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My dad's case against "marriage equality"

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Wheylous Posted: Tue, Nov 6 2012 6:53 PM

I naturally hold the view that government should not be involved in the question of marriage at all. Gay people shouldn't be sanctioned in their marriages by government, and neither should straight people.

I went to a Gary Johnson rally about a month ago where he said that he is for marriage equality because getting government out of marriage is too difficult - too many laws to rewrite. It sounded reasonable, though I doubt it changed my mind on the issue.

Two nights ago, my dad told me why he would definitely vote no on marriage equality. I believe that his stance is a very valid one that makes use of good institutional analysis:

Voting yes to marriage equality solidifies the power of government over the family. Even if it's just tax cuts, something we like, it sends a message that government is allowed to make such decisions of what is considered marriage/family and what is not. This introduces a whole new type of slippery slope argument that no one talk about in the gay marriage debate. It's not about people marrying their dogs or cars - I couldn't care less. It's about government gaining even more power over the family structure. If government can "regulate" marriage, why not create a Department of the Family? Why not pass laws exactly how parents should raise their children? After all, they have the authority to decide what marriage is and they already have a tax code which manipulates social policy by artificially increasing incentives of marriage (more precisely, it increases disincentives to be single).

After hearing his viewpoint, I am even more against government defining marriage. But his argument makes a specific case why the very process of government "allowing" gay people to marry is a threat to freedom. It gives government the illusion that the family is theirs to control.

Your thoughts? On second thought, it could be argued that government should then not give tax cuts because that reinforces the illusion that they have the legitimate power to decide who gets to keep how much of his own money. Hm... Thoughts?

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What does your dad have to say about marriages being contracts in the eyes of the law?

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He would treat them as all other contracts if such a contract is signed.

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Okay. I bring that up because I see a lot (not necessarily all) of the gay-marriage issue being about whether the law is to honor all marriage contracts or not. As I understand it, the law by-and-large in the US will not honor marriage contracts between homosexuals.

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Malachi replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 7:15 PM
Your dad is right.
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Malachi replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 7:21 PM
When you say "marriage contracts" are you referring to a typical marriage that is certified by an agent of the state? Like the marriage that basically everyone has? You wouldnt be talking about two homosexuals who draw up a contract and sign it themselves and try to enforce it on each other in court later, right?
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I'm talking about both, I believe.

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Malachi replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 7:24 PM
Are you aware of any instances of the latter? Because that sounds hilarious.
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Oh, now I see your point. :P Well no, I don't know of any instances of the latter. But as I understand it, the state certification is basically done for legal witnessing purposes. So I see no reason why that shouldn't be done for homosexual couples who want to enter into the same kind of mutual agreement as heterosexual couples.

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Neodoxy replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 7:28 PM

... Is your Dad a libertarian Wheylous?

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Anenome replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 7:29 PM
 
 

Again this goes back to the knife-edge difficulty of left-wing sectarianism vs right-wing opportunism with how we approach social change as a ideologically motivated group.

I'd like to qualify by saying that I don't think there's necessarily a right answer, for any answer depends on forecasting the future and on question of strategy generally.

I think we could support any movement in laws towards the direction of freedom with the caveat that we've got to keep the ideal of pure freedom in mind and at the forefront of our plan as the ultimate motivator not to lose sight of.

So, while I'd agree that government has no place in deciding marriages and its influence in the realm should be rejected legally, movement towards that ideal could be supported while remaining true to the abolishment objective.

It is not a betrayal of the ultimate goal to support movement towards that goal. It's only betrayal to bury the ultimate goal in favore of step-goals.

Thus, the libertarian should feel free to, for instance, support lower taxes and lower spending as movement towards an abolished government, and should reject concepts like tax-cuts needing to pay for themselves via new taxes and the like.

 
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Malachi replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 7:47 PM
But as I understand it, the state certification is basically done for legal witnessing purposes.
I think Wheylous' dad is correct, its done to control families. What if people had to get married in a church, or they couldnt get health insurance for their spouse? Can you imagine the amount of indirect influence churches would have?
So I see no reason why that shouldn't be done for homosexual couples who want to enter into the same kind of mutual agreement as heterosexual couples.
because I dont like the state deciding what is and is not a family. This isnt a political position for me, its actually culture and religion. And as long as the state is doing things, it should do them as fairly as possible. BUT this is NOT a case of discrimination. The state doesnt certify "unions between couples" except they throw the gay ones away. The state certifies procreative unions as permanent, requiring the state's procedures and final approval for dissolution. They dont decide if youre going steady or not, they affirm that youre stuck raising kids together until further notice.

the problem is that marriage confers benefits, the aforementioned health insurance among them. Homosexual couples consider it discriminatory that they arent allowed to receive these benefits. I do see their point, and it does seem unfair that in a free and open society, there would be these barriers that prevent people from living there lives when they arent hurting anyone. So I'm sympathetic, but the real problem here is that they are misunderstanding the situation. This isnt a value-free government, or a free and open society. Those benefits to marriage were put in place to encourage marriages, specifically nuclear families. When the gays realize that, they become more militant because they have an awakening similar to anarchists where they realize the xtent of the oppression they are under, its probably worse for some of them because they got fooled for a second, gay people on tv, gay politicians, they thought maybe things were changing. btw I meant "militant" in a non-aggressive sense. Because my next point is

this is one of the things that is causing the public sphere to crack up, and it emphasizes the need for nonviolent free association and exchange of ideas. Because we know that the state cannot decide what should and shouldnt be a family, that is just one more thng they should stay out of.

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Your dad has a good point. Also, Johnson is wrong that the current law exemplifies "marriage inequality". Technically, gay people can get married just as straight people can under current law: a gay man can marry, he just has to marry a woman; a gay woman can get married, she just has to marry a man. His argument is unsound. (I know this isn't the salient point of your thread; just puttin' it out there.)

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Neodoxy - of sorts, yes. He is more like a semi-radical individualist who believes in property rights. So I would label him as a paleo-libertarian, but I think he doesn't like labeling himself.

QC - I guess this touches upon the idea of "universality", which, I believe, is fundamentally impossible.

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Neodoxy replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 8:40 PM

Haha cool. I ask because that sounds like a very standard libertarian argument against same sex marriage....

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The government already defines families in many ways.  Christians oppose gay marriage because there is a re-definition, so to speak.  I don't know if 'definition of family' is ambiguous or part of the debate.   But it seems like an ad hoc rationalization only.

And it 'regulates' them:  you can't feed your kids paint chips or batteries for lunch, or kill them.  Or probably lots of other stuff.

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I have one question.  Is your dad legally married?  There's nothing wrong with this position, but if you're personally enjoying the benefits of legally-recognized marriage, while denying the same benefits to gays because of your anti-government worldview, surely you can see the hypocrisy of that.

 

 

 

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Malachi replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 9:02 PM
Gays can get married. They just cant marry someone of the same sex.

Its like I have a govt secured home loan, and you ask if I'm comfortable denying the benefits of cheaper secured credit to people who want boats. Yes, I'm comfortable with that. Lets get rid of the benefits I enjoy as well.

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@Wheylous

It's funny that you mentioned your dad's argument. I was all gung-ho to vote yes for the assisted suicide question and the legalizing marijuana question in MA. But when I started actually reading the questions, I realized that the government was just going to take more control over the situation. I decided that I couldn't support either way, so I abstained from any questions on the ballot after all.

It was such an eye opener for me. I'm all for taking whatever we can get towards the goal of liberty, but some of these "baby steps" are really 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

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Novichok replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 11:33 PM

I don't think it's a particularly good argument. How does restriction of gay marriage (or any action) by the government, desolidify the power of the government? If the government proclaims that two men or two women can't get married, doesn't that also send a message "that the government is allowed to make such decisions of what is considered marriage/family"?

Suppose that the government prevents a class of people from doing a certain action X. That action is perfectly harmless and might even increase total utility. Given that it's unlikely that the government is going to get out of the business of regulating this action, why should a libertarian (someone who values freedom) want the government to continue to restrict that class of people from doing X? Whether the government restricts or permits that action, it's still exerting it's power. There is no desolidifying.

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Nov 6 2012 11:49 PM

Novichok:

How does restriction of gay marriage (or any action) by the government, desolidify the power of the government?

You are asking the wrong question. Forget gay marriage; let's look at a different issue: marijuana. Right now pot is a black market good throughout most of the country. Pretty much anybody can get it if they want to if they know where to look, and they can do so without penalty. Now what happens when the government "legalizes" pot? It has a ton of restrictions and regulations as to its production and consumption.

So which situation is "more free"? I do not think there is a clear cut answer. On the one hand, it is a black market good and cannot be purchased or produced legally. On the other hand, so long as one is not careless, it can be produced and purchased without much hassle from the government. So why go from that to a scenario where it is "legal" but legal producers and buyers are to be kept on a list and regulated as to what they can do with it?

There is no clear right answer. It's the same with gay marriage. Sure, if you "legalize" gay marriage, they will be treated equally. But what does that get anyone? Government bureaucracy will only grow from such a scenario.

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Novichok replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 12:03 AM

The marijuana example isn't really analogous to the same-sex marriage issue (since marijuana can be obtained without penalty). It's not restricted in the relevant sense. Same-sex marriage cannot be obtained via the black market. My question should be: How does the complete restriction of an action by the government desolidify the power of the government?

If gay marriage is legalized, it expands the possiblities of what a certain class of people are allowed to do. And it decreases the restrictions. Given that the government is not getting out the marriage business anytime soon, why should we  (people who supposedly value freedom/liberty) want to decrease those possibilites?

And it's not at all obvious that government bureaucracy would necessarily grow by much. No new laws (besides the obvious one of allowing gay couples to marry) or agencies would have to be created. This argument might work better against proponents of polygamous marriage.

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 12:15 AM

Novichok:

The marijuana example isn't really analogous to the same-sex marriage issue (since marijuana can be obtained without penalty). It's not restricted in the relevant sense. Same-sex marriage cannot be obtained via the black market.

In what manner are homosexuals unable to marry without the state? As far as I can tell, they can live together, visit with each other in the hospital, have marriage ceremonies, etc. They are only unrecognized by the state and do not get certain state-privileges.

My question should be: How does the complete restriction of an action by the government desolidify the power of the government?

The reason this is the wrong question is because it is already banned. The restriction cannot desolidify government power because it is already restricted. The argument against the state "legalizing" gay marriage is that through this "legalization", the state will get more power. The reason I put legalize in quotes is because the state is not actually legalizing it, it is only regulating it in another manner. It's not like it's a criminal action for gays to marry.

If gay marriage is legalized, it expands the possiblities of what a certain class of people are allowed to do. And it decreases the restrictions.

This can be said about a lot of things. It is not unique to gay marriage and it can be said about things that you would consider to be immoral.

Given that the government is not getting out the marriage anytime soon, why should we libertarians (people who supposedly value freedom) want to decrease those possibilites?

It's not about decreasing possibilities. The options are already lower than heterosexual options. But that's not the argument that some libertarians are making. The argument is that, through extending state privileges to homosexuals in addition to heterosexuals, the state's hold on society and marriage is strengthened.

Like I said, there is no clear cut answer. Many of the arguments for legalizing homosexual marriage are becoming a moot point as insurance companies and hospitals deal with more homosexual partnerships. So the only thing gay couples will lack will be state privileges, and libertarians are against those on principle.

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Novichok replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 12:35 AM

gotlucky:
In what manner are homosexuals unable to marry without the state? As far as I can tell, they can live together, visit with each other in the hospital, have marriage ceremonies, etc. They are only unrecognized by the state and do not get certain state-privileges.

Yes. And that recognition by the state can't be obtained via the black market. They are restricted from state recognized marriage and certain state-privileges but straight people are not. If the state is not getting out the marriage business, why should we restrict gay couplse from getting a state recognized marriage and from enjoying the benefits that married straight couples enjoy?

The reason this is the wrong question is because it is already banned. The restriction cannot desolidify government power because it is already restricted. The argument about against the state "legalizing" gay marriage is that through this "legalization", the state will get more power. The reason I put legalize in quotes is because the state is not actually legalizing it, it is only regulating it in another manner. It's not like it's a criminal action for gays to marry.

How does the state get more power from allowing a currently banned action than restricting it? It's not at all obvious that it does. And if we value freedom, we should favor a state of the world where people are actually more free.

This can be said about a lot of things. It is not unique to gay marriage and it can be said about things with which you would consider to be immoral.

Yes it can be said about a lot of things. But is homosexuality immoral? Is same-sex marriage immoral? Your reply would only be relevant if same-sex marriage were immoral.

It's not about decreasing possibilities. The options are already lower than heterosexual options. But that's not the argument that some libertarians are making. The argument is that, through extending state privileges to homosexuals in addition to heterosexuals, the state's hold on society and marriage is strengthened.

Like I said, there is no clear cut answer. Many of the arguments for legalizing homosexual marriage are becoming a moot point as insurance companies and hospitals deal with more homosexual partnerships. So the only thing gay couples will lack will be state privileges, and libertarians are against those on principle.

Again, it's not obvious that restricting state privileges to a certain class of people leads to a less powerful state.

Re: state privileges, I don't think a libertarian has to necessarily be against state privileges. Given that the state exists and it will exist in the foreseeable future, we shouldn't restrict a certain class of people from doing actions that lead to those state privileges. Yeah, getting the state out of the marriage business is the optimal situation but that's not gonna happen anytime soon. Until then, we should work on increasing freedom. Or at least not fight  against it

 

 

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 12:50 AM

Yes. And that recognition by the state can't be obtained via the black market. They are restricted from state recognized marriage and certain state-privileges but straight people are not. If the state is not getting out the marriage business, why should we restrict gay couplse from getting a state recognized marriage and from enjoying the benefits that married straight couples enjoy?

Who cares about the recognition by the state? I live in MA, and I know straight couples and gay couples who are married, and I know straight couples and gay couples that are not married but have what would be a common law marriage.

Your argument is flawed anyway: "If the state is not getting out of the welfare business, why should we restrict middle class and upper class couples from getting state welfare and enjoying the benefits that the lower class enjoy?"

How does the state get more power from allowing a currently banned action than restricting it? It's not at all obvious that it does. And if we value freedom, we should favor a state of the world where people are actually more free.

I'm no longer going to address this point of yours. I have done so twice without response.

Yes it can be said about a lot of things. But is homosexuality immoral? Is same-sex marriage immoral? Your reply would only be relevant if same-sex marriage were immoral.

No. My point was that your argument is flawed, not the conclusion. "If X is legalized, it expands the possibilities of what a certain class of people are allowed to do. And it decreases the restrictions". That X could be anything. Legalizing shoplifting would be one such example.

Again, it's not obvious that restricting state privileges to a certain class of people leads to a less powerful state.

As I said above, I am no longer addressing this point until you address my response.

Re: state privileges, I don't think a libertarian has to necessarily be against state privileges. Given that the state exists and it will exist in the foreseeable future, we shouldn't restrict a certain class of people from doing actions that lead to those state privileges. Yeah, getting the state out of the marriage business is the optimal situation but that's not gonna happen anytime soon. Until then, we should work on increasing freedom. Or at least not fight  against it

Libertarians must necessarily be against state privileges. The underlying belief for libertarians is the non-aggression principle. State privileges violate this principle.

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Who cares about the recognition by the state? I live in MA, and I know straight couples and gay couples who are married, and I know straight couples and gay couples that are not married but have what would be a common law marriage.

Your argument is flawed anyway: "If the state is not getting out of the welfare business, why should we restrict middle class and upper class couples from getting state welfare and enjoying the benefits that the lower class enjoy?"

Lots of people care. If they didn't, it wouldn't be such a contentious issue.

And your question doesn't show that my argument is flawed. To show that an argument is flawed, you either have to show that the argument isn't valid. Or if it's valid, that one of the premises is false. I wasn't even presenting an argument there. I was asking a question. Also there's a key difference between welfare benefits and marriage benefits. Welfare benefits rely on the redistribution of other people's money but marriage benefits don't.

I'm no longer going to address this point of yours. I have done so twice without response.

You addressed it but insufficiently. You have not shown that allowing of an action increases government power than the restriction of that action.

No. My point was that your argument is flawed, not the conclusion. "If X is legalized, it expands the possibilities of what a certain class of people are allowed to do. And it decreases the restrictions". That X could be anything. Legalizing shoplifting would be one such example.

Your point doesn't show that my argument is flawed. I never claimed that all actions should be allowed. And even if I did, I only believe that morally acceptable actions should be allowed. For my argument to be flawed, you would have to show that same-sex marriage is morally wrong.

Libertarians must necessarily be against state privileges. The underlying belief for libertarians is the non-aggression principle. State privileges violate this principle.

That's false. Suppose the state owns a piece of land and it restricts people from walking across the land. But after I marry, the state allows me to walk across the land. That is a state privilege yet it doesn't violate the NAP.

 

 

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Lots of people care. If they didn't, it wouldn't be such a contentious issue.

False. These people are not bitching about a piece of paper. They are upset because of the state privileges they are not receiving.

And your question doesn't show that my argument is flawed. To show that an argument is flawed, you either have to show that the argument isn't valid. Or if it's valid, that one of the premises is false. I wasn't even presenting an argument there. I was asking a question. Also there's a key difference between welfare benefits and marriage benefits. Welfare benefits rely on the redistribution of other people's money but marriage benefits don't.

If you are a libertarian who subscribes to the NAP, then your argument is flawed. If you are not a libertarian, then you are correct. But I've been assuming you are a libertarian who subscribes to the NAP.

You addressed it but insufficiently. You have not shown that allowing of an action increases government power than the restriction of that action.

You are continuing to miss the point. It is already restricted. You have continued to claim that the argument put forth in the OP or by others here is that restricting the privilege desolidifies state power. This is not the argument.

Your point doesn't show that my argument is flawed. I never claimed that all actions should be allowed. And even if I did, I only believe that morally acceptable actions should be allowed. For my argument to be flawed, you would have to show that same-sex marriage is morally wrong.

No. As I stated above, I have been assuming you were a libertarian. If you are not a libertarian, then you are correct, your argument is not flawed. If you are a libertarian, then your argument is flawed because it can be used to justify nonlibertarian things.

That's false. Suppose the state owns a piece of land and it restricts people from walking across the land. But after I marry, the state allows me to walk across the land. That is a state privilege yet it doesn't violate the NAP.

It violates the NAP by virtue of the fact that the state owns the land. Whether it permits you or does not permit you to walk across the land is irrelevant. Anyway, I asked you what same-sex couples were lacking other than state privilege. Specifically, I said:

gotlucky:

In what manner are homosexuals unable to marry without the state? As far as I can tell, they can live together, visit with each other in the hospital, have marriage ceremonies, etc. They are only unrecognized by the state and do not get certain state-privileges.

If you can show which freedoms are restricted for unmarried same-sex couples, then you may have a point that the argument in the OP is wrong. If it is a question of benefits, then libertarians do not and probably should not support these same-sex marriage laws. If it is a question of unrestricting freedoms, then libertarians should support these proposed laws.

But as I also pointed out, many of the things that gay couples want from marriage - such as being recognized properly by insurance or being able to visit a loved one in the hospital - are no longer issues for gay couples or are almost eradicated as problems. These companies recognize gay couples and unmarried straight couples. So I ask, which freedoms are restricted for gay unmarried couples? Otherwise I cannot agree with you.

Malachi made a great point earlier in the thread:

Malachi:

Its like I have a govt secured home loan, and you ask if I'm comfortable denying the benefits of cheaper secured credit to people who want boats. Yes, I'm comfortable with that. Lets get rid of the benefits I enjoy as well.

That is the libertarian position. 

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Marko replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 2:14 AM

There's also the question of why trendy liberal self-important folk raise the issue (to draw distinction between themselves and the unwashed masses), and why some of the gay people want this (to use state recognition to beat any individuals who still won't recognize what they have as a marriage despite what the state says over the head with).

Nice info on Johnson, didn't know that. Have even less regard for him now.

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Anenome replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 5:28 AM
 
 

Novichok:
there's a key difference between welfare benefits and marriage benefits. Welfare benefits rely on the redistribution of other people's money but marriage benefits don't.

No but the denial of these marriage benefits may constitute a continuing aggression to everyone else.

Novichok:
Libertarians must necessarily be against state privileges. The underlying belief for libertarians is the non-aggression principle. State privileges violate this principle.

That's false. Suppose the state owns a piece of land and it restricts people from walking across the land. But after I marry, the state allows me to walk across the land. That is a state privilege yet it doesn't violate the NAP.

But that policy does violate rights still, just on the other side of the equation. It's not a question of whether just one individual's rights are being violated at anyone one point in time, it's whether the NAP is being violated as a consequence of that policy generally. And in this case you'd have to say it is. Because a privilege for one in the form of removing aggression from them is still continual aggression against everyone else still unprivileged.

 

 
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Malachi:
I think Wheylous' dad is correct, its done to control families. What if people had to get married in a church, or they couldnt get health insurance for their spouse? Can you imagine the amount of indirect influence churches would have?

What do you mean by "control"? What do you mean by "indirect influence"?

How would the government not be involved if people had to get married in a church, or they couldn't get health insurance for their spouses? Or am I missing something?

Malachi:
because I dont like the state deciding what is and is not a family. This isnt a political position for me, its actually culture and religion.

A homosexual couple is a family? I'm talking about enforcement of contracts, plain and simple. Of course you're free to define "family" however you want.

Malachi:
And as long as the state is doing things, it should do them as fairly as possible. BUT this is NOT a case of discrimination. The state doesnt certify "unions between couples" except they throw the gay ones away. The state certifies procreative unions as permanent, requiring the state's procedures and final approval for dissolution. They dont decide if youre going steady or not, they affirm that youre stuck raising kids together until further notice.

Can you please substantiate this?

Malachi:
the problem is that marriage confers benefits, the aforementioned health insurance among them. Homosexual couples consider it discriminatory that they arent allowed to receive these benefits. I do see their point, and it does seem unfair that in a free and open society, there would be these barriers that prevent people from living there lives when they arent hurting anyone. So I'm sympathetic, but the real problem here is that they are misunderstanding the situation. This isnt a value-free government, or a free and open society.

I think the idea is to make it a value-free government and a free and open society.

Malachi:
Those benefits to marriage were put in place to encourage marriages, specifically nuclear families. When the gays realize that, they become more militant because they have an awakening similar to anarchists where they realize the xtent of the oppression they are under, its probably worse for some of them because they got fooled for a second, gay people on tv, gay politicians, they thought maybe things were changing. btw I meant "militant" in a non-aggressive sense.

Again, I think the people who want to legalize marriage for homosexuals understand that those benefits were put in place specifically to encourage heterosexual nuclear families. Again, I think their point is for the government to not encourage particular voluntary social arrangements over others.

Malachi:
Because my next point is this is one of the things that is causing the public sphere to crack up, and it emphasizes the need for nonviolent free association and exchange of ideas. Because we know that the state cannot decide what should and shouldnt be a family, that is just one more thng they should stay out of.

In my posts in this thread, I've really been talking about the legal system, whatever that may be. Currently and in the past, the legal system has been monopolized by a state, which (as you well know) is far from my ideal. But I think that can be considered a separate issue here. My point is that I think the legal system - regardless of whether it's monopolized by a state - should enforce all marriage contracts. Does that make sense?

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I am not against marriage in general but I think the legal concept is a bad idea. You can still have the ceremony and experience without signing the paper and changing the surname. But as you have already said the government and tradition have created incentives to be married in the traditional sense and not how I described it. So in that sense I don't see why homosexuals don't just own a house together and share a bank account and do the ceremony and be happy with that. In my opinion the homosexual marriage issue is realy about the social acceptability of homosexuality in society.

But personally I don't mind what people want to do but I do no think that homosexuality should be encouraged in society. I treat homosexuality like any other perversion and do not think that it should be something that is accepted as just another type of sexuality. I have very unpopular views about it, but I obviously do not advocate any violence against them or government laws.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 7:24 PM
What do you mean by "control"? What do you mean by "indirect influence"?
I mean that if you need to get married in a church, because churches issue marriage certificates (like accredited colleges issue real degrees) and you needed one of those to get health insurance for your spouse (because its packaged with employment or whatever) then you would need to convince some church, any church, to give you that certification. That means that at least one church that you can access has to actually affirm that you are, in fact married, and not some other kind of relationship that they dont consider marriage. Thats influence. I mention accreditation because anybody can start a "church," just like anybody can open a "university." but the insurance company is gonna want to check your documentation so they dont end up issuing an insurance card to someone you "married" out of convenience.
How would the government not be involved if people had to get married in a church, or they couldn't get health insurance for their spouses? Or am I missing something?
assume a theoretical universe where actual insurance is sold both individually and bundled with employment, and they have an interest in making sure they are not defrauded. This universe is ancap, and has churches much like our real universe. These insurance companies decide that they can talk to religious institutions, churches and temples etc and determine if people are really married or just playing a role much easier than they can by hiring detectives. So they dont consider you married unless some institution they trust has certified you as married.
A homosexual couple is a family? I'm talking about enforcement of contracts, plain and simple. Of course you're free to define "family" however you want.
ok, what kind of contract between two homosexuals wouldnt be enforced, if they employed the latter type of marriage contract? I'm sure you could find lawyers that would "marry" two dudes on a boat somewhere. This is why I thought it was so funny at first, is one guy gonna try to get alimony? Thats probably not going to happen, unless they can demonstrate opportunity cost somehow. I think you could draw up a marriage contract that specifies the division of household assets and it would be at least as binding/enforceable as a prenuptual agreement (which is something the courts like to ignore when it suits them).

state-approved marriage is about defining what is and is not a permissible family unit. I can find a link for you if you like, but I can tell you right now that the state will prosecute someone for bigamy if they legally divorce their first wife then marry a second wife and live as a husband and two wives.

Can you please substantiate this?
I think I described our current system fairly accurately. These special privileges that the homosexuals want are all for married couples in order to pro ote families. Thats the justification given when the laws are made. Taxation is about controlling behavior, married couples can get a tax break somehow. Gay people cant adopt kids because then they might have a family. I actually wonder what part of my statements need substantiation. The state wont certify marriages between two people of the same sex. They require different sexes, and without getting doctors involved, this is permitting only procreative unions to be certified. You have to do this through an agent of the state. You have to dissolve the union through an agent of the state. Theoretically you can be separated, see other people, still raise kids and not be arrested, but if the kids are in public school and a teacher hears about it, or if a social worker gets involved, there could be a lot of trouble.
I think the idea is to make it a value-free government and a free and open society.
those are very progressive ideals but I dont think value-free government sounds like something I would enjoy. I think you will agree with me that our current government has values and employs coercive taxation. Given all of this I wonder how movement toward a free and open society is facilitated by increasing the amount of things government is involved in.
Again, I think the people who want to legalize marriage for homosexuals understand that those benefits were put in place specifically to encourage heterosexual nuclear families. Again, I think their point is for the government to not encourage particular voluntary social arrangements over others.
then why arent they pushing to have all benefits to marriage removed? As it is now everyone who is not legally married is encumbered by this arrangement. Being single and promiscuous is a voluntary social arrangement, as is being single and celibate. Those things arent encouraged because they arent procreative.
In my posts in this thread, I've really been talking about the legal system, whatever that may be. Currently and in the past, the legal system has been monopolized by a state, which (as you well know) is far from my ideal. But I think that can be considered a separate issue here. My point is that I think the legal system - regardless of whether it's monopolized by a state - should enforce all marriage contracts. Does that make sense?
I can agree with you that existing contracts between consenting individuals should be honored by the courts without regard to particulars at issue here, i.e. irrelevant semantic issues, number of parties, sex of parties. Can you briefly give an a example of what you envision with regard to enforcement of a marriage contract between two men or two women? Are you referring to settlement of assets in tne event of a divorce, custody arrangments, etc? Or are you referring to health insurance type benefits, as in whether the insurance company provides for the partner?

like other libertarian arguments, this may come down to how the issue is contextualized. Walter Block is a recontextualization master.

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The problem with your argument is that gay people can form families. Not only through adoption, but also through invetro and heterosexual sex. The state doesn't get to define what a marriage is, nor does it get to define what a family is.

 

Now, it would be different if the state were conferring breeding licenses. Then your argument has some validity, but as it stands now, it is nothing more than a segregationist stance defended by a lot of mental masturabation.

 

 

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Malachi replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 9:06 PM
The problem with your argument is that gay people can form families. Not only through adoption, but also through invetro and heterosexual sex.
not sure why that would be a problem for me. I never said they didnt, just some people may not value those types of families. I dont see why special privileges should be extended rather than retracted, thats all. I will also point out that it is much more difficult for a gay couple to adopt kids.
The state doesn't get to define what a marriage is, nor does it get to define what a family is.
technically, they do get to decide what a marriage is. Heretofore we have been talking about a relationship that is enforced by the legal system. If youre saying that gays can marry each other and never file paperwork with anybody, I would agree with you. Thats what they could be doing instead of lobbying the state for special privileges.

I will also point out that through laws on plural marriage, and child welfare concerns the state has done a lot to show what is and is not an acceptable family arrangement. Now we both know that "unacceptable" family arrangements arent necessarily prohibited but between a teacher, a social worker, and a cop, theres a lot that can be done to make parents behave exactly as agents of the state wish them to. So I would say they have a role in determining what families are, or at least what families are acceptable. The question is should the role be expanded or retracted?

Now, it would be different if the state were conferring breeding licenses. Then your argument has some validity, but as it stands now, it is nothing more than a segregationist stance defended by a lot of mental masturabation.
I'm sorry but I missed the part where anyone referenced segregation. Could you point it out for me? Thanks.
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Gays aren't lobbying for special or extraordinary priviliges. They are simply advocating for access to already existing and established laws provided by the state to enhance the nuclear family. This is why you are an advocate for segregation, and it makes the op's dad wrong as well. You can't decide retroactively, that state interference in marriage is wrong and it makes gay marriage wrong, that is insanity.

 

We live in a real world with real parameters. The state exists, and has incentives to promote stable relationships for the benefit of children. There is absolutely no reason to not extend those same state santioned contracts to homosexuals. The benefits of such contracts can be enjoyed by both hetero and homosexual couples.

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cubfan296,

Malachi made a great point earlier in the thread, which I will requote:

Malachi:

Its like I have a govt secured home loan, and you ask if I'm comfortable denying the benefits of cheaper secured credit to people who want boats. Yes, I'm comfortable with that. Lets get rid of the benefits I enjoy as well.

As I asked Novichok, if you can point to specific freedoms that are being restricted for homosexual couples, then we can talk. But if you are advocating for state privileges, then the libertarian does not side with either homosexual or heterosexual couples receiving them, and he certainly does not advocate for more people to receive them, however "unfair" it may be that only some people receive them.

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cubfan296 replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:04 PM

That is just pure insanity.

 

You can't deny equality under the law because you are generally against the state. I can make the same argument about public schooling or access to roads, but in the end it is an argument for segregation.

At some point reality must set in, and principles have to be ordered.  Liberty and equality under the law are much more important principles than some vague pipe dream of an anarchist society.

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:06 PM

What is pure insanity? That we are against aggression? "Since the middle and upper classes pay X% in taxes, we must make the lower classes pay X%. Otherwise things just wouldn't be fair."

Please.

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cubfan296 replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:14 PM

The aggression is already in place, the state has an incentive to promote stable family units.  They will continue to do so, if you want to advocate that the state stop doing such things, by all means go ahead.

But, there is no mutual exclusivity to the promotion of abolition of state sponsored marriage and promotion of gays gaining equal access to state sponsored marriage. You can logically do both at the same time, there is no need to deny rights to certain races or sexes based on some lofty idealism.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:14 PM
Gays aren't lobbying for special or extraordinary priviliges. They are simply advocating for access to already existing and established laws provided by the state to enhance the nuclear family. This is why you are an advocate for segregation, and it makes the op's dad wrong as well. You can't decide retroactively, that state interference in marriage is wrong and it makes gay marriage wrong, that is insanity.
yes, you can decide after that fact, that prior action was wrong, and decide to undo it instead of doing it a second time. I dont think theres anything insane about that idea. You may not think the privileges are special or extraordinary but you do concede that they are privileges and that you want to expand existing laws. You are as much of a segregationist as I am, because you do not want to extend these already existing and established privileges to singles and plural marriage advocates.
We live in a real world with real parameters. The state exists, and has incentives to promote stable relationships for the benefit of children. There is absolutely no reason to not extend those same state santioned contracts to homosexuals. The benefits of such contracts can be enjoyed by both hetero and homosexual couples.
now you are asking me to take an interventionist approach according to someone else's values? No wonder you dont get it. I dont support the state advocating homosexual partnerships as "marriages." if its unfair for the state to sanction actual heterosexual marriages, then stop that. Dont try to trick me into expanding state influence. Thats what its all about, ultimately, is social approval. I do not support your attempts to manipulate social approval with the arm of the state.
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