Thursday, December 1, 2011
Separation of State and Marriage
As we approach another presidential election you are going to hear more hopla over protect marriage in America. People will keep saying this is the way the government should define marriage and others will say this is the way. I think all of them are arguing over the wrong question. The question is "Should the federal, state or local government have anything to do with marriage?" The answer is no. Marriage is a private ceremony at the minimum and a religious ceremony to most. (My personal view is it ordained by God.) Who can and can't married is the responsibility of the adults that are getting married not the state.
People should not need a license from the state to marry. I have some good meaning Christian friends who thank I am wrong about this but I would point out that you have not always had to have a license. That it is a modern creation. We humans get used to doing things a certain way and think that is the way that have to be done. No.
Some would object to this separation of state and marriage because government sanctioned marriage comes with civil protection and benefits. If couples wanted to they could go to a lawyer and draw up civil contract that joins their assets and gives each other power of attorney. People do something similar now they just call it a prenuptial agreement. They could do this before or after or even in lieu of a marriage ceremony. On the flip side people could marry in a religious ceremony without combining their assets. This would end one thing that I find reprehensible, people get married in front of minister and then divorce in front of a judge.
Another objection is because it would mess up our current tax laws without government sanctions marriage. They are already a mess. The above civil contract could replace the married filing jointly or even better adopt a simple straight percentage for tax. The tax law could be fixed so that the net income of family is not effected by a lack of government sanctions marriage.
Some may raise an objection because of health insurance? You can get it for your spouse but you would not be able to without marriage. That is simple all insurance companies would have to allow coverage of you +1 instead of you +spouse. At least then a single mom could get insurance for her 30 year old child who has Down syndrome. Some insurance companies are already doing this.
You could probably find other objection to the separation of state and marriage but if you read this far you are capable to think of simple solutions like above for your objection.