Bob McCoskrie sent me a two-pager explaining why libertarians should not support gay marriage. Full of woolly thinking. Bob and I agree on some things but this isn't ever going to be one of them. Below are the 4 assertions made by Maggie Gallagher and a response to them from another source.
1. Government did not create marriage and has no business redefining it.
1. She wants government to prevent evolution in marriage. Marriage is constantly redefined and conservatives wish to prevent that. So they do want government involvement very heavily, to the point of taxing people in 'unmarried' relationships at higher rates. Was govt. redefining marriage when it allowed divorce? Marriage is always changing and most the time government is playing catchup, it doesn't lead the charge but reluctantly brings up the rear.
Notice also her non sequitur. She argues that marriage encourages the binding of parents to children. "If encouraging mothers and fathers for children is a key part of marriage’s public purpose, then same-sex couples simply do not fit."
There are many parts to marriage. No marriage is required to fill all of them. Certainly allowing the marriage of post-menopausal woman doesn't fit. Nor does the marriage of women, or men, who are sterile, or men who had vasectomies. There are many functions to marriage not just one.
2. When marriage declines, government expands.
2. If the decline of marriage causes government to expand, then wouldn't expanding marriage reduce the size of government, so why fight the expansion of marriage?
3. Gay marriage has no economic benefits.
3. No economic benefits to whom? She is very careful to define economic benefits in odd ways. The benefits to couples, who don't pay the higher tax rates, she seems to ignore. Marriage gives people backup, that is others who care for them. When they don't have that they rely on the state. So wouldn't allowing gays to marry eventually reduce welfare costs?
4. The Slope Really Is Slippery
4. Slippery slope arguments are mostly impossible to address. Where did the slope begin? Why is gay marriage the beginning and not interracial marriage? Also note she says people only have a "right to raise our natural children." Does this mean that adoptive parents do not have parental rights? Is she slipping in Catholic crap to mean no one has the right to children born through IVF?
And Unsolicitedious has a good post on the subject here.