Participating in the gay marriage debate was one of the major factors which led me away from the left vs. right fight and toward liberty. After so much debating and trying to prove my argument in defense of marriage being between a man and woman, I finally started to take in what my opponents were saying and understood their concerns. Up to that point, I considered myself a “conservative constitutionalist, ” and saw it as my duty to protect the sanctity of marriage through the force of law.
Then I realize that, as a constitutionalist, I believed in equal rights for all, not for any minority or specific group of people. So the first argument that planted the seed of liberty in my brain was the fact that every citizen pays taxes, yet only heterosexual married couples receive certain benefits. It was hard to believe that somebody with such a simple and obvious argument could poke a hole in my entire belief system.
While still not wanting to give in, however, I had an epiphany. A solution that would resolve issues on both sides and was very much what the cCnstitution was all about: Instead of going in the direction of allowing others to marry through more legislation, we need to go the opposite way. Even if government allowed gay couples to marry, it’s still treating another group unequally. Single people. Where’re our benefits? We’ve got to take any marriage-based benefits away from those who have it now. Why on Earth is anybody allowed any benefits from the government just for being married anyway? Where’s the outrage from the 43 percent of Americans over the age of eighteen who are single? No matter how the government defines marriage by law, the very fact that the government is involved means it treating adults unequally under the law — and promoting a specific lifestyle through legislation. Both of these actions extend beyond the reach of the Constitution.
This is why I’ve concluded that both major sides of the marriage debate are wrong. Why? Because they are both utilizing government to achieve their goal of changing our culture through federal force. It is NOT the government’s job to be dictating what any person or institution can do regarding marriage. It is part of any person’s basic human rights to live their life how they choose so long as they aren’t hurting anybody else or infringing upon anybody else’s rights — marriage included.
Granted, any particular church or religious institution doesn’t have to marry two people if they choose not to but that’s not really a problem today. Many churches today are happy to marry two men or two women. This doesn’t hurt me, no matter my opinion of gay marriage, so long as each church is free to choose its stance on the issue — and I’m free to choose my church.
Obviously, the next argument from the political right is regarding my title issue: the sanctity of marriage. As a Christian, I want to protect something so sacred as a union between a man, woman, and God. But is legislating my belief really gonna help? And why does anybody else’s marriage matter to the sanctity of my own? It’s funny how these same people preaching the sanctity of marriage are off having affairs or have been divorced multiple times. Perhaps we all need to worry more about our own marriage than others’.
Let’s look at the history of the marriage license, shall we? If you’re like me, you didn’t know anything about it. However, a simple Google search will tell you that the history of a government-issued marriage license was based on racism. Back in the day, the license was used to prohibit whites from marrying non-whites. After the civil rights movement, government simply kept this process of licensing until they found another reason to keep issuing them. If that doesn’t prove to you that government is a terrible arbiter of morality, then I don’t know what will.
Government is what ruined the sanctity of marriage, and it did so long before the issue of gay marriage ever existed. Think about it. If you want to restore the meaning of marriage, do you really think you can achieve that by attaching bureaucracy, the force of government, or federal benefits to it? That’s why the meaning of it all has been reduced to what it is today. Like I was taught growing up, you only get out of something what you put into it. It makes sense that so many Americans go into a marriage carelessly when all it involves is signing documents and receiving tax benefits. It’s become something material. Take those things out of the equation and marriage wouldn’t look so appealing to the people who don’t really care about it.
So get the government out, let individuals, churches, and private organizations decide who they want to marry and if they want to recognize any given marriage. This, not government involvement, is what will protect the sanctity of marriage.
I apologize for writing this so late in the game in light of North Carolina banning same-sex marriages.Published in