Gay Marriage

Sen. Rand Paul Wants Government Out of Marriage. Great! How?

Raises questions, but doesn't provide answers, even though he has some.

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Wave goodbye to the absurdly complex tax code.
Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was not in the big mix of presidential candidates rushing to put out opinions in the immediate wake of Friday's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which mandated legal recognition of same-sex marriages across the country.

But now he has a commentary up at Time. It's short on any sort of fear that gay marriage is a symptom of some sort of societal breakdown (something he's suggested when speaking to Christian conservative audiences). Instead he's appealing to libertarians by saying government should get out of marriage entirely:

The 14th Amendment does not command the government endorsement that is conveyed by the word "marriage." State legislatures are entitled to express their preference for traditional marriage, so long as the equal rights of same-sex couples are protected.

So the questions now before us are: What are those rights? What does government convey along with marriage, and should it do so? Should the government care, or allocate any benefits based on marital status?

And can the government do its main job in the aftermath of this ruling — the protection of liberty, particularly religious liberty and free speech?

We shall see. I will fight to ensure it does both, along with taking part in a discussion on the role of government in our lives.

Perhaps it is time to be more careful what we ask government to do, and where we allow it to become part of our lives.

Read the whole piece here.

Here's what frustrates me about Paul's argument. It's not that I don't agree with it, because I do, mostly. I think we can get marriage out of two of the three branches of government (even if marriages were to become private contracts, the courts will always be involved to handle disputes and intervene when needed on behalf of children). I'm frustrated that there's no actual meat to this argument. This is not a new position from Paul. He's argued this for quite some time.

But he's simply raising questions without answering them, not a sign of a politician that's truly engaged in working the issue out. Instead of asking us what it would like, maybe tell us what it would like?

For example, what about Paul's own flat tax proposal? He does not mention it at all in his Time piece. His plan would eliminate the complex income tax program we have now and replace it with a flat tax with standardized deductions and exemptions. Individual adults would have a $15,000 standard deduction and a $5,000 exemption. Parents would have an additional $5,000 exemption per child. There's nothing in his summary that indicates that marriage is a necessary component for the child exemption. So Paul's plan is an actual example of how—on the federal level—to get marriage out of government tax policies. But why didn't he promote this in his response? It helps make the libertarian case for less government involvement in a way that makes sense to most Americans.

We need high-profile politicians like Paul to stop asking us what would happen if we got government out of marriage and start telling us what would happen if we got government out of marriage.

NEXT: A few words on Obergefell and the countermajoritarian tendency

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  1. Has Paul actually read Obergefell yet? Has anyone at Reason? Because based on the opinion of the court, government cannot in fact “get out of marriage.” Two-person marriage by the state is now a right.

    1. Marriage freedom means “two-person non-consanguineous marriage freedom.” Fuck the Mormons, yo.

      1. And fuck Kentucky.

        1. Someone will.

          1. His sister probably.

            1. This is why Kentuckians never want a virgin. “If she ain’t good enough for her own family, she ain’t good enough for ours…”

        2. “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.” -Mark Twain

          1. Gottdamn. I really need to read some Twain.

            1. If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.
              – Mark Twain

              The correct quote sir. First you move to Cincy, then Kentucky. Might as well have some civilization for ten years.

              1. Just don’t be in CA, for everything in America happens first in CA, then sweeps East.

      2. “two-person non-consanguineous marriage freedom.”

        A person facing a high inheritance tax might want to marry his 90 year old father.

        1. I expect men to get married for tax deductions and benefits. Hey Joe, let’s get married and whoever dies first can get the others SSI when he dies.

          1. Women do that every day – why can’t a man?

      3. How non-consanguineous do you have to be? 2nd cousin? 3rd cousin? who gets to decide? What if I really love my 1st cousin? Shouldn’t #lovewin

    2. That’s the problem I had with the majority opinion. It’s really just more positive rights crap. Great result, awful rationale to get there.

    3. a. You are mean.

      b. Government doesn’t allot rights.

      c. Even if it did, the Supreme Court doesn’t have any authority to declare such.

    4. I don’think that’s a valid issue, depsite Kennedy’s opinion. Dicta isn’t binding.

      The state doesn’t have to issue me a printing press for me to have a speech right. this is just them maintaining the status quo as to the party that issue the marriage contract.

      1. The state doesn’t have to issue me a printing press for me to have a speech right….
        Not Yet!

    5. Does it claim marriage is a right or marriage recognition is a right?

      1. The state has to affirm the dignity of your love for it to be real. Or something.

        1. And didn’t the hippies scoff at marriage and opt-in for living together?

          “I don’t need a piece of paper to prove the dignity of my love, Cupcake . . . “

    6. Marriage has always been a right, though. A fundamental one at that.

      1. What about the fancy piece of paper and the nodding approval of some low level bureaucrat at your local courthouse?

      2. Errrh. No.

        1. I was happy with a private ceremony. Quite honestly, the only reason my wife and I got a marriage cert was because she wanted to change her name to mine and that made it about 100x easier.

    7. Really? Just the opposite, I think. If marriage is now a right, then it the state need no longer issue licenses and accept marriage certificates. Anyone may now marry either through common law cohabitation or through drawing up a contract.

  2. Unless we want to give up on spousal privilege/immunity, then the state must have a means to determine who is married.

    The problem is not that that state needs a means to decide who is married, but that there is a massive social infrastructure intimately tied to who the state says is married.

    1. Unless we want to give up on spousal privilege/immunity, then the state must have a means to determine who is married.

      That is an excellent point. I might attack it from the other end and remove compulsion to testify, period.

      1. What a dream…

      2. Much nicer solution.

    2. Yes, this is an extremely complex issue to execute in-practice, and frankly, not an issue where Paul should focus. The flat tax proposal is a better and larger fish to fry.

      1. Come on, the fucking Wall Street Journal published his tax proposal. It got a good deal of attention and clearly separated him from the rest of the moron horde.

        There was no way he could avoid this issue. I liked that he took a couple days to respond and, as SF said, said what he needed to keep moving ahead.

    3. This. I need to say it again, this.

      All the government affirmation of “love” is irrelevant here. There’s a huge financial and legal structure surrounding the states’ determination of marriage.

      And I really love the rainbow talk about marriage and all, but we have a goddamn civil war brewing in Greece over massively libertarian concepts… Can we start discussing that?

      1. Greece? Fuck that! #lovewins #rainbowsAndDildunicorns

      2. Why would anyone fight over anything as silly as a libertarian concept?

    4. We can send a man to the Moon (and return him home safely), but getting government out of marriage is tooooo complicated.

      Which begs the question . . . Are we finally recognizing just how big government has become if it takes more effort to get it ‘out’ of marriage than ‘on’ the Moon?

      1. +10

  3. I did post this in the AM links. I was surprised it wasn’t one of the AM links.

  4. Paul threaded the needle well enough given the various interests he needs in the primary.

    The real question going for will be if the socons will walk off with their tail between their legs or double down on culture war and begin chipping away at gay marriage on the state level like abortion.

    1. I don’t think the socons will do that on any massive level. My friends and family on that side seem to see Oberfell(sp.) as game-set-match on gay marriage. At this point, they’re focused on saving their bakeries and private schools.

      BTW, doesn’t Indiana look fucking prescient by trying to pass RFRA just a few months before this decision broke? They knew it was coming sooner or later, and they tried to get in under the gun. Too bad the fascist left called them on it.

  5. 1. Income tax reform. No more paying more or less taxes based on a contract with another person and what that person happens to earn.

    2. Abolish inheritance taxes. Right now, a spouse doesn’t pay but everyone else does. Just get rid of it, we already paid our income tax, fuck off already. Let anyone inherit without tax based on a will.

    1. Why stop there? Get rid of all of them.

    2. But getting rid of the inheritance tax will violate the “if it moves, tax it” law!

      1. Its also the third of the Ten Marxist Commandments, right behind abolishing property and the progressive income tax, so I figure that we achieve fully privatized education before we persuade the let to give up the Estate Tax.

        Incidentally, I am pleased with the many mentions of the Manifesto specifically, and Marx more broadly, that I am seeing pop up in conservative media. It is nothing short of astounding how closely progressives in 2015 hew to each and every one of those ten communist principles from 1848. This needs to be talked about more…

  6. One man does not have the right to impose his will on 330 million Americans. One group (a minority) of people should not have the power to impose their will via the Govt on 330 million Americans. No where in the Constitution does it say Govt has the right to decide what constitutes marriage. The 14th amendment has been subverted, by this lawless imperial Supreme Court which has now become another Earl Warren Court and is doing Obamao’s bidding. Roberts is a traitor and not upholding his oath he took when sworn in.!!!

    1. One man does not have the right to impose his will on 330 million Americans.

      You’re talking about yourself, right?

      One group (a minority) of people should not have the power to impose their will via the Govt on 330 million Americans.

      SOCIAL CONTRACT. You’re soaking in it.

      The 14th amendment has been subverted

      Oh, piss off, twit. It’s doing exactly what it was designed to do. You may not like the results, this may be a question of the validity of Federalism, but this is the system working as designed, for once.

      Roberts is a traitor

      He’s a spineless cunt, but that doesn’t make him a traitor. Just another in a long line of ring-kissers.

      1. You obviously dont recognize TYRANNY —–do you—–evidently not

        1. No but I can spot a tranny from across the room.

          1. Oh, so are you looking a Michael OBAMA—then???

            1. I mean MOOCHELE (Michael) OBAMA

        2. No, but I can recognize Do Not Touch.

      2. You know, this is one of those rare times when I think you have to choose between using the c-word or telling the truth.

        Roberts is a cunt.

        June 29, 2015. Mark your calendar.

        I despise him for what he did with the ACA, twice, however. I don’t expect all of our hows and whys to match up–otherwise I’d be an Objectivist.

        Much of this flogging around is what you’d expect to see when social conservatives realize their shit doesn’t sell anymore. They used to think their shit didn’t smell.

        1. I don’t expect all of our hows and whys [of gay marriage] to match up–otherwise I’d be an Objectivist.

          Fixed!

          Obviously I approve of the equal protection–however he got there.

        2. Much of this flogging around is what you’d expect to see when social conservatives realize their shit doesn’t sell anymore. They used to think their shit didn’t smell.

          Yup… we may get some of them to question their paleo-Progressive roots.

          I’m happy for the application of the 14th amendment. I’m not happy for the implications on two fronts 1) the CRA; and 2) yet another nail in the coffin of federalism.

          I would have been much happier if they simply required any marriage in any state to be recognized in all due to the FF&C clause.

    2. “No where in the Constitution does it say Govt has the right to decide what constitutes marriage.”

      So what.

      The government clearly DOES have the right to decide which marriages they will recognize.

      You are free to ignore their recognition all you like and marry someone they won’t recognize as your legal spouse and refuse to recognize a marriage the state does however.

      1. You are free to … refuse to recognize a marriage the state does

        Not so much on this part…

        1. No, you are free to refuse to recognize it, you’re just not free to refuse to sell them a cake.

          Which I agree is a problem, a HUGE fucking problem, but not quite the same thing

          1. No, you are free to refuse to recognize it, you’re just not free to refuse to sell them a cake.

            Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to.

            It’s like saying that you’re free to say anything you want, but you can’t have an audience. What’s the point of freedom of expression if you’re forced to do so cloistered away in a closet?

            The refusal to recognize is pointless unless people can act on it. The thought is much more closely connected to the act than you imply.

      2. Sexual orientation didn’t exist until the advent of psychology. There were no homosexuals. There was just deviant behavior–which included homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, and too much sex inside of marriage.

        The framers in their great wisdom largely avoided the particulars except to point out some obvious rights that had historically (and in their recent experience) been areas that were ripe for abuse. First Amendment protections, Fifth Amendment protections, etc.

        But it was all always under the framework of rights, and for goodness’ sake, rights are the right to make a choice. You get to choose your religion, you get to choose what you say, read, and write, you get to choose to own a gun–but that was by no means an exhaustive list. They insisted on putting the Ninth Amendment in there in case posterity ever got confused about that. Thank God for the Ninth Amendment.

        There shouldn’t be anything controversial about the suggestion that people should be free to choose whom they marry.

        The framers also took our basic rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness seriously. That our Constitution can expand to protect liberties far beyond the scope of what was acceptable public behavior when the Constitution was written is a testament to how completely awesome the Constitution can be.

        And what Roberts wrote about this right not being about the Constitution is beside the point. Roberts is wrong about a lot of things.

        1. “too much sex inside of marriage”???? DANG! Please don’t tell my wife this.

      3. Why does the government have the right to decide which marriages they will recognize? Where is that power enumerated in the constitution?

        1. Govt has to decide which marriages to recognize as long as they base taxes and benefits on marital status. Once marriage status is irrelevant to govt policies, then they have no reason to recognize anyone’s marriage. It won’t matter, and we can all go our own ways.

        2. The gov’t regulates many legal aspects of marriage. And as such it must decide which marriages it will recognize. The 14th amendment requires the gov’t to disallow discrimination of groups of people. Subsequently if a group of people feel they are being discriminated against the gov’t should review and rule accordingly.That’s what the gov’t did to allow interracial marriage.

      4. The government clearly DOES have the right to decide which marriages they will recognize.

        Governments don’t have “rights”; they have powers.

        1. The first line of my post was a quotation; apparently the Reason comment software doesn’t recognize the quote HTML tag.

  7. We need a Convention of the States to reverse these extremely BAD decisions coming out of the SCOTUS—-and neuter these MEN and Questionable Women in BLACK

    1. Is Preet listening? You have clearly made a violent threat to our fine interpreters of the constitution. And you missed the part about putting the removed gonads through a woodchipper.

      1. It is more of a direct threat than what the [any of the redacted] 6 said.

        Question: is it hypocritical of a libertarian to rat a troll out to the state?

      2. “Is Preet listening? You have clearly made a violent threat to our fine interpreters of the constitution.” ——LOL try reading comprehension —-what a LIB TROLL you are—-and How do you know im in NY

        1. How do you know im in NY

          I have magic ESP powers.

          1. “I have a fifth sense. I think I have ESPN or something”

            1. Bruce Willis is actually dead.

        2. Here’s a saying that originated at 4chan that is applicable to your bizarrely formatted comments: LURK MOAR

    2. Hahahaha… You right-wingers are hilarious. We should put john Roberts on this device…

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QUPmESldlZE

      1. LIBSRBEDWTRS said we were all left wingers. Can you guys have a quick Troll Sidebar and decide which it is?

  8. “But he’s simply raising questions without answering them, not a sign of a politician that’s truly engaged in working the issue out. “

    But it is a sign of a politician that’s running for President, and what’s wrong with that?

    What did you expect?

    I think Rand Paul should be the bestest and brightest and truest and honestest Presidential candidate in the whole wide world!

    Wake the fuck up, Pollyanna!

    1. Ted Cruz is no slouch either—-I would vote for either one. PSST—–TED CRUZ has already raised over 40 million for his campaign and climbing

      1. Regardless of his politics Ted Cruz is a fucking hypocrite who no one should support.

        It is bad enough that he was one of the strongest Birthers in Congress but the fact is even if Obama WAS born in Kenya he has a better claim on being a “natural born citizen” than Cruz the Canadian Cuban does.
        .

        1. TROLLS TROLLS TROLLS—–everywhere here—- nothing but CIRCLE JERKING LIBERAL TOTALITARIAN LOVING TROLLS

          1. I’m not sure you really grok what a troll is.

            An example of a troll would be someone who blasts dozens of unrelated messages in a thread, personally attacking people, writing in ALL CAPS, etc.

            Incidentally, just because you’re genuinely upset about gay people marrying doesn’t mean you’re not a troll.

            And just becasue you can’t find a libertarian to help you justify using the Constitution as a means to arbitrarily inflict your own mores on other people using the coercive power of government? well, that doesn’t mean you’re not a troll either.

        2. Rasilio, you’re completely wrong on this issue. The key is that Barack’s mother was only 18 when she gave birth and didn’t satisfy the residence requirement to be able to transfer the US citizenship to her child if the birth happened abroad. Ted Cruz’s mother was much older, so that bizarre quirk of the US immigration law wouldn’t apply.

          Any other evidence that Ted Cruz is a hypocrite?

            1. I don’t find ignorant anti-birthers an improvement.

          1. yes, and Cruz (and McCain) put all his documents out to be inspected. Obama spent a million on lawyers to keep his hidden.

  9. We —-as MARK LEVIN has stated on numerous occasions —-We are now living in a POST CONSTITUTIONAL ERA.. A CONVENTION of the STATES is the only way Back. Article 5 of the CONSTITUTION allows the STATES to address this mounting TYRANNY

    1. I’m starting to think that your mother drank heavily during her pregnancy.

      1. Is that all you got— TROLL??? try sounding somewhat intelligent!!!

        1. you first.

          1. Im not going to get in a pissing contest with an indoctrinated USEFUL IDIOT like you—

            1. What’s with all the caps?

              1. Tundra, caps are how you are supposed to know that HE IS RIGHT! ALWAYS RIGHT! — troll

              2. It’s one of the symptoms of the fetal alcohol syndrome. I think Hihn uses them. Of course, the Master of it all is the late and lamented Hercule.

                1. *bows head in honor of Herc*

              3. I feel like it’s missing some brackets…

              4. Needz moar [BRACKETS].

              5. Its how I ROLL—-get over it—-or I have any idea dont read it

            2. That’s good because you probably don’t want to get into a dick measuring contest.

              1. Do you even have one—–doesn’t sound like it

                1. PWND

                2. Why don’t you try forming a coherent argument, and stop commenting like you’re at a Drudge link. Here on Reason, we actually like to have coherent conversations, not get screamed at by autistic internet trolls. We’re more than happy to shout you down if you can’t act and converse like an adult.

                  Here’s a suggestion for the first topic…. Let’s talk about how SoCons and Progressives use the same tactics and worship the same Government-god as their “savior.” Let’s talk about the bullshit “christian nation” myth and the bullshit “second coming of Israel” myth. Then, once we get through that, we can move from the cause (Progressives infesting both sides of the aisle) to the effect (the State gaining complete control over the definition and administration of marriage).

    2. Ugh go fuck a goat.

      1. Ill leave you to engage in BESTIALITY—–troll

        1. That was your mom, silly. Easy mistake.

        2. HORDOR!!

        3. You got to pay the Troll Toll if you wanna get into this boy’s hole!

          1. Can I use my Clipper Card?

    3. This is excellent example of the use of random capitalization as described in the Urkobold Trolling Manual of Style.

      1. Don’t you mean the uruk hai manual for trolls?

  10. Because based on the opinion of the court, government cannot in fact “get out of marriage.” Two-person marriage by the state is now a right.

    Did anybody seriously expect them to shrug their shoulders and say, “Not our business, Dude,”?
    The State, like the universe, only expands.

    1. I think the phrase you mean to say —-is– “STATISM, like the Universe, only expands”

      1. I like this analogy. And just like an expanding universe that will eventually cool subject to entropy the State is left with no movement and no progress. Just a cold dead infinity in every direction.

    2. It could have issued the ruling based only on equal protection, not substantive due process.

      1. Exactly. That is what should have happened.

        1. Eh, I think that even solely under equal protection is a tacit assent of the “fundamental right of [State acknowledgement of] marriage” bullshit. The case should have been a FF&C case… Sorry Texas, you have to recognize marriages from other states, even if they aren’t qualified to be married in Texas.

  11. Not as a good an answer as Amash who, despite being a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian, had the decency to acknowledge that gay people love each other and have normal relationships like heteros while maintaining that government was a bigger threat to religious values than gays.

    That being said, not a terrible answer, the God gobbledygook aside. Hopefully, and I never though I’d say this, Paul will side with Lindsay Graham in removing the anti-gay marriage plank from the GOP platform.

    1. despite being a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian

      Despite?

      Here is the statement from Metropolitian Tikhon on the ruling.

      Dearly Beloved,

      The recent ruling by the US Supreme Court on the legality of “same-sex marriages” has received much press coverage and has already caused some consternation about its implications and ramifications. But we Orthodox Christians must rest assured that the teaching of our Holy Church on the Mystery of Marriage remains the same as it has been for millennia.

      Over the past few years, the Holy Synod of Bishops of our Orthodox Church in America has issued a number of statements outlining, detailing and clarifying the teaching of our Holy Faith on this matter in light of challenges from our American society. These teachings remain in effect, in spite of the Supreme Court’s decision. Links to these statements are provided below.

      Continued…

    2. As we reflect on the Supreme Court’s ruling, we should thank Almighty God that we live in a country that allows us the First Amendment rights to worship freely, practice what we believe as Orthodox Christians, and live as examples of Christ our Savior and His love for others.

      The ruling does not change the teaching of the Church, but it does remind us of the need to be Christ-like in our dealings with everyone. The state has the responsibility to enact laws that protect the rights of each individual. The Church, while it does not bless “same-sex marriages” or view them as sacramental, does see the image of Christ in every individual, and his or her worth in the eyes of the Lord Who died upon the Cross for our salvation.

      As the Orthodox Church in America, it is our responsibility to care for those who are in need, help those who are victims of prejudice, racism or persecution of any kind, and to provide for those who are sick, destitute, homeless or imprisoned.

      The Church’s mission continues, and we have a great responsibility to be “all things to all people,” so that we all may be “one in Christ,” and hear on the last day, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

      With love in the Lord,

      + Tikhon
      Archbishop of Washington
      Metropolitan of All America and Canada

      1. “Metropolitan Tikhon” might be the coolest name ever.

        Also an excellent response to an obviously freaked out congregation.

        1. Also an excellent response to an obviously freaked out congregation.

          Actually, the Eastern Orthodox aren’t freaked out by it. His statement has long been the policy of the EOC. Don’t confuse us with the Catholics.

          1. Whoops, sorry. I’m theologically challenged.

            But I identify as competent!

            1. But I identify as competent!

              Good enough. Here’s your trophy.

              1. Yay!

                *puts it on the shelf with all the rest*

  12. (…the courts will always be involved to handle disputes and intervene when needed on behalf of children).

    BREAKING NEWS: Libertarian magazine contributor suggests intrusive government necessary for the children.

  13. I would love to repeal all of family law and let people contract as they wish. That, however, is not realistic. What is realistic is the following.

    1. States stop giving out marriage licenses.
    2. No private entity or person is required to recognize any marriage.
    3. The state will recognize any marriage contract or affirmative statement by a couple they are married.
    4. Once someone affirmatively declares themselves married, they will be subject to state family law unless they choose to contract otherwise.

    That would really be all there is to it. The only time the government would ever be involved is when you dealt with it or went to government courts to settle things up if you divorced. Otherwise, the terms of your marriage are up to you and whether anyone recognizes your marriage is up to them.

    I seriously doubt the gay rights community would be happy with such an arrangement.

    1. I think you are right on. I would like to add that actual contracts might be a good idea. Right now, “family law” appears to simply mean that the father/husband is the designated fall guy.

      It would be nice to see some changes all around.

      1. I would too. And I am frankly looking forward to the schadenfreude in the coming years as various gay couples get completely fucked over by divorce courts and family law. They wanted this so badly and they are going to get it good and hard. Most of the gay marriages happening in response to this are going to end in divorce and a good percentage of those divorces are going to result in one or both parties feeling betrayed and angry about the process and the result.

        1. Yeah but in gay divorce court how will the courts know how to fuck over?

          1. They will flip a coin or just fuck both parties to be safe.

          2. Whoever hires the better lawyer wins.

        2. Dude, you think people care about what happens in divorce court?!?

          If they didn’t care about what it was doing to heteros, they won’t care about what it is doing to homos.

          Hell, the MA probate courts have been divorcing gay couples for years without missing a beat or changing their procedures on iota. There was a significant change to alimony law that might have been prompted by gay couples, but that actually moved things away from fucking over the men towards more equitable outcomes.

          1. They will care. The whining will be epic.

    2. affirmative statement by a couple

      Why that restriction? Do you hate Mormons, Muslims, and traditional Jews?

      1. Yes I do. Fuck polygamists.

        1. Serially or en masse?

          I’ll be in my bunk.

        2. Actually, John, that was a serious question- what is the justification for limiting things to pairs?

          1. Because that is what society wants. The point is that under my system “government recognition” would only apply to the use of the courts and government benefits, whatever those are. And there is no “right” to either one of those things. If the taxpayers want to recognize polygamists, they can. I wouldn’t but they can. The do not however have to. And no one even if the government did recognize such would be required to follow suit.

            1. Because that is what society wants.

              So constitutional rights are contingent on “what society wants”? If society wanted Jews to pay a higher tax rate than Gentiles, that’s OK?

              1. To be specific, Ken’s list:

                The marriage license gets you special treatment by the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in how your spouse’s advance directive is handled at the hospital, and your get special treatment in probate court.

                Equal Protection only applies to people who conform to what “society wants”?

              2. No Old man, Constitutional rights are what they are. And there is no constitutional right to government benefits and certainly no constitutional right to demand people recognize your polygamous relationship.

                If you want to have one, great. But you have no right to demand the government give you any benefits under it or that anyone recognize it. You only have a right to be left alone and not imprisoned for your activity. That is it.

                1. But you have no right to demand the government give you any benefits under it or that anyone recognize it. You only have a right to be left alone and not imprisoned for your activity. That is it.

                  There’s that pesky 14th…

                  If you want to argue that government take no recognition of marriage whatever (taxes, inheritance, testimony…), then we’re in violent agreement. But if you’re arguing that government CAN treat different groups unequally, you’re now as contemptuous of the constitution as Roberts is.

            2. Because that is what society wants.

              You don’t have a principled bone in your body do you?

              And you wonder why people call you Red Tony?

              1. Frank,

                You are so fucking stupid. It just amazes me. Society gets to decide what it pays for. It doesn’t get to tell polygamists they can’t do it. But it gets to decide if it they get special treatment from the government or gets the government courts and sheriff to enforce their agreements. They don’t owe polygamists or anyone that. They can via their representatives choose to give it to whom they like.

                My system ends the forced recognition of marriage and makes marriage entirely private. The only issue is whether people get government benefits not whether they get to have their relationship.

                You really are dense as a fucking brick. I don’t mind it that you are dense. A lot of people are. The problem is you are dense and don’t realize it and try to make up for it by being smug and insulting. You are too stupid to be involved in this conversation frankly and you need to go somewhere else and let the adults talk.

                1. I rest my case.

                  When libertarians argue there are essentially no differences between team red and team blue, you and Tony are the posterchildren.

                  I’m not disagreeing with your solution above. I think it would be a good start. I am mocking your inability to grasp basic libertarian principle.

                  Society has no business telling me how to associate. The courts are there to settle legal matters. ALL legal matters. Contracting marriage with three or more people is no different than a multiple party business contract. Is society going to tell me that all business arrangements need to be between two people because settling disputes between three people costs more?

                  As far as the entitlements granted to married people, you are arguing it’s okay to give my money to two, but not to three. As if two is some magical number. It’s okay to buy votes two at a time, but three is right out. Why not 7?

                  Really, John, being called stupid by the likes of you makes me chuckle.

                  1. You are free to do what you want Frank. But society doesn’t owe the power of the gun to enforce your contracts. You can make whatever contract you like. That is your right. What is not your right is to go to court and demand the sheriff come out and put a gun to the other person’s head and live by it. And that is all courts do. Sure it doesn’t always come to that but it is the threat of that that allows courts to function.

                    You clearly don’t get that. And you also have this idea that if you can’t go to court and get the force of the gun behind you, you are not free to do something.

                    I rest my case. You are fucking idiot. You just are. I am sorry, but you don’t qualify as a Libertarian, not because you don’t hold the right views. You don’t qualify as one because the term implies knowingly adopting a set of views and you seem to have real issues with the knowing part. You just adopt ends you like and think are Libertarian and then start screaming.

                  2. People like Red Tony are pretty much the reason people think libertarians are pot smoking republicans. 🙁

                2. Society gets to decide what it pays for.

                  Not really. FYI, what society wants is done via governments and their laws and regulations. It is those laws and regulations which courts and sheriffs enforce. Getting government out of marriage as Rand Paul has advocated would implicitly mean repealing all those laws and regulations. Since those laws and regulations are an implementation of America’s Judeo-Christian values as interpreted by successive generations of legislators, repealing those laws and regulations would therefore abolish the Judeo-Christianbasis on which the courts enforce the various rules of marriage. Marriage would then be little more want than a common law contract. This ought to be excellent news for the lawyers because potential husbands and wives would each need to get a lawyer in to ensure their rights were protected under the contract.

                  Note also that getting government out of marriage would also implicitly get it out of divorce, which would be even better for lawyers when, inevitably, some of those common law contracts were broken by one or other of the parties.

                  It doesn’t get to tell polygamists they can’t do it.

                  Tell that to the polyamists of Utah!

    3. I think this is a solution in search of a problem.

      I don’t care if gay people get married at the courthouse.

      Why is that a problem?

      I care about the government violating people’s First Amendment right to free exercise of their religion by compelling them, for instance, to cater gay weddings even when it’s against their religious convictions to do so.

      I care a hell of a lot if the gay rights movement starts using equal protection of the law and public accommodation as a means to force churches to perform gay weddings or lose their charitable status.

      But gay people going to the courthouse to get married by a judge or some willing clergy?

      I don’t see why that’s a problem that requires a solution.

      I think Rand Paul addressing the socially conservative Republicans who might blame him for his libertarian streak at the polls come the primaries is a problem for Rand Paul that he needs to address, and I applaud him for doing that, so far, without resorting to throwing his principles under the bus.

      1. But gay people going to the courthouse to get married by a judge or some willing clergy?

        That is a problem because legal marriage as it is currently constituted necessarily implies public accommodations. That is the whole point of going to the courthouse. It gives you a piece of paper that forces other people to recognize your marriage or else.

        For example, a Catholic employer could not provide benefits to only spouses married in the Catholic church. Marital status is a protected status. Under my system they could.

        You guys don’t like to hear this but the truth is the ability to sue anyone who didn’t recognize their marriage is most of the reason why gays wanted in on government marriage so badly. The only way to solve that is to get the government out of marriage by no longer have it give out licenses that everyone is forced to recognize.

      2. I care about the government violating people’s First Amendment right to free exercise of their religion by compelling them, for instance, to cater gay weddings even when it’s against their religious convictions to do so.

        Then you care about not giving gays marriage licenses because that is the entire point of getting one. Every other aspect of marriage can be handled via contract. The one thing a contract can’t do, is for third parties to recognize it. This is why private marriage isn’t good enough for many gays.

        1. I think that’s a false dichotomy sliding down a slippery slope.

          I think we can have both marriage licenses for gays and legitimate free exercise and freedom of religion.

          And I don’t think gays getting a marriage license will necessarily lead to them being entitled to get married in any mosque they want, either.

          Public accommodation is a different fight. Having used the government to actively discriminate against gays for so long isn’t going to make them especially considerate of the rights of Christian fundamentalists, et. al., but public accommodation and government discrimination against gays are two different fights.

          1. I think we can have both marriage licenses for gays and legitimate free exercise and freedom of religion.

            Sure you could, you just make it so no one has to recognize the license. If you do that, however, there is no point in issuing them anymore. The problem is that the license as it currently stands is nothing but a warrant enabling you to force people to recognize you marriage. That has to go. Whether you do that by eliminating licenses altogether as I propose or keeping licenses so gays can feel good about getting one is a question of taste.

            Regardless, this is not a solution in search of a problem. There is a real problem here in that gay marriage under current law is in direct conflict with the free exercise of religion.

            1. The marriage license gets you special treatment by the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in how your spouse’s advance directive is handled at the hospital, and your get special treatment in probate court.

              The Catholic Church has been refusing to marry divorced people since always–regardless of whether they had a marriage license.

              1. You don’t need a license to continue to treat married people differently under the law. And the Catholic church can refuse to marry people, but they sure as hell can’t tell their employees “we won’t cover your spouse on insurance if you are not married in the church” or tell married couples attending Catholic colleges they can’t live in married student housing if they have not been married in the church. The church has to recognize those marriages because the state does. That is why gay marriage represents a direct attack on religious freedom. The way you solve that problem is get rid of marriage licenses and stop requiring private parties to recognize marriages.

                Again, that idea will never fly because forced recognition of their lifestyle and relationship is the entire reason most gays wanted marriage. If marriage doesn’t mean that, they wouldn’t have wanted it. They already had the ability to get married. They just couldn’t make anyone else agree that they were.

                1. Again, that idea will never fly because forced recognition of their lifestyle and relationship is the entire reason most gays wanted marriage. If marriage doesn’t mean that, they wouldn’t have wanted it. They already had the ability to get married. They just couldn’t make anyone else agree that they were.

                  This. This is why I’m so conflicted. I think that the SCOTUS, on the most superficial level and in a vacuum, made the right decision. However, any time I look at the details of the decision or the context surrounding the decision, I cringe. Yay, gays get their bread and circuses, too! Too bad it was at the expense of another few chisel marks at the base of liberty.

    4. I can’t disagree with anything you wrote there, John.

  14. ARTICLE 5 of the Constitution is the only way out of this growing STATISM—and back to a Constitutional Republic

    1. You keep saying that.

      Your first mistake is in believing that the articles that come out of such a convention would agree with your view of Constitutional governance.

      Your second mistake is in believing it will make one single bit of difference. The government routinely disregards the Constitutuion today and there is no fall out from it whatsoever so what possible grounds do you have to believe that it would pay any more attention to the newly amended Constitution?

  15. LISTEN TO MARK LEVIN show at 6 pm eastern —-for the TRUTH is what this GOVT is doing to YOU—-and for all you TROLLS—he has written a new BOOK—called— “PLUNDER and DECEIT” “Big Govt’s exploitation of young people and the future””——–this book directly speaks to you poor indoctrinated under 40 TROLLS—-who are cluless

    1. Sorry I’ve caught his show once or twice before, he’s a fucking moron and doesn’t even make up for it by being occasionally entertaining like Beck or Rush.

    2. The random capitalization makes sense now. Levin randomly starts to shout for no apparent reason.

      In fact, this might actually be Levin himself.

    3. Where’s Urkobold when you need him?

    4. Levin is a fucking tard. Fuck him and you.

  16. The horse is dead; stop beating it.

    Focus your efforts on reducing taxes, reducing regulation, reducing spying, reducing crony capitalism, reforming asset forfeiture, reducing police overreach, fixing social security, and fixing the welfare system.

    If you want to cater to the Christian right wing, promise them some laws clarifying that they don’t have to marry homosexuals. As a voting bloc, conservative Christians are becoming increasingly irrelevant anyway, and as human beings, decent folks should give them the time of day.

    1. They were never that important as a voting block.

      Despite all their barking, Ronald Reagan never even threw them a fish.

      They’ve always been important as big donors and foot soldiers.

      Who else is going to volunteer to answer phones, make calls, and go door to door in neighborhoods all over the country?

      Union members, that’s who. …and they’re the ones doing all of that on the other side..

    2. Yeah, clearly we should judge whether to stand up for a groups’ rights under the Constitution by how relevant that group is and how valuable a voting block they are.

      Even people you hate have rights and everyone has a moral obligation to stand up with them to protect those rights. Go fuck yourself dude and join the prog mob where you belong.

      1. and as human beings, decent folks should (sic) give them the time of day.

        The smug! It’s unbearable!

        Seriously, I think that the SoCons’ politics suck, but to imply that they’re terrible human beings shows more about you than about them.

        1. (nested in the wrong comment)

    3. And there isn’t anymore unpopular group in the world than child molesters. I guess Libertarians should stop objecting to forced civil confinement laws as well. I mean violating people’s rights just doesn’t matter if the people being stepped on are not important or not well liked.

      Nothing says courage of commitment like standing only for the rights of the important and the popular.

    4. Marriage regulation is regulation, it is also a part of the welfare system.

  17. When I mention the various rules which limit the power of the government to make spouses testify against each or other, or testify about the marital relationship, I tend to get these responses:

    -Well, these privileges have been chipped away so much it could be abolished and we won’t miss it.

    -Oh, well, we just should have broader immunity from coerced testimony.

    As to the first point, if the privilege has been watered down, then the answer is to strengthen it, not abolish it.

    As to the second point, that’s a pipe dream. Getting rid of the spousal-testimony rules will mean, at least on Planet Earth, that prosecutors will order spouses (under grant of immunity so they can’t take the Fifth) to testify against each other or reveal the private secrets of the marriage.

    I appreciate that Rand can only address a few key issues in the campaign, and marriage isn’t one of them. He could just say that he’ll appoint better judges and beyond that there’s little he can do.

    What he *shouldn’t* do is indulge in fantasies about deregulating marriage, when it would mean increasing government power.

    1. You still recognize those things. The court just makes a factual determination of whether the person is in fact the accused’s spouse. You could end government licenses of marriage and still do that. The accused could produce a registry at a church or a marriage contract or other evidence showing he is married to the witness.

      1. You can recognize marriage without requiring a marriage license. South Carolina still does with common-law marriage.

        But if government is out of the marriage business, then not even common-law marriage will survive. License or no license, deregulating marriage would mean ignoring your marital status, which will mean refusing to recognize any testimonial privilege, which will mean that a spouse can be compelled to testify against another spouse just like one unmarried lover can be required to testify against another.

        1. But if government is out of the marriage business, then not even common-law marriage will survive.

          Palimony and maritricious relationships say otherwise.

    2. I see some legitimate areas for pushing back.

      Like I said the other day, there are a lot of companies, especially large ones, who offer full benefits to the partners of their gay employees–but don’t do the same thing for heterosexuals who are living with their boyfriend or girlfriend.

      That made more sense when gays were not allowed to get married, but if companies aren’t extending benefits to the unmarried live in partners of heterosexuals–even after gays can get married everywhere? Then those companies are discriminating against their heterosexual employees because of their orientation.

      I think you’re going to see a big push by companies everywhere to start insisting that their gay employees get married if they want their partners to be eligible for benefits. Because if they did the same thing for the unmarried partners of heterosexual employees, it would be prohibitively expensive–since heterosexuals outnumber gays big time.

      1. Sexual preference is not and should not be a protected class under the law. That means, legally those companies should be free to adopt a “we love all homos but only married straights” policy. That being said, after this decision, those companies should be publicly called out and shamed at every opportunity. While what they are doing is and should be legal, it is utterly hypocritical.

        1. Sexual preference is not and should not be a protected class under the law.

          The whole concept of “protected class” seems absolutely insane.

          1. With regard to public accommodations, yes it is.

        2. Well, I think they’re likely to be sued at some point.

          I don’t think it’s just companies either. I believe there are plenty of government entities that provide benefits to the unmarried partners of their gay employees–but don’t do the same thing for their heterosexual employees.

          Whether you agree that private companies should be free to discriminate against heterosexuals is one question–but case law against discrimination for sexual orientation should apply regardless of whether the subject of discrimination is homosexual or heterosexual.

          And in the question of how various government entities treat their own employees, I don’t care if it’s the San Francisco Fire Department, the Boston Unified School District, some state government agency, or the federal government, they don’t have the right to discriminate against heterosexual employees becasue of their sexual orientation.

          And if they started giving benefits to the live-in partners of all their heterosexual employees, their costs would skyrocket.

          So, they’re likely to just tell their gay employees that if they want their partners to remain eligible for benefits, then they need to get married.

          They need to check their gay privilege!

          1. I can’t say it is okay for some companies to discriminate against married gays and then turn around and scream when other companies do the same to straights. If one is free to do so the other is just as free.

            Regardless, they likely will be sued or pressured into changing their policies. And the gay partners who see their insurance cut off will not doubt think it is unfair and the result of homophobia.

          2. I dunno if that’s true. From my HR website: Therefore, the University must provide equal employment benefits to employees with a domestic partner of the same gender. The University has determined that in the interests of fundamental fairness, the definition of domestic partners will apply to all relationships akin to marriage, whether of the same gender or not.

            I mean, I guess they could turn around on that now that gay marriage is legal, but I’m guessing they won’t.

  18. I think we can get marriage out of two of the three branches of government (even if marriages were to become private contracts, the courts will always be involved to handle disputes and intervene when needed on behalf of children).

    I agree w you mostly, understanding the possibility of the disputes as including those w 3rd parties. However, I don’t think we can have the courts draw the lines entirely, because unfortunately there are some administrative matters where it doesn’t make sense to have a blanket ruling of either a couple’s being a single legal entity or their being always treated as individuals legally. The smaller gov’t is, the less of a problem it is, but there’ll always be a need for gov’t to pick & choose legislatively or administratively, rather than judicially, between cases where the individuals need to be treated separately & those where they should be treated as couples. Which means there’ll be some need to reference marriage in statutes & regs.

  19. Scott, call me a skeptic, but I don’t think you really want to see Rand Paul’s detailed proposal; you just want to pick it apart. You might even throw in a word or to about how “unfreeing” Paul’s detailed proposals are.

    Be honest. I kinda think you like the SCOTRUM decision and are aghast at the blowback from the Commentariat.

    1. Be honest. I kinda think you like the SCOTRUM decision and are aghast at the blowback from the Commentariat.

      Co-signed. I don’t buy into the Cosmotarian v. Yokeltarian BS, but I think it’s interesting to see the defensiveness of the “elites” on the issue of gay marriage.

      Imagine an article titled

      Sen. Rand Paul Wants Police Demilitarization. Great! How?

      or a lead-in reading

      The state should not be involved in raw milk. But libertarians who think that this is all that need (sic) be said are wrong.

      Fuck you, cut the bullshit! It’s well understood that the libertarian movement has a diverse array of opinions on a few major issues (gay marriage and abortion being two). Completely papering over that diversity is utter bullshit. At least be intellectually honest enough to recognize that “yay ghay murrage” isn’t the only valid libertarian response to the decision handed down.

      1. It’s as if they (our libertarian betters) are shocked and surprised at our dismay.

        Because we recognize it for what it is – just a con job to limit liberty. Government increases its grip by throwing a few more bones to the palace poodles.

        1. It’s as if they (our libertarian betters) are shocked and surprised at our dismay

          I think they buy into Bo’s accusation that half of self-identified “libertarians” are really SoCons in sheepskins. Gay issues are disproportionately the hobbyhorse of the libertarian elite, so they struggle to apply their own principles in the realm of the emotionally charged gay marriage issue. They’re so happy they got their pony that they’re gonna ride it, even though it’s got a spike sticking up from the saddle.

          1. “. . .. spike sticking up from the saddle . . .” .so, they have been lying to us? Because, I believe it was here, at Reason, where I heard the term: “Individuals have rights. Groups do not”. And yet, here we are “with no good libertarian argument against SCROTRUM’s decision “.

            But, on the bright side – at least we (the trolling commentariat) have ideological consistency on our side. So take THAT, Reason Poobahs! You can all go straight to hell – you and your little dog too!

          2. If they believe “we who object” are a bunch of SoCons, well, then – I’m taking my donate $’s somewhere else.

            Like all good libertarians.

  20. Reason editors – if this is the “libertarian” moment, you all must be statist double agents. You sold us all in pig in a poke.

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  22. How?
    For purposes of the State, the ceremony will be conducted by a Clerk or Magistrate, and a Union shall be Declared;
    For purposes of God, those who have been joined by the State, may have a religious ceremony conducted in the Church of their choice;
    but, it is only the civil ceremony that is recognized by the state for its purposes.

    We are all Jacobins now.

  23. The Gay LIberation/Marriage Movement has won the day, and now shall walk the battlefield bayoneting the wounded.

  24. How do you keep government out of marriage? I’ve got an idea: Employ an attorney . . . isn’t that the real purpose of any law created by that profession?

  25. This guy is all about nuance. I’ll vote for a voracious reader over any other religion anytime.

  26. I don’t know why you can’t understand “parent”. A child requires one sperm and one egg. The persons who provide them are the “parents”. The rest are legal fiction to cover up for biological fact.

    Can I get lots of deductions for donating my sperm?

    $5k – half for the sperm donor, and half for the egg donor. What’s so hard about that?

  27. If marriage is a private matter how is a license required? It is a government permitted status. What is wrong with that? Hmmmm!

  28. Hey, Reason editors, a question for you :after review and analysis of the Commentariat, we agreed that repeal of DOMA was a good idea but the gay marriage decision was not.

    We’re not bigots. And we’re not sells outs either.

    You guys despise Big Government – until it does something you approve of. Actively does something (versus stopping, as in DOMA).

    What a con job you’ve perpetrated on us!

  29. You concede that Rand’s proposed flat tax is consistent with his position on getting government out of marriage. But you’re complaining that as a presidential candidate he’s not getting himself bogged down in the details, as though that were something a presidential candidate who wants to actually win an election can or should do?

    Presidential candidates should give broad outlines of the direction they wish government to go, and be able to explain generally how those goals can be accomplished?in this case, how marital status can be separated from law. But prophesying the exact details of how every one of those broad policies will be effected is not necessary or possible.

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