Scott Shackford on Why the Government Won't Get Out of Marriage


It's all flowers and cakes until the government gets involved.
Credit: Ivonne Wierink,

“Let’s get the government out of marriage,” libertarians often say whenever the issue of same-sex recognition is raised. Privatize it! Then people can define their own relationships with each other and churches don’t have to worry about being told by the state what they do and don’t have to recognize. It could be used to simplify an absurd tax code that at times favors and at times penalizes adults on the basis of their relationships to each other. But as Reason 24/7’s Scott Shackford notes, there are significant problems with privatizing marriage when it comes to the American legal system. Two libertarian legal scholars warn against such extreme changes.