Should We Privatize Marriage?


by: Anna Maria Hoffman: 

Recently, we received this interesting question from a young man who regularly reads our site and participated in one of our: video projects: about marriage: from last year.

In my community college, this is what my philosophy professor told us about marriage: “Government must not redefine marriage to protect religious liberty and freedom. My idea is this, keep government out of the marriage business and lets have civil unions and make sure that they have all the legal rights as marriage today. Now, if a couple wants to change their civil union into marriage, let a church or a religious organization sign an extra form to change their status to marriage.”

My question to you is, what is your take on this?: 

I am very familiar with such statements. As the “marriage equality” movement has resorted to unconstitutional tactics and harassment of private businesses to impose its will on others, many are thinking, “What’s the best solution to restoring marriage in our society while maintaining limited government?”

The question our reader has posed is a tricky one. The transformation of marriage into a genderless institution by the government is moving at a rapid pace thanks to judicial activism, as we have seen in Kentucky, Utah, Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Ohio recently. Given this trend, we must reject arguments in favor of a federal marriage amendment that defines marriage between a man and a woman. Given last year’s Supreme Court rulings and the number of states that have made marriage genderless, this is not the best approach to restoring marriage in America. It not only would not pass Congress, but it also makes social conservatism look statist when it’s actually a political philosophy that embraces small government.

Although privatizing marriage sounds like a great solution, it is not a feasible solution. When this solution is brought up, “marriage equality” advocates say it’s discrimination, which occurred when a marriage privatization bill was introduced in Oklahoma earlier this year. Also, if the state were completely removed from the institution of marriage, how would disputes between married couples involving domestic violence, child abuse, divorce, and child custody be resolved? That’s a practical question to ask, since the privatization solution doesn’t clearly address that issue.

Let’s take a look at the solution offered by this reader’s professor. If we were to transform all consensual relationships into civil unions and leave marriage to the churches, how would we address the issue of heterosexual couples who want to get married but are not religious? How would we also address the issue of “marriage equality” activists claiming that this is discrimination against homosexual couples? Some say that can easily be resolved by allowing these couples to form a private contract to transform their relationship into a marriage. However, marriage would continue to lose its core cultural significance as a union that unites husband, wife, and children if couples could just decide what a marriage is.: Although great limited government intentions lie behind the privatization argument, this argument does not offer feasible solutions to the challenges we face today on this issue.: 

Maybe we ultimately will have to privatize marriage, as the “marriage equality” movement continues to use judicial activism to promote big government, trample states’ rights, silence its opposition through government force, and further weaken marriage’s main purpose in our culture. However, it’s best to leave marriage a state issue right now. Our focus should be on protecting religious liberty and states’ rights, and restoring a strong marriage culture locally, through the power of our own voices.

This blog post was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s “Ask CC”: column.: 

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