Rational Nation USA
California's Proposition 8 and the issue gay and lesbian unions continue to be front page discussion. For the life of me I cannot understand why. As I said in a prior post this nation has many pressing and serious problems our leaders ought to be addressing. I also reference the article by Conservative Generation on the subject.
Simply put the percent of gays and lesbians in society, I am guessing now, has not changed much over the years. I am also betting that the percentage is unlikely to be impacted much by acknowledging the rights of individuals of the same sex to live together if this is what makes them happy. I am also quite certain, referring to Chicken Little, the sky WONT fall in should same sex unions be acknowledged and people who simply feel differently than the majority are allowed to live in happiness openly.
I am reminded of two principals that ring true for everyone. Both are principals enunciated by Ayn Rand. I paraphrase her words here... An individual's own happiness is the moral purpose of their life, and... The smallest minority in the world is the individual. Both these principals can, and rightly should be applied with respect to same sex unions.
For the conservative Libertarian the broader question is should the governemnt have any interest in, or right to determine who one enters into a mutually satisfying and enriching personal relationship. In so long as that relationship causes no harm to another. To me the answer is a resounding no!
David Harsanyi, writing for the Denver Post makes several valid points.
In the 1500s, a pestering theologian instituted something called the Marriage Ordinance in Geneva, which made "state registration and church consecration" a dual requirement of matrimony.
We have yet to get over this mistake. But isn't it about time we freed marriage from the state?
Imagine if government had no interest in the definition of marriage. Individuals could commit to each other, head to the local priest or rabbi or shaman — or no one at all — and enter into contractual agreements, call their blissful union whatever they felt it should be called and go about the business of their lives.
I certainly don't believe that gay marriage will trigger societal instability or undermine traditional marriage — we already have that covered — but mostly I believe your private relationships are none of my business. And without any government role in the institution, it wouldn't be the business of the 9th Circuit Court, either.
As the debate stands now, we have two activist groups trying to force their own ethical construction of marriage on the rest of us. And to enforce it, they have been using the power of the state — one via majority rule and the other using the judiciary (subject to change with the vagaries of public opinion).
If marriage were freed from the state, folks at The New York Times editorial board could avoid having to make the claim that gay marriage is a constitutional right. (Apparently anything can be a constitutional right at The Gray Lady as long as it's not mentioned in the Second, Fifth or 10th amendments.)
Even new Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently wrote that "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage." It might be fair and it might be the decent thing to do, but a constitutional "right"?
As I stated previously, we ought to make the issue uncomplicated and based on sound principals. Removing governemnt (and religion) from the equation is a good place to start.