Columns / Voices

COLUMN: Ban on gay marriage a result of giving states too much power

I loathe the current discussion on gay marriage.

Not because I am some bigoted bumpkin. There is nothing wrong with two persons engaging in an uncoerced contract with one another, regardless of sex. After all, no harm comes as a result of this. So, then what is the problem?

Well, the problem lies in the oft-overlooked nature of these contracts. Specifically, since when has it been appropriate for the state to have the authority to regulate, define or license personal relationships individuals have with one another?

The answer to that question is a tragically long time. During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther first proposed the state sponsorship of marriage. According to Luther, adultery, pornography and other unholy acts ran rampant and unpunished through the streets. Christianity was in a crisis, a crisis that could only be remedied by a powerful worldly enforcer. This meant the State.

Until that moment, the church and the church alone had recognized and sanctioned marriages; however, this marked the foundation of the still-widely prevalent idea that states should be involved as well.

By relegating the duties of marriage to the state, one thing has always occurred–oppression. Whether it is LGBTQ communities in contemporary society, interracial couples of yesteryear or the non-Christians of the 17th century, individuals who wish to spend the remainder of their lives unified with their love have unjustly been prevented from doing so by governments.

For as long as it is the state that sanctions marriage, the state will arbitrarily decide which minority faces its discrimination de jour. Sure, tomorrow might be a win for homosexuals everywhere in the U.S.; however, what of other minorities?

If gay marriage is justified, which it is, because it is a result of a voluntary agreement between individuals where no harm befalls another, then what other marriage arrangements are justified but prohibited by the state?

Though I am sure there are currently several minorities prohibited from marriage other than those who are homosexual or bisexual, one comes to my mind: polygamists. No, I am not advocating polygamy because I desire a handful of wives (or, at least I don’t think I do), but because who is harmed as a result? Nobody, if it is a voluntary marriage arrangement by all parties, then there is no harm. Or if there is harm (or the marriage is coerced at its start), then that is already illegal to begin with.

So, my objection is not an objection to homosexuals marrying. They should be allowed to do so. But so should everybody else to any other consenting person(s) that they choose. In the meantime though, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.


  1. Jake Szetela says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, but I would hasten to add that this goes beyond just marriage. The government has no business regulating ANY non-violent voluntary decisions we make. We keep turning more and more power to the State and as a result we wonder why we have less and less freedom.

  2. John Stamos says:

    Better the states have power than the over-looming federal government. We may disagree in this aspect, however I do agree that homosexuals should not be discriminated against. I believe the author is looking for someone to blame besides himself and those who surround him. Try residing that blame in our predecessors who perverted the idea of separation of Church and State: those who deemed us a theocracy and turned our country into the laughing stock it is today. Do not blame the state. Do not blame the feds. Blame ourselves and those who came before us. This is not because of the work of the politicians. Politicians in theory are supposed to act for the people, and unfortunately before our current time frame, the majority did not approve of homosexual behavior at all. We elect our politicians to speak for us. No one wants a far left rep, no one wants a far right rep, yet nobody chooses the moderate. Perhaps if both state of minds would band together, we wouldn’t have this problem.

  3. Are you advocating the Federal Government regulate marriages…..or that no government be involved at all. The reason I ask is because I think in the constitution the powers not allocated to the Fed are to be assumed by the States

    • I could be wrong, but I believe when the author says “state” he means all forms of government. Federal, state, local, whatever.

  4. This is the first time I’ve heard anyone wanting less power for the states, and more for the federal government.

    States vote on what they want, and that’s it. Would you rather people NOT be able to vote on issues like this?

  5. Excellent Column! Marriage should not be regulated at any level or manner, in my opinion. Why do some people (homophobes/politicians) have such a problem with what other people want to do with their lives? Likely just because they want control over everything. Hell, I should be able to marry my damn goldfish if I so wish!

  6. I think we should have gay marriage in this state because its about the love for each other we are not hurting any one we just want to be happy just like ya straight couples do we should have that right just like the next person does bi gay or lesbian that be far it would be like a parent with their children ya want to give them all ya love not just the baby or the 1 st born we should have the same treatment

  7. Steve Redder says:

    The 10th amendment:
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    • Brynn McDonnell says:

      The 5th Amendment:
      “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”
      The 14th Amendment
      “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      Human rights trump state rights.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why do they want to regulate who can marry… because there is money involved. Remove the money and tax break and people are far less likely to care who marries whom.

  9. These comments take three days to be approved….what’s the point?

  10. No, you are absolutely wrong about polygamy not being harmful. History shows that democracy and polygamy cannot co-exist.

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