Get The Government Out of It!

As a conservative/libertarian (gosh I hate labels) I am constantly looking for ways to get the government out of our business.  And, I believe that the gay marriage issue has been a wedge that keeps people that are otherwise conservative (or fiscally conservative) out of the conservative movement.  They feel that a fundamental element of who they are is completely rejected by the movement.

So, I believe it’s imperative that conservatives find a way to deal with this issue.  And I think I’ve found a solution…

Get the government completely out of marriage.  EVERYONE gets a civil union.  And then you can have your own ceremony, officiated by your rabbi, bishop, priest, kaballah, spiritual advisor – whatever tickles your fancy.

This solution really separates out the legal and religious ends of marriage – not to mention the business and romantic ends.

Think of it as the spousal unit being a corporation.  Just have the couple download a form, sign, date, Notarize, and send in to the register of deeds in the appropriate county.  Boom.  You’re legally a spousal unit.  You get the tax benefits, inheritance rights, everything – whether your union is heterosexual or same sex.  You want to have a religious ceremony? Fine, you’re on your own.  It’s a totally separate entity.

One of the beauties of this is it doesn’t create any new paperwork – couples already have to apply for a marriage license. Instead of doing that, they just file the “incorporation” documents.  And if they’re really ambitious, they can specify asset distribution and child custody provisions in the event of a dissolution of the union.  (Maybe that’d prevent some lawsuits? Ah, who am I kidding?!)

One of the main arguments many social conservatives have against the government recognizing same-sex marriage is that churches could be forced to marry same-sex couples even though it goes against the tenets of the church or be sued for bias.  This solution prevents that because it sets “marriage” as a purely religious ceremony with no ties to the government, so the government cannot regulate it.

What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Get The Government Out of It!

  1. As I understand it, marriage licenses and government supervision of “gettin’ hitched” came about to prevent “the wrong kinds of people” from getting married. (i.e., no miscegenation) Seems like an archaism we could do without.

    And, really, in states like CA where no-fault divorce is the rule, the legal status of marriage is nothing more than an aspect of contract law. Why not separate the civil and religious functions and let each sphere (government and churches) do what they do best?

  2. I have thought the same thing. Some people feel that the government “encouraging” male-female marriages is healthy for children and society. I agree that marriages are healthy for children and society. Still, I don’t like the government needing to “encourage” it. Separately, originally, the “spousal exemption” and other tax laws were set up to lower taxes on married couples so that the wife could afford to stay home. Today, tax law results in a “marriage penalty”, where you end up paying MORE tax because you’re married. So, that purpose, even if one believed in it, is not being accomplished by governmental marriage anymore. The government can’t say when I’m married, divorced, adopted, or what my “real” name is. I’ve changed my name to Tru Dat, without Uncle Sam even approving it!

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