Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Liberty is doing what you want unless The Law says differently. Legal prohibitions to various things must pass different levels of hurdles, and marriage is "strict scrutiny,” the highest hurdle. Without taking emotions & conservatism into account, restricting marriage, such as between same sex partners, related partners, or even multiple partners does not pass strict scrutiny, and using the word "legal" implies The Courts which implies the power of the State.
Marriage is of interest to the State because married couples have special inheritance, medical, retirement, childcare benefits & responsibilities. The law considers the married partner as having a vested interest in the well-being of the other partner, and there are many volumes of case law defining & protecting that arrangement. When a person is in the hospital, or dies, or gifts, or is held responsible for some action, their marital status is very important because the law provides guidance for what to do. Even if the formalities of marriage have not occurred, the law still applies if the relationship meets the definition of a marriage. Marriage is not a religious issue & it is not a private issue, it is a State issue. Churches & private agreements can say whatever they want but The State overrides them when there is a discrepancy.
Some people complain that opening the legal definition of marriage could lead to nonconformity with modern practices, but historical norms have other examples of expanded marriage options. One of government's three basic responsibilities is to provide contract enforcement and, in fact, right now a group of people could sit down and execute a contract for a polygamous relationship, and most States already have no problem with incestuous marriage. Marriage is an evolving issue that a democratic society will define as it sees fit.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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