Monday, October 17, 2005

Marriage discussion

I was reading a guest blogger on Volokh Conspiracy, and was surprised to find that she was against same-sex marriage (SSM). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Volokh Conspiracy, it is a fairly prominent libertarian thought blog. The arguments were a bit cumbersome (for me), and the comments were even more verbose, but feel free to check it out because it is an interesting read.

The one comment I found particularly interesting regarded a narrowing of the definition of marriage-to only childbearing heterosexual couples. The idea was based of the blogger's comment that society needs procreation, and only heterosexual couples (this obviously overlooks the current use of technology) can procreate, therefore only childbearing couples really deserve the title of marriage. I found this idea interesting because it cuts into the SSM proponents' argument I find most compelling: denying SSM is a civil rights violation.

If our government confers special privileges on those entering a marriage (tax breaks, etc.) then denying someone these rights based on anything other than their ability to fufill the tenets of the institution seems wrong. Now, I understand that some believe a MAJOR tenet to be heterosexuality, but that seems to be the most banal of arguments, so if you are one of those people we will have to agree to disagree.

Onto the argument of childbearing couples earning our government's title of marriage. Would this not destroy the argument of our puritanical government giving preferential treatment? I would take this one step further, and take the concept out of our tax code. Does the IRS/U.S. government need to know that I am married? What does this do other than make our tax code more complex (granted not substantially more complex). If people want to keep filing jointly, it should not be a problem because I know for a fact that bank accounts can be joined between two people who are not married.

I am interested to hear people's comments on this subject. Let's hear your arguments for/against SSM. In addition, I want to know how much importance the tax code has in your arguments.