Here we have a Catch 22. Basically, the opponents of same-sex marriage declare that the federal government has no interest in defining marriage and should leave it to the states. But, when a state attempts to define marriage, they run the risk of being sued in federal court. Whereas the proponents of same-sex marriage seem to pursue their claims in the federal courts, and the Congress has no intention of getting involved in this quagmire.
The latest CBS poll that I've found says that most Americans are opposed to same sex marriage, but a plurality thinks that civil unions might the the way to go.
I don't care. I don't believe that same-sex marriage will be the downfall of our civilization. I'm becoming more and more convinced that the state, whether of the local political jurisdiction that we Americans know as states, nor the greater state that is defined as the Federal Government, has any business trying to define interpersonal relationships, except as it involves contractual relationships.
If I enter into a contract with a person, that's not the business of the government. If we fulfill the contract, that's also not the business of the government. If one party claims a default on the contract, that may or may not come to the attention of the government, purely through the civil courts.
It turns out that others are agreeing with me, and making the argument more cogently than I might make it.
Imagine if government had no interest in the definition of marriage. Individuals could commit to each other, head to the local priest or rabbi or shaman — or no one at all — and enter into contractual agreements, call their blissful union whatever they felt it should be called and go about the business of their lives.Exactly.
I certainly don't believe that gay marriage will trigger societal instability or undermine traditional marriage — we already have that covered — but mostly I believe your private relationships are none of my business. And without any government role in the institution, it wouldn't be the business of the 9th Circuit Court, either.
As the debate stands now, we've got two groups trying to make their case, one through public opinion and one through the Courts. If marriage were not the province of the state, then the state wouldn't care who married who, and we wouldn't be having this debate.
Don't misunderstand. I consider marriage to be the most basic of human contracts, and when I married my wife, I made vows that I intend to keep for all time. I'm certainly not trying to make light of the marital contract. I just don't believe that it's any of the state's business.