Complete Whimsy, Individual v. Collective, Live and Learn

Privatize Marriage?

I’m not a fan of The New York Times, but here’s another interesting article by Stephanie Coontz, which she recommends “Taking Marriage Private.”

I’ve already recommended we non-euphemistically slip gay marriage through the backdoor, so it’s nice to see the idea catching on. As she notes, historically privatized marriages have been the norm:

WHY do people — gay or straight — need the state’s permission to marry? For most of Western history, they didn’t, because marriage was a private contract between two families. The parents’ agreement to the match, not the approval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity.

Indeed, like many other government interventions that we now take for granted (the Drug War and Davis Bacon Act for example), one of the major reasons for this government intrusion was simple, old-fashioned racism:

By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. Twelve states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, an addict or a “mental defect.” Eighteen states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.

In the mid-20th century, governments began to get out of the business of deciding which couples were “fit” to marry. Courts invalidated laws against interracial marriage, struck down other barriers and even extended marriage rights to prisoners.

The government has no business in marriage. If you don’t want to recognize gay people as married, fine,  don’t recognize it. How does it affect you anyways? Furthermore the slow, unfair, costly, bureaucratic family courts can take a back seat to contract law and mediation.

Say it with me; privatize, privatize, privatize.


Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Japan relief effort, or submit your donations online here.

For more Swift Economics, subscribe now to our RSS Feed
Follow Swift Economics on Twitter




2 thoughts on “Privatize Marriage?

  1. Here’s another reason the state wants in on your marriage:

    After New York just legalized gay marriage, one study suggests the state stands to collect an additional $3.8 million in marriage-license fees, and an estimated $284 million will be spent on weddings and tourism over three years. The study estimated that 66,000 same-sex couples could marry in New York state over that period.

    Marriage of any kind is another fee the government can charge and more tax revenue it can collect from the businesses that benefit from nuptials.

    Might we see more states in a budget crisis legalizing gay marriage for fiscal reasons?


  2. Pingback: Sony Led TV

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s