There are three kinds of people nowadays advocating the state get out of the marriage business altogether.
One group is just using this terminology to camouflage the fact they’re really pro-homosexuality, and they just don’t want the conservatarian crowd they’ve aligned themselves with to know it while they infiltrate their ranks.
The next group is made up of politicians more concerned about earning the approval of the secular/liberal media than they honoring their sworn oaths of office, or their own voters, so this is their attempt to punt rather than fight. They clumsily adopt this position with tortured statements that make them look like they’ve never seriously thought about the purpose behind the oldest institution of God’s created order. While attempting to be wise they come across as fools on this issue.
The third and final group is people who genuinely want to see the power of the state over our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness put back within its original Constitutional limits. It is to this third group I am writing this column. Since the first group are frauds, and the second group are gutless, I prefer to spend my time speaking to those who are honest and critical thinkers.
If you’re going to advocate the state get completely out of the marriage business, which I don’t necessarily disagree with in an ideal world, you need to understand what it is you’re really asking. Sometimes some of you doing so say this as if this is as simple as waving a magic wand.
But it’s not that simple at all.
Consider you cannot remove the marriage question from the state completely, unless you are willing to also remove probate courts and divorce courts as well and put them back in the hands of the church and not the state. Then you’d also have to completely reform the tax code and tax law, since much of that is also based on marital status. Then you still have the question regarding things like spousal privilege (i.e. you can’t be compelled to testify against your spouse in open court). If folks are going to retain that right, don’t we have to first know what a “spouse” is?
Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.