Gay Marriage

No Solid Libertarian Argument Against Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

The state should not be involved in marriage. But libertarians who think that this is all that need be said are wrong.

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Robyn Ramsay/Flickr

I tried to come up with a solid libertarian argument for why the Supreme Court should not have struck down state bans on same-sex marriage (SSM). (By a 5-4 vote, the court [Thursday] morning declared those bans unconstitutional.)

I couldn't do it. 

Not that I was hoping to find such an argument. On the contrary, my hope runs in the other direction. But I've seen a few libertarians claim that a pro-SSM ruling would be bad from a libertarian perspective, so I wanted to see if I could make a better case than they have been making. Everything I know about libertarianism says that the government cannot morally exclude gay and lesbian couples from legally marrying, as governments in 13 states have done but will no longer be able to do.

Let's get something out of the way at the start: the state—even if it should exist—should not be involved in marriage. But libertarians who think that this is all that need be said are wrong. To see this, imagine that the government declared that blacks could not use the interstate highways. Would it be enough for libertarians to say that the government should not own and operate highways, remaining agnostic on the particular policy? Of course not, because that's not all there is to the matter. Libertarians should say that as long as the government does own and operate highways, it must not discriminate irrationally or invidiously in their use.

Why is that a proper libertarian position? It is so because libertarians, pending abolition of the state, should want to limit as far as possible its power to commit injustice, to mistreat people or deprive them of their dignity. One way to do that is to eliminate or at least restrict its power to discriminate irrationally or invidiously. Government should not have the power to issue marriage licenses, but when it exercises that power, it should not be free to deny them to gay and lesbian couples. On what libertarian grounds should same-sex couples be turned away from the licensing bureau?

As Steve Horwitz writes: "Classical-liberal principles require the State to treat all citizens as equal before the law." This, he notes, has been one of the aims of liberal movements from time immemorial. Horwitz writes:

Government must treat all its citizens equally, and nothing paid for with tax dollars may involve invidious discrimination. It would be wrong on classical-liberal grounds for a government to refuse to pay Social Security to nonwhites even though we think Social Security is an illegitimate use of government power.

The same is true of same-sex marriage. If government grants certain privileges to those who are married, it must grant them equally to all its citizens who wish to marry. In the same way that prohibitions on interracial marriage were wrong on libertarian grounds, so are the prohibitions on same-sex marriage.

Elvert Barnes/Flickr

It does not follow, as some libertarians suggest, that under the equality principle, laws that burden one group ought apply to all. The principle is equal protection. If the government imposed conscription on men, it would be unlibertarian to demand that women also be drafted in the name of equality under the law. On the contrary, that principle would be grounds for demanding abolition of conscription.

I've seen it argued that if marriage consisted merely in "negative rights"—rights, that is, against aggression—a libertarian could have no objection to legalization of same-sex marriage. But, the argument goes, since contemporary marriage entails "positive rights" as well—that is, (alleged) "rights" to government-provided benefits—a libertarian should object to extending this tainted institution to more people. That argument seems plausible at first, but I believe it crumbles on closer scrutiny.

This is not to deny that government-provided benefits are available to married couples. According to the Human Rights Campaign:

There are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law. In June 2013, the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Windsor struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which excluded same-sex married couples from recognition for all federal benefits and programs. Because of this ruling, same-sex married couples across the country have been recognized for federal purposes for the first time. However, the persistent patchwork of state marriage laws continues to stand in the way of many couples fully accessing the federal benefits they have earned including Social Security and Veterans Benefits.

Perhaps similar benefits are available at the state level.

Let's take an example, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires employers to provide job-protected, though unpaid, leave for qualified reasons. (Some states have similar laws.) Since passage of the law in 1993, FMLA benefits have been extended by the courts to same-sex couples who married in a state that recognizes that status.

Now it is true that mandated family and medical leave coercively imposes costs on employers (and ultimately employees) and therefore cannot pass libertarian muster. It is also true that with this latest Supreme Court decision, FMLA benefits will now apply to more people. But contrary to some libertarians, that is no reason to condemn the Supreme Court's decision. Rather, it's simply a reason to work for the repeal of the FMLA.

Allowing the prohibition of SSM in order to prevent expansion of the FMLA is a little like bombing a village full of innocents to kill a criminal. To avoid one harm, a great deal more harm would be done. And note: it is not married couples who compel employers to provide leave, even if they take advantage of the law. The state is the aggressor. Let's go after it and its impositions directly. Discriminating against same-sex couples does nothing to end those impositions. It simply declares that the benefits are for heterosexual couples only.

Similarly, the prospect of the government's compelling bakers and photographers to participate in same-sex weddings hardly constitutes a reason to ban same-sex marriages. Let's target the actual rights violators and leave the innocent alone.

I have no doubt that some—maybe most—same-sex couples who wish to marry do so because they want the same government-derived benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy. (They like other taxpayers surely believe that they are entitled to a return on the "investment" that their taxes represent.) Most same-sex couples, like their heterosexual counterparts, are not libertarians, and many do not object to government provision of benefits. On the contrary, they see them as signs of citizenship. Thus they reasonably interpret the denial of benefits as a sign of second-class citizenship.

But it's a mistake to think that such benefits are the only things, or even the main things, that prompted the move toward same-sex marriage. (Marriage licensing did not begin in order to provide those benefits, which were later add-ons.) Even if all those benefits tomorrow were extended to unmarried same-sex couples (as envisioned by advocates of civil unions), many of those couples would still want to marry. For most people, a legally sanctioned marriage constitutes a personal and cultural public statement that has no close second as a declaration of love and commitment. Many same-sex couples want to make that statement. They don't want to be civilly united. They want to be married. The word matters. (The court has not redefined the word. The concept marriage has evolved.)

It is insulting and condescending to tell them they ought be to satisfied with civil union and its merely material benefits.

This piece originally appeared at Richman's "Free Association" blog. 

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  1. Let me try some devil’s advocacy. Since govts dole out benefits, funded through coercion, to some favored group, as libertarians we must support the doling out of benefits to other favored groups? Given the zero sum nature of this game, it seems clear the extension of favored status, and therefore monetary benefits, comes at the expense of people whose property was unjustly taken. I don’t see how Richman addressed this objection.

    1. So would you support a bill that declared that only women are entitled to Social Security benefits? Or that only blacks are eligible for Medicare?

      In both cases, the total government outlay would be significantly reduced…

      1. Or how about saying all libertarians may not collect Social Security, Medicare, AFDC, WIC and child tax credits, because those are reserved for “people who value them?”

        (And before someone says “because they’re taxed for them,” the same is true of homosexual Americans, whether they’re in a relationship or not, so that’s not a consistent argument).

        1. Not a very good troll job, no one around here believes queers don’t have the same marriage rights as straight people, AFAIK.

          We want the government out of the marriage game, period.

          I don’t really care if you want to marry your dog, it’s no skin off my ass.

          What I , and I’d guess most that lean libertarian object to is asshats like you that wan’t to make people associate with you when they have personal objections to participating in ceremonies like a gay marriage.

          Your marriage, no problem, forcing someone to participate, big problem from my point of view.

          I’m not religious at all, but see the next step is that asshats like you will try to force people to do shit they don’t want to do.

          If you lay off that bullshit from my perspective, we’re good, if you want to use what I consider a just court ruling to give you carte blanche to fuck with people that don’t share your views you will lose me. And I’d guess a lot of people think that here.

          At this point you have carried the day (IMHO) and should have. Whoop it up, it’s natural when something like this happens.

          If you start fucking with people just to be an asshole you will lose a lot of people who were softly in your camp, which is most people.

          Be a classy winner, sports shows us that people don’t like arrogant when they win. You should keep this in mind.

          Finally, good luck moving forward.

          1. Nice summary of the position many of us here share.

          2. What are you talking about? Where in the article does Richman talk about forcing people to associate? What a fabulous strawman you have built.

          3. “forcing someone to participate, big problem”

            You mean like, say, forcing me to serve people with fundamentalist beliefs and fining me under the EEOC laws and other state, federal and local laws if I refuse?

            Ohhhh, that’s right, when the legislation compels service that benefits conservatarians, all the “liberty” rhetoric vanishes. It’s only when the conservatarian sees the possibility that he himself will be subject to the regulatory regime that he imposed on others that he rediscovers his “principles.”

            1. Libertarians to conservatarians ….

              I will now change nouns until the voices in my head tell me I have won the interwebz.

          4. “troll job”?

            Now who’s spreading bullshit?

      2. I might support the idea that only women need SS. Widows and such.

        Men can earn enough and are rational enough to save for their own retirement because we aren’t birthin’ the young’ins.

        *ducks*

        1. Women need SS because of the pay gap.

          1. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure equal pay?

            That’s going to cause a debate that will bring up some hard truths about why a pay gap exists.

            1. Why not? We just learned that it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure equal marriage–which in the current context means gov’t bennies afforded to marriages.

            2. I should have added “/prog” at the bottom.

        2. ducks and covers to avoid the tsunami of 65 year old transgenders that came out of nowhere.

      3. The only way to win a zero sum game when liberty is the price the losing side has to pay is by not playing at all.

      4. So would you support a bill that declared that only women are entitled to Social Security benefits? Or that only blacks are eligible for Medicare?

        But, in certain respects, don’t they already say as much? Can a white male expect favorable treatment under affirmative action laws? Aren’t any number of laws around sexual assault specifically tailored to rule out women as the perpetrator?

    2. The APA lists gender dysphoria as a mental disorder.

      The definition of a disorder is something that inhibits or interferes with a normal function or established system. Mating the pairing and joining of members of the opposite sex is our normal function and established system.

      The genetics passed to the offspring of biological parents are important and meaningful. This is the only relationship that creates mothers fathers siblings and relatives. Family.

      The agenda of the LGBT community is to make all this meaningless and indoctrinate our children with lies.

      Next semester in all public schools in Ontario Canada the sex Ed curriculum is planned to change. The elected premier of Ontario is a lesbian and the author of the curriculum a convicted pedophile.

      The children as young as seven will begin being taught about explicit homosexual activities and that there are six genders of which they are one.

      I’m not making this up.

      The LGBT group plans this for your children also.

      It began with junk science propaganda and CHANGING a the established definition of marriage.

      In for a penny, in for a pound.

      1. The genetics passed to the offspring of biological parents are important and meaningful. This is the only relationship that creates mothers fathers siblings and relatives. Family.

        Wow! Dropping a huge steaming pile of shit on every adoptee ever takes chutzpah, I’ll grant you that.

      2. Sigh. Peddle your bullshit elsewhere.

      3. Do you ever stop and think about how ridiculous your arguments are? How does a homosexual interfere with your ability to reproduce? Have you ever wondered, why, if gays and lesbians do not reproduce, do these genes keep popping up all over the place? Have you ever even considered that homosexuality might be beneficial for the survival of a species? Or that it might just be a biological spandrel?

        1. Once it he biological cause of deviant form of sexuality is worked out, it’s a short trip to a cure. I
          Predict that once it is feasible, there will be prenatal treatments that will eliminate homosexuality for the most part.

      4. I would love to be in the room when these gay activists try to explain to the school board how shrimping, salad tossing et al. are age-appropriate for 7-year-olds.

      5. So hetero couples that are either incapable of or choose not to have children (the old fashioned way) shouldn’t be allowed to get married? Oh what brilliance.

  2. I don’t understand the argument that this group is getting things we don’t agree with so this other group should get them as well. All this is doing is getting a bigger group dependent on these items which with in return make it even harder to do away with. And technically a group wasn’t denied these rights. They could get them by entering into a heterosexual marriage.

    1. I don’t understand the argument that this group is getting things we don’t agree with so this other group should get them as well.

      You need to look at where those “things” come from and where those “things” go. Take social security. Gay and straight folks are paying into it. Marriage results in potentially substantially higher benefits. Why should those benefits only go to straight couples?

      They could get them by entering into a heterosexual marriage.

      No, not realistically. Marriage implies obligations, risks, and trust that you can’t just enter into with strangers just to get some financial benefits.

      1. “Take social security. Gay and straight folks are paying into it. Marriage results in potentially substantially higher benefits. Why should those benefits only go to straight couples?”

        Because married women took time off from work to have babies and raise them. and forwent earnings while still providing the nation with the next generation of taxpayers, soldiers, doctors, etc.

        Theoretically, of course.

        1. ps Ii’m just devil’s advocating here in case its not clear.

        2. For that to be an argument, it would have to have some degree of consistency. But gay couples do raise children, and many straight couples do not.

          The solution is to change social security to be dependent not on marriage but on joint raising of children. But social security is only one of a large number of privileges and special government handouts.

          1. wolves had raised human children too, and children have grown up without any parents at all , at the same time research shows that single mothers tend to raise inferior offspring by most any measure except criminality . If someone want to raise children let them, I am not interested in subsidizing them unless I get a refund if the kid fails to win a hard science nobel prize or otherwise prove themselves a net positve to society..

      2. Marriage results in potentially substantially higher benefits.

        No it doesn’t. If two people work, they both get their individual benefit. If only one party in a marriage works, the non-working spouse can collect part of the working-party’s benefit if that person dies. But that is hardly a higher benefit.

        1. Yes, it does: http://www.reuters.com/article…..LI20150626 Survivor benefits are just one aspect of that.

          But that was just an example, one of many. There are numerous benefits and privileges the government dispenses based on marital status.

        2. Wrong. While both spouses are alive, the lower earning spouse can collect half of their partner’s benefit if it’s higher than their own. They also get survivor benefits which I think just end up being the higher benefit of either partner, but I’m not sure on the latter.

      3. Marriage results in potentially substantially higher benefits. Why should those benefits only go to straight couples?

        That’s my question. How is it an essential government function to encourage marriage through tax breaks and other benefits?

        Besides, if a couple has to take the finances into account when making their decision to marry, that’s not really spawning more of the loving, devoted marriages, is it? That’s just spawning marriages of convenience. It’s a sham.

        1. Besides, if a couple has to take the finances into account when making their decision to marry, that’s not really spawning more of the loving, devoted marriages, is it?

          Precisely. And that is why the conservative argument “gays can marry, they just choose not to” falls flat. People marry based on a special relationship of trust and love, and homosexuals have those relationships with people of the same sex. It’s therefore not by choice that they are excluded from marriage.

          That’s my question. How is it an essential government function to encourage marriage through tax breaks and other benefits?

          It is not an “essential government function”. In fact, it is wrong. The question we are facing is, given that that violating of rights is occurring, what is the best way of dealing with it? Letting the government use its ill-gotten gains for social engineering based on a conservative Christian world view is worse than extending marriage to as many people as possible. Extending marriage to people conservatives don’t like may also cause them to join us in abolishing this government dispensation of special privileges in the first place.

          1. I’m out of my element here (using a language I don’t use very often), but I like your take. Thanks.

      4. “”Why should those benefits only go to straight couples?”

        They shouldn’t go to straight couples. Period.

      5. Win Bear-

        Why wasn’t I permitted to marry my sister two weeks before her death? She was a 45 yr old unmarried lesbian w/ no children when she died- I fucking paid her final hospital bills-I just wanted the SS benefits that she was forced to pay for to offset my costs.

        Where were Ginsberg and Kagan and Breyer and Sotomayor and Kennedy and Roberts for me?

  3. One of the more fun and amusing exercises, next time some vulgar faux-purist starts spouting off about how the state should be out of marriage and thus gay marriage should remain banned, is to ask him (and it’s almost always a “him”) if he has a government marriage license for his own marriage.

    I have yet to meet a married doctrinaire faux-purist libertarian who didn’t have a state license for his own marriage. And when you ask him why he doesn’t get a government divorce to “live in a private sector marriage free of government involvement,” the excuses flow like sewage down the East River.

    It’s really amusing (and a little sad) to watch.

    1. GOOD POINT AYN RAND TOOK SOCIAL SECURITY SO EVERYTHING SAID BY HER IS WRONG

      1. False analogy.

        It would be more like Ayn Rand saying that other people shouldn’t get Social Security, despite being taxed for it, while collecting it herself.

        I just find it amusing to watch the smug faux-purist pause from waving his Little Gold Book in the air and start stammering excuses when you nail him on his own “statism.” Comedy gold, it is.

        1. AND SO-CALLED LIBERTARIANS USE PUBLIC ROADS

          1. AND USE GAY BUTT SEX………not me of course

          2. Yeah.

            It’s like if a libertarian thought the government should get out of regulating pot, and then bought pot from a licensed dealer.

            Or if a libertarian thought that the FDA should be radically overhauled or eliminated, and then he went out and consume regulated medicine.

            Pure hypocrisy.

            1. More like a libertarian saying that you shouldn’t be able to get pot through a dispel while buying from a dispensary.

              Or supporting legislation to keep you from getting prescription drugs while consuming them himself.

              1. Oh, s0 you think that libertarians are telling people that they shouldn’t get state recognized marriages, whole they themselves get state recognized marriages.

                So, that’s your problem: you’re retarded.

        2. Hahaha, nice one you queer. I’ve been having a lot of fun watching these “libertarians” come to grips with something that the dreaded Obama monster supports. Apparently, condemning state-supported discrimination is out and what were left with is the frightening prospect of making bigoted bakers uncomfortable.

          1. AS is just disappointed is that there hasn’t been any major massacres or atrocities committed by the government in regards to gay marriage. He’s good at defending those.

          2. Amsoc

            Nice strawman. It isn’t about making people uncomfortable. It is about using the full powers of the state to force people to do things with which they fundamentally disagree.

          3. A lot of people here believe that the decision is a good thing. It’s just that they also believe that deregulating marriage altogether is the ideal solution.

        3. I just find it amusing to watch the smug faux-purist pause from waving his Little Gold Book in the air and start stammering excuses when you nail him on his own “statism.” Comedy gold, it is.

          Yeah, it’s almost like hearing progressives explain how awesome regulation and democracy are, and then they start whining their pants off that the regulators-that-be won’t let them get married, regardless of what they think they want to do with their personal lives.

          It’s almost like statists are hypocrites, right up until the government gives them a permission slip to do whatever they want to do. In which case, they’re just fine.

          1. Not sure why you’d think I’d support progressives any more than Republicans who decide they’re “libertarian” because of the tax stuff but don’t like the whole freedom thing.

            I’d point out the lack of conservatarian outrage over decades-old laws that force people to serve another religious denomination, or the rulings that said I had to have money from my paycheck stolen to give to the Boy Scouts, but it would be hard to hear me over the deafening silence.

            I’m supposed to believe that conservatarian outrage over wedding cakes grows out of some deeply held principle that has gone completely unaddressed when the same state regulations long ago violated the free association rights of others who the conservatarian seeks to dominate. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

            1. This is the part where democrat segregationalists become conservatives, so that you can simultaneously free yourself from guilt by association, while simultaneously smearing it all over anyone you don’t like.

              I’ve read it all before. Sigh.

    2. What’s going to be really amusing to watch are the future custody battles in same-sex divorce. I mean, in hetero divorce, the judge 99.9999% of the time awarded custody to the mother, no matter how unfit, because everyone knows men would end up putting the diaper on the kids head or any of the other zany mishaps the media bombards us with when depicting men as caregivers of children.

      But when both parties are women, the judge won’t have that easy out. Likewise when it’s two men.

      1. Custody isn’t related to marriage, but rather, parental status.

        Two unmarried heterosexual parents can undergo a custody battle, as do unmarried homosexual adoptive parents. In fact, marital status has little to no bearing in the outcome of a custody battle.

        1. You’re missing the point. With the legality of same-sex marriage, such scenarios are now going to be more common. This commonality will hopefully challenge societies views about the unfitness of fathers as caregivers.

          1. “With the legality of same-sex marriage, such scenarios are now going to be more common.”

            I’m not entirely certain that’s accurate. Gay people have been raising kids for way, way longer than government has been issuing permission slips to be married.

            “societies views about the unfitness of fathers as caregivers”

            To the extent that such a view exists, it’s repugnant.

            1. Gay people have been raising kids for way, way longer than government has been issuing permission slips to be married.

              That’s true. And I’m sure you’re aware of the difficulties same sex couples have had in adoption. For example, six states have banned same-sex couples from adopting children, and internationally, you have countries like Russia banning adoption by foreign gay couples, etc. Same sex couples can also have a harder time with surrogacy. With the recent ruling, I don’t see how those adoption laws are going to hold up.

            2. Gay people have been raising kids for way, way longer than government has been issuing permission slips to be married.

              Sure, but in those cases custody was attached to one of the partners individually. Which meant that custody was not an issue at the dissolution of the relationship.

              With marriage, joint custody will be more common, leading to state involvement in custody and support when the married partners divorce.

              1. With marriage, joint custody will be more common, leading to state involvement in custody and support when the married partners divorce.

                Yup. And the thought of some battleaxe family court judge crinkling her brow in thought now that the easy out is no longer available is amusing. A Guardian ad litem might actually be good for something other than show!

    3. One of the more fun and amusing exercises, next time some vulgar faux-purist starts spouting off about how the state should be out of marriage and thus gay marriage should remain banned

      You are putting up a straw man. The positions “the state should get out of marriage” and “gay marriage should remain banned” are independent of each other.

      It’s really amusing (and a little sad) to watch.

      As a gay man, let me tell you: fuck off slaver.

      1. LOL

        The positions are not “independent of each other” except in theory.

        Every person who opposes equal treatment under the law because it “expands the bureaucracy,” while taking advantage of that he opposes, has no excuse for his actions.

        In short, he’s a slavery who doesn’t want other people to be slavers.

    4. Tony…tony….tony, I missed it initially and actually wrote a response, I am a bit addled at present.

    5. (and it’s almost always a “him”)

      Ohhhh, can’t you just picture the pout that was said with?

      Now the funny thing is, a marriage is a contract, and what famous court case dealt with govt not interfering with the freedom to enter into a contract? Progressives really ought to know since it is the b?te noire of their political world.

      1. For the millionth time, marriage is not a contract.

        It’s a basket of privileges and obligations bestowed by the government on couples that voluntarily submit to its yoke.

    6. Yeah. I distinctly remember that after I got married in the eyes of God and in front of my family, I then had to sign a fucking government document.

      I thought that was stupid then and think it’s stupid now.

      And no “getting the state out of marriage” doesn’t continue to ban gay marriage. There are churches out there that would perform their marriage without state sanction.

      I am convinced that the LGBT lobby will force this issue by suing the churches that don’t perform gay marriages. As a libertarian I find this to be an abomination. The pastor in question in this case will end up forced by state coercion to perform the wedding. No libertarian should support that.

      1. The issue of churches being forced to perform ceremonies probably won’t be an issue. It is standard practice right now for certain denominations to deny marrying two people for any number of reasons.

        I don’t think the ruling will be interpreted as “the state says these people may marry, therefor you MUST marry them in your separate religious institution.” That would be fough fiercly with a freedom of religion flavor.

        1. You can’t be so certain that a lawsuit won’t result when a church denies performing a marriage based solely on “sex.”

          One way or another, SCOTUS is going to have to clear up whether private churches – and private businesses, for that matter – may refuse to participate in a gay wedding solely on the basis of the plaintiffs being gay; it will also have to clear up whether the denial of a church’s tax-exempt status by the IRS based on the same is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause.

          It will also be amusing when the left refuses to hold Hillary to account for her support of DOMA. Ah well, since when has the left had any shame whatsoever?

        2. I don’t think the ruling will be interpreted as “the state says these people may marry, therefor you MUST marry them in your separate religious institution.”

          If the case had been decided as a matter of freedom of association or freedom of contract, I’d agree with you.

          It wasn’t.

          The court decided this was a “fundamental civil right”. As such, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to see them turn around and impose the demand.

          1. Totally. Because homosexuality is a behavior driven at least in part by genetics, or at least by unconscious psychological processes that aren’t fully understood, the argument will be that sexuality is the same as race or sex and is therefore an issue of equal protection. The argument will be that denying a gay couple marriage based on religious reasons is the same as denying a mixed-race couple.

            Because the Roberts court is an abomination that should be devoured by werewolves or abducted by aliens and probed mercilessly, this decision will result in a net loss of liberty for all concerned, to the net benefit of the state.

            1. AFAIK, religions are free to discriminate based on race. I mean it’s a common part of many religions other than Christianity.

              Having said that, I see no problem holding religions to the same standard on homosexuality as on race. Ultimately, we’re talking about loss of tax exempt status, and I think most churches should be losing that anyway.

            2. Because homosexuality is a behavior driven at least in part by genetics, or at least by unconscious psychological processes that aren’t fully understood

              It’s amazing how many “gay” people decide they are gay after having children…

              It’s a choice.

        3. Like it or not, churches already surrendered to the state when they rewrote their wedding vows to say ‘by the authority vested in me by the state of XX, I now pronounce you man and wife’

          Every church that rewrote their vows that way basically agreed to the establishment of religion re the marriage ceremony. They had a 1st amendment defense back then. They have lost it now. They are now mere agents of the state.

      2. You didn’t have to sign anything. As I was often reminded by conservatarians with marriage licenses, you can live in whatever arrangement you want and call it whatever you want.

        You chose the marriage license. Own it.

    7. So do unmarried Libertarians like myself who find the concept of marriage to be an antiquated institution and not worth the bother get a pass? Until the law treats everyone the same and forgoes giving preferential tax privileges to people who marry I’ll continue to harbor a splinter of resentment towards married people.

    8. So what about Polygamist? Love is love after all.

    9. Similarly, I’ve been having some fun asking my progressive friends if this counts as a victory for deregulation.

      I assume that the narrative will be that the government just gave gays the right to get married, therefore, without the government, gays would have no right to get married. Never mind that “giving the right to marry” in this case looks like declaring regulations of marriage null and void.

      I suppose that legalizing weed will be “government giving us the right to use drugs” too. Thank god the government will be there for us. Otherwise, we’d…have the right anyway.

      Just drink a 12 pack and it all makes sense.

    10. ” thus gay marriage should remain banned, ”

      How can you “ban” two people living together and seeing it as a family? Was anyone legally convicted and jailed for doing that? When drugs are banned, people get kidnapped and spend their lives locked in a cage for running a web site. Are gay couples under the same threat? What was “legalized” exactly that was “illegal” before? Forcing everyone to pay more for “social security”?

      I don’t understand how people say such a nonsense with a straight face.

  4. ifcthe comment thread on this issue from earlier in the week were any indication, truck loads of popcorn would be appropriate.

  5. “To see this, imagine that the government declared that blacks could not use the interstate highways.”

    Gays could already get married, but didn’t want to because they are gay. Then the Supreme Court made up a new positive right for them to marry a member of the same sex. Why would black people need special highways?

    1. Gays could already get married<<br /
      That’s actually not technically correct. Marrying an individual of the opposite sex who is gay is considered grounds for no-fault divorce just about everywhere.

      the Supreme Court made up a new positive right<<br /
      Not any more than they “made up a new positive right” when they made interracial marriage legal for the first time in the 16 or so states that banned it in Loving v Virginia.

      I don’t see many “libertarians” lamenting that decision, though it’s identical in practice and reach to the SCOTUS’s more recent decision on same-sex marriage.

      1. I don’t see many libertarians lamenting the SCOTUS gay marriage decision either.

        The idea of libertarians being homophobic comes from too much consumption of MSNBC and Salon on your part.

        1. “The idea of libertarians being homophobic comes from too much consumption of MSNBC and Salon on your part.”

          Exactly. I don’t remember a single article or comment here ever that was homophobic. Hell, half the commenters and a few of the writers here are gay.

      2. The Loving v Virginia case does seem to have used similar terminology with regards to its ruling calling marriage a civil right.

        I think I’m just angry that the definition of rights, and the constitution itself have been so bastardized. There’s no consistency in the courts.

      3. Both decisions used the wrong part of the Constitution. The appropriate avenue is the full faith and credit clause (which is also why DOMA was doomed to fail when challenged).

        Substantive due process is the modern equivalent of Bork’s view of the 9th Amdt.

        1. And the Equal Protection Clause could’ve been applied simply as gender discrimination. “You say women can only marry men but not other women? SEXIST!!!”

      4. Gays could already get married

        1. Fucking squirrels

          Gays could already get married
          That’s actually not technically correct. Marrying an individual of the opposite sex who is gay is considered grounds for no-fault divorce just about everywhere.

          No fault divorce is the norm in just about every state, so your assertion is meaningless.

          And throughout history gay men have in fact gotten married and fathered children. So it’s ahistoric too.

          1. Gays could already get married

            Again with the dumbest argument imaginable.

            If Congress defined marriage as a union between two people of the same hair color, would you be okay with that definition? Then the government bestows entitlements on those with the same hair color, but not on those cretins living together and fathering bastard children out of hairlock… That all good with you, VGZ?

            The equal protection clause says the government MAY NOT DEFINE marriage as between a man and a woman because doing so carves out a favored segment of society for favored status.

            1. “If Congress defined marriage as a union between two people of the same hair color, would you be okay with that definition?”

              No, but I wouldn’t expect the courts to change it.

              “The equal protection clause says the government MAY NOT DEFINE marriage as between a man and a woman because doing so carves out a favored segment of society for favored status.”

              Is this a direct quote from the fourteenth amendment or merely your interpretation? How exactly does including homosexuals end the favored status rather than just extending it to a few more people?

              The government, if it’s going to give out positive rights/ entitlements, can and should circumscribe how that is done, otherwise everyone in America is now entitled to a welfare check.

              1. No, but I wouldn’t expect the courts to change it.

                You wouldn’t expect the court to rule such a law unconstitutional? How exactly would you propose of getting rid of unconstitutional law in our republic?

                Is this a direct quote from the fourteenth amendment or merely your interpretation?

                Here is the quote [emphasis added]:

                1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                If you are asking if my “interpretation” is the “legal” interpretation, twisted over and over through precedent..then no. But, despite how lawyers twist things for political reasons, how do you interpret the bolded portion? Words have meaning and it says what it says.

                Granted the SCOTUS won’t go there, as going there would mean that 90% of everything Congress has ever done since 7/9/1868 has been unconstitutional, but there it is…

                …90% of everything Congress has ever done since 7/9/1868 has been unconstitutional.

                This is what happens there is no check of constitutionality prior to law passage.

                1. “Words have meaning and it says what it says.”

                  Hahaha! Chief jughead Roberts disagrees.

            2. Your analogy fails because there never has been a sexual orientation test for marriage. And yes, gays did in fact get married in the past.

              You seem to be buying into the current fad that only a marriage with frequent fucking is a valid marriage. In which case, how long can you married people go without fucking before their marriage is no longer valid?

              1. You seem to be buying into the current fad that only a marriage with frequent fucking is a valid marriage. In which case, how long can you married people go without fucking before their marriage is no longer valid?

                To be fair, things like “alienation of affection” are still valid torts in some places.

      5. Marrying an individual of the opposite sex who is gay won’t cook dinner is considered grounds for no-fault divorce just about everywhere.

        FTFY.

    2. Gays could already get married, but didn’t want to because they are gay.

      That’s only if you trivialize marriage to the point of being meaningless. Realistically, you can only “get married” to someone who you actually have a large degree of trust with that ordinarily only comes out of very close personal relations. Gays don’t “want” to as a matter of choice, they can’t do that.

      Then the Supreme Court made up a new positive right for them to marry a member of the same sex.

      You cannot discuss gay marriage as either a positive or a negative right, because what it’s really all about is pre-existing government coercion. For example, everybody is forced to pay into Social Security; that is the violation of rights that libertarians object to. Libertarianism has nothing to say about who the payout from such coercion should go to; extending the payout to more people doesn’t create any “positive rights”, since nobody really has a “right” to receive such payouts in the first place. However, given that money is taken from everybody, it seems reasonable that the benefits aren’t chosen based on arbitrary criteria of social engineering, from either the left or the right.

      1. However, given that money is taken from everybody, it seems reasonable that the benefits aren’t chosen based on arbitrary criteria of social engineering, from either the left or the right.

        Yet, the same justices who voted for this also vote for affirmative action which awards entitlements based on discrimination.

        They also called government sanctioned marriage a right. It’s not an entitlement in the eyes of the court. If they had simple ruled that the government can’t discriminate based on who it gives entitlements, I would be fine with that. But they would never use that language.

        They are perfectly fine with the government discriminating on who gets entitlements, and simply deigned to grant them to a new group.

        1. “Yet, the same justices who voted for this also vote for affirmative action which awards entitlements based on discrimination.”

          How about you provide a citation for this?

          1. A citation for the justices involved here reaffirming affirmative action? Are you fucking with me here?
            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04…..n-ban.html

            Sotomayer wrote the dissent there. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion (in a rare victory against affirmative action by the courts – the federal appeals courts had initially ruled the other way):
            “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” he wrote, in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. “It is about who may resolve it. There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this court’s precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”

            Here is Kennedy admitting that there is race based ‘preferences’ being granted by the state. While the decision itself is allowing a ban on such measures in Michigan, he will not say that it is about equal protection under the law (which would have been far more sweeping). He merely wants to say that the choice should be with the voters.

            It is the exact opposite of the reasoning he gives on gay marriage where he flatly rejects the notion that voters can determine the matter.

            In his defense, prior precedent had also called marriage a right. That’s the most you can say. His reasoning in these two cases is still contradictory and poor.

        2. Yet, the same justices who voted for this also vote for affirmative action which awards entitlements based on discrimination.

          So? We are discussing whether gay marriage should be legal, not whether the opinions of supreme court justices

          They are perfectly fine with the government discriminating on who gets entitlements, and simply deigned to grant them to a new group.

          Yes, and most churches and religious conservatives are perfectly fine with receiving tons of privileges and financial benefits, they simply oppose granting them to a new group.

          Politically, you can take the position that extending those privileges and benefits to new groups compounds the error that they represent. But you can also take the position that extending those privileges and benefits to new groups dilutes them and therefore reduces the injustice they represent, and that in addition it will encourage more people to oppose them.

          Neither approach is more or less consistent with libertarianism, so the decision is about political strategy and non-libertarian principles. And from both of those points of view, extending these privileges to more people is a better strategy than to continue to limit them to a particular, powerful special interest group.

      2. your view would have precluded most of the weddings of royalty, aristocracy and members of wealthy families since the beginning of time.

      3. Win Bear-

        from above…

        However, given that money is taken from everybody, it seems reasonable that the benefits aren’t chosen based on arbitrary criteria of social engineering, from either the left or the right.

        Why wasn’t I permitted to marry my sister two weeks before her death? She was a 45 yr old unmarried lesbian w/ no children when she died- I fucking paid her final hospital bills-I just wanted the SS “survivor” benefits that she was forced to pay for to offset my costs.

        Where were Ginsberg and Kagan and Breyer and Sotomayor and Kennedy and Roberts for me?

  6. Richman is misstating my own argument about this ruling. It’s odd because up to a few days ago I was absolutely fine with gay marriage being approved by the courts. I mostly still am, though I just don’t like how it was done and the legal reasoning behind it. But I’m already to the point where I accept the courts aren’t going to be consistent and everything they say is just bullshit to justify predetermined conclusions, anyway.

    The issue is how the justices ruled on this. They did in fact claim marriage to be a civil right bestowed by the government to sanctify the relationship of two people who love one another. And the two there is key because they repeat that language throughout the majority opinion.

    They created a new ‘civil right’ out of thin air and explicitly said it comes from government. That is not libertarian.

    But what happens when the progs come running and screaming that healthcare is a right. Or people have a right to the internet. Or any of the other dumb shit that people claim as ‘rights.’ Flip it around, you also have arguments to restrict rights being made here because they come from the government.

    Perhaps it would have been better to have accepted that it was already legal it just the vast majority of states than to have this ruling. But I’m not gay and I’m not the one looking for a piece of paper from the state saying I’m officially married, so easy enough for me to say.

    1. While I believe that gay marriage should be legal (and polygamy too, for that matter), I don’t care for much of Kennedy’s reasoning in the majority decision. In particular, I think inventing a right of “dignity” is much too vague and subject to interpretation. So, I do think it would have been better if SCOTUS had limited their decision to the Equal Protection Clause.

      1. I was heartened when it looked like Roberts might join the majority on an ordinary sex-discrimination basis.

    2. Your comparison of marriage with healthcare and free internet service is a false equivalency. Fundamentally, marriage is a relationship and a contract between two people – as such, a right to marriage is an extension of long standing rights of free assembly and contract. Holding there is a right to marriage does not mean one holds there is a right to the various subsidies the government has extended to that form of contract. Would you deride the Citizens United decision because corporations are extended subsidies by government, thus invalidating the right to corporate free speech? The government has polluted nearly every facet of human existence with byzantine rules and subsidies. Those addendums by the state do not invalidate the negative rights that undergird human action.

      1. Holding there is a right to marriage does not mean one holds there is a right to the various subsidies the government has extended to that form of contract.

        I think the question is that if there is a right to marriage can civil marriage be abolished?

      2. This is a very good point.

        Recognizing contract rights does not entitle one to free shit.

        1. Marriage isn’t a contract.

          1. I think the point that a lot of people here are trying to make is that marriage should be a contract. Of course it isn’t a contract right now – it’s a government-granted license, and naturally, the government controls who gets one. This is the root of all “marriage discrimination” problems.

            A marriage, in the legal sense, should be a contract drawn up by two individuals that is brought forward when necessary (asset division in the event of divorce or death). This would instantly solve the issues of gay marriage, polygamist marriage, and any other dispute about others’ “right” to get married when it should arise.

            1. Marriage doesn’t have the elements of a contract so it isn’t one and cannot become one.

              Not all voluntary associations fit within the paradigm of contracts. The weird tendency of some libertarians to cast everything as a contract issue is a pet peeve of mine.

              1. It could very easily become one. Lots has been written on this. Think before you post.

              2. I think we’ve run into one of those situations where we’re talking about the same word, but we each have separate definitions. Let me see if I can’t clear this up:

                My belief is that in one sense, a marriage is a relationship in which two people agree to go through life in a greater state of unity. That’s not a contract; it’s just a certain stage of a relationship.

                What I’m saying is that in the legal sense – which is separate from the definition above – marriage should be a contract. The contract could say things like:
                – “We agree to be faithful to each other and to support each other” etc.
                – “If one of us dies, the assets will go to the other spouse” etc.
                – “This marriage will be dissolved in the event of unfaithfulness, irreconcilable emotional differences” etc.
                – “If we should dissolve this marriage, our assets will be divided thusly” etc.

                I’m saying that the only role the government has in marriage is enforcing any division of assets that was previously agreed upon. The rest is between the spouses, and optionally, whatever god(s) they believe in.

          2. Marriage has been and is today a contract, it just isnt a business contract, although the more wealth or power the parties have the closer the marriage contract becomes . If marriage isn’t a contract is a prenup agreement a contract ?

          3. How is marriage not a contract? Every wedding I’ve ever been to, including my own, involved the two main participants making certain promises to each other before witnesses and an official who recorded the event. If I or my spouse fail to live up to one or more of those promises that would be grounds for divorce; it would certainly be considered a failing of one or the other to live up to those promises.

            Marriage isn’t just Going Steady Plus, and it’s not just what happens when you spend enough time living with and sleeping with one person exclusively. There’s more to it than that. If it’s not a contract it’s sure as hell got all the markings of one.

      3. You are basically talking about freedom of association, but that was not the line of reasoning used by Kennedy. Nor is that what the court gave us. And I implied this in my comment.

        You COULD argue that they expanded freedom of association to a larger group of people, but they certainly have not given it to all. And the language of their reasoning was more explicit. There is a lot of talk about partners, two people, couples etc. One reading of their text would be that, while adding in one group, they were rejecting future claims from others to the same entitlement.

        But the free association argument fails in my view, at least theoretically, because they aren’t offering free association. What they are expanding is the ability of people to receive a very specific government sanctioned contract which they have also deemed a fundamental human right. Free association and right to contract is what the state offers with marriage. And the government cannot grant people a right. Rights do not come from government.

        1. The only argument here is kind of a copout, as I see it. You have to completely ignore the reasoning of Kennedy, or shrug off the implications/precedent. And really, it isn’t an entirely new precedent because the same dumb shit was used back in 1967 to smack down the laws that prohibited interracial marriage.

          The legal reasoning used just does not make sense.

  7. My neighbor’s aunt makes $60 /hr on the internet . She has been out of work for 7 months but last month her check was $19703 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go Here
    ………….. http://WWW.MONEY-HOURS.COM

  8. You realize that it’s possible to agree with the idea of gay marriage, and oppose the means by which it happened?

    Because nobody who cares about constitution can look at recent gay rights activism and see anything but bad news for liberty as a whole.

    This was the action of a mob – a mob that’s only getting started. We’re now going to witness the court-sanctioned lynching of anyone who isn’t on the gay marriage bandwagon. It started with lawsuits and shaming of bakers and businesses, and will now continue with vigor and legal weight. We’ll see churches, schools and religious groups threatened with lawsuits and civil rights investigations unless they compromise their beliefs and get in line with approved dogma.

    This decision didn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a libertarian fantasy to think this was some kind of victory for liberty – requiring a disregard for our current politics and the way unpopular opinion has not only been cast aside sans debate, but demonized as fundamentally illegitimate and evil.

    Gay marriage was inevitable. Slow, maybe, but inevitable. And a slower pace helps to ensure representation, debate, and accountability. Important stuff.

    But that wasn’t enough for a social justice movement out for blood; one which sought to not only achieve its goal immediately, but also humiliate and discredit those who dared publicly disagree. The court gave them instant victory, and it will give them the continued momentum to finish the job of purging society of dissent.

    1. You realize that it’s possible to agree with the idea of gay marriage, and oppose the means by which it happened?

      Nope. Unpossible. If you say anything at all that might possibly be interpreted as less than celebratory on this topic, it’s as if you personally beheaded Matthew Shepherd.

    2. This is that evil genie situation where you wish your dead child was back and you wind up with a zombie baby. It’s great that gay people now have access to the same legal standing as straights vis a vis marriage, but the real victory would be for government to stop fucking with marriage (or any association) at all. Instead, we got equality without liberty. It’s like when dictators hold elections, get 100% of the vote, and say they’ve got a democracy.

      1. Most people live in a world of facts, not theory. Marriage law impacts real people today.

        It didn’t help that the first spirited conservatarian objections to nondiscrimination laws that violate free association were about gay wedding cakes and not, say, a gay-owned printer forced to print brochures for a local church. The latter happened for decades and got hardly a whiff of press time, whereas the former happened just twice and it’s the newest human rights violation of the century.

        If conservatarians are inconsistent in their own action and beliefs, they can’t demand purity from others… at least not without looking like idiots.

        1. What the hell are you talking about?

          If a gay printer didn’t want to print brochures for a church, he shouldn’t have to. And I would absolutely stand behind his decision to refuse that work based on his constitutionally protected right to freely associate (or not) with anyone his conscience allows.

          The only difference is that I can’t imagine a church would sue anyone to force them to print their brochures and then publicly shame them in the media the way gay activists have done to bakers and other business owners who aren’t on board with their orthodoxy.

  9. “Allowing the prohibition of SSM in order to prevent expansion of the FMLA is a little like bombing a village full of innocents to kill a criminal.”
    The same can be said about immigration.

    1. Allowing the adoption of SSM with it’s combination of positive and negative rights is a little like cheering the weight loss of a morbidly obese person who just got cancer. Wee, shitty analogies are fun!

    2. You know who else bombed villages of innocents to kill criminals?

      1. The deathstar when it blew up Alderon?

    3. “Allowing the prohibition of SSM in order to prevent the implementation of the gay agenda is a little like bombing a village full of innocents to kill a criminal.”

      FIFY

  10. What I find disgusting is Hillary’s and Obama’s “our views evolved” pretense of having supported this all along.

    http://gawker.com/remember-whe…..1714147439

    http://www.politifact.com/trut…..-marriage/

    What this really tells you is that these people will say whatever it takes to get elected.

    1. It would bother me less if the SJ brigade didn’t hound the CEO of Firefox out of a job right after they pulled the lever to vote for politicians who opposed gay marriage. Hillary in particular. Obama was at least just rhetorical in his opposition.

    2. If SCOTUS weighed in on the comments, they would have said that Obama intended to say he always supported SSM regardless of what his early words actually were.

  11. I can give you an argument.

    We should all be working for a pure anarchic state. Any reprieve from injustice that the state may bestow the people should be rejected, as we find it distasteful, and the further injustice of the state helps us by proving our righteousness.

    No. Half. Measures.

    1. Churches and conservative Christians have been some of the primary drivers behind social engineering and nanny-statism in the US. They got away with that because they have been exempt from the consequences of their coercion by expansive interpretations of “freedom of religion”. If you want the state to become smaller, removing the privileges and shields powerful political groups have enjoyed seems like a good strategy.

      1. Yep. You wouldn’t have laws forcing a baker to bake a gay wedding cake, if the church-state fusion lobby hadn’t first passed laws requiring the gay-owned baker to bake a Christian wedding cake or face fines and penalties.

        Most of the conservatarian (as opposed to real libertarian) outrage over the situation isn’t due to loss of liberty — they were totally fine with it when the law put them in charge over others. Their objection is due solely to the tiger they rode in on starting to eat them too.

        Funny how that works!

    2. Fuck your sarcasm, Brian. If you drive on public roads you are a fascist. I’m profoundly disappointed that someone who lectured my on how taxes are theft turns out to be so milquetoast. Sad, really.

      1. Like we’re going to believe that a socialist deadbeat actually pays taxes, which requires sufficient competence to be gainfully employed and own property.

      2. Taxes are theft, and private companies build roads. “Public funds” is just another way of saying stolen money. Also, socialism is no more moral than fascism. Something to think about while you contemplate how to spend other people’s money.

      3. You’ll get over it. I’m trying to find two shits to give, and I really just can’t.

    3. Word, Brian. The judges who granted these “freedoms” were paid with stolen money.

      Also, liberty can’t be given, only taken by force.

  12. Yeah, equal protection under the law. Let’s have it. But let’s not take our eyes off the prize, which is: government out of marriage. With this ruling, the gay volken got admission to the country club. This still means that their unmarried friends, straight and gay, who prefer to live together without joining the country club are discriminated against for their antipathy to having the state involved in their union.

    So let’s not congratulate ourselves too much. Nobody here was fighting the man, just fighting for the right to be the man.

  13. Isn’t it possible to want gay marriage but not the reasoning of SCOTUS (right to marriage” so the state can’t “get out of it” and the “right to dignity” and Nothing can go wrong there!) and that this will encourage the SJWs to show their “tolerance” of opposing views?

    1. No, it isn’t. And any indication that you feel these to views can be held simultaneously means you must seek out the nearest same sex couple, prostrate yourself before them, confess this sin and beg they absolve you.

  14. Ed Krayewski said this yesterday:

    it’ll become harder for government to manage and therefore easier to disentangle government from a deeply personal institution

    Has this happened before?

    Also I noticed Cytotoxic ridiculing cousin marriage. Is he saying the Socons are hypocrites or is he just an idiot?

    1. I’ve given that idea some thought, as well. But the issue is, the court has no problem with its own inconsistencies and neither do the American people, on the whole. It’s not changing anytime soon.

      People don’t care about the contradictions, and too many people benefit for it to be done away with. There’s no momentum for that. And it’s not how government works. It’s not going to throw up its hands and give up.

    2. When in the history of government, personal institutions, or entanglements has a bureaucratic clusterfuck ever resulted in less government? Has it really been long enough that people need to be reminded that the Department of Fuck Off Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence were both established to try to get the FBI and the CIA to work around their own little bureaucracies? And that both have failed?

  15. Can we blame all of this on Lord Hardwicke?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Act_1753

    the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage.

    1. So this whole thing is due to hard wicks? Of course it is.

  16. Also is flying the rainbow flag by government buildings giving endorsement to a political issue?

    1. If you don’t support your tax dollars going to light up the White House with rainbows, you’re a venom-spewing homophobe. It means that you’re on exactly the same moral footing as the Westboro Baptist Church.

  17. So does gay marriage make up for King vs. Burwell and being subpoenaed?

    1. No

    2. Duh. Love wins. Bad, icky things lose.

  18. And of course: I see no difference between opponents of gay marriage and Adam Lanza.

  19. Is marriage a “human right?” That’s the question for libertarians.

    Marriage is not the same thing as a sexual act or a personal relationship. It’s government’s recognition of a relationship. None of you think “housing” or “healthcare” is a civil right. We all believe that if you’re sick, you can’t just walk into a hospital and demand 5,6 services.

    If I have feelings for a minor, do I have a human right to marry that child? The moral objections to that kind of marriage can be set aside now after the SC ruling. I can marry a 17 year old and sign some contract that prevents me from having sex with her until she’s 18 or 21. Until then I could have sex with an adult woman to tide me over. Open marriage.

    A better question might be – is there a limit to how much society can deconstruct one’s identity or marriage? The concept of “monogamy” or “commitment” of marriage is rooted in tradition and nothing in the constitution would force the state to require it. If the state can provide amnesty to illegal, then why shouldn’t foreign women marry Americans to get a green card?

    This wouldn’t be an issue if the government was libertarian, but it isn’t. We’re living in a time when someone doing better than others is readily seen as “discrimination” (net neutrality) and the government is keen on creating protected groups. Maybe there’s no good libertarian argument against SSM, but there’s little doubt that the size of government will grow after the SC ruling.

    1. A society where no one plunders anyone. One where some plunder some. One where everybody tries to plunder everybody else. This decision promotes which one?

    2. The institution of marriage predates the state.

      Modern marriage is a contract under the laws of the state. But the state really isn’t necessary to the institution of marriage.

      The only people that see the necessity of the state in marriage are those who want to control the institution via the state.

      1. Marriage ins’t a contract.

          1. From your first link:

            A ketubah (Hebrew: ?????????? ; “written thing”; pl. ketubot) is a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. Nevertheless, there is no agreement in modern times as to the monetary worth of the ketubah, and its enforceability even in Jewish courts is in question even in theory; in practice it is never enforced

            So no, not a contract as the term is understood in the United States.

            Also, about a billion Muslims consider women to be chattel property. So their conception of marriage is irrelevant to a discussion of marriage in the US.

            1. So no, not a contract as the term is understood in the United States.

              From the perspective of a religious Jew or Muslims, who gives a fuck about how the term is understood in the US. You need to get your verstehen on, girl.

              So their conception of marriage is irrelevant to a discussion of marriage in the US.

              I wasn’t aware that this particular discussion had any cultural or geographic deliminations, nor that Ellie the Libertarian Doxie was the sole arbiter of them.

              1. I wasn’t aware that SCOTUS rulings had any relevance outside the US.

                The discussion at had involves the reasoning and effects of that ruling in the US, with a preceding understanding that the words used have specific meanings in that paradigm.

                The concept of contracts among the Hmong or Inuit are irrelevant to the discussion here.

                1. Oh, so we are going to be very specific to our federal system. Excellent, then you should be able to establish the locus of the “right to marry” in either the federal or relevant state constitutions. If not there, then certainly in the common law that precedes the establishment of those documents (and by which co-habitation can establish a “common law marriage”). Oh, not there either; hmm, what shall we rely on? I know, faithless misinterpretations from preceding Supreme Court rulings! Yes, that will do the trick, and we’ll word it up with emanations and penumbras (because after all Griswold was cited approvingly by Kennedy), and philosophical woolgathering about how two, and only two people enter into marriage to become more than they were before.

        1. What else might you care to call a legally binding agreement?

    3. Is marriage a “human right?” That’s the question for libertarians.

      Government sanctioned marriage is not a human right from a libertarian point of view, it is a violation of human rights.

      Maybe there’s no good libertarian argument against SSM, but there’s little doubt that the size of government will grow after the SC ruling.

      Government would be much smaller still if the only people receiving any government benefits ever were married Catholic couples. That doesn’t make that form of government more “libertarian”. Although libertarians are generally in favor of smaller government, not everything that makes government smaller is libertarian.

      1. To complete your statement for accuracy’s sake: Government-sanctioned marriage is not a human right from a libertarian point of view, it is a violation of human rights that the vast majority of married libertarians voluntarily participate in — while wagging fingers at others who do the same (or who want to do the same).

        And that’s the inherent problem. If there was an en masse rejection of state marriage by libertarians through mass divorce or refusal to sign the (entirely voluntary) paperwork, all would be well. Alas, many libertarians are content to partake of the regime they hate, while hating on others who wish to do the same.

        1. ROADZZZZ

    4. This wouldn’t be an issue if the government was libertarian, but it isn’t. We’re living in a time when someone doing better than others is readily seen as “discrimination” (net neutrality) and the government is keen on creating protected groups.

      Correct. So purely libertarian arguments don’t let us resolve the question of SSM. Hence, there are no good libertarian arguments against SSM. There are also no good libertarian arguments for SSM.

      As a political strategy, however, retaining the status quo of a small number of highly privileged protected groups is not working, because those groups are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their privileges. However, creating more and more protected groups may be a viable political strategy. Social conservatives may be much more amenable to arguments for minimal government and government non-interference in private matters when they become the target of such interference. And if everybody can claim privileges and exemptions, they will increasingly cancel out.

      1. Well put. Good way to look at all this nonsense.

      2. Not so sure they’ll “cancel out”.

        I think it’s more a matter that the intrinsic contradictions will become more obvious when both sides of a dispute can claim victim status, resulting in someone somewhere having to make the Judgment of Paris.

        The temptation to deal with the situation will be peacemeal, and – given our experience of the American Political Tradition – profoundly un-libertarian.

  20. I couldn’t do it.

    Well! If the leading exemplar of libertarianism SHELDON RICHMAN couldn’t do it, what chance do any of us lessers have?

    Nice to have another True Scotsman showing us the way.

    1. The same man who sees no difference between a sniper and a man shooting up an elementary school…

      1. Exactly. The sniper had more kills.

    2. I wonder if he’s asked Michael Hihn. Or would that be like a Highlander fight, where only one could walk away?

      /I keed, I keed!

  21. The state should not be involved with marriage.

  22. New comedy is slowly emerging: The evolution of the “lgbt” crowd into the new Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson supporters.

  23. You know what? This is bullshit. Bull fucking shit. The same sex marriage crowd didn’t stop at civil unions, and they eventually got their marriage. They pressed the issue long enough and got their way. So no. I’m not stopping at “government endorses straight and gay marriage, isn’t that a win for liberty?”. No, it’s a drop in the bucket and I’m thirsty as hell. Fuck that shit. I want government completely out of marriage. Fuck this half-measures bullcrap.

    1. So continue fighting for that. And be at least a little happy that some couples out there don’t have to go without certain liberties while we wait.

  24. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netcash5.com

  25. That’s so gay, bro.

    In all seriousness, the government should not be defining/recognizing such personal relationships any further than recognizing them as contracts to be enforced. You should not have to get a “license” just to freely and romantically associate with another person. As such, I think the government should cease giving special status and benefits to “married” couples. I also think, in order to have a meaningful separation of church and state, the government should not use the term “marriage”. It should deem all such unions that it recognizes as contracts to be “civil unions”. That is all.

    1. Interestingly, one result of the gay marriage debate is that several states, upset about the prospect of having to recognize the icky marriages of teh gayz, actually have bills in their legislatures to get the governments out of marriage altogether. That was unthinkable twenty years ago.

      1. And I’d support it, so long as they’re serious.

        Seriously, contract law and property law are all that need to be involved in these kinds of personal relationships.

        1. “And I’d support it, so long as they’re serious.”

          Even if they are, is the federal government going to make it easy for them?

        2. That’s true, but as long as this default edifice exists for straights it should be made available for gays. The worst position here is that of the socons, it’s ‘government has an important role in marriage, essentially picking a specific favored type of union and blessing the heck out of it.’

          1. That’s true, but as long as this default edifice exists for straights it should be made available for gays.

            Of course, and I hope you don’t think I’ve ever implied otherwise. And, of course, the default rules should extend, where they can, to polygamous relationships and any other form of consensual relations.

            The worst position here is that of the socons, it’s ‘government has an important role in marriage, essentially picking a specific favored type of union and blessing the heck out of it.’

            I don’t disagree with that. Political socons are as bad as progressives when it comes to liberty.

            1. Political SoCons ARE progressives when it comes to liberty.

              They both use government for social engineering purposes. The only differences are the policies themselves.

              It’s like trying to show acsubstantive difference between someone trying to break my neck with the noose, or orient the rope such that I merely suffocate to death.

              1. Political SoCons ARE progressives when it comes to liberty.

                And when it comes to history. SoCons are the original progressives, only to have their petulant children kick their religious asses to the curb in favor of secular humanism.

                1. Secular collectivism FTFY

  26. Any argument that starts off with “Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage” has lost my attention. That is based upon the false premise that that which is not recognized by the state is illegal. As far as I know, no same sex couples were ever sent to prison for the crime of entering marriage, which means it was never illegal. Any argument that starts with a bullshit premise is bullshit, and not worth reading.

    1. And you accuse me of pedanticism.

      Same sex marriages could not be legally recognized before, now they can, hence ‘legalizing same sex marriage.’ I mean, if a state decides to start legally recognizing LLCs though they didn’t have a criminal statute forbidding them before then the headline ‘LLCs Legalized in State’ is just fine.

      1. I still say bullshit. Marijuana was legalized. That’s a valid statement since plenty of people have been locked in a cage over it. But as far as I know, no one was locked in a cage for entering a same sex marriage. Hence the word “legalized” when applied to it is bullshit.

        1. I’ve already explained how your insistence on criminalization in the use of the word legalization isn’t right, you’re just repeating your original comment with no response to mine.

          1. The point is, your “explanation” is irrelevant in the context of the debate.

  27. A little bit off-topic, but I spotted this 2014 article from Consumer Reports about one financial benefits same sex marriage? Divorce… mainly for the lawyers who aren’t Lionel Hutz or Perry Mason. http://www.consumerreports.org…../index.htm

    1. I wish we could have the function to edit our comment for 15 minutes. I spotted another article on the same subject from CBS http://newyork.cbslocal.com/20…..-marriage/

  28. Let’s get something out of the way at the start: the state?even if it should exist?should not be involved in marriage. But libertarians who think that this is all that need be said are wrong.

    It’s not all that needs to be said, but it does need to be said. Over and over again it needs to be said. People need to understand why it’s such a bad idea to make the state and its regulations be the definition of things. People need to know that giving legislators and bureaucrats that kind of power over us, over our lives, is unnecessary and divisive.

    We can choose to marry without involving the state. Sure, we might give up some easy goodies of state enforcement but the freedom not to jump through arbitrary hoops to live our lives more than makes up for it. Sign a contract. Unnecessary.

    As long as the government hands out benefits to whatever groups are favored at any given time, there will be those on the outside looking in. There will always be envy of -and complacency from – those who have achieved that stamp of approval. Divisive.

    I say we all tear up our marriage licenses and refuse to apply for new ones once our current marriages inevitably fall apart. Who’s with me?

    1. “As long as the government hands out benefits to whatever groups are favored at any given time, there will be those on the outside looking in. There will always be envy of -and complacency from – those who have achieved that stamp of approval”

      Very true, and unfortunately I think part of the appeal for many people is excluding other people from it once you have it. Which is why we’re unlikely to either A. get rid of state recognized marriage or B. include any other types of marriage for sake of consistency.

  29. People who devote their lives to understanding and writing about libertarianism, from Cato to VC, to Reason to BHL, have all written this weekend about the gay marriage decision as a major victory.

    The commentariat at Reason though, leans toward ‘butt hurt’ over the decision.

    Another day in the anomalous world of ostensible libertarians at Hit and Run!

    For the many who come to Reason and read the actual articles then click on the comments sections and are like ‘wait, what,’ I’d urge you to not judge libertarians by the homophobic drivel that sounds interestingly curiously like what you’d find on any conservative website’s comments, but instead google over to Volokh Conspiracy or the Cato blog or Bleeding Heart Libertarians, or better yet to the actual Libertarian Party webpage (which is currently running this about gay marriage decision: http://www.lp.org/news/press-r…..ff-with-us ) to see what is much closer to actual libertarian thought than what passes for it by the conservative squatters who’ve taken over here contribute.

    1. You win the Internet prize for Strawman Building, Bo. Everywhere you look, it seems, you see a vast right wing conspiracy? looking to take over your vision for Libertarianism.

      If it makes any difference to you–which I doubt it does–I see the commentariat discussing, debating, and coming to an understanding of a pivotal, legal decision. Disagreement, devil’s advocacy, restating: these are all part of the process. But not for you. Unless others agree wholeheartedly with your left-libertarianism, then they are part of the conspiracy.

      1. So it’s not worth noting that the commentariat here seems split over an issue that most libertarian writers see as a no-brainer? If, for example, half the commentariat here seemed to think there was some good things about minimum wage or gun control laws, that’d just be evidence of people engaged in a healthy debate? Right.

        1. I am very happy for the result. I am not happy about the legal mumbo-jumbo pronouncement of the SC that yielded the result.

          Is that too fucking nuanced for your cottony little head?

          1. I think Kennedy’s reasoning was pretty garbled too. That’s not what I’m noting though.

        2. Maybe different people see things differently. Just maybe, those with different life’s experiences see life differently. Or, perhaps some dislike the process while liking the result. But not for you.

          It seems typical of the left to see the means as justified by the end.Therefore, anyone questioning the means must be also questioning the end. That the rights of some have or might be quashed in the interest of adding new, government given rights to others, is of no concern because the end result is what you want.

          How very nuanced you are in your thinking.

          1. Again, you expect anyone to believe that ostensible libertarians showing up here arguing that Citizen’s United was a bad thing (hey, they could just use the line about half of the commenters here use in opposing freedom of movement re immigration, that rent seeking campaign expenditures will just lead to a bigger state overall), or that gun control is ok (hey, just background checks you know?). No, this kind of ‘hey, it’s just honest debate’ is reserved for the half of the commenters here who disagree with the Reason writers on exactly the same issues the traditional GOP does.

            1. No, this kind of ‘hey, it’s just honest debate’ is reserved for the half of the commenters here who disagree with the Reason writers on exactly the same issues the traditional GOP does.

              So?

              Again, you see a Right Wing conspiracy where I see discussion and debate. Maybe you should en-lighten up, and stop worrying about disagreement. You’re too binary in your political thinking. All who disagree with you and the Libertarian establishment must be GOP–what else could they be?

              And I repeat myself: you should try to be more nuanced in your political thinking. After all, the Nolan Chart is made up of continui.

              1. You’re just repeating yourself and non-responsive to my point. I’ll repeat it in the hopes you were just missing them rather than being willfully dodging of them: isn’t it worth noting that the ‘discussion and debate’ here seems consistently to only be on the major issues where the traditional GOP breaks with the Reason writers (immigration, abortion, gay rights)? It’s the exact break you’d expect to see if those commenters really leaned more to the GOP than to the LP.

                As to this point: “All who disagree with you and the Libertarian establishment must be GOP–what else could they be?” that’s silly. I disagree with Tony and PB here a lot, and I would never say their disagreement comes from their affinity for the GOP. I only say that disagreement seems to be GOP when, you know, it aligns exactly that way.

                1. I’m not unresponsive to your point. You assert–again–that disagreement with you and Sheldon Richman fits some GOP pattern and I assert that it is merely discussion and debate. I suggest that you thinking needs more nuance, and you merely repeat your original claim that those who disagree with you and other communitarians must be part of some right wing conspiracy.

                  Still again, it just might be that those who disagree with you do so because they disagree with you, and not because they’re part of some right wing movement.

                  What I’m coming to think now is that you just can’t imagine someone disagreeing with you on merit. It must be that they disagree with you as part of a movement against you and the Libertarian Establishment. It’s you and the establishment because that gives you more credibility. It’s almost as if you consider principals (libertarian magazine writers, in this case) to be more important than principles (another person’s principles).

                2. Bo, you’re the one who isn’t doing any favors for libertarianism.

                  Are you saying if I disagree with a position held by Cato, Reason, Volokh, or any other major libertarian outlet that I must be a secret GOP stooge?

                  I’ve made my points repeatedly about how this ruling has damaged liberty more than it’s helped it – if you disagree, explain where I am wrong – don’t label me a fucking rightwing yokel like you are just a Salon hack.

                  I’ve also explained my anti-abortion stance purely using the NAP and other libertarian principles. Again, if you disagree with my reasoning, give an explanation for why you do by answering that reasoning on its terms, not through appeals to authority.

                  Finally, you rely on a false premise which states that if one disagrees with a policy position of the LP, then one must be a GOPer.

                  You’re smarter than this, Bo.

                  1. This is a response to See and Hyperbolical

                    I repeat, a person disagreeing with the LP, most Reason writers, or me (that’s never been my criteria) doesn’t make me think they’re GOP. As I said, Tony and PB often say things that none of those agree with and I would never say they’re GOP. And libertarians famously disagree over things all the time (IP comes to mind first and foremost).

                    It’s when a person disagrees with libertarian writers and activists consistently on a range of issues which happen to be the very same issues where the traditional GOP conflicts with the traditional LP (or what have you). When someone breaks toward the GOP and away from the LP on immigration, then again on gay rights, then again on abortion, then again on etc., etc., then you’ve got a situation where there’s a fowl that is walking and talking like a waterfowl. To say, ‘hey, why assume that’s a fowl, all that quacking could just be part of a nice, nuanced debate about the issues.’

                    1. But just like I keep saying with regard to the gay marriage ruling, you need to look at the reasoning behind a person’s position, not merely the position itself. Just like me, you’re a lawyer-in-training, Bo, and you therefore know the value of doing this.

                      Most of the disagreements I’ve seen on this board – and one of the reasons I love coming here – entail nuanced discussions of these very issues. They apply libertarian principles and yet reach different conclusions. It’s just like when you read a case with several different opinions: oftentimes judges disagree as to what the outcome should be about applying principles of law to the same set of facts.

                      Just because you believe you see a pattern doesn’t mean that what you think it means is actually the case.

                      All I’m asking is that you address my arguments – as well as those of others who may disagree with you and the LP, Cato, etc. – with an eye toward the possibility that I am arguing in good faith.

                    2. I think I’ve tried to address your points by replying that 1. the issues that seem to get this ‘more nuanced’ treatment by the commentariat seem invariably to be the ones where you’d expect traditional conservatives/Republicans to split with traditional libertarians (again, it’s not like there’s the same level of disagreement over things like Citizens United though, in theory, there could be) and 2. the arguments made themselves seem to mirror the ones made by conservatives/Republicans (as I’ve said, the major lines of disagreement track the opinion of Thomas, Roberts and Alito nicely, as well as most of the responses by GOP candidates and officials).

                    3. Sometimes, Bo, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito offer superior reasoning for their positions, so yes, I will side with them in those instances. I, and the others I’ve seen here (such as John when he sided with Sotomayor on that Fourth Amendment case), are happy to side with the liberal justices when they do the same.

                      Moreover, siding with those justices on points they make does not mean we side with everything they have said in the same opinion, much less in other opinions.

                      Finally, in this case, I think some of the points Thomas made most closely align with libertarianism, such as his discussion of negative rights vs. positive rights.

                    4. Ummm… could it be that sometimes the GOP gets it right, and in those instances people here are likely to agree with them?

                      The fact is that very few (if any) people here have an ideological problem with gay marriage. Quite the contrary.

                      But the fact is that the manner in which we’ve arrived here is utterly reprehensible, and will be detrimental to our overall liberty in the long-term.

                      This decision didn’t happen in a vacuum. Gay marriage isn’t the only issue on planet earth. The politics behind gay marriage activism is rooted and driven by a larger social justice movement that is out to strip this country of all dissent from their rigid orthodoxy, and this court decision will aid them in their goal.

                      There was a better way to achieve this end, but it was slower and involved debate, recognition of dissent, and respect for the legislative process. That wasn’t good enough for a movement that is out for blood, and now they’ve achieved an instant victory and the constitutional sanction to go out and close down businesses, churches, schools, and anyone else who doesn’t adhere to the new orthodoxy. That’s what we have to look forward to here.

                    5. So where was all the moral outrage when the government forced me to serve Indians, Catholics, Irish, chicks, senior citizens, pregnant chicks, Canadians, cripples and veterans at my lunch counter?

                      I guess religious liberties trump freedom of association?

                      It’s okay to force businesses to contract with those they don’t choose, but threaten the Methodist Church’s tax exempt status and…LOOK OUT!

                      They came for the cafe’s and I said nothing…

                    6. If the indians were of a tribe that scalped non-members then religious sects which forbade murder would be loathe to serve them. Christians and Jews forbid behavior not labels.

            2. I’ve seen commenters here make valid arguments against the very concept of limited liability, which is the heart of incorporation. I, and as far as I know with others, have never accused them of being closet progressives.

        3. So it’s not worth noting that the commentariat here seems split over an issue that most libertarian writers see as a no-brainer?

          But it’s not half. It’s not even close to half. It’s the same handful of religious people (and sarc) that lean libertarian on most other issues that it always is. It says nothing about the Reason commentariat other than we have a big tent.

          And that’s good…

          Albeit, I could do with one less.

    2. Seriously Bo? Are you fucking serious?

      1. No. He’s a joke.

  30. From Cato’s David Boaz:

    “As the Supreme Court prepares for a possibly historic ruling, most of the country now supports gay marriage. Libertarians were there first. Indeed John Podesta, a top adviser to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton and founder of the Center for American Progress, noted in 2011 that you probably had to have been a libertarian to have supported gay marriage 15 years earlier.

    Just seven years ago, in the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton all opposed gay marriage. The Libertarian Party endorsed gay rights with its first platform in 1972 ? the same year the Democratic nominee for vice president referred to “queers” in a Chicago speech. In 1976 the Libertarian Party issued a pamphlet calling for an end to antigay laws and endorsing full marriage rights.

    That’s no surprise, of course. Libertarians believe in individual rights for all people and equality before the law. Of course they recognized the rights of gay people before socialists, conservatives, or big-government liberals.”

    Cato actually wrote an excellent brief submitted in favor of SSM in the case:

    http://www.cato.org/publicatio…..l-v-hodges

    1. I like how you come in and shits all over the floor.

      Probably about 80% or more of the people posting here have no issue with the result itself. You hold up some strawman of the comment section here, then presume to kick it a few times while telling people to go elsewhere to see real libertarianism without every actually addressing an argument put forth by the comments above.

      Hell, my 80% figure is low.

      1. Actually, the arguments common here are exactly the ones you see in traditional GOP formats, like the dissents by the four GOP judges. “It’s not the result, I don’t like the process” “This is just a door to discrimination against religious people” and “marriage isn’t a government granted liberty at all” were the lines of Messers Roberts, Alito and Thomas, respectively.

        1. So, a GOP judge said it, and that automatically makes the argument wrong? That’s your response? Principals, not principles. Brilliant stuff, Bo. Where would we be without you?

          1. Not wrong, but when something quacks I call it a duck. Maybe the duck is correct, but let’s not fool ourselves where quacking comes from.

            I guess it could be a pure coincidence that so many here are repeating the talking points from the dissents and now being used by the GOP Presidential candidates and officials. I’m sure, just like in immigration threads, or abortion threads, etc., it’s just a coincidental overlap of positions, amirite?

            1. Again, Bo, you lack nuance. To continue your duck analogy, there are different duck calls for different species and even between sexes. Your assumption that all ducks quack alike is similar to your assumption that all who agree with a given perspective must all be conservatives of members (or sympathizers) or the GOP. It just ain’t so.

              In my own experience, the more knowledge and experience one gains; the more nuanced is one’s perspective and opinion. Maybe you need another couple of decades of life to get this, or maybe you never will get it. Nonetheless, you should grow a little humility so you can realize that some people just might have a deeper and more nuanced understanding than you currently have, and that giving them the benefit of doubt might just buy you some time to get a clue.

              1. Has it not been established the Bo is Tulpa?

                1. *that

            2. Not wrong, but when something quacks I call it a duck.

              Yup.

              And when a person with the intellect of a two yr old shits on a thread, you wipe his ass and call him a child.

  31. I do think government permission slips ought to be given out equally, but I also lament that identity has become a matter of government permission. I think many libertarians would rather see marriage taken out of government hands altogether….but like everything else gov has it’s mitts into, that’s not going to happen. (I also miss “We’re queer, we’re here, get used to it!”, so much more rebellious and fun! 🙂

  32. The first question to be considered about this issue is whether marriage is a right. The author ignored this question. Marriage is not a right. Marriage requires consent, rights do not. To presume there are gsy rights or other rights, is to admit we have unequal rights. There are only human rights.

    1. “Marriage requires consent, rights do not. ”

      Do you have a right to form a business partnership? That requires consent. For that matter, do you have the right to contract? Consent required there too.

  33. Gay marraige impact on society = 0. Butthurt = 9/11 times 1000. Whatevs.

    1. If it has no impact, why the extended touchdown dance?

      1. It’s a signaling party

  34. Sheldon,

    Thanks for the thoughtful article. I see it’s about 70/30 against in the comments. Do you get the same guff from your fellow writers at Reason and have you ever wondered if you are working for the right organization? Just wondering.

    1. It’s not the writers, it’s the commentariat. Richman’s pretty standard fair, albeit prone to some silly hperbole, in libertarian circles and has been for a long time.

    2. I have to tell you though, Richman would invite, and return, a lot of guff to anyone whose moniker is ‘american socialist’ too.

      1. I don’t mind that. I would just say that almost all early libertarian thinkers called themselves socialists too, because they recognized that the state primarily enforced laws designed to further the interests of the rich and politically connected.

        Wouldn’t you agree that there is a large percentage of people in the commentariat that are willing to ascribe the most extreme ideological interpretations to someone who calls themselves a democratic socialist, I didn’t have anything to do with Mao, Pol Pot, or Stalin and my URL is for the Wikipedia page of a American democratic socialist who hated the USSR. But, yet, I am regularly accused of supporting totalitarianism by lots of people in the comments. Not everyone, of course, but enough to make me think that the libertarian moment may in fact be staffed by a lot of crackpots. What do you think?

        1. …almost all early libertarian thinkers called themselves socialists too, because they recognized that the state primarily enforced laws designed to further the interests of the rich and politically connected.

          Name me just one socialist state that did not effectively “further the interests of the rich and politically connected.”

          Money buys power, and power attracts money. This is true in all real systems (I’m disregarding theoretical, utopian ideals). However, in a free-market system, merit and quality count for more than political connections. In such a system, nepotism, graft, power, connections, all have to compete in the market. In contrast, socialist systems give enormous power to the politically connected. But you like this–eh?

          1. You see, Hyper, AS just wants this cesspool of rednecks and plutocrats called the U.S.A. to be more like Europe. You know, where the government responds to violence committed by the taxi cartels by punishing the victims of that violence, or where you can be imprisoned for having the gaul to put a swastika in a video game.

        2. Re: American Stolid,

          I would just say that almost all early libertarian thinkers called themselves socialists too, because they recognized that the state primarily enforced laws designed to further the interests of the rich and politically connected.

          You mean to say that classical liberals were in favor of State coercion? Or could it be that those Socialists were not libertarian, they were simply anti-corporativist?

          But, yet, I am regularly accused of supporting totalitarianism by lots of people in the comments.

          You poor baby. How hast you suffered!

          Not everyone, of course, but enough to make me think that the libertarian moment may in fact be staffed by a lot of crackpots. What do you think?

          Take care of that nasty bite in your tongue, Stolid. You’re going to bleed to death.

        3. “Wouldn’t you agree that there is a large percentage of people in the commentariat that are willing to ascribe the most extreme ideological interpretations to someone who calls themselves a democratic socialist”

          I’ll grant that there were socialists like Orwell, but in the current American context self identifying as a socialist and then complaining that people make implications of extreme ideological leanings seems more than a bit much to me.

          1. The guy writes a blog where he defends Stalin and uses Soviet era symbols all over the place. He isn’t just some prog who thinks Scandinavia is Eden. He’s a legitimate Soviet apologist.

            Fuck off, Bo.

            1. So, you couldn’t see that I was disagreeing with him and making fun of his crocodile tears?

              1. So others here are just repeating GOP talking points when they oppose gay marriage, but you aren’t repeating socialist talking points when you and American Socialist agree on this issue?

              2. Bo, you and AmSoc deserve each other.

                1. And they can now marry in all fiddy states.

            2. It’s not my blog. I have never written anything for it.

          2. “but in the current American context self identifying as a socialist and then complaining that people make implications of extreme ideological leanings seems more than a bit much to me.”

            Maybe I just don’t see socialism as extreme? The country left me, bo. I didn’t leave the country. When we’re arguing that it’s better to defund Medicaid and Medicare in order to give rich people tax breaks something is seriously off.

            1. Re: American Stolid,

              Maybe I just don’t see socialism as extreme?

              Authoritarian creeps rarely do, Stolid.

              When we’re arguing that it’s better to defund Medicaid and Medicare in order to give rich people tax breaks something is seriously off.

              Never mind the “tax breaks” were always there and instead it is us, the idiots, paying for Medicare or Medicaid but whatever, Stolid. Whatever.

            2. Its cute that you think the rich currently pay for Medicare and Medicaid.

        4. I would just say that almost all early libertarian thinkers called themselves socialists too,

          I don’t know of any who did. There is some overlap in that both libertarians and socialists oppose corporatism and crony capitalism, but the solutions are very different.

          But, yet, I am regularly accused of supporting totalitarianism by lots of people in the comments.

          It’s not that people are accusing you of desiring totalitarianism, it’s that they accuse of you advocating policies that lead to totalitarianism.

          Not everyone, of course, but enough to make me think that the libertarian moment may in fact be staffed by a lot of crackpots.

          Based on first hand experience, I consider anyone who advocates “democratic socialism” to be a crackpot.

        5. But, yet, I am regularly accused of supporting totalitarianism by lots of people in the comments.

          And see, this is why you are liar or a hypocrite. You have actively defended totalitarian regimes in these threads, whitewashing Soviet atrocities while praising their institutions. You’re not ‘accused’ of it you moron, you’re actively on the record for doing so. Seriously AS, are you stupid enough to forget your actual arguments or are you just this blatantly dishonest?

    3. Once again, american socialist proves he’s an intellectual lightweight.

    4. Hi Amsoc

      I don’t study worship Soviet and Maoist regimes the way you do. Could you please share how they dealt with honosexuals and the SSM issue? Thanks.

        1. The Indian is having a hard time contorting himself into the letter G.

  35. “libertarians, pending abolition of the state, should want to limit as far as possible its power to commit injustice”

    It is statements like this that make it clearer why libertarians are so poorly regarded in general. Abolition of the state? That’s not libertarianism, that’s anarchism. Libertarianism recognizes that the state does have proper roles, chiefly defending the borders, enforcing contracts, and protecting the citizenry. A truly free market can’t exist without someone fulfilling these functions.

    None of which is to say that the government has far, far overstepped its appropriate boundaries. But abolishing the state is a fool’s paradise.

    1. I picked up on this too. I’m pretty tired of being confused with an anarchist.

  36. All of you folks out there who have kids in college, encourage them to become divorce attorneys. Phags and Carpet Munchers are some of the most lacivious and promiscuous being out there. There will be plenty of work for them coming down the pike.

  37. John Roberts court on the way to becoming another Earl Warren court—-if not already there!!!

  38. I like this from the nytimes:

    “Privately, some of the strategists advising Republican hopefuls believe the last week has been nothing short of a gift from above ? a great unburdening on issues of race and sexuality, and on health care a disaster averted. Rhetorical opposition to the Affordable Care Act will still be de rigueur in the primaries, but litigating the issue in theory is wholly different from doing so with more than six million people deprived of their health insurance””

    In other words regular mouthing off about how we are going to repeal the ACA is fine. We’re much better off politically now that we don’t have to deal with the 6 million people for which we don’t have pat, disingenuous, right-wing answers for.

    1. Because the NYT knows so well how the GOP thinks.

      And you win today’s Internet prize for the least critical reading of a newspaper opinion column.

      1. Yes, I have to say NYT articles exploring the ‘conservative movement’ and the GOP are a lot like stuff written by 19th century amateur anthropologists about far away foreign cultures.

        1. Yeah, I know, conservatives don’t like the NYTimes. Thus, the NYTimes is unqualified to comment on the conservative movement– no matter that Ross south at and David Brookes regularly publish their material there.

          Bo, you know that Chomsky regularly denounces the NYTimes for being a mouthpiece for corporate and right-wing special interests. Everyone hates Raymond, I guess.

          1. IIRC, David Brooks grostulated over the crease in Obama’s pants. Dunno if he wears the “conservative” mantle.

          2. The NY Times is a corporately owned newspaper whose editorial position is that corporations are unprotected by the 1st Amendment. That calls it editorial judgment highly questionable.

    2. In other words regular mouthing off about how we are going to repeal the ACA is fine. We’re much better off politically now that we don’t have to deal with the 6 million people for which we don’t have pat, disingenuous, right-wing answers for.

      What about the 318 million people whose health care system is spinning out of control? What about the massive crony capitalist handout that the ACA represents for insurance companies and drug companies?

      See, the trouble with people like you is that despite your rhetoric of supporting the poor and helpless, what you really end up doing is supporting a political elite and their corporate buddies.

      1. …despite your rhetoric of supporting the poor and helpless, what you really end up doing is supporting a political elite and their corporate buddies.

        Interesting that most all collectivist rhetoric stands on this foundation of helping the poor and downtrodden, while the actual result is riches and power for the ideological elite.

        Altruism is the servant of ideology.

      2. Like it or not, that article is correct. ObamaRomneycare is now a reality for 6 million or whatever. The GOP has not gone beyond petulant opposition. They have no alternative. No reform of the healthcare system. Not even some actual PLAN for how a rollback will occur. Just grandstanding and speeches and absolutely no actual accomplishments on that issue.

        And BTW – it ain’t 318 million people on the other side. No one who is currently on an ERISA plan (mid/large employer) or a government plan or Medicare or Medicaid or a veteran or a crony or who works in healthcare industry or is under age-25 – either cares enough about the issue to make it a voting issue or will likely side with the 6 million when the issue is raised.

        ObamaRomneycare DID change the reality of this issue on the ground. Dems won. John and the Supremes chose not to be the scapegoat. So either the GOP will persist in stupid head-up-butt (and lose) – or some adult will have to do the hard work of figuring out how the ground has changed and figure out how to get to a better place and figure out the rhetoric to sell that.

        Don’t hold your breath on the latter. Most GOP voters are surrender monkeys anyway – see nomination of the Romney of ObamaRomneycare.

    3. And the self proclaimed ‘socialist’ is stupid enough to pretend that a cartel intending to wring every dollar they can out of a government mandated monopoly is a solution to be praised, despite just saying that:

      I don’t mind that. I would just say that almost all early libertarian thinkers called themselves socialists too, because they recognized that the state primarily enforced laws designed to further the interests of the rich and politically connected.

      Note how AS states this with such conviction, then immediately starts to support policies that enforce laws designed to further the interests of the rich and politically connected. It’s almost like he doesn’t even understand his own argument.

      1. It’s almost like he doesn’t even understand his own argument.

        FTFY

      2. Who said I’m for the ACA? Why is it every time I start to criticize the Republicans– rightly– for having zero answers on how to supply medical care to the working poor *libertarians* get so bitchy. I thought we’re all above politics and the two party duopoly. Aren’t they really all part of the system that is holding you guys in the Randian elite back from your true potential?

        1. having zero answers on how to supply medical care to the working poor *libertarians* get so bitchy

          Funny how you scream about the Republicans having ‘zero answers’ when the Democratic answer is broken and corrupt. Oh yes AS, you’re just so insightful. The Democrats produce horrible legislation and your response is ‘but the Republicans keep whining about it even though they’ve got no answers’. Yes, such a brilliant commentary on the state of American healthcare after ACA. You sure are above that ‘two party duopoly’. Except all those times you throw your supposed principles under the bus to praise Democrats. You seem to either be stupid or disingenuous enough to ignore your own history on these threads. I seem to recall you bending over backwards to give Hilary the benefit of the doubt. If she had a R beside her name you would have never given her that. So spare me your empty bullshit about being ‘above a two party duopoly’. Your entire worldview is based on it.

          I get that you seem to think that your remarks are clever in some way, but really they’re just the most vapid, pandering partisan nonsense imaginable. And your smugness is quite amusing in a very Dunning Kruger kind of way.

  39. What many people on both sides of this issue forget is that the romantic union aspect of marriage is a relatively recent concept. For much of history, men and women entered into marriage for political, social, and economic reasons. Very often, love had little, if anything to do with it.

    And those unions were a “right” granted at the sole behest of the church and the state.

    So while we have “evolved” the emotional reasons for marriage, we still believe that only the church and/or state can sanctify an agreement between two consenting adults for their mutual benefit.

    Which makes absolutely NO sense. If you are truly joining with someone because you love them, then the government should have nothing to do with it. Because you are not doing so for the “benefits” that come from state-sanctioned partnership.

    1. Yep.

      It would be nice to see some of these articles start with an exploration of why marriage came to exist as an institution in the first place. Then why government became involved in it. And finally what rational basis exists for continual government involvement and why SSM marriage is now a fundmental right, while other limitations of that ‘right’ are still considered legitimate and desirable.

      Over the last few days there have been numerous supporters of SSM ridiculing the idea that Kennedy’s logic means that polygamy is an equally valid right or that limitations like age and family status should be eliminated. Let alone, more exotic arrangements that will surely arise over time.

      1. Marriage became a government thing because religious and social conservative impulses ruled the day in the past. There was one type of sexual relationship that was ordained by God, one where one man and one woman, the latter obedient and legally inferior to the former, joined in a relationship meant for procreative sex only and statists of the day rushed to provide a panoply of carrots and sticks to make sure that one was the only one engaged in. The sticks included criminalization of bigamy, polygamy, adultery, ‘fornication’, co-habitation, gay sex. People like Oscar Wilde or Alan Turing felt the sting of some of these laws. The carrots were favorable default treatment under the common law and then increasing statutory lists of goodies.

        What’s happened is that now a different group, a relatively small group, has asked to be free from the sticks and have the carrots available, and a lot of people have, interestingly and suddenly, discovered this system and are decrying it now that this small group has been allowed to partake.

        1. Yeah well, I’d say that it arose as a way to tie men to the children that they fathered because failing to do so was detrimental to the long term viability of society. It wasn’t much of an issue before the renaissance (or so)* because average life expectancy was short and the general population had very limited mobility.

          Government became ever more involved as wealth grew and mobility increased to the point that men could bail out of their responsibility as parents. The carrots and sticks of that involvement grew in an ad hoc way over time.

          Ironically, government policy over the last forty years have actively undermined that original intent of it’s involvement in marriage in the first place. To the point that marriage is now such a crappy deal for heterosexual men that marriage rates are declining and out of wedlock birth rates rising.

          So at this point, what is the basis of the government sticks and carrots attached to marriage?

        2. I see the problem now. You seem to assume that history is a linear flow from conservatism toward modern liberalism (progressivism). Therefore, conservatism is on the wrong side of history and progressivism is on the right side. Since you think of history as a binary continuum, conservatism is old and progressivism is new. Old is bad, new is good. But you discount the very progression that you seem to promote.

          You forget (or don’t know) that what we call religion introduced the idea of rule of law into society, starting at least as early as Hammurabi and was adopted and spread by the Jewish diaspora. What we today call religion is the morality code for a given culture and, therefore, is the beginnings of written law. In the first two centuries BCE and the latter two CE we find the rule of law–yes religious law–overtaking the rule of might-makes-right. Very progressive. But to you it’s old and must therefore be both conservative and bad.

          What a simple way of looking at the world.

    2. “Very often, love had little, if anything to do with it.”

      Love still has little to do with it, which is why I think the “Love Wins” slogan is so dumb. Regardless of whether you are straight or gay, love has nothing to do with what you feel on your wedding day. Love is what keeps you together even after your spouse has turned from the attractive person you want to drink champagne with and hump into a stinky, screaming troll. A piece of paper has nothing to do with love.

      1. a stinky, screaming troll.

        pics?

    3. What you miss is marriage was a function of the State first, the establishing of legitimate heirs when legitimacy and primogeniture were necessary for the orderly passing along of title in a royal/noble caste system. Those in the lowest caste had little to quibble about such legitimacies and so illegitimacy was rampant. Whatever ties that were in marriage at the lowest levels was the selling off of female mouths to feed to another “bread winner”, who could have domestic chores done. Hence, the high rate of infidelity.

      In short, the notion of romantic love shouldn’t be overstated, and any romanticism tied around the institution from the State of maintaining a pleasant society shouldn’t be either (as we agree on). The bonds of love, brotherhood, neighborliness, et al are tenuous. Infidelity and economic tensions still exist, and bonds are likely temporary. The State has no business subsidizing any contract that stands to be temporary and left to the whims if individual taste. Libertarians should see the individual first, the social agreements an individual enters into with disinterest – neither forbid or subsidy.

      All of this is simply a courtesy to the unmarriageable. Such and individual should stand in no different place before the State than anyone else.

      1. What you miss is marriage was a function of the State first, the establishing of legitimate heirs when legitimacy and primogeniture were necessary for the orderly passing along of title in a royal/noble caste system.

        “First”? In what sense? Aristocracy and monarchy is a fairly late development. In Europe, it’s an aberration of the Dark Ages.

        In short, the notion of romantic love shouldn’t be overstated

        History has nothing to do with what “marriage” is today. Today, it’s a legal relationship that you can only enter into with people you trust very strongly, the kind of trust that usually only arises out of cohabitation and intercourse.

        The State has no business subsidizing any contract that stands to be temporary and left to the whims if individual taste. Libertarians should see the individual first, the social agreements an individual enters into with disinterest – neither forbid or subsidy.

        Correct. Which means that from a libertarian perspective, there are neither arguments against nor arguments for SSM. Hence the title of the article. Not finding arguments against is not the same thing as support.

    4. Re: RenaD,

      What many people on both sides of this issue forget is that the romantic union aspect of marriage is a relatively recent concept.

      Irrelevant. A Red Herring.

      For much of history, men and women entered into marriage for political, social, and economic reasons. Very often, love had little, if anything to do with it.

      Irrelevant. A Red Herring.

      It matters NOT the intentions, RenaD. What matters is what a marriage IS, and what it IS is a contract between consenting individuals to form a society. Whether they do it for love or interest is not the defining aspect of the concept, only on the type of society those individuals create.

      And those unions were a “right” granted at the sole behest of the church and the state.

      The church simply offered the consecration of marriage to believers but that does not mean the church granted a right to everyone. You’re looking at this backwards.

      1. Nope, I’m not looking at it backwards. What I’m saying is, that those on the pro-same sex marriage side of the issue seem to think they have a right to marry because love justifies the union. Which I find ironic, because marriage is, and remains largely so today, regardless of the puffery piled on top of it, a contractual agreement with economic benefits (including to children).

        So I find the rally cry disingenuous, is all.

        1. Re: RenaD,

          What I’m saying is, that those on the pro-same sex marriage side of the issue seem to think they have a right to marry because love justifies the union.

          Ok, so what? They’re bad logicians, big deal. We’re supposed to know exactly why it IS a right.

          So I find the rally cry disingenuous, is all.

          I am more worried about the assaults on liberty by the Marxians, who will believe they have been given ammunition to shut up their ideological rivals by calling them “bigots.” Our defense of Private Property rights and the defense of the right to discriminate is going to suffer such attacks, and we must be ready for them.

        2. “because marriage is, and remains largely so today, regardless of the puffery piled on top of it, a contractual agreement with economic benefits (including to children).”

          I would love to see the justices answer the question of how is marriage different than contracts under existing contract law?

          There is offer, acceptance and consideration; the three required elements of a contract. For marriage to be considered as anything but a contract the state should have to prove it, and…

          What is the compelling state interest that permits control over this type of contract versus all other types of contracts?

  40. There is nothing libertarian about the expansion of Socialism. Socialism is merely laundered racketeering. Unfortunately, this Federal level decision has more to do with the advancement of Socialism than it has to do with equal protection. In short, there were vastly different philosophies advancing the cause of Abolition. But they came from disparately different philosophical views, so that they were bitterly at odds with each other. Obviously, the War driven, progressive “solution” to slavery has proven to have been useless. As Lincoln’s mission was to preserve the Union, he did, and we have the mess we have today. So to, this Federal level “solution” to a problem that was already slowly ameliorating itself, will cause more harm than good. The grass roots level, more organic approach, even if taking two decades longer, would have been a more wholesome and libertarian solution to the gay marriage issue. Crudely drawn, contradictory, outcome based Federal mailing of fists is no where near a libertarian solution.

    1. There is nothing libertarian about the expansion of Socialism.

      Nor is there anything libertarian about maintaining theocratic policies. SSM is simply not a libertarian issue either way.

      The grass roots level, more organic approach, even if taking two decades longer, would have been a more wholesome and libertarian solution to the gay marriage issue

      Seems to me that, if anything, the SCOTUS decision is a response to “grass roots activism”, given that the majority of Americans now support SSM.

      1. “grass roots activism”=mob

        1. Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. Lawyers are grass roots activists.

  41. since contemporary marriage entails “positive rights” as well?that is, (alleged) “rights” to government-provided benefits?a libertarian should object to extending this tainted institution to more people. That argument seems plausible at first, but I believe it crumbles on closer scrutiny.

    Indeed Sheldon but the problem is that you’re seeing a CONFLATION of two different arguments. One is the argument that marriage is a fundamental right as it is a logical extension of the Right to Contract and the Right to Freely Associate. The other argument is regarding the morality of bestowing benefits to people according to a status or class or some other distinction. One does not invalidate the other, however, and should NOT be conflated at all. Just because the government decided to grant benefits to married couples does not mean marriage is a right bestowed upon us by government, that much is clear. You can celebrate the advancement of liberty and still criticize the actions of the government.

    I trust that even though the judicial decision to decide in favor of gay marriage recognition was flawed or sloppy, the result was still the right one from the standpoint of liberty.

    1. [ the result was still the right one from the standpoint of liberty.}

      That remains to be seen. What liberty and for whom? We spoke in another thread about predictable consequences. Now that the word “marriage” must undergo a Funk & Wagnalls revision, what of the term debauchery? Can it even be defined? Or should I simply “grow up”?

      You often hint here at a level of personal faith, and are largely silent when the unstudied regard ignorance of faith as intellect. I’ve imagined you cringing along with many others, perhaps I was wrong. Is a paragon of Libertarianism a greater prize than a paragon of faith? Enough is written of the authors of the Constitution that anyone can attest this decision would be anathema to them, an anathema based on their faith.

      OM, you’re at a crossroad, God or mammon. Either admit the Constitution is an evolving document after all and that Libertarianism is the basis of your faith, or decide that your faith is in vain and win the popularity contest.

      I’ve been around awhile and won’t be missed by most, but you I had figured differently ad it’ painful to watch you walk this particular minefield. Best of luck to you.

      1. Re: Harvard,

        That remains to be seen. What liberty and for whom?

        Everyone, Harvard. Everybody has a right to enter into a contract willingly, and that includes a marriage contract.

        Now that the word “marriage” must undergo a Funk & Wagnalls revision, what of the term debauchery? Can it even be defined?

        Don’t bother with red herrings.

        Is a paragon of Libertarianism a greater prize than a paragon of faith?

        I couldn’t care less about your faith. I care about your liberty – and mine.

        Either admit the Constitution is an evolving document after all and that Libertarianism is the basis of your faith, or decide that your faith is in vain and win the popularity contest.

        Marriage is not a right granted by the State. Period. The States were usurping a responsibility no one gave them or had the right to give them.

        I am not saying a gay couple has a right to a ceremony, a venue, a cake or pictures taken by an unwilling participant. But those are assaults on Property Rights, not simply religious freedom. Until now, NO politician has framed the defense for those who want to opt out on the Right to Property, because politicians are the first to abridge property rights. It’s what makes them rich.

        1. [I couldn’t care less about your faith.]

          Mammon then.

          I think we both know it wasn’t My faith being referenced. Sorry to call you out on this, had their been a pm function I would have handled it differently.

  42. The specific details of this case has been lost in the Sturm and Drang of SCOTUS’s ruling.

    The case began when a gay couple sued Ohio for a marriage license when one member was facing death and wanted to leave his partner his estate untaxed. Which raises the question of whether the case would have been brought at all or granted standing absent an estate tax or spousal exemption from it.

    Also, it raises the question of whether or not the deathbed marriage of an heir is valid. Defenders of Kennedy’s ruling ridicule that idea. But why, what is the rational basis for granting it in one case and denying it in another.

  43. Similarly, the prospect of the government’s compelling bakers and photographers to participate in same-sex weddings hardly constitutes a reason to ban same-sex marriages.

    That hasn’t been the argument, Sheldon. The argument hasn’t been banning same-sex marriages would protect the religious rights of people. What is happening is that people’s Property Rights are under attack by the entitlement crowd (which I call “thieves”) and the State, but instead of the issue being framed as an attack on Property Rights it is being, mistakenly, being framed as an attack on people’s religious freedom.

    The argument against same-sex marriage hasn’t been framed as a protection of bakers or photographers. I don’t even think the two issues should be conflated at all precisely because they’re totally different issues.

    1. It was a reason to not support the legal arguments of the plaintiff’s side in this case. It is a question of what you tore down to get to here.

  44. Antidiscrimination law should also follow the pattern Richman cleverly describes. Even if you vehemently hate antidiscrimination laws, if they’re going to exist to protect races, religions, sexes, and the disabled from discrimination, they have to cover sexual orientation too. Otherwise the law is singling out sexual orientation as a valid target for discrimination.

    1. But your approach, Tony, allows discrimination for all groups that have not specifically been anti-discriminated according to law. Wouldn’t a better approach be to treat everybody equal under the law without respect to membership in a newly favored group?

      1. “treat everybody equal under the law”

        Tony is a prog, so you won’t have much luck getting him to sign onto that.

      2. Wouldn’t a better approach be to treat everybody equal under the law without respect to membership in a newly favored group?

        It would be. But how do we get there?

        I don’t think we are going to get there by trying to minimize the number of favored groups, because that seems to lead to a small number of very powerful favored groups: churches, women, blacks. These groups are going to fight tooth and nail to protect their privileges.

        Instead, if we expand these privileges to more and more groups, eventually, they become meaningless.

        1. It would be. But how do we get there?

          Probably can’t this time around…maybe next time.

          As I point out above, I believe the equal protection clause means government (arguably state government) cannot pass law that benefits one group or individual over another and then was simply ignored for 147 years. The entire time government passing laws that do just that. Now it’s SO fucked it can’t be unfucked.

          You could go a long way to ensuring this doesn’t happen again by getting rid of the notion that a law must cause damage and be challenged before it’s ruled unconstitutional.

          I’d make a check for constitutionality a requirement prior to enacting any law (and leave the ability to revisit that decision).

      3. Wouldn’t a better approach be to treat everybody equal under the law without respect to membership in a newly favored group?

        You mean like 14A says?

        No, Tony is a typical prog. We must force people to get along and stomping on the rights of “certain undesirable” people to do so is simply broken eggs.

    2. And here comes Tony to prove what John, RC Dean, myself, and many others said would also be a result of this ruling.

      Thanks, Tony, you’re not totally useless.

    3. Re: Tony,

      Antidiscrimination law should also follow the pattern Richman cleverly describes.

      There’s no natural right to not be discriminated against by private individuals, Tony. Your proposition is invalid.

      Even if you vehemently hate antidiscrimination laws, if they’re going to exist to protect races, religions, sexes, and the disabled from discrimination, they have to cover sexual orientation too.

      You have your argument EXACTLY BACKWARDS. If the argument is that Equal Protection means what it means, then that NEGATES the existence of “protected status” for arbitrary groups designated by irrelevant features or characteristics. The decision to give universality to a human right – which is the right to enter into a marriage contract – was decided stemming from the notion that the right is fundamental, whereas protected status is NOT.

    4. the polygamists will be happy to have your support and we’ll expect you to lead the charge to either end domestic partner benefits or require their extension to opposite sex unmarried couples.

  45. Listen up sheeple, do not fall victim to the GAY MAFIA BRAINWASHING. Traditional marriage MUST be defended. AT ALL COSTS. First they came for our bakeries, and then they came for our florists, and then they took our flag, and now they are trying to take marriage. WE MUST NOT LET THEM.

    1. Re: Crusty Juggler,

      First they came for our bakeries, and then they came for our florists, and then they took our flag

      Leaving aside the sarcasm, the fact is that the argument for the right of the baker or the florist to discriminate against a same-sex couple should be defended vehemently by framing the argument as a Property Rights issue. Few people will relate to a religious freedom defense but most will relate to Property Rights.

      The problem so far is that everybody – libertarians, classical liberals, etc – have left the defense to religious conservatives who frame the issue as one of religious freedom, but in fact the risk to non-religious individuals is JUST AS HIGH as the assault by Marxians and thieves (the “entitled”) is on people’s Property Rights, not their right of worship.

      1. The problem so far is that everybody – libertarians, classical liberals, etc – have left the defense to religious conservatives who frame the issue as one of religious freedom, but in fact the risk to non-religious individuals is JUST AS HIGH as the assault by Marxians and thieves (the “entitled”) is on people’s Property Rights, not their right of worship.

        You are absolutely right, OM. And this is probably the best strategy for persuading the public to finally turn against public accommodation laws and other laws which violate the freedoms of association and private property.

        Sadly, the courts are all too happy to keep denying those rights. The best strategy, AFAICT, is to frame it as a religious freedom issue to the courts. They at least seem somewhat receptive to that kind of framing.

        1. Re: See Double You,

          The best strategy, AFAICT, is to frame it as a religious freedom issue to the courts.

          The case should be taken to all people, not just the courts. The courts are a craps throw, but you can convince people that no one should have their property as a matter of right, does not matter the color of their skin or their historical grievances.

          1. Yes, I agree.

      2. It can fall under freedom of association/freedom of contract too. Probably others as well. I don’t think reframing it will make it any more palatable. Most of the voting block responds to emotions not reason. They see this as supporting bigotry and racism.

        1. Re: mmmmm Woodchips,

          Most of the voting block responds to emotions not reason. They see this as supporting bigotry and racism.

          I found that people relate more to Property Rights arguments than religious freedom arguments because while they do consider religiously-held views against gay marriage as ‘bigoted’, they are against thievery most of the time.

          Few times has been tried, anyway. People have a twisted view of what are rights but most are not willing to just give their property away. That’s the Soft Underbelly of the Marxians.

          1. I don’t think so, I think that underbelly is protected by a hard shell of “RAYCISSMS!! You don’t want black people to be able to find a hotel to sleep in when they’re driving they the South?”

            1. Re: Mr. Paulbotto,

              I don’t think so, I think that underbelly is protected by a hard shell of “RAYCISSMS!!

              Possibly but irrelevant. If words could hurt you, there would be not a single mouth left unpunched.

              You don’t want black people to be able to find a hotel to sleep in when they’re driving they the South?

              The answer to that is that there will be those disgusting capitalist exploitators ready to take their money for hotel rooms.

        2. Exactly. The freedom of association ship sailed a long time ago, but it struck a ‘berg and sank for most people when Dylan Roof went to Charleston.

          1. Re: Mr. Paulbotto,

            The freedom of association ship sailed a long time ago, but it struck a ‘berg and sank for most people when Dylan Roof went to Charleston.

            That’s preposterous, P. It is one thing to think that a person who holds racist ideas is a bad or immoral person but quite another to think that nobody anywhere, anymore, has a right to freely associate with whoever he or she wants.

            Besides, the main arguments for the defence of doctrinal decisions by churches are and SHOULD be framed as an overall defence of Property Rights. People relate more to Property Rights than religious liberty or even Freedom of Association, because people do understand that when someone DEMANDS something from you without the benefit of a CONTRACT, that person is in fact STEALING from you even if that person offers to pay.

            1. think that nobody anywhere, anymore, has a right to freely associate with whoever he or she wants.

              And yet that’s exactly what’s at the core of the public accommodation portion of the CRA.

              1. Re: Mr. Paulbotto,

                And yet that’s exactly what’s at the core of the public accommodation portion of the CRA.

                You and I know that Public Accommodation is a bogus term which can be combated by framing the argument around Property Rights. What the Public Accommodation rule establishes is the liability of the property owner in civil court, but that rule can be nullified. I actually worry much less about the civil liability and more about the constant encroachment of the state by turning a civil matter into a criminal matter by instituting Purity-compliance agencies, so-called “Civil Liberties” bureaus or agencies.

                1. What the Public Accommodation rule establishes is the liability of the property owner in civil court, but that rule can be nullified. I actually worry much less about the civil liability and more about the constant encroachment of the state by turning a civil matter into a criminal matter by instituting Purity-compliance agencies, so-called “Civil Liberties” bureaus or agencies.

                  http://thefederalist.com/2014/…..quisition/

  46. so this ends domestic partner benefits, right? If not, look for the cohabitating opposite sex partners to, rightfully, come forward.

  47. Tulpa socks vs. the freeper coalition. Round one! Fight!

    1. If there is a thread with Bo, Tupla, and Hihn, you damn well better count me in!

      1. TEDIUUUUMMMMMMMMMM

    2. If there is a thread with Bo, Tupla, and Hihn, you damn well better count me in!

      1. It was so nice I said it twice while talking to my pet ice and sipping crushed ice.

  48. There may not be a solid libertarian argument for treating homosexual marriages differently from heterosexual marriages, but if one is a constitutional libertarian as the Founders were, there is certainly a solid libertarian argument against the Supreme Court’s deciding the case in the manner they did, that is, in legislating from the bench as autocrats.

    Constitutionally, the Supreme Court must never base a decision on what they think the law should be, but only on what the law actually is. To do otherwise is to make federal law themselves, a power the Constitution reserves to Congress alone.

    The Court could have gone another way, one consistent with the libertarian beliefs of the Founders, by recognizing marriage as an inalienable right that cannot be infringed by the state, citing the 10th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. But had they done that, they would have held that the state has no power to regulate marriage in ANY way?that the state may make and enforce no law regarding marital status whatsoever. Instead of demanding that the states recognize gay marriage (a statist solution), they could have forbidden recognition by the state of ANY marriage as providing rights not available to other citizens. In short, they would have left marriage as a completely private choice between individuals.

    And that would have been just, consistent with the Constitution of the United States, AND consistent with constitutional libertarian principles.

    1. Re: Gradivus,

      there is certainly a solid libertarian argument against the Supreme Court’s deciding the case in the manner they did, that is, in legislating from the bench as autocrats.

      The VERY WORST violations of individual liberty decided by the SCOTUS followed the proper judicial procedures, so I would take my winnings and run.

    2. “The Court could have gone another way, one consistent with the libertarian beliefs of the Founders, by recognizing marriage as an inalienable right that cannot be infringed by the state, citing the 10th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. But had they done that, they would have held that the state has no power to regulate marriage in ANY way?that the state may make and enforce no law regarding marital status whatsoever.”

      It should be clear to all libertarians that we’re not going to get a libertarian state through the political and legal process. We know that. We know that the problem is that government has too much power–and the problem won’t be fixed by putting the right people in the right positions–in the White House, the Legislature, the Courts, or anywhere else.

      We can use the political process to make people more libertarian, but we can make people more libertarian and then use the political process. We’re just putting the car before the horse. We have to evangelize our fellow Americans first, and then the legislature, the President, and the Court will start seeing things differently.

      1. “We [can’t] use the political process to make people more libertarian, but we can make people more libertarian and then use the political process.”

        FIXED!

    3. The first step is to abandon all hope in the political and legal process to address our rights with any kind of consistency. The reason our Second Amendment rights are as well protected as they are is because they’re as popular as they are–it doesn’t have anything to do with any kind of legal argument or philosophical approach. And it’s like that with everything: gay marriage, taxation, Drug War–everything.

      That’s why the Progressives keep kicking our asses. They’re all about evangelism. We need to learn from that. Change enough people’s minds on an issue like gay marriage, and the executive, the states, the Court, and eventually the legislative branch will all come around. If we want those institutions to start looking at these things from a libertarian perspective, then we have to evangelize the American people. Once we evangelize the sheeple, the political and legal institutions will bend to our will.

      It doesn’t work the other way around–and thank God it doesn’t. Using the government to change the minds of people is a defining characteristic of totalitarianism.

  49. It’s like Reason has a concern troll on staff.

    I’m so tried of being lectured about how I should support gay marriage by ignorant progressives who think libertarians, for some reason, are uniformly against it.

    That crap’s even worse coming from other libertarians.

    For goodness’ sake, Mr. Richman, to most of us, you’re a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there–and you seem to want us all to congratulate your for strangling it to death.

    1. Re: Ken Shultz,

      I’m so tried of being lectured about how I should support gay marriage by ignorant progressives who think libertarians, for some reason, are uniformly against it.

      We’ve been saying we’re uniformly against Marxian assaults on liberty, and our case is much stronger than theirs – it wasn’t us who killed 200 million plus last century (the victims of the State.) Who cares what the Marxians think?

      1. Those 200 million plus obviously didn’t care.

        1. Re: Jayburd,

          Barbara Duffy Rubio and Jeb Bush –both the darlings of the GOP – if they cannot stand up for Christians and support Gods word on marriage

          Ken is the one framing his objection to Richman’s piece around what Marxians think. I am telling him that this is a mistake.

      2. “Who cares what the Marxians think?”

        Don’t confuse the battlefield with the enemy.

        The Marxists are the enemy.

        The American people are the battlefield.

        The American people have been conquered as territory by a lot of Marxist thought.

        But we can take the battlefield back.

        Don’t treat the battlefield like the enemy.

        The American people are not the enemy. They’re just enemy occupied territory.

        1. Re: Ken Shultz,

          Don’t confuse the battlefield with the enemy.

          The one confused about the enemy is you. I am saying: Richman is not the enemy, and it doesn’t matter what Marxians think of us; it is far more important to grant a higher regard for libertarian ideas. Marxians can go play Oedipus with their mommies.

          1. Richman’s more of a “useful idiot”.

            1. I’m only half-convinced. The “useful” part is going to take some math, and I want to see infinitely-differentiable smooth functions and NO division by zero.

  50. It’s ignorant and arrogant for the author to suggest that his way is the only good way, especially given his obvious lack of legal knowledge and analytical skills. Instead, he should have just posted some asinine meme on Facebook with some snarly remark about anyone who disagrees with him.

  51. It’s ignorant and arrogant for the author to suggest that his way is the only good way, especially given his obvious lack of legal knowledge and analytical skills. Instead, he should have just posted some asinine meme on Facebook with some snarly remark about anyone who disagrees with him.

  52. Richman is right to say there is no Libertarian argument against legalizing same-sex marriage, but he fails to realize his argument for legalization under the opinion of the court is incredibly unlibertarian and disturbingly utilitarian. There’s a third position here: Libertarians can be happy with the outcome but recognize that the reasoning it was derived from is terrible. This reasoning still excludes polygamy (references to two in the decision), further concretes the state’s interest in marriage and provides more legal precedent for expanded public accommodation law and protections.

    While this is a win for gay rights it is a loss for religious rights, small-government, and consistent application of constitutional principles. This case will be used to strengthen laws restricting where and how Christians can express their religion and I expect increased IRS scrutiny of Christian tax-exempts. Additionally, some states will attempt to combat those actions by adopting incredibly complex laws to balance religious rights vs. gay rights. This will result in a yet more onerous legal framework for business-owners to comply with. This all could have been avoided if the ruling acknowledged marriage is a type of contract between consenting parties, governed by existing contract law and protected from additional scrutiny under freedom of association.

    1. Re: mmmmm Woodchips,

      This case will be used to strengthen laws restricting where and how Christians can express their religion and I expect increased IRS scrutiny of Christian tax-exempts.

      Maybe. Possibly. That has been a different battleground, though, one that continues to be framed as a religious freedom matter when in fact it should be a Property Rights argument.

      This all could have been avoided if the ruling acknowledged marriage is a type of contract between consenting parties

      The argument behind the ruling depends on the premise that gay marriage has been defined already as several states already grant marriage licenses to gay couples.

    2. Groups don’t have rights. Individuals have rights.

  53. The marriage license is a product of Americas racist past. It was established to control/ prohibit inter-racial marriage. A free person does not need permission to marry, but it is illegal for a slave to marry without permission from the owners. Any acceptance of marriage licensing is holding onto an ideology of slavery and oppression, and it is no victory to be allowed to beg at someones feet for a Right that is naturally yours.

    1. Re: Jason Wright,

      and it is no victory to be allowed to beg at someones feet for a Right that is naturally yours.

      Well, I would say to that: grab your winnings and run.

  54. I guess I should be happy for the group’s new “rights”. Now they have permission for their rights. But I worry this forum will burn, there’s so much straw in here.

    1. Forward Gays, to the largesse! Both public and private! (health, retirement, cakes)

    2. Re: Jayburd,

      I guess I should be happy for the group’s new “rights”.

      They were never new rights. What is new is that government can no longer say they have no right to marry or to have their marriage contracts regarded by the courts and the states.

      1. Marriage is a new right to me.

        1. Re: Jayburd,

          Marriage is a new right to me.

          You must’ve been asleep the whole time.

          1. Like those 200 million?

      2. Rights only exist when govt say they do? Hmmm . . .HuffPo?

        1. Yes. Rights derive from government. Freedom derives from outside government

          1. Tell that to John Locke

  55. “No Solid Libertarian Argument Against Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage”

    So it’s a good thing that scarcely anyone wants it to be illegal. The dispute is over government recognition.

  56. Me: How much do I owe ya?
    Mechanic: Are you single or married?
    Me: Huh?
    Mechanic: Just kidding, it’s none of my fucking business and that would be a silly way to charge people wouldn’t it?

    1. Ask some women I know about mechanics.

  57. So a bundle of sticks can now marry another bundle of sticks. Not sure I wood have guessed it to have stricken a cord with so many.

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  59. I’d say your problem is that your are looking at it in the wrong way. You have to view this issue by understanding what marriage is, with respect to marrital laws. Same-sex unions simply don’t qualify as marriages, and I don’t understand why any gay in the past would ever want to have his/her relationship classified as a “marriage” None of the marital laws have relevance to same-sex unions.The prime motive was for acquiring tax benefits, fringe benefits,etc. But those are being wrongly applied here – they were created because of the presence of a wife who had to care for the children, didn’t work, etc. IN my opinion, such marrital advantages are totally discriminatory against singles and should be abolished. In fact, there is no reason for govt to even get involved in marriage – those things such as child custody etc can be settled as they are now without the govt
    recognizing the institution of marriage.

    1. This time a million.

      Even adding in legalized polygamy doesn’t solve the compensation disparity between unfamilied workers and those with families.

      Insurance for family members is discriminatory. It gives those with families more financial reward for the same work.

      Now if employees could sublet coverage for a “significant other” and dependents then you could say its not as discriminatory against singles.

  60. Sheldon, why didn’t you just ask me? I (but not I alone) have been giving the best libertarian argument against SSM for years:

    Marriage is a concept that predates the state. (It also predates religion & written language, but that’s besides the point.) It has a meaning resulting from spontaneous order. It was not decreed by any legislator, plebiscite, or judge; it has merely been recognized by judges.

    Redefining marriage is extremely parallel to redefining money terms. Thaler/dollar, pound, peso all had customary meanings as weights of silver. Then the sovereigns took on themselves the power to decree their meaning as whatever they wanted, which they usually delegated to favored bankers.

    1. Thanks, but I doubt it Sheldon cares. He has too much invested in his version of liberty. His STATIST version.

  61. I just love it when my libertarian betters tell me how to think. Thank you, Mr. Richman. No, you’re not a statist collaborator, not at all. Ignore the psssffing from everyone else – you’re not a sell out. (eye roll)

  62. How does the government doling out favors to another class advance the cause of liberty? Because, I thought libertarians were consistent in their ideology. Richman sounds like a collaborator to me.

  63. And this kinda reasoning is why the libertarian moment will NEVER happen. Government throws out a few bones to its most favored pets, just to keep the dogs in line. Government is still the master and all Sheldon has done is add another dog to the most favored Palace Pet.

    Government is just buying you off, Sheldon. WAKE UP.

  64. Congrats on wrestling the strawman to the ground

    Like it or not, hiwys fall into the enumerated responsibilities (post roads) of the Constit. Argue about HOW the state builds/runs ‘postal road’ but that is a mere policy diff and is resolvable by libertarians assuming they ever want to win an election. With enumerated power, state cannot discriminate without viol the GENERAL welfare clause (and amendments) that govern that power. It’s very easy.

    But mrrg is NOT enumerated. Any ‘original intent’ or ‘enumerated powers’ reading of the Constit would expressly prohibit any federal mrrg law (since it was a religious institution at the time – and had been for centuries). And post-1947 when the 1st was deemed to apply to the states as well, all state mrrg laws would also be unconstit.

    The only way state mrrg can be constitutional is if one assumes that the Constit is a living breathing irrelevancy so that we can do whatever we want cuz feelz. But you can’t have it both ways. Either state mrrg is a living breathing overreach constrained by nothing in an irrelevant original/rigid Constit unless feelz. Or it is unconstit and the state has to get out of mrrg.

    How does libertarian thinking require both a living breathing interpretation of the Constit AND an originalist interpretation of the Constit? Is this the post-modernist libertarian moment? I’ve always thot libertarians wasted time with anarchist crap. Now wanna waste time with statist crap too?

    1. I really wish atheist libertarians would try to understand how powerful the 1st Amendment religion clauses are in potentially limiting the state. There is no ‘invisible ink’ clause there. Nothing that allows Congress to whittle the scope of ‘religion’ down to whatever modern sociologists define it as (apparently ‘human rituals that try to invoke the protection of a great white-bearded monkey after death’). Nothing that says ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof unless it first defines religion as whatever lies outside existing/future legislation’.

      The First Amendment is about protecting BELIEF and CONSCIENCE (or in modern terms – THOUGHT). Not about protecting GOD. GOD doesn’t need any 1st Amendment protection – whether he/she/it exists or not. Regardless of whether you BELIEVE that marriage is some external sacrament or whether you BELIEVE that it is about some RomeoJuliet or RomeoRomeo or someother love, the 1st Amendment is the ONLY thing that can protect your beliefs from being encroached on by the state.

  65. “Once the family has been stripped of its economic functions and its responsibilities towards the younger generation and is no longer central to the existence of the woman, it has ceased to he a family. The family unit shrinks to a union of two people based on mutual agreement.”
    “In the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, communist Morality ? and not the law ? regulates sexual relationships in the interest of the workers’ collective and of future generations.”- Alexandra Kollontai

  66. Richman: Libertarians don’t want government involvement in marriage. But since it is anyway, I can’t find fault with this ruling.

    Harry Browne: Government is really good at breaking your legs, handing you a crutch and proclaiming: “see, if it wasn’t for govt, you couldn’t walk”.

    Enjoy your crutch, Sheldon.

  67. Not precise.
    The federal government has no business in marriage issues. This is not an enumerated power under the constitution. Nor is it snuck up on as an adjunct to the equal rights under the law. Marriage contracts are the reserved province of the several states. The federal government is supposed to be held at bay by the 10th amendment. The arrogant scotus has destroyed the states rights. Revolution is the only recourse.

    1. Every single states marriage law originated in either a direct establishment of religion (eg a legislature copying canon law and replacing ‘banns’ with ‘licenses’) or a prohibition on the free exercise (eg prohibiting interracial marriage). There is not ONE exception. Before 1947, that was legally a 10th amendment (ie state-level) issue because the 1st amendment did not apply to the state. After 1947, the 1st amendment was deemed to apply to states as well – so all those laws are unconstitutional.

      1. That’s not true at all. Family law in the states respected common law marriage, which had nothing to do w religion. Under the common law, if a couple appear to be married, by the customary understanding, they are.

        1. Under common law, if society came to understand same sex marriage as possible, then it would become so. There’d be no guarantee of legal recognition in the meantime, of course.

    2. So it would seem. And it’s damn fine in killing fleas and ticks.

    3. The federal government has no business in marriage issues.

      But they’re stuck w them as long as there are specific provisions in federal law for spouses. They have to decide for federal purposes who’s married to whom.

  68. I agree that the removal of government from marriage entirely is now the only course left open. I do not celebrate the supreme courts ruling because I think it has done tremendous harm to the concept and being of society existing outside of of and separate from government. Marriage between a man and one or more women existed for many many years because it served practical uses. It served to determine who inherited property and thus prevented wars and murders. It served to determine who , if anyone ,was responsible for the care of orphans . Moreover it created a number of words and concepts in our languages and voluntary institutions, including religions. To give government authority to decree what marriage is and means is to give government control over language, which I find truly scary. The meaning of marriage belongs to the people who speak the language not a court, not a state court and certainly not a federal court . I doubt that the terms husband or wife will be replaced by partner 1 or partner 2 in common use, anymore than cisman will replace man. Society will follow reality not the pursuit of either orgasms or benefit checks.

    1. They already did it w money terms. 1st they said, “In addition to thaler’s meaning a certain wt. of Ag, now in addition it means whatever my friend the sovereign’s banker says is one.” Later they said, “Never mind what it meant before, now it only means what our friend the banker here says is one.”

  69. “For most people, a legally sanctioned marriage constitutes a personal and cultural public statement that has no close second as a declaration of love and commitment. Many same-sex couples want to make that statement. ”

    Because they want the State Theocracy to sancitify who they live with and fuck with, it is libertarian for the Federal Theocracy to COMMAND that all States provide such sanctification?

    Ummm, no.

    Not that I expected Richman to make a lick of sense on this issue. (Or any issue).

    This is basically a group who is not a privileged group, wanting to join the privileged group, instead of ending the government privilege.

    As I think is the general libertarian consensus, I’d like the government not handing out privileges based on who you live with and fuck, but given that this isn’t an option, I’d add gays and polygamists to the married privileged class.
    continued…

    1. But I expect this ruling to go down as a devastating blow to the Rule of Law in the US, because I just don’t see the Right playing by the Rule of Law after this. The Left hasn’t for a hundred years, but the Republic has limped along because the Right submitted again and again to the Left’s Rule of Men out of the respect they had for the Rule of Law.

      After this week, I think that’s done. The Right is going to start playing by the Rule of Men as well. Good old fashioned “get power, reward my friends, punish my enemies”. It will take them a while to catch up to the skill with which the Left plays the Rule of Men, but I think in the end they’ll have a more naturally cohesive base, and thereby a built in advantage.

    2. What’s funny about this is that Richman swears he *tried his hardest* to come up with a libertarian argument against the decision but alas, he could not conjure one.

      However, I think you go too far with that “or any issue” comment. That’s a low blow, and Richman is great on lots of things.

  70. Leave it to a legalize-murder anarchist to come up with another totally moronic argument. Jefferson wrote that to secure these rights (liberty, not coercion, happiness, not misery), governments are instituted among men… Latter-day nationalsocialists (all of them christian or mohammedan) initiate the use of force against these people who are harming no one. Isaac Asimov (NOT libertarian) argued on public health grounds that leaving gay people in peace would help the overpopulation problem. Individual rights and public health considerations militate against letting fanatical zealots tar-and-feather, lynch, beat, torture, behead, crucify or otherwise coerce ANYONE. The force of law exists to secure the rights of individuals, Q.E.D. Where does Reason search for these logically-impaired scribblers?

  71. We can send a man to the Moon (and return him home safely), but it’s too complicated to get government out of the marriage business.

    Nice, Shellie.

  72. What if I want to marry a wood chipper?

  73. Marriage
    Is
    Kinda
    Exciting

    Homosexuals
    Interested
    Have
    Nuptuals

  74. The Court should have held that requiring citizens to buy a marriage license before being eligible for government benefits tied to a marriage license is unconstitutional.

    We all know that single couples living together as man and wife without a marriage license are still married. We all know that gay couples have been living together as spouse and spouse without a marriage license and they considered themselves married.

    Even polygamists live together as man and wives without a marriage license and they are still married.

    The only issue is that without a marriage license certain government benefits are denied; hence, marriage license laws discriminate against and deny equal protection to everyone not having a marriage license.

    End government required marriage permits and the issues go away. All laws should be marriage neutral. This is the libertarian argument.

  75. Th’offensive part is that the determining factor for when the state will recognise a marriage is when the married parties have approached some representative of the agency of control as suppliants and humbly petitioned for the squ?re’s permission to marry. Maybe they went wedbegging from the local justice of peace. Maybe they besought the official state-power stand-in at the church of their choice. Either way, if you don’t go begging for permission, you’re screwed as far as official recognition in the eyes of the state goes. It’s not universal. Some jurisdictions still admit the ancient right of persons to marry each other without being licensed by the prince. It’s muddieder up by the way most modern religious sects have perpetuated the deception that marriage is something imbued into the interested parties by some external agent, be he parson, lawman, priest, whathaveyou.

    1. Living in Montana, my wife and I was able to marry each other with a simple declaration before witnesses, without begging anybody’s by-your-leave. Despite the faith and credit or whatever, it was a heck of a thing to get that marri?ge recognised in Oregon after going there some years later. Every time it became relevant at some state agency, the thing had to be fought all over, no matter how many prevous agencies had been forced to accept it. Even so, there was a sneering offensiveness always about, with various comments being made about how it wan’t no real marriage cause of that we hain’t never petitioned nobody for licensure, &c. It was also astonishing how many regular folk not involved in any of these disputes that we met also held some attitude that a marriage without a state blessing somehow ain’t for real, despite that our marriage was took a heck of a lot more seriouser than is typical in Oregon. In fact, it seems that in general Oregonians, who are so insistent upon the blessings of the state, are so often incapable of treating marriage with anything but the utmost frivolity, incapable of committing to anything for any period of time, whilst Montanans, who may freely marry without nebod’s by-your-leave, tend to treat it with so much more gravity and consideration.

      1. You can’t just say you’re married. Even if you promised to each other to be married, even in front of witnesses, unless it is officially licensed and solemnized by a representative of the state who establishes consent and registers the marriage with the state, it doesn’t count, it isn’t binding.

    2. Living in Oregon sometimes reminds me of those old movies from the 1930s where every flipping minor difficulty to emerge in a married couple called for an inevitable divorce. Another noteworthy observation is that the Oregonians get much more worked up over sexual fidelity than was typical in Montana, while at the same time exhibitting much less commitment to the marriage endeavour as a whole.

      But the plain fact is that if there wasn’t no way for a person to get official recognition of a marriage except by begging for a license, I wo?ld just have to do without it, because that’s just too much of a bleeding outragious farce for any redblooded free man of natural virtue to get himself to submit to. The fact that these people is celebrating the privelege of being able to beg for permission to engage in one of the innatest of human liberties is as pukeworthy as the pukeworthiest fuck.

  76. Sex isn’t like race. Race doesn’t limit our rights, it makes no difference what anyone’s race is. But sex limits our rights. People born male only have a right to marry and procreate with a female, not a male. Only people born female have a right to be pregnant, give birth, reproduce with a man. Men don’t. Sex is real, sex isn’t abstract. Males are males, females are females. We have different rights when it comes to marriage and reproduction.

  77. In short, the truth is that marriage is between a man and a woman, which is to say, it ain’t nobody else’ fuckin’ business. And if you wants to say it’s between one homo and another, the same applies. Or if it’s between a half dozen polyglamorous weirdoes, natheless, it’s between them, not between them and the state, nor between them and some self-appointed standin of Jesus (Wot? He’s too busy to weigh in himself? Then it ain’t somebody else’ job to come speak up on his behauf.), nor between them and whoreson “Society”, whatever in hell that means, and I’m sure whatever it means it’s something straight from the bowls of hell. If the state wants to make certain things dependent upon if somebody’s married or not, then they got to accept folks in whatever kinds of marriages they wants to be in, provided there’s some kind of testament or codex showing it to be a “marriage” in good faith. And the state being what it is, it’s obliged to admit the liberallest possible understanding of the word. Obviously, it doesn’t do it like that, but that’s where the wrongness in all this is living at, not in all this extrahooeyal nitpicking of salt grains out of a speckle of peppers.

  78. caring at all about what other dudes do with their dicks is the definition of gay. just sayin

  79. I think the libertarian argument here is that legalizing homosexual marriage doesn’t go far enough. Groups that were marginalized before (alongside homosexuals) are going to be marginalized even further now. The fight for “marriage equality” is over according to 99% of the country. Heterosexual and homosexual couples will continue to get benefits when they agree to take a state marriage license, but other groups of consenting adults (or couples who would like the benefits but don’t want to deal with the loaded social institution that falls under the term “marriage”) will not, and there’s not really going to be anyone who cares to fight for them.

    I can’t say this is a step in the wrong direction—it’s certainly better that homosexual couples aren’t being discriminated against—but I’m not sure that it’s a step in the right direction either.

    1. absolutely. “it’s good but not good enough” is an awfully nuanced idea though

    2. im not sure it’s a step in the wrong direction. if the conservative fear that it will devalue marriage holds out i think that’s probably pretty good. they might be wrong about that too though

  80. Reason : Viva State Marriage!

  81. The highway comparison is so terrible that I stopped reading. A marriage license is useless except by government fiat. A highway, even if it would look different in a private property society, is an essential means of transport for all people, black, white, etc. A better comparison would be welfare checks (because, at best, that’s what a marriage license is). Should welfare be limited to one group at the expense of others? No, but that’s what we have today. Poor blacks get welfare checks, rich whites don’t. This is as bad as or worse than making gay marriage illegal.

    But we’re not supposed to be mad at that because rich people are privileged. Yes, let’s adopt all the worst reasoning of the left-progressive welfare statists.

  82. It seems that libertarians on this issue are very, very confused. It is because the premise of their argument is fatally flawed or that they believe a false premise.

    There are inherent differences between men and women. Both sexes bring these differences into a marriage. Both provide different experiences for children being raised. If no children, then they still provide differences.

    These differences are sufficient to keep the institution of marriage as same-sex only. The US has limited all marriages to this standard. Indeed the Mormons gave up polygamy in order to become a state in the union. So now they can resume their former practice?

    Marriage has been on the rocks for several decades. Government programs has kept the logical consequences of the growth of single parent aka mostly female families. The government has dealt with hyper-masculinized males. The time fortunately until now had not arrived where an American Hitler could channel that rage into Brown Shirts.

    Now we think it is a good idea to change what marriage is in these uncertain times? Slow self-destruction of a society isn’t pretty. Recent history reveals the blood bath that was Europe when it tried to destroy itself in the 20th Century.

    Remember, Nietzsche’ next 100 years of history that he wrote involves us.

    1. Libertarians are not (all) liberals. Many libertarians would sympathize with your arguments about men and women being different, and single parents and all that. The libertarian ideal for marriage, which is alluded to in this article but dismissed, would probably lead to fewer gay marriages.

  83. You make an exception for the reality of government ownership of marriage to justify equal access to the institution. I whole-heartedly agree. The ideal situation would be that it would be of no import to the government as to who was married to who thereby eliminating the need for some democratic definition of it. But, the fact that the government owns it means that everyone gets access. Done and done.

    Here’s my issue: why then when it comes to immigration is the completely opposite tack taken? Friedman says open borders don’t work in a welfare state. Here we are in a welfare state but to the libertarian front guard, they are 2 separate issues.

    So with immigration, the theoretical trumps the reality on the ground. But with marriage, we have to recognize reality and compromise our belief that the state should have no compelling interest in ANY marriage (and to be clear that’s what obergfell was about … access to a legal status not freedom of association). It’s inconsistent from my perspective. Though I’m sure I’m missing some crucial detail as most of you are much smarter than me.

    1. Just to pose a hypothetical based on the above to clarify my point, if the institution of marriage existed only in one’s church or … club or whatever and your taxes, benefits, etc. were unaffected by saying that you’re married, we would oppose the court granting special benefits to ANYONE getting married, right? It would be no different than any other social engineering program. Just checking to make sure my assumptions are accurate.

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