.

Who the hell then is going to enforce these norms? Nobody. That’s who.

So if your argument comes down to electing the right political group, your delusional.

The GOP just elected a San Diego mayor, who had rainbow placards waving behind him during his acceptance speech.

One of those guys waving a placard? He’s running for office, with his first commercial showing him and his husband. First in the nation.

Please keep in mind, we’re talking about San Diego. The main money dump for the GOP in Cali.

That means THIS is the favored GOP model.

Not Cruz, Palin, Freedomworks, or whoever.

Imeanmygod, an argument for SSM from both parties has been a pipedream “boon” in license fees and the marriage-related industries.

In an economy where every city is sucking wind or on the federal knob to survive, do you really believe any pol is suddenly going to wake up one day and say – “Hm, this redefinition of marriage isn’t good for the norms and mores of our society”, thereby giving up one nickle of potential “revenue”?

Where do you live to believe that? Beck’s Ol’ Timey Village?

It’s us against them. Them = those who wish to leverage government to control society, including candidates who come from ethereal financial backgrounds, and not hardset businesses.

Here’s a perfect example.

The other night, Dana Perino on The Five, mentioned she attended a party honoring Byron Lourd.

Whose Byron Lourd? One of the three most powerful agents in all media and entertainment. And an openly married gay man, whose one of the principles in gathering people to his causes.

So Lil Ms Conservative, who has no kids, treats her dog like a child, and is down with one of the main players behind the LGBXYZ advocacy, is not conservative in any context, other than being a cheapwad when it comes to taxes and federal spending.

On what side of the fence do you think Perino will come down when it comes to using gov’t to enforce “norms and social mores”?

Now multiply that by 75% of the GOP party and media.

There’s a reason the GOP doesn’t argue Separation of Church and State when countering SSM laws. They know it can unravel their control and revenue stream.

budfox on February 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Homosexuals require the government to procreate.

Skywise on February 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Thread winnah’!

unclesmrgol on February 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

The legal and property issues of cohabitation in any form would still lie with the state. Government still has the jurisdiction and the competence for enforcement of contracts, both explicit and implicit. Cohabiting couples who never marry at all would have to resolve their property and custodial arrangements if and when they part ways, assuming they have children at all. If they can’t resolve those interests amicably, they go to court regardless of their marital status.

So in what way would the state be “out” of the marriage business?

It sounds more like a blank financial check being written to every strange definition of “marriage” you can imagine.

sharrukin on February 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Simple answer that I have always given is that privatized marriage isn’t’ marriage if it is private and if it is just turns marriage into a standard civil contract then the marriage isn’t privatized. It has simply moved dissolution and dispute from family court to normal civil court with trial by jury and an appeal process that potentially goes all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

As I have thought about contract marriage, I can see some future ruling that no marriage contract has any validity beyond standard joint property, i.e., bank accounts and titled real property. No other terms would be valid including child support or visitation. You would have to rely on private means to enforce “the contract” as they do in Islamic world. Realistically no one is going to marry under those kinds of circumstances where the “contract” is unenforceable.

If those of you who are clamoring “to get the government out of marriage” then you should be willing to take marriage out of the court system and rely on private means to settle disputes. Moving it from one court to another does not constitute privatizing marriage. I can see it now [faux] Libertarians for honor killings and child marriage.

jerryofva on February 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Morse goes on to outline her change in thinking. First on the family:

I decided to rethink the whole business of a free society, starting from the child’s point of view, with my 2001 book, Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village. The fact of childhood dependence raises a whole series of questions. How do we get from a position of helpless dependence and complete self-centeredness, to a position of independence and respect for others? Are our views of the child somehow related to the foundations of a free society? And, to ask a question that may sound like heresy to libertarian ears: Do the needs of children place legitimate demands and limitations on the behavior of adults?

I came to the conclusion that a free society needs adults who can control themselves, and who have consciences. A free society needs people who can use their freedom, without bothering other people too much. We need to respect the rights of others, keep our promises, and restrain ourselves from taking advantage of others.

We learn to do these things inside the family, by being in a relationship with our parents. We can see this by looking at attachment- disordered children and failure-to-thrive children from orphanages and foster care. These children have their material needs met, for food, clothing, and medical care. But they are not held, or loved, or looked at. They simply do not develop properly, without mothers and fathers taking personal care of them. Some of them never develop consciences. But a child without a conscience becomes a real problem: this is exactly the type of child who does whatever he can get away with. A free society can’t handle very many people like that, and still function.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

sharrukin on February 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

The state can’t get out of the marriage business. That’s the point of those whom I’ve been quoting. Redefining marriage is only going to expand the role of the state and make government more intrusive into our personal lives.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Marriage is more than just a union, that is why government are involved.

Our history, the history of people, flow through families, and an organized approach, an organized process is a historical necessity.

Without marriage laws, and the written contract that is officially sanctioned and recorded, much of our history would have been lost, never known.

It may not seem significant now, but generations from now it is significant.

What has changed is the capability to do this via internet, and have it consolidated.

Invariably, when the government is a “keeper” of information, they can’t help but direct it, control it, and use it for purposes never intended…and indeed, that is what “private” businesses would do also.

right2bright on February 14, 2014 at 3:21 PM

So sure, I’ll throw stones, and if I can get a catapult I’ll even toss a few boulders. P

Stoic Patriot on February 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Of course throw that stone. There is absolutly no difference between Islamic sharia law, and your view that we should punish those whom you deem immoral. I believe that their actions are immoral as well, but if they haven’t stole, vilolated peoples rights, property, used violence are commited acts which are deemed malum in se then I’m sorry. The only real difference between fanatical sharia law, and what you are proposing, is simply the level of severity.

MoreLiberty on February 14, 2014 at 3:22 PM

John the Libertarian on February 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I agree with you on no-fault divorce. It is an imposition of government and has been a destructive force. But privatizing marriage is a step in the wrong direction again, and will in fact mean an even greater imposition of government intruding into the lives of little ones.

INC on February 14, 2014 at 3:23 PM

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