Is marriage an institution which should be supported by government? I have heard recently some folks in reaction to the gay marriage controversy say that government should get out of the marriage business altogether and leave it to religions to decide. So that way there’s no official government sanction of gay marriage and each church can figure out what to do with it.
But doesn’t government have a role to play here? Look, I’m a small government guy. I believe that the government which does the least is the best. But isn’t marriage something which should be promoted and protected by government? Here’s the thing, for me so much of society comes down to raising our children. So let’s first look at some statistics from the Heritage Foundation.
So I think it’s clear to see that intact marriages are best for children. But still many social libertarians feel it’s not the government’s business. But the government already has all sorts of laws concerning the well being of children from protecting them from sexual advances to ensuring that children are educated. And most social libertarians wouldn’t argue with these yet they are clearly government laws which restrict adult behavior regarding children.
So the question is what should government do to support marriage. First, do no harm. Meaning, we should not approve gay marriage. Never mind for the moment gay marriage itself. The immediate legal effect of gay marriage is to legalize polygamy. This is not slippery slope argumentation. This is a logical cause and effect. Once the court labels marriage under the umbrella of “privacy,” you can’t say homosexuals are deserving of privacy but not polygamists. It will be up to each individual to decide what “marriage” means. Court mandated change will transform marriage into a weak contract between two, three, four, five assorted males and females. To some extent by creating a new “inclusive” definition of marriage the court would actually render the term meaningless.
But is marriage just a “privacy” issue? Isn’t it connected with societal good? Of course it is. Look, many of the same people who argue for legal prohibitions of smoking due to the consequences smokers have on non-smokers are now arguing that we shouldn’t worry about the consequences of a systemic marital breakdown. Are there no secondhand victims of the dissolution of marriage? The above charts dispute that.
The family structure is the basis of our society. We are now faced with the complete dissolution of marriage. It is an attack by the courts. Nothing less. When we defend marriage we are defending our families and the hope of our nation.