There’s a Right To Marry

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Recently by Scott Lazarowitz: Morning in America

     

Once, again, the "gay marriage" or same-sex marriage distraction is in the news and on the talk shows. Some people say it is a societal or cultural issue that government must address, and others say it is a religious issue.

The same-sex marriage issue is a private issue. And yes, the individual has a right to marry.

Who the hell is the government to allow or forbid private people to establish their own voluntary associations, relationships, contracts and marriages?

Regarding the right to marry, while the Bill of Rights does not mention that specifically, the Ninth Amendment does state that "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

There are an infinite number of rights that human beings have. Each individual has an inherent right as a human being to one's life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as long as one doesn't interfere with anyone else's same right.

Based on this right of self-ownership, each individual has an absolute natural right to do with one's life, one's person and property as one wishes, as long as one is peaceful. Unfortunately, statists and politicians do not understand this.

Murray Rothbard addressed the right to self-ownership in his magnum opus, The Ethics of Liberty. (Here is The Ethics of Liberty online at the Mises Institute.)

In my view, the individual owns one's own life.

The community in which you live does not own you, your neighbors do not own you, the State does not own you.

You own you.

Therefore, the State has no jurisdiction over your life and has no legitimate authority to determine whether you may or may not marry or whom you may or may not marry.

Each individual has the right of self-ownership and jurisdiction over one's own life, as long as one does not violate anyone else's person or property. And each individual human being has a right to establish voluntary contracts with others who are mutually agreeable to said contracts. Such contracts are not the business of the State or of your neighbors, as they are private contracts. The terms of the contracts and who may or may not participate in them are the business of those who are the parties to such contracts, those who voluntarily agree to such terms, and it's no one else's business.

Third parties who attempt to intrude themselves into such contracts, whether they be your neighbors, Grandma Harriett, or government bureaucrats, are intruders, trespassers, and just plain meddlesome busybodies. And that includes marital contracts.

Does it matter what past court decisions have said about marriage and marital contracts? Not really. Courts are State monopolies of ultimate judicial decision-making; therefore they are illegitimate, because, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has noted, many people within a given jurisdiction did not voluntarily agree to or sign on to a contract to employ such courts. If there is a dispute in a marriage involving a marital contract, the moral and ethical way to settle such a dispute is for the parties to the contract to find a third-party arbitrator. They should not be compelled by legal force to have to use the State's one monopoly court.

Now, the only candidate for President who believes that the government should stay out of the marriage issue, to my knowledge, has been Ron Paul.

And in my opinion, there should be complete separation of marriage and state. No one should have to get a license issued by government bureaucrats to marry. It is not the business of the government to permit or forbid a private individual to establish one's own private contracts voluntarily.

It seems to me that some so-called conservatives, such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, believe that the State owns the lives of the people, and should use its armed power to dictate who may or may not marry, and should dictate the terms of these private contracts. Obviously, some religious conservatives do not believe in the inalienable rights of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These statists support a community's use of the State and its compulsory legal and police powers to force a certain social view onto the entire population, a.k.a. social engineering.

I believe that Willard Romney does not have the same kind of repressive social convictions as the other statist reactionary politicians, as Romney is the epitome of finger-in-the-air weathervane pol. Despite his past support of "state's rights" on the issue of same-sex marriage, currently for political reasons, Romney supports the proposed federal constitutional amendment defining marriage to please the religionists and conservatives who believe in socialist government-managed social engineering and societal central planning in marriage.

Regarding the idea of employment- or tax-related financial benefits or privileges associated with marriage: Private employers have an inherent right to dish out whatever benefits they want to give employees, and based on their own views of morality. No one should interfere with that basic private property right.

But since government employers are government agencies, and because everyone owns the government, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe observed in his book, Democracy: The God That Failed, then everyone should be included in benefits without arbitrary discrimination against certain groups of people.

And with the complicated, destructive tax-theft system now in place, what we have now is social conflict and the planned chaos of socialism and central planning. The only way to resolve these issues is to get rid of the socialist system now in place, get rid of the welfare state, and restore the people's freedom of voluntary association and contracts, and their right to keep every bit of the fruits of their labor.

But really, we need to ignore these petty distractions and concentrate on the more important issues, such as the wars that George W. Bush started and that Barack Obama has escalated and expanded in our government's continuing provocations of people overseas, and the police state that further destroys our liberty and compromises our security.

Yes, the right to marry is as much a right to establish contracts in any other part of life, and it's nobody else's business. It is just as much a human right as the right to not be drone-bombed to death or detained indefinitely sans due process by a dictatorial President run amok.

Among the current presidential candidates, only Ron Paul supports freedom of contract, as well as promises to repeal many of the intrusions into our lives, liberty and property that government bureaucrats have inflicted on us. Romney and Obama do not believe in restoring such individual freedom; their desire is for more power and control for themselves and their fellow government elitists over the lives of the people.

Let's hope that Ron Paul continues to make waves in the GOP, and if he doesn't get the nomination, let's hope he then runs against the two Republicrat and Demopublican statists Obomney and Rombama.

Scott Lazarowitz [send him mail] is a commentator and cartoonist, visit his blog.

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