Why libertarians should be opposed to same-sex marriage

During a discussion on same-sex marriage with one of my more liberal friends, I mentioned not wanting the state to encourage self-destructive behavior like homosexuality. My friend asked why I, a libertarian, would want the government to interfere in people’s lives.

Unfortunately this is actually a common libertarian position. So in an attempt to persuade my fellow libertraians, let me outline why I believe all libertarians ought to be opposed to same-sex marriage.

Libertarians believe in limited government. Same sex marriage greatly expands the role of government in peoples’ lives. Ergo, I am opposed to same-sex marriage because it would necessarily entail an expansion of the government just like it has in every country that has embraced same-sex marriage.

Here’s a great article about the effects of normalizing aberrant sexual practices weakens the institution of marriage.

Weakening marriage means the state needs to grow to take on the roles the parents once filled. Today that means the state becomes the husband (provider/protector/teacher) in the lives of millions of single-parent homes (which are predominantly female).

When we make sex out to be a private pleasure divorced from any public good (like the production and care and raising of children) then we end up with fewer children (because they are seen as a nuisance) and fewer marriages which provide the most stable environment for the raising of children.

And you know what’s great about properly functioning marriages? The state doesn’t need to interfere with them, so it doesn’t need to grow in order to provide anyone with an imagined “right”.

The family is the fundamental building block of society. And for that reason, all libertarians should be opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage.

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41 Responses to Why libertarians should be opposed to same-sex marriage

  1. Sorry but your ideas don't jive. There's a lot of circular logic without any supporting evidence. For instance, children aren't a good unless you sell them which I don't think you are so I think it's safe to assume they aren't a good. It really sounds like you're trying to come up for reasons about something you believe in rather than recognizing the possibility of the lack there of. Anyway, Cheers.

    • There are many goods and services we have but do not distribute on the open market. There are many non-monitary markets for that matter, to assume otherwise is to postulate a rather flat, 1 dimensional view of man.

      Specifically, humans and all they are, are certainly considered capital. That\’s why large companies have human resources departments. However that doesn\’t negate their freedom and make them slaves.

  2. Everyone else tried to reason with you so I'm just going to call you an asshole. Because you're an asshole.

  3. Well then, using your reasoning we should make owning pets illegal because so many people abandon their pets and the local humane societies must pick them up and either find homes for them or put them down. Wait, there's a solution: just have the unwanted, abandoned children put down. Problem solved!

  4. The Weekly Standard is not a credible source. You are correct that traditions like marriage are on the decline, but you assertion that marriage prevents the interference of the state is nonsense. A man and a woman can't build their own roads, lay their own sewer pipes, etc. To function independently, humans need to live in larger groups like tribes or villages, but that's completely irrelevant to the issue.

    You need more empathy for people different than you, like people who are not Christians, not religious, not straight, etc. The typical libertarian American Christian worldview has only existed for a few decades and at most a couple of centuries, depending on your definition. Gay people and atheists existed long before Jesus is alleged to have lived.

  5. You need to look up libertarian in the dictionary; what you are talking about is fundamentalist conservatism

    • Libertarianism is characterized as seeking the least amount of government intervention possible. As I outlined above, that ideal is best accomplished through the existence of strong marriages and families. Redefining the institution of marriage merely so a small group of people can feel better about themselves through forcing everyone to legally affirm their chosen lifestyle is directly opposed to what libertarianism is all about.

  6. I'm pretty sure there were dudes living in B.C.

  7. Your position is poorly supported at best. Also, it seems like you're basing your argument on premises that may not be shared by the audience.

    "Ergo, I am opposed to same-sex marriage because it would necessarily entail an expansion of the government just like it has in every country that has embraced same-sex marriage."

    You haven't supported this at all. The article you site is poorly supported at best, and is written by someone with a clearly biased political bent. This can't be treated as evidence. (There's another problem here with will be addressed below.)

    "Weakening marriage means the state needs to grow to take on the roles the parents once filled. Today that means the state becomes the husband (provider/protector/teacher) in the lives of millions of single-parent homes (which are predominantly female)."

    I'm going to ignore the fact that this seems sexist. How does same-sex marriage invalidate heterosexual marriage, exactly?

    "When we make sex out to be a private pleasure divorced from any public good (like the production and care and raising of children) then we end up with fewer children (because they are seen as a nuisance) and fewer marriages which provide the most stable environment for the raising of children."

    Without explaining how homosexual marriage weakens the institution of marriage, this is pretty big logical jump. If anything, wouldn't allowing people who have been fighting for years to BE married would strengthen the institution by including ardent defenders who have fought for years for that right?

    I'm sorry to say this, but your post reads like someone that's trying to support their prejudices by blindly applying the rules of a political philosophy. Please prove me wrong.

    • "I'm going to ignore the fact that this seems sexist."

      I'd like to know why you think my post seems sexist.

      "How does same-sex marriage invalidate heterosexual marriage, exactly?"

      The laws enacted by the state are not morally neutral, they encourage and discourage behavior. This is most evident in the domain of marriage with the enactment of no-fault divorce laws and their disastrous effect on marriage. The same can shown of same sex marriage in countries like Norway and Sweden where SSM is not only legal but encouraged. Why is this the case? Because once we divorce marriage from its function of producing citizens we rob it of any real meaning. If that is the case, then why don't we simply stick with civil contracts?

      The truth is that we can't do that because the sexual union between a man and a woman has the unique possibility of producing new life. And to proactively protect the rights of the defenseless and dependent children, it is necessary and laudable that the state encourage through law the attachment of parents to children and eachother.

      "If anything, wouldn't allowing people who have been fighting for years to BE married would strengthen the institution by including ardent defenders who have fought for years for that right?"

      That might make some sense from a policy perspective if marriage were the aim of SSM proponents. However studies from countries where SSM is legal shows that marriage is only chosen by only about 2% of the homosexual population. It is clearly stated by GLBT activists that marriage is not the aim, the dissolution of marriage altogether is the aim. That is why in countries like Canada where SSM is legal, the issue of polyamorism (ie. bigotry) is seriously being debated in courts. If biology isn't the basis of marriage then there is no real reason to limit it to two people or members of the same generation or even species.

  8. "So gay marriage, because it does not explicitly produce new children within the marriage, is bad?"

    From a policy perspective it may not be bad, but it is certainly not good. And if you factor in the health issues homosexuals face (I have a post on this subject coming out Friday) I would argue that the least the state should be doing is accurately informing its citizens about the choices they are making. At the least the government should not be actively promoting a lifestyle that has been shown to be detrimental not only to the institution of marriage (see post above) but also detrimental to children (by virtue of the damage it does to marriage and by virtue of the nature of homosexuality's denial of biological design) and homosexuality is ultimately detrimental to homosexuals themselves (ie. studies show that homosexuals live and average of 20 years less than heterosexuals).

    As for government intervention and limited government. The ideal situation is the natural family which has been statistically shown to benefit all members and draw far fewer public resources than all alternatives. I'm not sure why you think the government's exaltation of the only human institution capable of producing and caring for new citizens in an autonomous fashion is a bad thing or "overstepping" in any sense.

    "Finally, you seem to ignore the fact that larger population != "better" in every sense of the word. Sure, it might mean more capital, but at the same time likely means less capital per capita and lower per capita income."

    It seems to me that you are confusing Karl Marx's assertions with established facts. The truth is that in industrialized nations the average wages have continued to rise along with the overall size of the population. Without establishing overpopulation as a fact (which I would argue is a man-made myth), there is no reason to conclude that the addition of renewable resources is a problem that needs to be "solved".

    "At any rate, trying to force people into heterosexual marriage won't work. "

    That's not the issue so I'll take this to be a cheap parting shot. The real issue is what ideal we are going to endorse and promote as a society. And as far as I can tell the ideal institution, backed by a plethora of studies, is traditional marriage.

    • And as far as I can tell the ideal institution, backed by a plethora of studies, is traditional marriage.</i.

      HOW "traditional" are we talking, here? One man and as many wives as he can purchase or steal? One husband, one wife, and an arbitrary number of concubines? (Hey, it's in the Bible.)

  9. This post is about the secular case against gay marriage so I'm not even sure why you've decided to bring the Bible into this discussion at all unless you also think we should base our laws off of the precepts found in Scripture. Is that what you are advocating?

    • You said "Traditional". For most of history, the "tradition" has been selling a 14-year-old girl to some guy twice her age.

      • You're right, I should have used the more technically correct designation of "natural" to highlight its biological basis.

        • So why did your God endorse and provide guidleines for unnatural marriages in your Bible?

          • I'm afraid I don't know what you're referring to. Can you provide some more details?

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Incest was necessary given the nature of God's creation of human lineage. And polygamy and concubines run rampant in the Old Testament among those deemed righteous.

          • Incest is not unnatural in the biological sense. One could, and rightly so, argue that it is a very bad idea today given the degree of genetic mutations. However such genetic factors are not a guarantee nor is our present revulsion at the notion a negation of the biological reality of procreation.

            You are correct that polygamy and concubines run rampant in the OT. And many who participated in the practice were considered righteous. However none of them were considered righteous for their polygamy or marital indiscretions. In fact, it is abundantly clear that these men were deeply flawed individuals and only considered righteous through grace on God's part. So to assume their righteousness incorporated all of their deeds is to commit the basic fallacy of assuming salvation or favor with God is merited through works and not through grace.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            So why bother to do good deeds if they're irrelevant?

          • Love.

            It is only through good deeds that we can love others.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Why bother loving anyone?

          • I'm sorry, but I'm not sure anyone can answer that for you.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Fair enough, not sure how I got us here anyway so let me get back to the point.

            God in OT times had no problem deeming men righteous who were incestuous, polygamist, fornicators, etc. In fact, God set up creation to REQUIRE incest to fulfill itself.

            If he didn't care about this things, why should you now?

          • Why are you hung up on incest when the topic is homosexuality? Incest is radically different from homosexuality. Sure, incest is frowned upon today for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is biological. But the biological issues have not always been a factor, especially if you accept the Biblical account of creation and attendant genetic perfection. However there came a point where God banned marriage between close relatives (more info here: http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/950-does…. However the big issue here is the begetting of children. Even though incest is problematic, and has been subsequently banned, the fact remains that it is only problematic because of its biological connection. Homosexuality has no such biological connection.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Why are you so hung up on marriage when it comes to begetting children when the Bible shows us many pathways that are not committed monogamous relationships to generate offspring?

          • The only arrangement for begetting children that is ever endorsed in Scripture is marriage. All others are shown to produce severe complications.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Including the begetting of your savior, right?

          • Are you appealing to an exception in an attempt to disprove the rule?

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Are you saying your savior was born in a way not endorsed by scripture?

          • Miracles are always endorsed by Scripture and, more importantly, the author of Scripture.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            God always did have a "do as I say not as I do" kinda feel to him. If "miracle" is the best defense you have for God forcing himself sexually on a mortal woman he wasn't married to while she was betrothed to another man than your beliefs as shallower than I thought.

          • Is that your understanding of what a miracle is in general or what that particular miracle consisted of in particular? Come on Lance, I know you are better than that.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            I'm just reading the same text as you are and not drinking the kool-aid of cognitive dissonance to try and characterize it as "good", "loving", or other incoherent conclusion.

          • If the text you are reading gives you the impression that God forced himself sexually onto Mary then you and I aren\’t reading the same texts. Perhaps you could share with me where you get that notion because that is completely new to me and I can\’t seem to find it anywhere in Scripture.

          • Robin's Egg Blue

            Maybe you're reading it too literal-minded. You have to look at the context. Don't be coy, we're reading exactly the same verses.

          • Post the verses you think indicate that God essentially raped Mary.

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