A Libertarian Votes against Gay Marriage

by Maggie Gallagher

Ed Morrissey explains at Hot Air why he voted for Minnesota’s Marriage Amendment:

I’ve written before that I think government would do best to stay out of marriage altogether, and leave it to the churches. That would be the best possible solution in a perfect libertarian world.

However, that’s not the world in which we live. The only legitimate state interest in otherwise consensual sexual relationships are those whose form could produce offspring. Government offers recognition of marriage (and certain incentives) in order to fix paternity and hold parents responsible for upkeep and behavior of children produced from those relationships. We have seen the damage done to society from children produced outside of marriage, and the costs to our communities through the increased need for government services. That doesn’t mean that every marriage has to produce children to be legitimate, but the form of the heterosexual relationship is the only one in which government has any legitimate interest in certifying ahead of the production of offspring. Otherwise, government has no legitimate role in licensing sexual relationships, and no need to do so. . . .

If we are to hand that kind of lever to the state, it shouldn’t be the state itself — through its judiciary — that activates that lever. That decision has to come from an informed electorate that truly wants its government to begin licensing sexual relationships in which they have no real interest, and giving their government an opening to push churches out of the sacrament of marriage.

For those reasons, I urge my fellow Minnesotans to vote yes on the marriage amendment, as I did.