Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Marriage is a Contract, not a “Right”

In Opinion on March 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm

According to the WSJ editorial board (link here  The Wall Street Journal) if the Supreme Court finds a right to gay marriage in the Constitution, “[i}t will inflame [debates Americans are conducting] and ensure they never end, prematurely aborting the give-and-take on contentious moral and social issues the Constitution is designed to encourage.”

Hogwash.

The Constitution does not encourage such give-and-take.  No, the Constitution puts such matters beyond the reach of political bickering and the law.  The Constitution neither proscribed nor prescribed debates about social norms – its authors were intentionally silent on that question – they didn’t leave it out by accident.  The Constitution enumerates the powers the people were willing to grant to their government.  The power to affect ‘moral and social issues’ by encouraging (or discouraging) debate (or any other means) was not among the powers granted to the government.

According to the Constitution, political and legal debates – free speech – may never be outlawed, PERIOD.  Since the Constitution pertains only to legal matters, regarding all other debates the Constitution is silent.  The effect that silence may have on ‘debates Americans are conducting’ is not properly a matter of political or legal discussion, so any mention of the Constitution is not germane.

The federal government (and the states, too?) should exit the debate about marriage, since it is a ‘moral and social’ issue.  Any and all laws about marriage should be stricken from the books immediately, if not sooner.  Tax preferences, any special or preferred legal status of a spouse, the mere mention of the word marriage should be expunged.  Marriage, as legal matter, should represent nothing more than a contract between consenting adults, and in that regard, the state’s sole purpose is to enforce the contract.  To confer special status upon parties of only a certain type of such contracts is, well, unConstitutional.

So, as far as the federal government should have any concern, we’re all bachelor(ette)s.  Properly understood, American Constitutional law has nothing to do with ‘an evolving social consensus‘ (WSJ’s words) about marriage (or gun ownership or video game content, or . . .)  It’s high time the left AND the right, the governing class in general, abandon their efforts to use government force to coerce certain social norms and outcomes.

(1) No theft.  (2) No murder.  (3) Every person is free to live life subject only to those two prohibitions.  That is the only just, moral code of laws.  It follows that whom I marry is no one’s business, so certainly it is not subject to Uncle Sam’s approval.

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  1. Well said but we do need a few other laws, thou shalt not pollute etc

    G. Trevor Vietor

  2. When the people ‘give’ their government (fed or state) the power to determine ‘what is right and what is wrong’, the people have lost their individual liberties. What powers gov can give, they can take away. I, personally, am a conservative Christian, and thus, believe a marriage is a union between a man and woman and is only given by God. But just as I would not bash a Bible over ones head to make them believers, I will not force others to follow my convictions. I don’t think the gov (fed or state) should be anywhere in the equation. I feel this way about abortion as well… while I am strongly and fully against it, I do not think there should be ‘laws on the books’ regarding it either way.

  3. ” I feel this way about abortion as well… while I am strongly and fully against it, I do not think there should be ‘laws on the books’ regarding it either way.” … UGH. Disregard that. “Thou shall not kill.” I am REALLY torn with this one. While I believe in maximum individual Constitutional liberty, we as a people were different then. We as a whole, were followers of God and His Commandments. In today’s world, it is much different. I am really torn between my spiritual convictions and what laws and regulations a nation should impose upon the people. BLAH. :/

  4. The State views marriage as a “contract” while God views it as a covenant. The Church wrongly validates the State’s view by serving as the administrator/witness of that contract. When a Pastor concludes a wedding ceremony with the words “by the authority vested in me by the State…” the pastor is reducing marriage to a state-approved contract rather than a God-sanctioned covenant, and giving tacit approval to the State’s rules governing that contract, including the State’s rules for breaking that contract – rules that are decidedly different from God’s.

    • Excellent Bill Hobbs, thank you!

      With all the laws and regulations currently on the books, I know this is not possible, however, I would like it all simplified by there being two types of unions available to the people. A state approved union (contract) which has all the legal protections and such and a God approved union (covenant) which is not connected to mans government in any way… let people choose which one they want to engage in. Problem solved, right?

  5. I really wish I had the talent to speak clearly and powerfully… Dana Loesch is one who I believe does. These two small articles she wrote explain exactly the way I feel:

    “So no, “marriage equality” is emphatically not a conservative value or tactic. Anything where the solution is an invitation for government intervention should be viewed with utmost suspicion.” … http://www.redstate.com/dloesch/2013/03/26/the-argument-for-marriage-equality-is-not-a-conservative-one/

    and

    “This is a taxation issue, not a marriage issue.” … http://www.redstate.com/dloesch/2013/03/27/its-a-taxation-issue-not-a-marriage-issue/

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