Gay Marriage: The Libertarian Solution

The incomparable Iowahawk offers his solution to the gay marriage controversy over at  Get the government out of the marriage business entirely, and devolve it all to a matter of contract.  This would essentially “privatize” marriage in ways that gays might not like.  Let Iowahawk explain the nub of it:

The solution? Maybe it’s time for government to get out of the whole marriage business altogether. Or at least to treat it as a standard civil contract between adults conferring certain privileges (wills, powers of attorney, co-ownership) and obligations (say hello to alimony and the marriage tax penalty, Bert and Ernie). Don’t want to call it “marriage”? Fine, call it a civil union, domestic partnership, blancmange, whatever, leave it open to any pair of consenting adults. Leave the holy sacrament business to churches, and if First Lutheran or Immaculate Conception or Temple Beth-El don’t want to bestow the title of “married” on a same sex couple, that ought to be their own business. You get married at a church, you get blancmanged at the county courthouse.

Of course, in such a legal framework the next thing the secular left will demand is that all churches and synagogues (but probably not mosques, I’ll bet) be legally required to bless all gay marriages, just as Obamacare mandates that faith-based institutions provide contraceptive coverage and, ultimately, abortion on demand.

Aside from that controversy, I can see an upside to the privatization of marriage and churches deciding that they’ll take a more active role in supervising those unions to which they contemplate bestowing the church’s official blessing of “marriage.”  Many churches do require pre-marital counseling as a condition of the service, but maybe they’d take it more seriously if they’re on the hook for “heightened scrutiny” of real marriage, rather than chiefly being the ceremonial component of a civil process.

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