July 3, 2003


Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 3, 2003 11:56 AM I was planning yesterday to make an entry about how the government should give up all involvement in the institution of marriage. Let churches (or whoever) handle marrying people, and let shared assets fall under existing contract law. Then there's no issue of whether same-sex marriage should be legal or not. Unfortunately, Michael Kinsley at Slate beat me to the punch. It wasn't my idea originally anyway, so it's not like he's ripping me off.

One thing he doesn't bring up is the church-state issue. Given the close ties of marriage with religion, it doesn't seem right that the government should be deciding what is or isn't a valid marriage. So if Church A wants to allow same-sex marriage, and Church B doesn't, but wants to allow multiple wives, where does the government get the authority to say that some of the marriages recognized in these churches are allowed but others aren't?

One of Kinsley's brilliant contributions to the argument is his conservative-friendly rendering: "Privatize marriage."

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has expressed his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. I wonder if he thought the sodomy law issue should have been left to the states to decide? Open question: Does this amendment have the Senate support it needs to pass? A similar amendment to the California constitution passed as a ballot initiative (Proposition 22, I think) in 2000.

Normally I find Maureen Dowd on the incoherent side, but her story of Bill Frist's taking in cats in order to dissect them makes a near-perfect metaphor for the "compassionate conservatism" Frist is supposed to represent. Tags:
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