Gay marriage has emerged as one of the hottest political issues in the country. Chick-fil-A and Boy Scouts of America boycotts, Facebook profile picture changes, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” are just a few of the numerous recent attempts to gain public support in favor of the legalization of gay marriage.
The legalization of gay marriage would be a great success in the struggle for equal rights. As I have written in previous articles, I am against public discrimination (and therefore, pro equal rights) among all legally competent individuals. As a result, I believe if marriage is offered to any consenting adults, it should be offered to all consenting adults. This does not stop with the legalization of gay marriage however; although largely disregarded by the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and mainstream culture, the legalization of polygamous marriages (and all other types of marriages between consenting adults) is no less equally important as the legalization of gay marriage.
With this said, I still believe it is up to individual states to decide what marriage practices are allowed in their borders. The rest of this article solely addresses “marriage” in a legal sense unless otherwise stated.
More fundamentally important than gay marriage, the very idea of marriage deserves questioning. With the recent Supreme Court case regarding gay marriage I have found myself simply asking, “Why is marriage even a thing?”, “Why do people get married?”
Hands down, the greatest legal benefit an individual receives from getting married is the tax breaks. An individual can potentially pay thousands less in taxes each year if he/she/ze is legally married. I am adamantly opposed to this particular, and all, tax breaks.
The government uses tax breaks to promote a certain type of product, industry, lifestyle choice, etc. These are all areas I believe the government should attempt to remain as neutral in as possible. Rewarding someone for getting married is favoring a lifestyle that involves marriage over a lifestyle that does not; the government should not interfere in this type of decision.
Without the tax breaks, the glamour of marriage completely disappears for me. Don’t get me wrong: I hope to settle down with someone and raise a family one day, I just don’t feel the need to get a government contract involved. The decision between my future partner and I to spend the rest of our lives together should be simply that, our decision. This decision does not directly affect anyone other than us; no one else should have any legal power in shaping our choices.
Not only do I personally not want the government to be involved, I believe marriage is a blatant example of an over-step of government regulation.
The very idea that a government contract (in the form of a marriage license) is needed in order for someone to get married, a practice that has been practiced for thousands of years without government contracts, frightens me. Some version of the cultural and religious concept of marriage has been practiced successfully by nearly all civilizations throughout the world. There is no reason why a government needs to be involved.
In conclusion, there are two main problems with marriages in the United States today: 1) they create public discrimination and 2) they advocate for a certain lifestyle. If marriages did not discriminate against anyone and did not provide tax breaks to individuals that have a certain lifestyle, most of my problems with marriage would disappear. I would still think marriages are an over-step of government, but I believe fewer and fewer individuals would get married so the legal concept of marriage would lose importance over time.
On a final note, it is interesting to note that while the Democratic Party officially first argued for the legalization of gay marriage in their 2012 party platform, the Libertarian Party has been advocating for the legalization of gay marriage since their 1972 platform; 10 presidential cycles before the Democratic Party.
Until next time, remember, there’s always A View From Below.