In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that same-sex couples do have the inalienable right to marry. It was a close vote. 5 justices voted in favor, while the other 4 dissented. As expected, Neocons and Libertarians alike, instantly started foaming at the mouth. As if, this ruling somehow infringed their rights. Which may be accurate if they think they have the right to infringe on the rights of others.
The right-wing response was typical. It ranged from ‘our Christian rights are being infringed!’, to a religious leader claiming they would commit self-immolation, Libertarians complaining about big government, to 10,000 religious leaders claiming they are willing to die over the ruling. The opinions range from asinine, to extreme. I will touch on a few of these ‘complaints.’
A key point to take from any of these views, is that this ruling has absolutely nothing to do with religious institutions.This ruling isn’t going to force any religious institution to perform a marriage they don’t want to perform. This bigotry in an organization is still firmly protected under the 1st Amendment in the Establishment Clause. It only forces the government to recognize a same-sex marriage. The Establishment Clause is as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
Somehow many American Christians think that this infringes on the ‘free exercise’ portion. In fact, it can be argued that they have helped to violate the first portion of the Establishment Clause. ‘Thanks’ to Bill Clinton and the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal definition of marriage was defined as a union between a man and a woman. The same definition in a large majority of Judeo-Christian faiths. Sounds a lot like this might be in conflict of the Establishment Clause. Especially given that the president that signed it in, was raised Southern Baptist. Thankfully, the Supreme Court knocked down Section 3 of DOMA, which defined marriage as such.
Libertarians on the Supreme Court Ruling
The more important view for me to touch on, is the Libertarian view. Given that I am a hybrid polyamory/Libertarian blog. Keep in mind, I don’t consider myself textbook/4chan Libertarian (see Chris Cantwell) but more of the Cathy Riesenwitz school of Libertarianism.
The common response from Libertarians regarding this ruling is “great, now another group of people have to convince the government to let them get married. The government shouldn’t have any say in marriage.” I understand and sympathize (partially) with that mentality. The government shouldn’t have a say in who can marry who, who can get a marriage license, or why a license is needed in general. I get that. However, this foundation was set in the 19th century and has stuck since.
I have a problem with many Libertarians who had the aforementioned opinion. The world we live in is already entrenched in getting a marriage license from the government. If you want to fight to try and change it so we can go back to common-law (for its pros and cons), by all means. With that said, that fight doesn’t currently help us in the LGBTQIA community who aren’t accepted as equals. With how our government is set up currently, the differentiation creates a mentality of “your bond/love/relationship is less than that of a heteresexual one.” Don’t believe me? Go ask a Christian conservative/Republican if they think same-sex marriage is as important as a heterosexual one.
To my fellow Libertarians: please don’t complain about this ruling or try to hold back forward progress. This was a long and difficult battle. Don’t diminish the effort we have put in. Please allow everyone to marry in the system we currently are stuck in, then you can start work to change the government institution of marriage.