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Privatizing Gay Marriage

I am a bit behind in my newspaper reading, so I was particularly surprised by an article published in Thursday's New York Daily News. Written by Rabbi Michael Lerner, "The Right Way to Fight for Gay Marriage" argues that all unions should be privatized. Lerner, who is chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, writes:

... marriage ought to be taken out of the state's hands entirely. Let people be wed in the private realm with no official legal sanction. Then, religious communities that oppose gay marriage will not sanction them, and those like mine that sanction the practice will conduct it. Rather than issuing marriage certificates or divorces, the state would simply enforce civil unions as contracts between consenting adults and enforce laws imposing obligations on people who bring children into the world.
This approach is far more likely to be a winning strategy for those who wish to beat back the assault on gay rights.

I suppose what is most surprising to me is that a genuinely libertarian argument for privatizing marriage made it to the Op Ed of one of the most highly circulated daily newspapers in America.

Cross-posted to L&P.


That is surprising but isn't NYC a pretty progressive place on these kind of questions?

And I'll shamelessly link to my own writing on the topic Lol.

Check it out here and here.

Good links, Nick; btw, check out the comments on the L&P site here.

That's an intriguing and fresh way to look at "the marriage question."

Legal marriage has only recently become an institution that had anything to do with "love." Wasn't it, historically, mainly to do with distribution of property (women being considered property at the time?)

Subtracting the "women as property" aspect out of the equation, the idea of legal parternerships recognized by the state, while "lve match" as such being recognized by the individuals in question makes a lot of sense and unties the "Gordian knot." Why should the government have anything to say or do about the love matches between consenting adults?

Of course, this idea is MUCH too rational to be accepted quickly....

I agree, Peri.

BTW, check out the brief dialogue at Liberty & Power Group Blog here.