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Conservatives Should Support Marriage Freedom

It is unfortunate that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was ousted from his job for defying last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Instead, he should have seriously considered the Alabama Senate’s vote to eliminate a licensing requirement for marriage altogether.

Should conservatives continue to support government controls such as licensing to promote a particular social agenda?

The truth is, when conservatives rely on the government for the purpose of social influences, they are relying on force, compulsion and coercion.

In contrast, a preferable way to promote one’s social or cultural customs is the voluntary way. Persuasion. For example, use the church, talk radio, public speeches, TV, and so forth as non-coercive ways to get the word out.

In the conservatives’ promotion of traditional marriage, they have attempted to use the legal force of government to impose restrictions on private property and private contracts as a means of banning same-sex marriage in society. The Defense of Marriage Act and California’s 2008 Proposition 8 are but two examples.

Now, I’m all for traditional marriage, but I think that the democratic process of using the powers of government to control these matters is now being exploited by activists on the other side to try to force acceptance of same-sex marriage by those who do not want to accept it.

Avoidable situations include, as I referred to just recently, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who was unnecessarily thrown in jail for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But if she didn’t want to perform all the duties her employer (Rowan County government) required, she could have just resigned.

Frankly, workers do not have a right to pick and choose what job tasks to do and what not to do, because they don’t own their jobs, the employers do. However, in this case, the employer is the government (or the public) and Davis’s job is an elective public office. Davis has an obligation by law to perform her duties as assigned. A private employer would have just fired her (or sued her for breach of contract).

But why have conservatives or traditionalists allowed government bureaucrats to usurp control over marriage, via licensing requirements, away from the people in the first place?

What moral authority do bureaucrats have to decide who may marry and who may not, or the terms of marriage contracts?

None. Marriage used to be a private matter until activists and the control freaks of progressivism decided to get involved. Because of the emergence of collectivism over the past century, just about every aspect of an individual’s life is everybody else’s business, so it seems now.

In my view, let the people decide for themselves to be married or not, and let those who want to establish a marriage contract do so, as long as no theft, fraud or coercion is involved.

After all, aren’t all human beings endowed by their creator, as the Declaration of Independence asserts, with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? It shouldn’t be up to a bureaucrat to decide just who is worthy of such rights, in marriage or any other aspect of life, any more than it should be up to a bureaucrat to decide how parents may educate their kids.

As with “civil rights” laws, conservative support of government controls of marriage and licensing has also been self-defeating.

And that governmental control over marriage, by the way, has also been an instrument for activists and their government cohorts to control private wealth and finances, via taxation, fees (more taxes, called “fees”), and so on.

All these are further reasons to restore private property rights in the people’s private contracts and earnings, their persons and property, their careers, their families and marriages, and the education of their children as well.

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