Like ‘banning marriage’ is a bad thing?

Nuptials and nothingness.

It’s funny to see the reaction in the MSM and left-wing blogosphere to a legislative proposal in Oklahoma, which would get the state out of the business of licensing marriage:

UPI:  “To keep same-sex marriage illegal, Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ban on all marriages

ThinkProgress: “Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants to Ban All Marriages

NewsOK/News 9: “Oklahoma lawmakers consider preventing ALL marriage to keep same-sex marriage illegal

HuffPo: “Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider Preventing All Marriage: Report

I mean, they say that like it’s a bad thing.

Now, the truth about the Oklahoma marriage bill in question is that it wouldn’t “ban” or “prevent” marriage; it would just recuse the state from administering it.  People would still be able to get married, and to consider themselves just as married as they want to be. But they would have no expectation of their union being licensed by the state of Oklahoma.

Of course, there would be some legal problems to work out in implementing such a law.  One is created by the U.S. federal tax code, since presumably many Oklahomans would want to be able to file their income tax returns as “married filing jointly.”  Without a state-recognized marriage, it’s not clear how that would be done.  Nor is it immediately foreseeable what impact the Oklahoma bill would have on honoring marriage contracts concluded in the other states, or vice versa.

There is the especially important question of how traditional marriage and the natural children arising from it would be privileged in law as they have always been – and properly so – if the state isn’t the licensing authority for marriage.  This isn’t an issue only when the children are minors, although it would probably arise most often over cases of divorce and child support. The state would have some public-welfare role in overseeing these family consequences, even if it didn’t adjudicate the divorces per se.   But inheritance laws, especially when someone dies intestate, would come into it as well.Wedding 2b

There would be questions; it’s not a silly proposal, but it wouldn’t necessarily be quick and simple to implement either.  What’s humorous, though, is the huff it has put the left into.  They can’t discuss it calmly, in the actual terms in which it has been proposed.  They have to misrepresent it, writing as if anything that isn’t licensed by the state has been “banned,” no matter how much of it is going on unhindered.

That is just silly.  But the significant question is still left: what difference, at this point, does it make, whether the state licenses marriage or not?  Why should that matter to the left?  Why should we care that it matters to them?  What case can they make about it that obligates others in any way?

If marriage may be anything anybody likes, after all, there’s no point in having the state license it.  Why shouldn’t people be free to consecrate and recognize marriage as they like, without applying to state government?  Why should the state bind any citizen to recognize another citizen’s marriage?

If, as the Grammys urged us to believe last night, same-sex marriage is about love – the “same love” as traditional marriage – what argument can there be for the state imposing on us to recognize whom other people love?  What a deeply silly proposition.  Outside of our circles of friends and family, who cares whom other people love?  That’s a preoccupation for teenagers in high school cliques.  It’s personal and discretionary; quite separate from legal and even social obligations.  The state, for its part, has zero interest in the matter.

Once we pull the props out from under marriage, the importance of licensing it evaporates.  It’s not our need for marriage that looks questionable; it’s our need for the state to say who’s married and who isn’t.  Funny how that works.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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9 thoughts on “Like ‘banning marriage’ is a bad thing?”

  1. The state has a legitimate and profound interest in promoting the optimum conditions for child raising. Recusing the state from administering marriage is essentially an abandonment of that interest. If marriage may be anything anybody likes, with people free to consecrate and recognize marriage as they like, without applying to state government, then society itself has abandoned the promotion of the optimum conditions for child raising. The family is the very foundation of society.

    “The grandchild, far from being incidental, is decisive. Civilization persists when there is a widespread sense of an ethical obligation on the part of the present generation for the well-being of the third generation —their own grandchildren. A society where this feeling is not widespread may last as a civilization for some time—indeed, for one or two generations it might thrive spectacularly. But inevitably, a society acknowledging no transgenerational commitment to the future will decay and decline from within.” Lee Harris, “The Future of Tradition”

    “All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplus, adornment, luxury, and folly, which can and must be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function.

    As [the human race’s] survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any foundation other than “Women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal.” R.A. Heinlein

    As to the left, its motivations are twofold; same-sex marriage is the tactic being used to force societal acceptance and the embrace of first, homosexuality and then of any sexual ‘orientation’ declared by the individual. And secondly, the Marxist left’s desire to fundamentally transform America, which requires the complete collapse of American society.

    “Destroy the family and you destroy the country.” Vladimir Lenin

  2. I like the quotes – but modern day democrats already are acting like the next generation no longer matters and a fair majority of the GOP feels little different. We are going to be devolving into a clan based power structure soon, as those families who develop social and personal capital in their families prosper and others don’t. And as the ability of the federal state to payoff the losers in this silly experiment the left chooses to play wanes, the 50 states will fill in to the void – thus rendering the national political elite unncessary as well as their national media enablers.

    I feel badly for the folks who buy into the victim card and vote for these leeches, but oh well, if you are dumb you are dumb. The world has protected the dumb for awhile, but the vultures in national capitals – not just ours – got way too greedy. It is all starting to crumble. I will enjoy their fall most of all.

    1. It’s not IMO, that most do not care, it’s that they do not see.

      “There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see once they are shown & those who will not see.” Leonardo da Vinci

      I’m doubtful that a clan based power structure can sustain our civilization. I’m certain that, on a national level, a clan based power structure cannot successfully resist an outside invader.

      The losers to whom you refer will be paid off through the ‘legal’ seizure of assets and income with the feds enforcing that seizure.

      A national political elite is arguably unnecessary but it is also a fixture of every society that has ever existed. Human beings structure organization around leaders, whether benign or demagogic.

      The world has protected the dumb for 1/2 a century or more, but just as an object in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, so too will the current paradigm remain until an outside force stops it.

      “It is all starting to crumble. I will enjoy their fall most of all.”

      Yes it is, in small ways, the handwriting is on the wall but your enjoyment of it will only last until you realize that you and yours can no more escape the vultures, than can the dumb.

      Only the prepared, resourceful, and/or plain lucky are likely to escape the coming debacle.

      “Political ideas that have dominated the public mind for decades cannot be refuted through rational arguments. They must run their course in life and cannot collapse otherwise than in great catastrophe…” Ludwig von Mises

      1. I like much of your comment, but I disagree that it won’t be enjoyable to watch. In the end, land, family and brains will allow the states to re-assert their authority and decimate the national victims groups ability to get the feds to do anything for them.

        Now – I could be wrong in that – but the federal welfare state is in its death throes worldwide, and its ability to compel action by its productive citizens is going to be restricted more often than not. Some states are starting to do just that – Texas in particular – but more will follow. If the feds try and take 401(k) holdings from people I imagine it will get very ugly. I would expect a fair amount of nullification talk to pop up again only with real vigor.

        As to whether this makes the country un-defensible is an interesting hypothesis and worthy of debate, but there isn’t a country around with the ability to do much about it anyway. And even in a weakened state, the federal govts defense efforts will more than likely be supported.

  3. “I like the quotes – but modern day democrats already are acting like the next generation no longer matters and a fair majority of the GOP feels little different.”

    Precisely, JEM. You can’t insist that marriage ISN’T about civilization and the next generation, and then also think there will remain a reason for the state to license and invest in it.

    That’s my point, GB. You don’t need to make the case for marriage to me. But when the left demands the “right” to redefine marriage, it guarantees, pare passu, that the state will lose interest in it. Unless the social institution of marriage IS about a man and a woman, in a unique, complementary, and potentially progenitive relationship, there is no overriding reason for the state to have an opinion about it.

    1. Precisely. The states concern was over the creation and education of the next generation and how the traditional family structure supported that goal. Since the state no longer holds that to be the reason for marriage, there is no value in state sanction of same. All it does is tear it down more. I don’t care what any govt says – I know what a marriage is and the state’s decision to redefine it doesn’t change that truth.

      My family will continue to act in a manner that allows the building of human capital – and marriage is a big part of that. Employers will support employees who are doing those things and develop benefit plans that do the same, because there is a payoff to the employer for supporting that type of employee.

      The rest of it is just a fad. And those who embrace it will be disappointed in the end.

    2. “You can’t insist that marriage ISN’T about civilization and the next generation, and then also think there will remain a reason for the state to license and invest in it.”

      I entirely agree but since when has reason and logic stopped the progressive/liberal? ‘Social justice’ now trumps everything.

      ,i>”when the left demands the “right” to redefine marriage, it guarantees, pare passu, that the state will lose interest in it.”

      A logically inarguable assertion. So what? The Marxist leftist embraces that consequence as necessary to its agenda and goals. The progressive/liberal, the Marxist leftist’s “useful idiot” not only doesn’t see that consequence but if made aware of it, will actively deny it because their ideological biases demand it.

      1. PS: In a democratic representative republic, it doesn’t matter what the truth of the matter may be, all that counts is the number of votes when one side’s elite seeks to amend the social compact regardless of the consequential damage done and is in willful denial. The majority can literally drag the minority right over the cliff’s edge.

        1. True. But at some point that creates a response. It will be interesting to see how that comes back.

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