Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why do we need state branded marriage at all?

In the currently fashionable rush to assert positions of either so called “liberal” or “conservative” views on legislation to allow more or less same sex marriage, no one seems to ask  why on earth we need the state passing laws to “let us” or “prevent us” marrying?

We have gone to great lengths – and quite rightly – to ensure that irrelevant factors such as gender, race and age do not impinge on  people’s freedom’s, entitlements to such benefits as the state offers and to the obligations people face as members of the community.

The result is that the mere fact of “being married” is neither here nor there to the state and its governments in any sense which matters.

Yes its critical to some people and for a wide variety of valid, even commendable reasons – which is fine – but marriage is not some sort of “statutory instrument of policy” one would have thought.

Even using “marriage by statute” as a collateral administrative convenience is simply indulging bureaucrats who now have  more transparent and open means for collecting information or establishing legal status for this or that purpose.

Why then ought we to need:

  • legislation to “let people get married”; any more than we should have
  • legislation to “stop people getting married”.

Surely the role of the state is to be utterly agnostic on the matter and simply uphold the rights and freedoms which matter – rather than lending its legislative name to a meaningless statutory branding makeover?

A genuine liberal then, would be looking to ditch the statute not fiddle with its anachronisms.


1 comment:

  1. Good call! I get annoyed about these discussions every time gay's are fighting for the "right" to marry. It is simply none of the states business whom I marry and how many of such contracts I engage in and under what conditions.

    It is hilarious to hear the arguments while nobody stops to think about this. Good job for raising it.