Privatization: A Third Position on Marriage

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who many believe may be preparing to enter the GOP Presidential race, has recently come out on two sides of the same issue. ABCNews reports, “Last week in Aspen, Colo., Rick Perry said he supported New York’s decision to allow gay marriage because it is a states’ rights issue, saying ‘that’s fine with me.'” Just days later the Texas Governor said, “I am for the federal marriage amendment.” I’m not sure how one supports a federal amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman while simultaneously supporting the “right” of each of the 50 states of the USA to define marriage as they see fit. Gordon Anderson writes, “The very groups promoting a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman should realize that this would put the government, not God, in charge of marriage. It would undermine the separation of church and state, be a totalitarian law, and desacralize marriage.”

The only position of the issue that Rick Perry has not taken is that marriage is not an issue to be decided by any government. The position that government should not be involved in marriage is shared by libertarians, some “traditionalists,” “constitutionalists” and Christians who believe that “marriage was instituted by God.” Daniel Waechter of writes, “marriage licenses have only existed on any significant scale since 1929. No one in the US before that was required to have a marriage license in order to practice their fundamental right to marry.”

Getting government out of the business of issuing (and in some case “requiring”) a marriage license is that government doesn’t like giving up power it has, nor does government like losing revenue sources once obtained. Providing marriage licenses is big business for the state. On average, 2.3 million couples are married per year in the United States, with the average marriage license costing $33.74; that provides a steady stream of income (roughly $77.6 million) for those who want control over your life.

People have become too accepting of government licensing and regulation. If you don’t want government regulating who you can share Thanksgiving dinner with, if/where you attend church or who you can date; why then are you willing to accept regulations on your committed relationships?