Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gay Marriage: Conservatives are culpable too

The recent California Supreme Court ruling stating that marriage between gays is a constitutional right should be a big wake up call to conservatives. I for one don’t give a hoot what consenting adults do. If two people of the same sex want to have a contractual arrangement called "marriage", I don’t care. However, a lot of people do find the concept of gay marriage to be immoral. Now, they are going to be forced to recognize its legitimacy in their daily lives.

Here is the magic question that conservatives never ask: why does one need a government license to get married? Just try asking this question and you’ll find that most people will recoil on horror over the mere suggestion that government has no business being involved in marriage.

However, for most of western history marriage was a private contract between two families.

Government marriage licenses didn't start becoming the norm in America until the Progressive Era. In the late 19th century, state governments started nullifying common law marriages. By the 1920s, 38 states required government licenses to legally recognize a marriage. These marriage licenses were originally created to prevent whites from marrying people of other races.

During the 1960s, government used their power over marriage to create "no fault divorce laws" that enabled the dissolution of a marriage without any proof of adultery, abandonment, felony or other legally culpable act. This greatly increased divorce and illegitimacy, swelled welfare rolls, and led to the general moral breakdown and chronic crime in our cities.

Now, courts in Massachusetts and California have issued mandates that will once again alter the fundamental concept of marriage.

Government control over marriage started as a way to prevent people from exercising their right to marry whomever they want. Now, government control is being used to force everyone to accept marriages that many find objectionable.

As is the case with everything government touches, their control over marriage has corrupted and destroyed it. Today, half of all people between 25 and 29 are not married. 40% of babies are born out of wedlock.

Unfortunately, most "conservatives" don't understand this. Many are just as eager as the left to use government power to force their mandates on society. That's exactly the problem.

Marriage should be a private affair between the people who want to marry, their families, and their church. The government should keep their sticky fingers out of it.

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