State Monopolization of Marriage Eviscerates Private Contract

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Gay woman fights over hospital visitation rights in Miami court reports a heartbreaking, tragic story: “As her partner of 17 years slipped into a coma, Janice Langbehn pleaded with staff to let her into the woman’s hospital room. Despite legal proof of guardianship and “power of attorney,” Langbehn and the couple’s three adopted children were not recognized as family and denied access until eight hours later — just as the last rites were performed.”

One does not need to be a proponent of gay marriage (but see my Second Thoughts on Gay Marriage) to be outraged over this. But why did it happen? Because of anti-gay bigotry? No. It happened because the state has monopolized the definition of marriage–and imposes irrational, unjust, crushing tort liability on the heavily-regulated medical industry–so everyone follows the state’s definitions partly out of fear of reprisal and liability. The state ought to no more recognize marriage any more than it ought to recognize what religion you are officially a part of.

Gays and lesbians (rightly) outraged by this case ought to think twice about their support of the state.

12:38 am on February 14, 2009