Get Government Out Of Marriage Business

Posted: July 20th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian

The following is a letter to the editor I submitted which was published in the July issue of Liberty’s Torch, a local monthly newspaper published here in the southeast Wyoming area. 

Pastor Freeman writes to confirm the Christian belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and that it was not “Adam and Steve” (“Marriage defined: One man and one woman, period,” June 1). While the Pastor does well defining how his religious beliefs view marriage, he misses a very fundamental point that cuts to the quick on the issue: Why is marriage under the purview of government at all? By whose authority does government “license” marriage?

The phenomenon of government giving permission to marry (this is what a license is, permission) is a very recent one. Until just a few years ago, marriage was between people and their God with perhaps a middle-man such as a church acting as a go-between.

What Freeman is missing is this simple point: Were government not involved in marriage, which was the way of things for most of human existence, then the question of “gay marriage” or the need for some kind of moral legislation would be moot. If history has taught us anything, it’s that attempting to use the iron fist of government to force morals onto people is the one sure way for morality to become extinct.  Remember Prohibition?  And how well is that War on Drugs going?

As it is, Christians like Pastor Freeman seem to believe they should fight fire with fire and only add to the flames rather than put them out by removing the fuel that feeds them. Instead of demanding more legislation to “defend” marriage,” the Pastor should instead be calling for government to get out of marriage and stop “licensing” (and thus controlling) it.

–Aaron Turpen

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