Government and Marriage

Part 8 of the
Libertarian Case for
Man/Woman Marriage

Government and marriage: how should libertarians view the role of government in marriage?

Remember from our first segment that the essential public purpose of marriage should be to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another. This is an intrinsically public function which cannot be successfully privatized. The state has a duty to provide the basic legal scaffolding that supports the natural family.

Unfortunately, the state has badly neglected this responsibility, and often facilitates the separation of children from their parents, and parents from one another. We see this in many situations:

1. In no fault divorce, the state joins sides with the least committed partner in the destruction of the marriage! The very concept of "no fault divorce" requires the state to do this, and it’s clearly an increase of the state’s power.

2. Many of our public assistance programs penalize poor families for having a husband or father living in the home.

3. Permitting anonymous sperm donors to be strangers to their children creates an artificial separation of fathers from their children and of mothers and fathers from one another. This is an injustice to the child – it permanently and deliberately cuts the child off from a relationship with one of their parents. This unnatural situation is only made possible because of the state. As such, it requires the state to regulate it.

Removing the gender requirement for marriage will continue this trend of increasing the state’s power against children and the family. The state must stop attacking the family. The state has no right to take over marriage and redefine it to suit its own purposes.

Government and marriage might seem to make strange partners to some libertarians, but we hope we have convinced you that the state will only increase its power and scope as it continues to tinker with the definition of marriage by including people of the same gender. If we continue along this path, marriage will be completely meaningless as a civil institution.

You have the opportunity to decide whether to support marriage as the union of a man and a woman. You must decide whether your community will continue the trend of pretending to increase freedom, while breaking down the institutional structures that make true freedom possible. You must decide whether to go along quietly with turning the family, the last truly private sector, into a creation of the state, or whether to take a stand for marriage as a natural reality that the state recognizes, but ultimately does not create.

This is part 8 of our series, The Libertarian Case for Man/Woman Marriage. Other parts are located here:

Part 1: What is the definition of marriage?

Part 2: What is marriage and why do we need it?

Part 3: Gay Marriage Facts

Part 4: Marriage equality creates new inequalities

Part 5: Marriage Laws: How Should the State View Marriage?

Part 6: History of Marriage

Part 7: Gay Marriage means Genderless Marriage

Part 8: Government and Marriage (you are here)

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Personal reasons for marriage (such as love) are valid as personal reasons, but they serve as a poor foundation for public policies about marriage.

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What are others reading?
Top pages are:

1. Part 5 of the Libertarian Case for Man/Woman Marriage: Marriage Laws & the Proper Role of the State

2. Part 3 of the Libertarian Case for Man/Woman Marriage: Gay Marriage Facts

3. Our page about Preserving the Ecosystem of marriage

4. Our page about how contraception harms the marriage ecosystem

5. Part 1 of the Libertarian Case for Man/Woman Marriage, Definition of Marriage

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