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It's time to privatize marriage

It seems to me the truly conservative thing to do about the marriage debate
is to make it private.

Marriage originated with God. What business does government really have in defining marriage anyway? Private marriage would completely separate marriage from government, doing away with its benefits for married people, gay or straight. That way anyone could get married who wanted to, religious or not, since many churches are accepting of homosexual lifestyles and don't require much if any commitment to their particular faith.

Plus, religious freedom would be preserved, particularly the ability of religions to discriminate based on their beliefs (As we speak religions are already losing in court for not turning over their facilities to same sex weddings, for example). With this arrangement government would not be empowered to set then climate for our whole society; Marriage would be between two people and their God or non-God, as it should be.

If you think about it, this is no more extreme than a constitutional amendment defining traditional marriage and would avoid an infinity of contention as government-sanctioned
same-sex marriage continues to proliferate. Then government could work to secure hospitalization, medical care, fair housing, employment, and probate rights for all people - a job more suited to government's rightful role.

A religion forced to offer same-sex weddings?

Hey ProvoJoe,

I am very curious about your statement, "As we speak religions are already losing in court for not turning over their facilities to same sex weddings, for example." Can you give me a link or some other reference to this. Thanks.

Here are a couple

This was referenced on the LDS church's website:

...and there's a link on that page pointing to this report at NPR (the first one is text, the second has audio):


I don't see anything at those links that suggests courts are now forcing religious institutions to open their facilities to gay marriage.

The idea of privatizing

The idea of privatizing marriage is interesting, but it has some flaws. Being married to someone (I.E. being related to them) grants you certain legal rights.

Provojoe's right

To my knowledge, no religious institution in the US has been compelled to provide wedding ceremonies for a coupling of which it disapproves. However, auxiliary services to a wedding HAVE been compelled; please read the links below:

New Mexico photographer punished for not photographing same sex ceremony
Follow-up to the above

It's easy enough to make a slippery slope argument here.
Incidentally, I don't think the government should be meddling in the other affairs ProvoJoe lists, either.

There's already boilerplate prenups and the like out there, it'd be simple enough to make marriage a civil contract (like any other partnership) with its own conditions. I'd rather see marriage defined by each partnership however it sees fit than by one government catch-all.

worth throwing out

worth throwing out there:,_New_Jersey#Civil_union_controversy


I totally agree Joe, government has no business in licensing (granting permission) for marriage at all. This role did not begin historically in the US until the post-civil war era, and typically for the purpose of preventing interracial or other "undesirable" marriages.

Yes, church leaders are now advocating that government involvement reflect what we believe to be the correct conception of marriage, now that they are thoroughly involved. It's also important to note, however, that prior to the existence of that involvement the Church argued against such encroachments to regulate marriage at the Federal level, rather than calling for government to become involved.

Here is an interesting web site regarding the issue:

ProvoJoe is a smart guy

I like this, this is exactly what needs to happen. How did we ever get to the point where marriage is a political issue? It's ridiculous. Privitizing marriage is exactly what needs to happen. Are you a Libertarian Provojoe?