Gay marriage has always been an issue I've struggled with, trying to reconcile my genuine belief that the government needs to just leave people the hell alone with my genuine conviction that marriage is something sacred between a man and a women. As I've aged and got both more libertarian and started my own family that division became more stark. In 2006 I voted for the Virginia marriage amendment, but if I had voted on Monday instead of Tuesday it could have been different.
So here we are now, our politics once again sucked into a vortex the Founders never intended it to go. This cycle of find a divisive social issue, exploit it both ways to get elected, and then pray like hell the Supreme Court sides with me so I can shove it in your face; this cycle is not how our system was suppose to work. The way it was suppose to work, per the 10th amendment, was that all issues not specifically stated in the Constitution would be left to the states. Instead, we have a left and right spectrum in this country who have both decided that they want to use government to institute their social beliefs. For me, the only real solution is to simply subtract the problem entirely. Get government out of marriage.
This seems like a typical and lazy answer, one that has become something of a popular cop-out for conservatives in a intellectual bind like myself. Making it even harder is the left screaming "bigot" at you if you are uncomfortable with same-sex relationships and the right throwing God around like a football on Thanksgiving. The absolutes are driving me crazy and, honestly, are poisoning the conversation by needlessly slurring the other. Its not fun.
If two gay people want to get married, they should be able to find a church or celebrant to do it in front of their friends and family. If your are straight, it should be the same way. When I got married, it wasn't Rabbi Sultzman that made our marriage official, it was the signed document sent to the Fredericksburg clerk of the court's office. If two people want to be committed to each other, its none of the government's damn business. But that leads us to ask, why does the government care to begin with?
That's right. Tax politics are all over the marriage debate. If the government is the final arbiter of marriage, it knows where you live and how much you make together and thus can take more of your money. It also allows politicians to run for office claiming they will give you tax breaks for being married, for having a kid, using the federal government to decide how much you pay based on your marital status. How many conservatives have been elected on child tax credits, marriage tax credits and the like. It's another way for the government to know more about us, play favorites, and take more of our money. If the government isn't involved in marriage then my church won't care if another church is marrying gay couples.
But the larger problem is that our society has now devolved into needing the federal government to approve all private behavior. In my world, nobody would be marching on Washington because gay couples should not need the federal government's approval to do and be what they are naturally. This need for 5 our of 9 Supreme Court justices to ratify who you are is beyond my comprehension. Well, not entirely. If the government's laws regulate your life, I can see the impulse to want the government to change them. My position is you shouldn't want the government to change them, you should want the government to eliminate them. No matter who or what you are, you shouldn't need the government to ratify that. You should want the government to stay out of it.
As for the Supreme Court cases, I hope they uphold California's Prop 8 because it was legally voted on by the voters of California but I hope they strike down DOMA because it's none of the federal government's damn business to be involved in marriage. If Californians want to legalize gay marriage, amend your state constitution. I imagine now it wouldn't be that hard.