Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Separation of Marriage and State

 “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity!” was the rallying cry of the French Revolution.  As it turned, Equality won out as the preeminent virtue of the three. Therefore, French society needed to be leveled.  Leveling was accomplished by severing heads from the ruling elites.

Whenever the word “equality’ crops up in public policy discussion, you know that a political solution is about to be imposed.  And when political solutions are imposed, someone takes a haircut while someone else reaps ill gotten gains.

Consider for a moment, the recent dust up over gender wage inequality.  Economists such as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams debunk this canard through rigorous analysis.  The do this by adjusting for the facts that many women opt for less time consuming professions such as teaching or nursing that afford them the flexibility to spend time raising their families.   They also adjust for the fact that many women voluntarily step off of the corporate ladder for extended stretches in order have children and raise families.  They go on to note that when these variables are accounted for, there is negligible difference in the earnings of men and women of comparable qualifications.

Government attempts to impose “equality” would simply interfere with the lifestyle and career choices that women voluntarily elected while burdening employers with endless paperwork to justify their pay structure.
Sowell performs the same analysis for reported race based differences in earnings.  When all other factors are solved for, Blacks and Whites with comparable qualifications earn comparable money.  The factors that drive the overall shortfall in African American incomes include the dangerous zip code monopoly schools that they are forced to attend, the war on drugs which disproportionately jails young Black men, minimum wage laws that prevent them from taking their first step on their career path and a welfare system that rewards single parent families.

Government attempts to impose to impose wage equality ignores the true reasons the income disparity which is State created.

Thus it totally baffles me that many who profess to be libertarian support marriage equality.  Libertarians from Rand to Rothbard and from Bergland to Boaz agree that the State has no business in regulating relations between consenting adults.  That is the philosophically consistent libertarian stance.

Marriage equality, however, is a political imposition, a statist contrivance.  Ayn Rand tell us that the statist is a person “who believes that some men have the right to force, coerce, enslave, rob, and murder others.” 

In this instance the people who will suffer are those of various religious convictions who elect not to endorse same sex marriage.  By using the full force of the courts and the endless array of anti-discrimination statutes these dissenters are forced into acquiescence with practices that they find objectionable.
It is true that a great many libertarians are secularists who may have little sympathy for those who they might dismiss as religious bigots.  To this there are two responses.  The first is Martin Niemoller’s chilling epitaph:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

The point being is that for each of us, the day may come when the State will force us to kowtow to that which we find odious.  That is why we stand in unison with others with whom we disagree.

The other reason is that is essential that libertarians stand on principle.  Principle is what sets us apart from and above the political riff-raff.  Republicans, Democrats, neo-cons and liberals worship at the altar of expediency.  They think nothing of using any means to attain the ends that they desire.  Think of George W. Bush saying that he "abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system".  WTF?

So, would we stand in the way of same sex couples pursuing happiness as they see fit?  Not at all.

Marriage needs to be depoliticized by removing it from State oversight.  Whenever anything of value is brought into the political realm it becomes the object of strife and acrimony.

Civil marriage is rightly the subject of contract law between two (or more) consenting parties.  Religious marriage is a matter of personal choice for the participants.  There is no place for State involvement in church services.

Classical liberal doctrine separated church and state, protecting religious expression from State interference.  The evolved libertarian also separates:

Commerce from State
Education from State
Banking from State
Money from State
Healthcare from State
Energy from State
Agriculture from State
Technology from State
Transportation from State
Art from State
The Environment from State
Charity from State
Telecommunications from State
Internet from State
Infrastructure from State
Personal defense from State

Likewise, now is the time to divorce marriage from state.  Ultimately, all of the above can summed up in just two lines:

Separation Me and State
Separation of You and State
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