[ExI] Same Sex Marriage

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri Feb 25 15:27:37 UTC 2011

2011/2/23 Kevin Cadmus <kcadmus at gmail.com>:
> Thanks, Kelly, for bringing up a favorite topic of mine.

Glad it hasn't started a flame war. :-)  I think there is room for
some interesting discussion in this area.

> Perhaps the best way to get government out of the marriage business is to
> foment revolution within the huge mass of single folks.  They are
> discriminated against in many ways, some subtle and some not so subtle.  By
> educating this group about how they are getting the shaft by government's
> bestowal of privilege to married folk, maybe there will be a new faction
> saying that, "We aren't going to take this anymore!"

There seems to be something of a consensus (in the US) these days that
there should be a "separation of church and state", although I don't
know the exact history of how this got started. The current form of
the idea clearly doesn't go back to the founding. Marriage is a weird
construct that combines state and church in a most unusual way.
Separating the state view of marriage from the religious view of
marriage seems like a really complex and difficult thing to achieve.
At first, it would seem like the easiest way to do it would be to
simply get rid of the government version, but I'm not sure that comes
without some societal costs.

> Is it so hard to imagine a push for a new U.S. constitutional amendment
> along the lines of "Congress shall pass no legislation that discriminates
> according to marital status."

It's hard to see it getting passed. The government wants to be in the
social engineering business (even though they mess it up every time
they try, IMNSHO) and there really is a lot of research supporting the
idea that kids with two parents do better than kids with only one
parent (avoiding the issue of whether the parents are straight or gay
for the moment). Since there is this strong evidence, the government
wants to promote the raising of citizens in more stable two parent
homes. On the face of it, that seems to be in society's best interest,
so the government gives married couples tax breaks to promote
marriage, and the raising of stable citizenry. This is a difficult
argument to overcome, even though part of me really wants to agree
with your proposal. I'm surprised that the government by and large has
kept getting a divorce so simple (from a legal standpoint).

> It has a nice parallelism with other similar
> civil rights legislation.  So people will readily understand the issue.  But
> how can the existing laws be retrofitted to abide by this new amendment?  It
> may be easier than it appears.  A person's marital status is referenced by a
> relatively small handful of existing laws.  Rescinding these few laws will
> end the injustice, simplify the tax code, avoid promoting marriages for
> trumped up reasons,

Marriage and immigration is a particularly messy area. How do you get
married to a foreign national? Do they then get to stay in the
country? How would your proposed amendment be interpreted by the
courts in this area? Would you be discriminating against foreign
nationals wanting to become citizens who are not married?

> and (maybe best of all) end the endless and irresolvable
> blathering and bickering about who should or should not be allowed to be
> considered by the state to be "married".  In essence, the answer becomes "no
> one".  The government finally is removed from the ugly business of defining
> what "being married" means.

I like that on the surface, but there are trade offs. I think it is a
complex matter to be quite honest.

> If private parties want to discriminate for or against single persons, fine!

So it's not quite like the civil rights discrimination then? And why
not? You're blowing your parallelism argument a bit here.

>  But it will force them to define what they want "married" to mean.  Most
> might conclude that it simply isn't worth the effort.
> Would there be a down side to this that I'm just not seeing?

Yes, I think there would be a number of downsides. What they are
exactly is hard to say, but you can look at the population of inner
city black people, who by and large don't get married as much as the
rest of the population for a clue as to what some of those downsides
might be. Lydon B. Johnson really screwed that population over by
marketing government programs (food stamps, welfare, etc.) to that
population. One of the biggest screw ups in the history of the nation
imho. And a large part of the problem is probably related to what it
did to the family structure in that populace.

Just to be very clear, I don't have anything against black people.
Some of my favorite children are black. :-)  I do have a big problem
with what the government has done to them. In some ways, it's even
worse than what they did to the Native Americans, although that was
really bad too.


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